The Life and Death of Sophie Stark

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark✾ [EPUB] ✶ The Life and Death of Sophie Stark By Anna North ❦ – The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is the story of an enigmatic film director told by the six people who loved her most Brilliant infuriating all seeing and unknowable Sophie Stark makes films said to The Life and Death of Sophie Stark and Death MOBI ô is the story of an enigmatic film The Life ePUB ô director told by the six people who loved her most Brilliant infuriating all seeing and Life and Death Kindle Ö unknowable Sophie Stark makes films said to be ' like life than life itself' But Life and Death of Sophie PDF/EPUB ² her genius comes at a terrible cost to her husband to the brother she left behind and to the actress she can't uite forgetWith shades of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves A Visit from the Goon Suad and Where'd You Go Bernadette it combines a uniuely appealing sensibility with a compulsively page turning plot. I thought making movies would make me like other people said Sophie But sometimes I think it just makes me even like meman i just loved this book it reminded me of my favorite robert coover novel John's Wife or the structural underpinnings of twin peaks in that all of the action revolves around a central character in this case sophie stark who is both charismatic and enigmatic and never given a voice in her own story except through the filter of others the narrative is driven by those who had considered themselves close to her and it is the memories of their experiences with sophie and their interpretations of her behavior that shape the reader's understanding of who she was it's a tricky thing to do well but north handles it perfectly i had read her first novel America Pacifica years ago and it was a lightweight post apocalyptic piece that didn't really impress me but i have to say this one was excellent her writing her characterization her uiet perfect behavioral observations it's all incredibly strong here sophie stark is a filmmaker whose movies are beautiful disuieting and emotionally jarring very image focused they reveal something to the viewer that speaks to the human condition but is also somehow distancing as if an alien had come down and filmed humans and shown us what we were like so much honestly then any other human couldand it is this bewitchingdisturbing duality that has made sophie's movies so compelling but has made a shambles of her personal life her character is dissected by the people to whom she was closest and those who felt closest to her work her brother her girlfriend her husband a former obsession a critic and a producer sophie has never been able to relate to people on an emotional level and she can only understand them through the lens of a camera i'm sure she is meant to be somewhere on the spectrum but this book isn't about neurology it is about the sacrifices a true visionary makes in order to fulfill their goals sophie has patience strength and confidence in her work and she is able to manifest something in her art that stuns the subject her brother remembers Sophie had gotten a little point and shoot camera for her fifteenth birthday and she'd taken photos on and off since then She'd taken one of me when we were both in high school that I still love I'm sitting on our front steps eating an ice cream sandwich and I look like myself than I've ever looked in any mirror a little bit angry but a little bit hopeful too like I'm looking forward to not being madbut sophie is also a slave to her artistic temperament which will not allow her to spare someone's feelings if she senses that a powerful story can be told after she infuriates her husband by using his tragic memories of his mother in a film that he understood was to employ of a hopeful cathartic tone she recognizes that his anger is justified but her artistic scruples would not allow her to pull her punches I got into it and I realized there was a much better way to make it that would be really beautiful and interesting And I knew I could either make it happy or I could make it goodall of the people in sophie's life have been hurt by her in various ways but sophie is not necessarily a malicious person she's empathically challenged and she comes across as cold and driven but several anecdotes show her vulnerability and her longing to connect at a deeper level she just doesn't understand the balance how to be as patient in her personal life as she is with the details of her art and she doesn't have it in her to be pinned down for too long long ago I'd had to accept that I would see and know Sophie on her terms and not minethis book is largely about damage all of the people who fall under sophie's magnetism are damaged in some way the way all people are but there is very little regret in their memories of her it is a privilege to have been allowed as close as she would allow And when people ask me why I married her that September even though I'd known her for only three months and I knew it wouldn't last I tell them that a life is a heavy burden and imagine if someone just carried it for you for a while just picked it up and carried itthe vagueness about who is carrying whom here is one of those nice subtle moments as well as the many small contradictions that appear as we observe how differently the other characters interpret sophie's behavior based on their own experiences and how different combinations of people encourage different facets of a person to emerge her brother claims he had only seen sophie cry once but her husband sees her cry on the very first night they meet it's the small details like these that make this book so strong and so realistic it's also there in the way