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:
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:
Analogy Backfire: Flannery struggles with these, especially when describing her night with Adam.
Flannery: I guess I mean that if the flower of my love for Adam was being stunted by any feelings of doubt, then tonight fully fertilized my seed and allowed it to grow. That works if you donít think about the fact that fertilizer is made of shit.
Eleanor Tert: I was in deep denial, and I'm not talking about a river in Egypt. I said I'm not talking about a river in Egypt. Well, you probably haven't learned about it yet, but the Nile is a river in Egypt, and when I said "denial" it sounded like—well, never mind.
Unreliable Narrator: Up to Eleven. Not only does she not have a full grip on what's going on, but sometimes Flan outright makes things up to make the narrative work better. Even lampshaded at one point: