Literature / The Basic Eight

The Basic Eight is a 1998 novel by Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket. It is told as the journal of one Flannery Culp, a highly intelligent and sarcastic teenage girl doing a life sentence in prison for murder. The premise is that she is editing her own journal from the months leading up to the murder, so that it can be published as a true-crime book.

The novel itself centres on Flannery and her group of friends, known collectively as "The Basic Eight". They are:
  • Flannery herself, a Deadpan Snarker and our Unreliable Narrator.
  • Kate Gordon, the semi-Lovable Alpha Bitch and the Queen Bee of the Basic Eight.
  • Douglas Wilde, Flan's amicably ex-boyfriend, an opera lover in a Transparent Closet.
  • Lily Chandly, a classical musician and Douglas' new girlfriend.
  • Jennifer Rose Milton, a sweet, shy girl who is so beautiful that Flan must always write out her name in full.
  • Gabriel Gallon, the kindest boy on earth, who is in love with Flan.
  • V___, whose rich and influential parents had her name expunged from the story.
  • Natasha Hyatt, Flan's wild, hilarious vampy best friend, who is actually a figment of Flan's imagination.

Flan's victim is the boy with whom she was madly in love, Adam State. The novel opens with her love letters to him, and it goes downhill from there.

Noted for being witty and insightful, this novel mocks teenage fiction while simultaneously being the very best of it.
This novel provides examples of: