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The Psycho Ex Game: A Novel
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2005
I don't know what to say about this book except that I loved it to death, and I hate almost everything. It's as though an angry Jane Austen and a sardonic Flann O'Brien met and decided to write a book together. It's smart. It's funny. It's true.

As for the person who whined about how unrealistic it is that Grant and Lisa started every e-mail with "Dear Grant" and "Dear Lisa"--kiddo, back in the day when manners and literacy still had some shred of a hold on American society, that was how intelligent people began communications with each other. Now that we live in a world where our nation apparently has an official "Skank Laureate" (a position now held by Paris Hilton, though there are any numbers of contenders for the crown), you may be somewhat unfamiliar with the concept.

Fortunately, the writers of this book have manners, literacy, and intelligence in spades. Big gushy virtual fangirl kisses to both of them.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2004
I love self-deprecating humor as much as the next person, but this book takes it a bit too far. The idea is that the co-authors give their main characters, Lisa Roberty and Grant Repka (thinly disguised versions of the authors, apparently), a chance to make fun of themselves by competing to see who can come off as having been more pathetic in their disastrous former relationships. Though occasionally there are some funny moments and the characters do offer touching insights about their own and their former lovers' motives, more often both characters come off as lonesome whiners who have defined themselves by a failed relationship that should have failed long before it did.
At first the competition is amusing, but it just goes on too long-by the end of the book, you just want them to finish their e-mails and have a real conversation. [...]
P.S. The most annoying thing about this book: Lisa's descriptions of herself drawing faces on recipe cards. This joke was marginally funny the first time, but she repeats it throughout the book to an annoying extent.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2005
The book, writen by two authors, works surprising well. The email exchanges seem quite real. Markoe's dialoge is a bit stilted. But, her internal thoughts work well. Prieboy writes extremely well. YOu completely feel for these characters and their abusive pasts. It is a actually optimistic book and off the beaten path romance. A really great read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 26, 2005
I'm a big fan of Merrill Markoe and her writing, but this left me cold. While I enjoyed reading it, part of the fun was trying to guess who the characters are in real life. Yes, it sent me looking for Wall of Voodoo's back catalog and Markoe's other (nonfoction) writing but the ending left me cold and the characters seemed poorly developed. The quirks (like her artistic endeavors with recipe cards) were what kept me going. Try her earlier nonfiction stuff, it doesn't disappoint.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2004
I bought the book at the urging of a friend and didn't really expect to get in to it as much as I did. but it really hit home. THe combination of funny and painfully honest was great. I seriously couldn't put it down until I finished it. I especially recommend it to anyone who has had love go spectacularly wrong for them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2004
This was a fast, fun read. Grant and Lisa, the two main characters, are likable and engaging, and their back and forth email repartee turns into a contest to see who has the most insane ex. I sped so quickly through it that I guess it was inevitable I be disappointed with the ending. It seemed tacked on (and if you don't want a spoiler, please skip this part), as if Winnie and Grant broke up so that Lisa could enter Grant's life. The revelation of Winnie's infidelity doesn't jive, as she and Grant are presented as a happy couple who get along well with each other. As Grant details Winnie's flaws, making her into yet another psycho ex, Lisa is able to take her place. But for the most part, the book is a fun read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2004
This book grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I even had to take it with me to the bathroom. The two characters and hilarious and sensitive and I really cared about every detail of their story. Yes, they are writing about their "psycho exes" but the books is really a story about their relationship.
Is the scary, abusive ex of Markoe's really David Letterman? Yep.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2004
With its biting wit and unflinchingly honesty, the Psycho Ex Game is harder to walk away from than a co-dependent relationship. I couldn't put it down. This book is a must-read for anyone who's been stuck in a bad relationship and wondered how they got there.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2006
And now I know why. It wasn't a horrible book, but it just couldn't keep me interested. I didn't LIKE the characters and I couldn't connect with them in any way. Some of the psycho ex stories were entertaining but most of them were just flat out scary. Maybe I've lived a sheltered life?
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on May 4, 2014
I read this book immediately after seeing Andy in concert back in October of last year, and I have re-read it several times since then. What a fascinating piece of literature this is. They deserve far more accolades.

First, let me start by saying I thought Merrill Markoe hit the nail right on the head in writing her character, Lisa. I believe this is a must-read, just for the simple way she perfectly captures the anxiety she felt over checking her inbox. I was in tears laughing, because I could relate so well to this. It will take you right back back to those moments of borderline panic when checking for new online developments from your own "Psycho Ex," or limerent object. The tortuously honest look at this now inevitable fixture of internet-era relationship drama is not to be missed.

That said, this book is also a brutally honest look inside the world of pain only known truly by those who have been through an abusive relationship. Grant and Lisa's heart-wrenching stories left me shocked and stunned, yet they are told with such perfectly placed dark humor. Andy Prieboy's eloquent writing is just as much a work of art as his music.

On that subject, this book is great fun for any fan of Andy's, because it is quite entertaining to try and place where Grant and Andy's lives run parallel. I also greatly enjoyed the way he wrote about Grant's musical past, and his work with "Slowly I Turn." Whether or not it is true, I actually spat out my tea all over a certain chapter which describes the background of one of the semi-fictional group's songs. Normally I would be horrified at having stained one of my favourite books, but it almost seems appropriate for this book to have a little bit of dirt on it.

My only criticism is that I felt the ending was a little bit abrupt. I wanted it to continue just a chapter or two beyond where Grant left us. It seemed to fall just short of that point of balance between "too abrupt" and "too drawn out." But in total, it is a fantastic read.

The verdict? READ. THIS. BOOK.
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