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Diary of an Emotional Idiot: A Novel Hardcover – February 25, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1st edition (February 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517701790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517701799
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Estep started out as a spoken-word performer, stomping out onto poetry-slam stages and delivering her witty, sometimes angry prose to loud, appreciative audiences. In addition, she has been featured on MTV and performed at Lollapalooza. Her first novel will surely thrill her fans and seduce new ones from the body-pierced, Gen-X crowd as well as Ginsberg and Kerouac followers. As the novel opens, the clean and sober Zoe is holed up in her ex-lover's apartment fantasizing about chaining him up and making him perform menial tasks. From this vantage point, we see flashbacks to her former life as a heroin addict frequently repulsed after a few days with a new boyfriend, writing porn novels for a living, and even cleaning her drug dealer's toilet for a fix. Estep has an incredible ability to make even the most disturbing scenes absurdly hilarious. Recommended for libraries serving a trendy population.?Editha Ann Wilberton, Kansas City P.L., Kan.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Zoe is in Satan's closet ("Satan" is what Zoe calls her ex-boyfriend). She let herself into his apartment and closet to tie him up while he sleeps so she can degrade him as revenge. Meanwhile, she tells in flashback how she arrived here (physically and emotionally) and how she joined the "emotional idiots" (friends of hers addicted to food, sex, or drugs), whom she manages to depict as average people trying to balance their desires with society's demands. Estep is a performance artist, and the tone of her first novel is conversational. Zoe's worldview and way of communicating are strong but charming. She sympathizes with the book's many quirky characters. Although they often act irrationally, their actions ring true if one does not analyze or criticize their motives. Ranging from small towns in Pennsylvania through a visit to Tunisia, a stint in Boulder, Colorado, and ending up in New York City, Zoe's story reminds the reader just how magical and random every person's journey is--whatever closet they may be in. Kevin Grandfield

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Customer Reviews

This is just a really awful book.
M. Hemingway
The novel is also semi-autobiographical, so it's easy to imagine Estep's distinct personality throughout the book.
miazgama@pilot.msu.edu
I have read this book several times and recommended so much that I loaned it out and never got it back.
tc

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am heartbroken that this book is no longer in print. A few years ago, when I was flat broke, I found myself so engrossed by it that I read it while sitting on the floor of a bookstore because I couldn't afford to buy it, not just once but twice. Now that I can afford it it's unavailable. Estep is strange, original, and gruesomely funny; this (apparently) autobiographical first novel is unlike anything else I've ever read, a mixture of high culture, punk rock, drugs, sex, romance, and idealism. Throughout Estep chronicles her own and others' losses and dreams with spare, deadpan sentences. These events almost seem to speak for themselves, but of course it is a mark of her artfulness that we have the impression that the story tells itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Liu on January 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Maggie Estep's talent is in telling stories in a twisiting, gyrating manner, with all the grace of a great dancer. Her prose is undistractingly clear, but has all the wild movement and intensity of Kerouac's spontaneous prose, with all the fluidity and flair of Joyce's stream of conciousness.
The nice thing about the book is that many of the constructions and catchphrases are also used in her songs. The sentences push ahead with a poetic rythm, enforced by her nasal, yet surprisingly sharp voice, almost singing in my head. It's no surprise this book is the work of a poet...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Mally on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
so I can tell you, that those portions of her book where she describes our neighbors were dead on!!! I was only too thrilled not to have been mentioned! I'm still here after 16 years, and still chuckle when I think of her book. Especially about the crackhead living downstairs with the little boys(she still lives here too, unfortunately.) A great read from a beautiful, talented, woman. Too bad no one bought the movie rights. Her apartment has since been renovated and is now renting for double what she was paying! Freaking NYU Trust Fund Brats!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I bought the book orginally due to the fact I was a fan of her poetry, stemming back to the old MTV days. I finally had to order the book and knew what the subject matter was and had a pretty good idea of how Maggie would apporoach writing a novel (I am literature student). It is an entertaining book, if nothing else. I can't say it changed my outlook on life yet it was not a pain or a waste of time to read. What one would expect when one antipates reading a "contemporary" novel.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Months ago my best friend Erin told me to 'check out Maggie Estep' So I did and I listened to a couple of the soundbits from her CD. Among those was the song "I'm an emotional idiot" This intreaged me. However I forgot about it. A couple months later while being on Holiday in the US I remembered and bought Maggie's CD. This was brilliant and made me check for more of her work. When I found out about this book I ordered it. a week later I got it and started reading. I was immediately gripped by the intro. For once a book about people you can relate to. I haven't seen that very often. I was finished 3 days later(and might I say that English isn't my native language). It's fast-paced, humorous and written in a style that's easy and fun to read. It's about everyday people with problems that normally are not talked about much and protraits them in a way that makes you think why people don't talk about them. You follow the leadcharacter Zoe thoughout her life which is a wild ride to say the least. Bad parents, sex and drug addicts, bad relationships and the odd heavymetal guitarist. Diary Of An Emotional Idot has it all. All I can say is buy it. It's brilliant. I can't wait to read her forthcoming novel. *wishes it would be the winter of 1999 already so he can get Soft Maniacs*
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Format: Paperback
I was surprised when I came to shelve this in my library to find the horse-based mystery novel "Flamethrower" next to it and to realize that it was by the same author. The heroine of the Rudy Murphy series is fond of horses and is a reformed alky, but this book is very different
This is memoir of drug addiction and of sex, both in many and varied forms. It is brilliantly written but essentially plotless. The author tries to impose a structure at the beginning by saying that "There is the "then part" _ which explains how I got here, and there is the "now" part, which documents what I am doing here. It is presented as fiction but does not really work as a novel. There is a parade of highly eccentric characters who appear and disappear from the narrator's life almost at random.
By staying entirely inside the head of the narrator she misses out on the reactions and feelings of all the concerned people who were trying to help her. By disclaiming autobiography she misses out on giving us insight into the reasons for her relapses and recovery. Is she really telling us what it is like to be a homeless panhandler? She has a wonderful sense of humor, and that can be a handicap achieving insight into motives. At times she makes heroin addiction sound like fun. I think I'll wait for the next Ruby Murphy.
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By A Customer on September 12, 1997
Format: Hardcover
DIARY OF AN EMOTIONAL IDIOT is at once a manic tour through the alternative underworld and the soul of one of its inhabitants and a scathing commentary that sets the subculture on its ear with brutal frankness and metaphors gone wild. Maggie Estep is the glorious soul-baring barker of this sideshow, inviting you to look behind the curtain of Emotional Idiocy. Take the opportunity. Maggie is cool and hip and striking in this first literary effort. If you want pretention, look elsewhere. To quote Andrew Vachss, "Maggie is a beautiful stripper working a runway that she built herself. And when she's done, it's your soul that's exposed."
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