Industrial-Sized Deals Shop all Back to School Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon David Ramirez $5 Off Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Deal of the Day

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2001
As you'll remember, the last hundred years were boutfifully ripe with subjects for satire. Unfortunately, scores of overpaid memoirists have built careers by taking everything so damned seriously -- and we, the reading public, only enabled them with our indulgence.
To the rescue comes Maddox's first novel. Mordantly witty, mechanically unique, and -- this is the important part -- entirely NOT BORING, "My Little Blue Dress" delivers a hilarious and transparently fraudulent traipse down one smelly centegenarian's memory lane. After the "true" author is revealed, readers are also treated to a dead-on skewering of present day New York and all its vanities (a delight for anyone who loves, or loves to hate, the city). Along the way Maddox manages to make some insightful cultural commentary; thanfully his playful pacing and style prevent the text from degenerating into another steaming pile of theses.
This is a very good book. If enough thoroughly mediocre novels come out, we will one day be calling it a great book, an important book. If enough of us do that, someone will oneday launch a Maddox Studies Program at a small liberal arts college. Hopefully it will happen soon enough that Maddox will be around to make fun of them too.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2001
This is a terrifically ridiculous and clever novel that had me laughing out loud often. The conceit - a barely-managed 'memoir' of someone other than the memoirist - is ingenious. Who hasn't had a great idea that just wouldn't work out? This one, in Maddox's hands, allows for plenty of room for antics on several levels. The narrator is one of those people who has read so much, and thought about a lot of things, and his mind is buzzing. He contrives (at first) to write in a voice not his own. He sustains the invention for brief spates. He can't sustain the voice, and he knows it at times. He collapses, then perseveres. Repeatedly but not tediously, he nearly runs away with himself.
Maddox inserts himself into the life span of his not-at-all believable heroine when you would expect it, as well as when you might not. (Think of a puppy who cannot stay away from the action for long.) Since he knows his heroine insufficiently, subplots and diversions intrude. There's a sort of manic braininess here. This is an unpretentious romp, uncynical and a bona fide comic novel. It's utterly original and a lot of fun.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2002
Bruno Maddox takes the unsuspecting reader on a wild ride in "My Little Blue Dress" with surprises at every turn. It is absolutely essential to read this book to the very last page, or you might miss a nuance or two. The author ridicules himself by placing himself center stage in this absurdist story. This is one of the most original stories I've had the pleasure to enjoy in a long time.
The story is immediately surprising, as the five-year-old apparent narrator uses a vocabulary far more extensive than that of a lot of adults I know. So the reader is immediately clued in on something unusual. The narrator goes on to use language and make references that don't quite fit the time frame of the narrative, providing further clues. Still more clues are placed expertly along the the way, but never enough for the reader to determine precisely what is going too soon. One such clue comes early in the story in the form of advice from the narrator's grandfather.
This is a must-read if you enjoy absurdist quirky stories that leave many questions unanswered to the last chapter. Judging by the reaction from other readers, "My Little Blue Dress" isn't for everyone.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2003
First of all, My Little Blue Dress is a great read, fresh, original, and laugh-out-loud funny. Second, it is unquestionably genius, a post-modern antidote to the outdated coming-of-age novel. This wry, perverse little book calls to mind Salinger's Catcher in the Rye and Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise - not because it resembles that [grossly overrated] canon fodder in form, attitude, or the youth of its protagonist, but in the way that it brilliantly chronicles the turbulence of self-creation. Maddox's challenge is far steeper than his predecessors, given an older hero and an era ruled by chaos and chronic self-reinvention, yet he succeeds brilliantly, creating a book that is not only admirable but also a joy to read. Whimsical, farcical, philosophical; in short, creative thinkers will adore this book. Be warned though: if a straight memoir is what you're seeking, you'll definitely want to stick to "Having Our Say"!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2003
there is no way this book deserves 3 stars. droll? clever? smart? don't be ridiculous. I agree with a prior poster who suggests that this might have made a decent short story - but its far too weak of a premise/joke to spread over an entire novel...it reminds me of the jokes that take 15-20 minutes to tell and don't have a funny punchline on purpose...the joke teller gets satisfaction from wasting the time of his audience...maddox certainly wasted my time with this book...the only reason i bothered finishing it was because i friend of mine recommended it to me...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2012
This book was so painful to read. I kept waiting for the real story to start and it never did...then the book ended and I had a little mini-party inside to celebrate that I was done. It was a waste of my time. I should have stopped reading it...I guess I had just hoped it would become interesting, but it never did.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
"My Little Blue Dress" appears at first to be the literary equivalent of "The Sixth Sense," i.e. a work with a twist so baldly foreshadowed that only a Grisham fan could fail to be underwhelmed. But wait.
