So - background. I've read most of Ira Levin's books (Rosemary's Baby, A Kiss Before Dying, Stepford Wives, The Boys From Brazil) and have really enjoyed them. He's a master of saying a lot without using many words, of building tension through innocuous events and of writing strong female characters who live in situations where female strength isn't encouraged.
So, yeah. I'm a bit of a fan.
Sadly, I was not a fan of Sliver.
The premise is that a hotshot publishing executive moves into a sliver (very thin) apartment block in New York that is, unbeknownest to her, fittedout with hundreds of video cameras that record the movements of all its inhabitants.
I found it really hard to like the protagonist - she was super whiney and I really didn't like the romatic relationship she enters into. The guy shehooks up with openly tells her he's attracted to her because she looks like his mother and she thinks that this is A-OK. Like, not a problem that you have a boner for your mum, Oedipus, let's jump into bed and declare our undying instalove for each other. So bizarre.
Unfortunately, where Levin's other books use a minimum of words to express a whole lot of feelings, plot and tension, this book does the complete opposite. I didn't need to know about Kay going furniture shopping - it had no relevance to the plot. A whole lot of the side-characters could havebeen cut out - they added nothing. In fact, I think this whole book could have been carved down to a long-ish short story.
Actually, I think Levin's editor might have asked him tothink about paring down the word count at some point, because he does this really weird thing that I've never seen in any of his other books - he misses out a whole bunch of pronouns. Like this:
She hung up [the phone].
Scratched her neck.
Took a shower.
Saw movement beyond the steamy glass.
This happens a lot in the book, and it really irritated me.
The reason Sliver is a two-star rather than a one-star is because (a) the premise was pretty cool and (b) I'm in a good mood today.
If you want a creepy read, go for (in this order):
A Kiss Before Dying
The Boys From Brazil.
Don't bother with Sliver. It's really not representative of Levin's work.