Ira Levin’s 1991 novel. I read a hardcover Bantam Books first edition from the library.
2 out of 5 stars.
Times Read: 2
Seen the Movie: Nope (and never plan to).
Editor Kay Norris’ new NYC apartment building, notorious for a series of untimely deaths, is also bugged with cameras for a single, secret voyeur.
Sliver is somehow too short and in desperate need of editing. Levin is unusually sloppy here but, being Levin, delivers a story that is hard to put down in the second half. Someone needed to go through this manuscript with a red pen and ask some basic questions, like: Why are you keeping the identity of the voyeur secret in the first third of the story? What good does that do for the reader? The reveal isn’t that surprising and the awkward shuffling to keep the secret for sixty pages is distracting and annoying. Just tell us who it is and allow us to be in on it. Or keep the cameras a secret until Key realizes what’s going on. That would have been something; an excellent reveal to give the reader a Rosemary’s Baby puzzle piece pleasure (Oh, that’s how he knew x, y and z… That’s why he said those things!).
But Sliver is the anti-Rosemary’s Baby. It does so much wrong that RB does right. Until the closing pages of RB, you’re not entirely sure if Rosemary’s paranoia is based in reality. In Sliver, you immediately know that someone is watching tenants, that all paranoia is valid. The only beat that Levin employs which I adore is having Kay drawn to the voyeurism despite knowing how morally shitty and wrong it is. She’s an all right character, all things considered: smart, independent, a fan of good sex, a woman with a career who takes that career seriously. Too bad she’s stuck in a subpar book. Continue reading