The cleverest thing about "My Little Blue Dress" (and there is no drought of cleverness in this book - Crichton lovers better watch out too) is that the surprise ending is not the expected surprise. This means at least that I can talk about the expected surprise without anyone going "boo, spoilsport!" (except the Archer readers, but the less said about them the better).
Ostensibly, "My Little Blue Dress" is the memoir of a female centenarian, born on 1 Jan 1900 and with many a tale to tell of the times this land forgot. She grew up in Murbery, England, where she was a cert for May Queen by the age of five; fell in love with a local boy who deserted her for the trenches of the First World War; went to France in the 20s where she associated with the artists of the Left Bank; became a nanny in the thirties; and -
What's that? All sounds a bit formulaic? Well, yes, it does - and that's where the jokes start. You see, the unnamed narrator doesn't know an awful lot about, well, anything (an Anthony Trollope aficionado, no doubt) and her account of the times she lived in could have been written by anyone. Her speech, too, is over-sophisticated, her worldview frankly out of synch, and all I can say about her sexual peccadilloes is that they might at least provide a way into this book for Jackie Collins fans.
And here's the "twist" (close your eyes if you don't want to know) - "My Little Blue Dress" is actually being written by the old woman's neighbour, a certain Bruno Maddox, twentysomething young man who has (possibly) killed her to reap the publisher's cool million. This is the heart of the book, and it works like a charm - the witty juxtaposition of Maddox's ignorance of the early 20th century with his expectations of what it might have been like is always hilarious. When his old woman was a nanny, he quotes Mary Poppins; when she moves to the USA in the fifties, it's Stepford. And he is ever ready with a handy excuse for the apparent contradictions: she is "allergic to the Past" her "grandda" tells her darkly as a child; when Maddox cannot imagine what it is like to be in love with a man, he makes her a lesbian; her (his) all-encompassing ignorance of history is explained by a rare condition known as "information phobia."
It's superb. But. After the first hundred pages, the "old woman" starts to tell us about her present day life and more and more the book becomes the recent diary of Bruno Maddox. And not since Martin Amis played chess with John Self in "Money" has an author so brazenly cameo'd in his own work. And we keep reading this with relish for a time, wondering what his motives are, trying to guess how he is going to cover up her murder. There's nothing, after all, so nourishing as an unreliable narrator.
Unfortunately the book stays with Bruno Maddox and of the subsequent 200 pages, it is really only the last few, where the *real* twist becomes clear (which I am definitely not going to tell you - hell, why should I be the only one to suffer?), that are truly satisfying. Of course Maddox, still in character as the old woman, has the good grace to apologise for having "wasted so much of your time." It's not enough, though, and smacks of Dave Eggers's truthful admission in "A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius" that from page 109 "the book thereafter is kind of uneven." At least Eggers had the grace to tell you that *before* you read the book.
What "My Little Blue Dress" ends up as, then, is a sort of pale imitation of Nabokov's "Pale Fire:" this too is a great idea which is best left as an idea and only weakens and dilutes itself when written down and read. But I am giving it four stars anyway, mainly for the first hundred pages, which really are priceless and brilliant; but also, secretly, for having the balls to disappoint.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2003
What a funny book. I am rarely so amused by works of fiction that I actually laugh out loud. I did that several times while reading this book. It's quirky, odd, and altogether hysterical. Read it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2011
Ray Bradury was wrong when he wrote 'Fahrenheit 451' - There *is* a need for the firemen in the story
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2002
This is certainly the most trivial piece of nonsense I have yet to waste my time reading. From the beginning of the novel, the author leads the reader in so many directions as to make none of them compelling or tangible. The characters and imagery create apathy while the storyline is indistinguishable. The reader, hoping for a sensitive resolution is left with agitation at an unresolved, vacant conclusion. Altogether, this "novel/memoir" left me resigned to the overwhelming sense that the editor was on vacation while this book was published.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.