on June 26, 2005
Rumored to be inspired by author Lydia Millet's two-year stint working as a copy editor at Hustler Magazine, `Everybody's Pretty' centers around the world of freelance porn reviewer Dean Decetes. While that may grab your attention, what keeps it is Dean's delusional status.
Told from the point of view of 5 characters (Dean, Bucella, Phillip, Ginny & Alice), all the characters weave in & out of each other's lives in a strange dance, searching for the meaning of life. Well, if not the meaning of life, searching for something more significant than what they have. Well, if you don't buy that metaphoric crap, then this is a search for God & sex.
God & sex are pitted against each other, mistaken for each other, and viewed as means to one another. Some obsess on God's ways, while some abstain from God's ways. Some abstain from sex, some are reborn in sex. Some abstain from God & sex. Some believe the are The Savior because of sex. Some believe in math as The Savior, but have diaphragms anyway.
The author has created the truly bizarre, but it's all plausible. It's epic & fantastic, yet each character is so rooted in some clinical state that you suddenly feel that it's all too real. It's sharp & biting, cruel when necessary, and while this certainly exposes the soft underbellies of the people, they retain if not dignity (and I must say, there may be indignant characters, there isn't much dignity!), some sense of respect or warmth, for Millet never goes in for the kill. Well, technically, since there is death, she does kill, but, oh what the hell -- this book is full of contradictions, humor & irony. Above all it's absolutely captivating.
I picked it up, read it almost in one day -- and I was pissed when I had to stop. 'Everone's Pretty' is fast & furious reading that nearly hypnotizes.
This is Lydia Millet's third book If it was inspired by her work at Larry Flynt Publications, I say give her a new job every 6 months, & let her write some more!
on September 7, 2006
What a fantastic little book! Not only is it a very funny read, but the characters are so richly drawn that they'll stay with you for quite a while. A couple of weeks after reading the book, I still find myself contemplating who should play each character if it is ever made into a movie. Now I know that it's doubtful that this "under the radar" gem would ever make it to the silver screen, but I couldn't help imagining either Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Jack Black as the vulgar, yet magnetic personality of Dean Descetes. Give this book a try, I guarantee that you'll be quickly passing it along to your friends as a "must" read.