The Snakes by Sadie Jones

The Snakes

'I wonder if it hurts them to shed their skins,’ she said. She didn’t feel afraid standing in the darkness, imagining snakes, even with the smell of death in the air.Bea and Dan, recently married, let out their tiny flat to escape London for a few precious months. Driving down through France they visit Bea’s dropout brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. Disturbingly, they find him all alone and the ramshackle hotel deserted, apart ...

Details The Snakes

TitleThe Snakes
Release DateMar 7th, 2019
PublisherChatto Windus
GenreFiction, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Literature, Adult, European Literature, British Literature, Adult Fiction

Reviews The Snakes

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    "I wonder if it hurts them to shed their skins."Hello friends, and thank you for joining me on what might be the strangest reading journey I've embarked on yet. Usually, if I edit a star rating on one of my reviews, I'm typically knocking it down a peg because, the more I've thought on it, the more I decided I had let the initial high of the book cloud my unbiased judgement. I can't say for sure, but this might be the first time I've actually bum...
  • Paromjit
    Sadie Jones mirrors a number of contemporary issues in this hugely engaging novel of family, marriage and the insidious corruption and deadly damage that the love of money wreaks. Beatrice Temple is a committed psychotherapist, married to the mixed race Dan, living a modest life in a small flat in London, struggling to make ends meet. Dan has been unable to establish a career as an artist, working in a soul destroying occupation as a estate agent...
  • Amalia Gavea
    ’We were a family and now we’re not any more. We’re the wrong number. It’s all wrong. I can’t cry. I can’t.’’‘The times we live in are uncertain, turbulent, obscure. Financial insecurity, fear caused by leaders who dream of generating the Third World War, Nazi and Soviet sympathizers in power, presidents who believe themselves to be modern sultans, members leaving the Union they fought hard to form. Utter degradation of every ba...
  • Liz
    Well, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where my opinion changed so dramatically from beginning to end as this one. In the beginning, I couldn’t relate to the characters and I found the plot boring. I was ready to set it aside. But I persevered and I’m glad I did. By the end, I was totally engrossed. Bea and Dan, a young couple, recently married, decide to escape their lives and take off for a few months through France. They already see...
  • Carol
    3.5 Stars I am not a fan of snakes, but love my horror and after catching a glimpse of this cool cover, I was drawn in....and fooled. So....for those of you who steer clear of traditional horror novels, have no fear here....not really.There are some snakes though....but mostly a treacherous humanoid variety. There's a creepy hotel I would not inhabit and a dysfunctional family with filthy rich, disgustingly hurtful parents....who have a horror of...
  • Zoeytron
    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review. A "wish for" that was granted.Snakes - they are reptiles. Slithering and hissing, coldblooded and creepy. Did you know there are warmblooded snakes, as well? They look completely different, but are just as vile. Yessssss, I'm talking about human snakes. Poisonous, treacherous, apt to play serpentine games. Does this brand of snake shed its skin? If so, what lies beneath? In a dilapidated hot...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    Bea and Dan have decided to leave London for a few months. They first travel to Burgundy to see Alex, Bea’s brother, at the hotel he runs. The scene is disturbing when they arrive. Alex is alone in the beaten up hotel; however, there is a nest of snakes in the attic. Alex and Bea’s parents, Liv and Griff, come to visit, whom Dan does not know because Bea has kept them apart. Liv and Griff are wealthy and kind, and Dan has no idea why Bea has ...
  • Liz Barnsley
    It's a shame because 80% of "The Snakes" was an easy 5* for me and I fully expected that to be my rating and that I would write a wholly positive review.Sadly it's not to be but we'll start with the really good stuff. The Snakes is for the most part a beautifully complex and beautifully written family drama - following one family through a tragedy that rips the band aid off the many hidden truths in their past. It is thought provoking, melancholy...
  • Ron Charles
    Sadie Jones's “The Snakes” is the perfect antidote to a relaxing summer’s day. Her title practically hisses the story’s symbolic implication, pricking those ancient warnings embedded in the Garden of Eden and the face of Medusa. And the novel’s contemporary setting exhibits the markings of Gothic terror, with wry allusions to Frankenstein, Edgar Allan Poe and even Stephen King. But Jones coils all these old elements around new anxieties...
  • Barbara
    I listened to “The Snakes” by Sadie Jones, performed by Imogene Church on Amazon’s Audible. For me, Imogene Church’s performance made this story. Church has an amazing range in her voice. Each character had a distinct voice, and I found it amazing that it was only one narrator.The story is depressive and horrible. Again, the reason I kept listening was Church. The writing is clever and author Jones is skilled. It’s the story itself that...
  • Carolyn
    I loved most of this book, but if I had a hardcover in my hand, instead of my kindle, I might have thrown it across the room at the "end." Quotation marks - because there is no end to this novel. The author simply stops writing.Snakes is a deep, complicated, multi-layered novel. I didn't expect Jones to give us a neat ending with all the loose ends tied up in a bow. But I did expect something, some moment of understanding, maybe, in return for th...
  • Jenna
    Shelve under Horror. Possibly the most misanthropic book I’ve read in some while. The ending of the book, seemingly imported from another book, is just a giant F*#k You to the reader. Content warning for ultra violence at the end. The shortcuts of utter hopelessness and blatant nihilism felt lazy and uncreative. I finished feeling angry this book even exists, but it made me appreciate even more what other writers and artists have given us in th...
  • book rat
    I would recommend this book to people. I want other people to read it, because I want to discuss it with them. The writing was crisp and clean, the characters knowable, the themes elegantly considered. The whole thing was largely very successful. So why two stars?The book hinged on a married couple dealing with the wife's wealthy background. The wife wanted nothing to do with her family's money. The husband thought maybe using some of the money w...
  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    I wasn't actually expecting any real snakes to be featured in this book (regardless of its title). However I was pleasantly surprised to leave that the use of snake in the title wasn't just metaphorical when a few slithering friends showed up. Broken into four parts, The Snakes is a character study that has little plot besides that which everyday life would gives us all; family problems, marriage troubles, insecurity, financial woes, etc. There i...
  • Chris Haak
    This book sounded so promising and I was really looking forward to reading it. But it was a largely disappointing read.I'm not sure what Sadie Jones's intention was with this book. Is it about family? Money? Love? Abuse? Is it a thriller? A realistic novel? Drama? I think Jones wanted too much, the result being unsatisfying. There were some excellent parts, very thrilling as well, but then there were also large parts, which went nowhere and were ...
  • Jill
    Meet the Adamsons. They are an ultra-rich family who can only be called venomous. The father, Griff, made an obscene amount of money as an exploitive slum landlord and his attractive wife, Liv, is a malignant narcissist who has done great emotional harm to at least one of her children. Their youngest, Bea (referred mockingly by her father as St Beatrice) somehow escaped from this snake pit and lives frugally with her husband Dan, a handsome mixed...
  • Jypsy
    The Snakes proves there's nothing like good old family drama. Like super dysfunctional with major issues, and money plays a role here. The snakes were creepy to think about, but it's not a story about snakes. The entire thing is so odd yet very intriguing. I didn't like the characters, but I liked the story. It's thought provoking and ambiguous and absorbing. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    "She wondered what level of wealth it took to rearrange the molecules."This may be the bravest book that Sadie Jones has ever written, and truly, all of hers rear their defiant heads. She doesn’t land it as a deafening whack, more like a sober blow. You know that you are walking on a minefield when you are reading her novels; it’s with subtle baby steps that lead to the inevitable. You don’t wholly see it coming because it could have gone a...
  • Julie Parks
    Everything about this book seems explosive. I mean, imagine having this sensation under your chair while reading a book...It's a very twisty book that spins out of the zone of predictable about halfway in.I can't say I found it super shocking, the word that comes to mind the most is actually beautiful. And this feeling strangely lingers...even after that ending.It's very atmospheric but not necessarily in a creepy crime genre kind of way. For me,...
