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A Mouth Like Yours Hardcover – July 28, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Duane (Looking for Mo) tracks the emotional meanderings of Berkeley grad student Cassius Harper in this meticulous study of the ambivalence and romantic bewilderment of privileged American 20-somethings. Harp is half-involved in a sparkless relationship with a fellow grad student when he falls for Joan Artois, a magnetic neurotic familiar to anyone who's seen a Woody Allen film. Though Joan's self-knowledge results in statements like "I'm surprisingly immature for my age. I'm only just starting to realize it," Harp finds her irresistible, and his occasionally claustrophobic first-person narration offers a second-by-second account of his affair with this "most exquisitely sexual and vulnerable girl-woman." Harp's other lover, the politically correct Shauna Rose, is mostly left to pine for him, keeping pots of vegan soup on the stove, stocking seminal postmodern theory texts as bathroom reading, and waiting futilely for him to decide to be with her "for real." With much time spent on Harp's vanilla sexuality and Joan's considerably wilder desires, the novel could be read as a kind of sexual coming-of-age tale—but the plot is slim, and the character development slimmer still, though Duane offers moments of keen observation and emotional lucidity. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Best known for his nonfiction book on surfing, Caught Inside (1996), and a novel about mountain climbing,Looking for Mo (1998), Duane changes course here with an insular, painful story about the particular brand of heartbreak suffered by 28-year-old doctoral candidate Cassius Harper. After experiencing yet another torrid breakup, Cassius decides to give casual dating a try and falls into a comfortable arrangement with colleague Shauna, a vegetarian with a deep nurturing streak. Then he meets neurotic Joanie Artois, described as "raw sex on an oyster shell," and three dates later, he's a goner--despite the fact that she's emotionally abusive and expects to be wined and dined in high style. Cringe-inducing dialogue and tiresome theatrics go a long way toward making this a difficult read, but there's also humor in the way Harper struggles to reconcile the political correctness he must display in an academic setting with the S & M moves demanded by Joanie, and he can be brutally honest about his weakness for disturbed women. Touted as a read-alike for High Fidelity (1995), this may play better with Maxim fans. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (August 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374217327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374217327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,567,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on November 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A MOUTH LIKE YOURS by Daniel Duane

November 5, 2005

Amazon Rating: 3/5 Stars

A MOUTH LIKE YOURS by Daniel Duane is the story of a frustrated 28-year old grad student, Cassius Harper, who finds himself infatuated with Joanie, a woman that exasperates him to no end. This short novel focuses on this very unfortunate relationship with humor and wit, as poor Cassius falls for Joanie and tries his best to win her heart. Joanie, however, seems to do whatever it takes to confuse him, yet he always comes back for more.

Readers may find A MOUTH LIKE YOURS rather frustrating, as Cassius sinks lower and lower the longer he tries to win Joanie over. The story is definitely not a love story or a romance, however. Joanie seems to be bent on ruining Harper's life, or at least she seems to be trying to mess with his mind. But Harper continues to seek her out, obsessing over her until it eats him alive.

Readers be warned: reading A MOUTH LIKE YOURS may leave you as frustrated as Harper, but it's an excellent character study into the short life of a doomed relationship. I personally wasn't able to give it any more than three stars, mainly because I came away from the book very frustrated and somewhat unsatisfied. On the other hand, Duane Daniel did a wonderful job at creating such acrimonious persons that it almost seems like he knew these two personally on an intimate level. Recommended to those who do not mind reading about unlikable people.
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