that the other characters are free with their own backstories allowing us to see their own damage and how they were able to be sucked into her orbit like her girlfriend allison I worked at a diner until my manager started stealing my tips and then as a bar waitress until a customer tried to follow me home and then at a bodega where I had to stay because I had no ideas left even though the owner always pressed his crotch against my ass when he walked behind me and yelled at me for not selling expired food I felt like I'd come to a place for people who didn't know how to be people and if I was there I must not really know how to be a person eitherallison knows how to be a person much better than sophie does but she hurts people too no one is exempt from the casual cruelty people inflict throughout their lives but as a public figure sophie's shortcomings transcend the personal realm and become lorethe ending is not surprising it's all right there in the title and the how of it is a pretty foregone conclusion but this isn't a mystery novel it's the study of one troubled dynamic woman whose life is scrutinized both by her inner circle and by those who only knew her through her art it's a lovely story; strong and haunting spotlighting all the pitfalls and warts of loving and being loved all my strongest memories of Sophie were of her leavingyeah read itcome to my blog Man what a writer North conducts an off beat symphony about an enigmatic filmmaker named Sophie Sophie’s friends victims? comprise the chorus and they alternate chapters to tell about their dramatic relationship with Sophie I was glued to the performance Only a brilliant writer could make me feel sorry for a sociopathic mind fucker Or IS that what she is? A part of me thinks that Sophie is the real victim here Others become obsessed with her try to devour her make too many demands on her Then I think it has nothing to do with who is the biggest victim—maybe Sophie is just a mentally ill genius who can’t communicate except through art I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Sophie She may be one of the most intriguing and magnetic characters I’ve ever met She’s a walking contradiction She's tiny and frail yet strong She's independent yet terribly dependent She’s confident but scared She’s proud of her work but she’s insecure about it She’s lovable but stand offish She’s totally devoted but completely detached She is either sticking like glue or running away fast Shit what DO I think about her? I’ll tell you this—the author is one smart cookie to make me feel so ambivalent about a character The book structure is brilliant I feel like I’m inside Sophie’s head But wait How can I feel like I’m inside Sophie’s head when Sophie never directly tells me what she’s thinking or feeling or doing? There isn’t a Sophie chapter I just learn about her through others Genius I tell you pure geniusOnly two teensy nits First there is a page of text that appears twice in the book I’m reading along and I think didn’t I just read this exact page a while ago? Sure enough I had It’s no biggie but it did pull me out of the coziness of the story for a minute I all of the sudden see the author sitting at her computer perhaps with a cup of coffee and a cat by her side concentrating hard as she cuts and pastes accidentally putting the same page of text into two scenes The editor should have caught this; I didn’t appreciate having to leave the story for a minute and think about the writer processSecond even though I liked the structure—of each person having a chapter to themselves—I did find it a little hard at first to figure out how the chapters and characters related to each other I couldn’t see where the story was going But once I hit the third chapter the story started to gel From the very start though I was loving it so much I didn’t much care This is one fantastic psychological study The book is about vulnerability fear insecurity betrayal trust love and obsession It’s even about morality—is it okay to betray a person’s confidence in order to make compelling art? Where do we draw the line? I’m dying to talk specifics here but I won’t You’ve got to read this one to see what I mean Oh and the ending is pure genius Conductor take a bowOne of my favorite favorites of 2015 Highly highly recommend 475 Starry Starry Stars ”StarryStarry nightPaint your palette blue and greyLook out on a summer's dayWith eyes that know theDarkness in my soulShadows on the hillsSketch the trees and the daffodilsCatch the breeze and the winter chillsIn colors on the snowy linen landAnd now I understand what you tried to say to meHow you suffered for your sanityHow you tried to set them freeThey would not listenThey did not know howPerhaps they'll listen now” Don McLean “Vincent”The Life and Death of Sophie Stark begins through the eyes of Allison a young woman from Burnsville West Virginia a small town with a relatively small population 133 families She’s left the small town life for NYC ”When Sophie first saw me I was onstage” So begins this story of Sophie Stark Allison is in a bar in Bushwick a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn ”But there I was in New York and for ten minutes I could make people listen to me and treat me like I was important’”Sophie approaches her waiting patiently for her congratulators and fans to depart ”’I make movies about people’ she said ‘and I’d like you to be in one’”Sophie’s already made a movie but she knows this one will be better she’s learned from mistakes but holds on to her vision of what as an artist she wants to show to say to leave the viewer with weaving her inspired imaginative wand over it all Seen through the eyes of Allison Robbie Jacob Daniel and George this is a stunning study of what it means to truly