  • Carolyn
    Many thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for this absorbing, thought-provoking ARC. Don't be misled by the title thinking it will be a horror story involving poisonous snakes. The snakes are only mentioned a few times and are of the harmless variety. This is a superbly written character driven novel which progresses at a slow pace, examining a twisted, very dysfunctional family, and the gradual strains on a marriage. The author exami...
  • Madeline
    3.5 stars.. write more in a bit--Okay, I'm still not entirely sure what I think of this book. I've gone back and forth a lot on what sort of rating to give this book, since the entire time I was reading I thought it was 'meh' but by the end I had such a visceral reaction. The first section of the book was mostly a drawn out fancy dinner discussion about privilege, ethics, etc, amongst only rich white people, which was exhausting. I just didn't ca...
  • Michelle
    All snakes are carnivores.Snakes swallow their prey whole. Snakes sleep with their eyes open. Snakes do not hibernate. Instead they lie dormant biding their time.Consider yourself warned. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve these creatures have had a bad rap. But in Sadie Jones's latest foray it is the two-legged variety that one must be wary of. The Snakes is a slow deliberate novel with little to no characters that warranted empathy. With power...
  • Stacey A. Prose and Palate
    "He had conceived of forgiving his abuser. It was cruel it was always left to the victims to be the bigger person, the better person, and no real punishment for the ones who hurt them, who carried on unchanged and unpunished. His pain was nothing to her, she made it her pain. She took everything from him, even his death. And he had forgiven her. To love the person who had broken you. That was brave.....She dropped the folded letter, holding it ou...
  • Audra (Unabridged Chick)
    oooooooooooooooooooooohmygod. Ten thousand emotions and an ending I did not see coming. A literary family thriller, maybe? Marriage, how strong it is, how weak it is. Families -- dysfunctional. France, decaying hotels. Survivors. Surviving.Here's how I described it to friends: if you want something that is a total beach read -- family dysfunction, a marriage challenged, tragic death, decaying French hotel -- but with a slightly literary style, th...
  • Ella
    I got an ARC of this in an Indiespensable box a long time ago, and I finally got round to reading it. (Totally unrelated to this book, they should make all books more like print ARCs in that there is loads of space and the words are nice and big. We old eyes appreciate such things.) I had real emotions while reading this. I was affected by the family and the marriage and the many unthinking and deliberate ways these people who loved each other (o...
  • Annette
    Thank God this has just arrived as all my other reading choices seem to be falling flat in my ears. Already adore Bea the main character for her goodness. Sadie Jones never fails to create fully realised characters that feel like people you've met and know well by the time you finish her novels. Every character in this book, major or minor, succeeds on these terms.A dark and powerful novel that is a state of the nation metaphor for the times we'r...
  • Tory
    USE A DAMN SEMICOLON OR DASH ONCE IN A WHILE, run-on sentences with overused commas are really gross, seriously stop doing it please.Um. So everyone else is incensed that there wasn't an ending, and that was kind of my favorite part of this book? But I'm not saying I liked the book. The first third was intriguing, but then THE WHOLE SECOND THIRD??????? (Which is where I got within about 90% of the way to quitting tbh.) I don't know if the whole p...
  • Roman Clodia
    3.5 starsWhat a mash-up of a novel! The beginning is slow and I didn't find Jones's prose as stellar as I have in the past. It takes a while for the plot to get going and even the characterization is somehow a bit blurry in comparison with Jones's usual scalpel-like precision. Then it all suddenly takes off with the corrupting influence of money and dysfunctional family: the nest of snakes in the attic is both entirely apposite and yet a bit crud...
  • Eleanor
    An impressively sinister slow-burner of a novel about a couple whose plan to take a few months out goes immediately awry when they visit wife Beatrice’s brother Alex at his non-functioning hotel in France. Jones is terrifically, and terrifyingly, perceptive on the emotional claustrophobia of wealthy families, on the warping effects of dishonesty in a marriage when both partners come from very different social backgrounds, and on the frustrating...