This impressive but uneven novel by the author of the praised short fiction collection Bad Behavior makes promises it does not keep. Two women, totally unalike in background, personality and social class, are brought together by a shared fascination with the philosophical movement founded by the late Anna Granite (read Ayn Rand). Justine is a chic journalist who wants to write an article about the followers of Granite's philosophy, Definitism. Dorothy is an obese, nocturnal word processor who answers Justine's advertisement in Manhattan Thing and offers to be interviewed about her involvement with the Definitists. As the two women come to know each other, their dismal life experiences gradually emerge, and their present circumstances are seen as a repetition of past connections and betrayals. This is a hard, edgy book, and Gaitskill's energy and flashy intelligence notwithstanding, the perhaps deliberate lack of polish ultimately detracts. The novel's raw, unsparing view is like that of certain contemporary paintings, and there are extraordinary moments of deeply examined female sexuality where Gaitskill is at her most original. But an underdeveloped and fragmented style has not served her well with the narrative and structural demands here. Thus this distinctive novel falls short of its potential. Major ad/promo; author tour.
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It is a credit to Ms. Gaitskill's prose, with its fine storyteller's pace and brilliant metaphors, that we are drawn along, loath to abandon this grim story. -- The New York Times Book Review, Ginger Danto
This was an ugly story about a woman who is a follower of "Anna Granite" (a very thinly disguised Ayn Rand) and the reporter who interviews her for a story about Granite followers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
This novel, Gaitskill's first, is told from the point of view of the two main characters, Dorothy Never (born Dotty Footie - many of the names in this book are oddly comical) and... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bookish2
This is a strange and sad book. I finished it by skimming through. I don't care much for erotic fiction. The story left me feeling like I needed a shower. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Books & Stuff
I'm only 30 pages in and it's made me laugh, and it's almost made me cry. VERY CLOSE TO ACTUAL REAL WET TEARS COMING OUT OF MY EYEBALLS. Read morePublished on April 1, 2012 by Laura Pakora
The fact that Gaitskill poses in interviews and photographs as a former call girl and stripper is the tip off, to me, that what is being performed in this book is far from... Read morePublished on June 21, 2011 by a reader
Well, I read this book, after reading the show stopper, "Veronica," of which, there is very little comparison. Read morePublished on March 18, 2011 by Yasmin H. McEwen
This is, quite possibly, the most intense book I have ever read. The characters are perfect examples of imperfect woman. I couldn't put this book down. Read morePublished on August 5, 2008 by T. R. Streetman
This moved me to tears. So depressing! That poor dog in the cartoon- hopefully it wasn't really aired! Read morePublished on March 27, 2008 by Jerri Willmore