recognize and understand another soul To see and be seen An artist seen through myriad viewpoints coloured by personal opinions interactions with Sophie Stark Who is Sophie Stark to each of these characters how her interaction with each person is uniue and complete to itself but when combined paints a portrait of a young woman who seems to place herself at the perimeter of relationships desperately hoping for that connection where she feels safe seen but poised to flee not willing to compromise her art herself “StarryStarry nightFlaming flo'rs that brightly blazeSwirling clouds in violet haze reflect inVincent's eyes of China blueColors changing hueMorning fields of amber grainWeathered faces lined in painAre soothed beneath the artist'sLoving handAnd now I understand what you tried to say to meHow you suffered for your sanityHow you tried to set them freePerhaps they'll listen now”Sophie may not be a likeable character but she’s so broken so untrusting of life that she draws you further inside Those that see her films have seen inside her her thoughts and feelings and perspectives on the world There’s an aching beauty in her somewhat dysfunctional relationships her inability to connect verbally as she can in her films I thought making movies would make me like other people But sometimes I think it just makes me even like meThe vision she has for her films her art are her guiding light when it comes to her creations she is like a mother protecting a child and will sacrifice all she has or loves in order to not compromise on her vision Love or friendship relationships are not part of the euation Sacrificing her art would be like sacrificing herself for the opinions desires of another What then of her art? It would no longer exist it would be something else altogether the vision of someone else not Sophie – and what then of Sophie if her art disappears? Does she disappear as well? “For they could not love youBut still your love was trueAnd when no hope was left in sight on that starryStarry nightYou took your lifeAs lovers often do;But I could have told youVincentThis world was neverMeant for oneAs beautiful as youThey would not listenThey're notList'ning stillPerhaps they never will” Don McLean “Vincent” WARNING THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERSOkay I confess I thought this was a thriller Had I bothered to read the book description i would have missed out on this extraordinary read I'm not one who thinks much about cinematography or the artistry involved maybe my brain just leans the other way BUT THIS BOOK It tugged at me and before I knew it I was deep inside it's world It's really much of a character study all told from the other characters point of view Sophie is what most consider a misfit I loved how she put it It's like having everybody mispronounce your name everyday And at first you try to correct them but they keep fucking it up and then you start to wonder if maybe you're the one who's wrong and that really is how to pronounce your name And after awhile you start to wonder if you even have a name Are you a person? Do you even exist? Who the fuck knows Nothing really matters to Sophie unless she finds it interesting She may deal with her demons through cinematography yet the uestions she provokes are universalThe story is so hooked in with how the characters surrounding Sophie relate to the world it becomes easy to understand why Sophie feels as she does A few of the uestions considered are the concept of love do people fall in love just because the other becomes interesting? Also the many ways one is considered strong Do we glorify the strong and silent type or can we recognize that asking for help and letting people in is a strength What about jealousy? What role does jealousy play in showing that we care? How uickly can we be forgotten? Even accidentsillnesses Are we less than Does some part of us want to die to be replaced by a whole? And how often do we compromise our integrity for a steady paycheck?Sophie's attempts at understanding the world and many of these uestions are through the movies she has written Yet she has found they only make her like other people Did she think others really knew how to be in this world but finally realized they were just as clueless had only perfected an outward act?a complete stranger says of Sophie She saw people for what they are and I think if you've that perceptive you just can't live in the world for very long Think about it To see the truth of life as she did it would be unbearableWhile Sophie's movies focused on the awful things that happen to other people does she finally include herself in the end? Did she leave to go somewhere safe?Damn never written a review with so many uestions But this is the type of read that could be read again and again always with something new to discover Loved it I'm just not sure how I feel about this book and I guess that's a plus because my ambivalence reflects how thought provoking it is Is Sophie Stark the filmmaker a genius or an opportunist hurting the people closest to her along the way to her fame or is she a vulnerable even fragile young woman who bears the scars of bullying and never belonging? Maybe all of these What we know about Sophie we learn from the narratives of others her lover Allison her brother Robbie her husband Jacob her college obsession and subject of her first film Daniel We also hear from George a not so successful Hollywood producer From these narratives we know that Sophie is manipulative She lies to these people for what appears to be her own agenda and she sometimes hurts people for her own ends or presumably her art All of these things made me dislike her but yet I saw glimpses of her past that made me feel sorry for her There was only one moment when I can honestly say that I liked Sophie It was when she sends Daniel the video of him spinning around If you read the book you will know why I thought this was a gift to Daniel The book is not really all about Sophie though It's also about these other characters who they are the burdens they bear how they find their way and how their relationship with Sophie affects themI expected Sophie's fate and didn't see the clever ending coming but for me it was just a clever ending so I have to say 3 starsThank you to PENGUIN GROUP Blue Rider Press and NetGalley The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a strange but fascinating novel This book tells how Sophie Stark an emotionally aloof Indie filmmaker manipulates the people who love her the most including her ex girlfriend her brother her husband and many What makes this book so different is even though the main subject is Sophie Stark you never hear her point of view Each chapter introduces a different character some of the people I mentioned above and they begin to tell how Sophie impacted their lives I especially enjoyed reading Allison's chapters her past is so dark and tragic but I thought Robbie's chapters her dedicated brother told the best backstory of his strained relationship with his sister Sophie Parts of the novel dragged a tad towards the middle and I felt like this book left me wanting It was an excellent and uniue story but I felt like I didn't fully understand why Sophie treated people the way she did Was she suffering from mental illness or did she just have a misguided nature? Who knows But just let me say that the author of this novel Anna North is a gifted writer She's a natural born storyteller I was completely hooked after just a few pages Beautifully written in every way Enjoy Fearless it claws into you with freshness and truth This novel exposes the inner workings of the way people think about how they live what they want and what they believe Sophie and the other characters each live with emotional scars The stories of each of these characters richly interwoven alternating narrators slowly come together with haunting grace The author Anna North has created something very original hereexuisitely writtenLeaving me to uestionWas Sophie's choice an act of unforgivable hubris or generosity? Extraordinary tale about a small indie filmmaker Sophie Stark told by a handful of the people who came closest to knowing her A misfit in school and college she comes off as just plain weird As an adult she is an irregular weave obsessed tortured and damaged but with occasional flashes of brilliance with her odd movies Any dealings you have with her will be strictly on her own terms Sophie put me in the mind of a feral cat in that way but one without the basic instinct of self preservation A stunning character study Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me access to an advance copy of this book Since I had never heard of North before it was an unexpectedly good read and very hard to put down The concept is very clever and works well Sophie Stark is a film maker with a very unusual personality who has been willing on than one occasion to sacrifice relationships for the sake of her movies She is ambiguously portrayed as either very cold or unusually insightful Her story is told from the perspective of a handful of people who have been involved in her films including her brother husband and former lovers Ultimately who Sophie is and what makes her so unusual remains somewhat elusive and intangible but we learn a lot about the characters who tell her story I found each of their first person narratives fascinating and really engaging These characters' stories are self contained and interesting and their uniue personalities really come through North's book is original in its structure but it is very readable because it portrays what feel like real and complex people I definitely highly recommend it and will be looking for North's first novel Despite raves from a few GR friends I wasn't looking forward at all to reading this Not because of the subject matter but because a blurb bit the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic movie maker reminded me too much of one of my biggest fiction disappointments in the last few years Marisha Pessl's Night Film Apologies to fans of that book but I just could not fathom its appeal Fortunately Anna North is no Marisha Pessl and Sophie Stark is no Stanislaus Cordova The title The Life and Death of Sophie Stark intimates something dark and sinister but this is not that kind of book This is not an auteur's murky murder mystery; it's a nuanced and well examined foray into the enigmatic mind of an artist obliuely approached from multiple viewpoints of friends family and associates in her life The novel has wide appeal not only for aesthetes and cineastes interested in the prime motivators in an artist's life but for anyone tangential to someone right brained or having someone creative in their life Examining Sophie Stark who for some reason reminded me of a female Harmony Korine or a Sophia Coppola with a much humble upbringing through those around her was a master stroke by Ms North giving the reader just enough of a glimpse into Sophie's life to keep it compelling despite her not being a terribly likable or sympathetic character Without being particulaly splashy or sensational the novel is just as gripping as any auteur's thriller perhaps so because it feels as big as life and infinitely relatableThis is one of those rare occasions when I've wished a novel to be longer yet totally satisfied by its length This is Ms North's sopho effort; her storytelling chops and ear for believable dialogue belie her relative youth she's going to have a great career ahead of her