Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book 71 of '10 Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress

School Library Journal Description:

"Adult/High School–Gilman has a gift for showing the humor in the ordinary. Her memoir takes readers from her childhood in the late 1960s and early '70s through adulthood and marriage. As the book opens, she is reminiscing about the summer of 1969 when she was four and her parents took her to a commune where one of their friends was filming a documentary. She got to personify innocence by dancing naked on the beach with other children. Other experiences include the challenges of being the only Jewish girl attending a private Presbyterian school, her mother's enthusiasm for transcendental meditation, and her own infatuation (and ultimate meeting) with Mick Jagger. Set against the backdrop of New York's Upper West Side, her descriptions of the insecurities that plagued her as an adolescent ring with truth. Gilman's narrative illustrates how the highs and lows that mark the teen years are remarkably similar among generations, and suggests that perhaps the gap isn't so wide after all. As she shares some of her adult experiences–career choices, the effects of her parents' divorce after she and her brother were grown, a work-related trip to the Polish concentration camps–her refreshing blend of humor and frankness does not trivialize the significance of her observations."

Characters: Gilman's child self kind of reminds me at a similar age. Kind of an idiot with an appeal for the dramatic. Her first few chapters about being a hippy toddler instantly made me like her from then on.

Unlike Everything Is Going to Be Great, I don't find myself kind of perturbed by Gilman's morals. She's just incredibly hilarious and it makes for an exceptional memoir. Her musings about her family had me in stitches.
Some of the stories within the book are kind of disturbing in their comedy, though. I'll let that slide, but if you plan on reading this book, prepare for some political jokes.

Gilman makes you think the story is going in one direction near the end of each of the three main parts, and then ends up in the sort of lack of moral epiphany akin to real life. Saying it's refreshing is an understatement. 4 and a half flowers.

Writing:
Gilman's writing style is absolutely hilarious. Like kneeling over in public to the point where people probably think I am either schizophrenic or wearing a bluetooth. See, just reading her style makes me write like her. There's not the same gorgeous tone that I felt when I read Shukert's book, but Gilman still writes with a sharp edge. 4 and a half flowers.

Plot:
It's kind of scatterbrained and hard to follow Gilman's overall point. Usually this would irk me but it made me all the more delighted. 4 flowers.

End:
Kind of a curveball. Somehow, it was just what this book needed. 4 flowers.

Dust Jacket Description:
Well, seeing as my copy is at my mother's house and Goodreads description is too short, I am stuck with this SLJ I found from Amazon. It's accurate, although lacking in sass. Good thing Gilman's actual story gives it that extra punch easily. 4 and a half flowers.

Cover:
There is no way in hell I would've picked this book up if it wasn't for my mother giving it to be last Christmas. It looks cheap. 3 flowers.

Overall:
You like funny, scathing humor? Pick this up oh please please please. 4 and a half flowers.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really great. And I totally agree about the cover.

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