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Go West Young F*cked-Up Chick: A Novel of Separation Paperback – May 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (May 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312263295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312263294
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,372,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Young Rebecca Roth moves west to star-spangled Los Angeles to obliterate the memory of her suicided mother. As soon as her feet have landed on Tinseltown ground, our protagonist--at turns sassy and self-denigrating--goes through hunky but unsuitable boyfriends, pregnancies, and humiliating assistant jobs like so much movie popcorn. L.A.'s odd and often unsavory characters are this book's stars: gap-toothed, underpaid actors; porn filmmakers; a goat named Flowers; and Giorgio the Italian, under whose pungent underarms Rebecca wants to hide from any whiff of her past.

Though this schizophrenic first novel covers some interesting turf, it is by no means a smooth debut. Author Resnick shifts from first to second to third person and back in the turn of a page, frequently writes in half-sentences, and neatly describes but never seems to look very far beneath the surface of her eccentric characters. Perhaps such fits and starts are merely a by-product of depicting the over-stimulated, over-suntanned, and over-sensationalized City of Angels. In the end, L.A. remains a place where a night at a cocktail party for a friend of a friend of Madonna will always melt into "another bodacious orgiastic day in the California sun, where depression is outlawed (or heavily medicated) and sex is superficial, flagrant, and mondo delicto." --Maria Dolan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In vignettes that are meant to resonate but instead remain glib fragments, Resnick's debut novel charts the tormented journey of 20-something Brown graduate Rebecca Roth as she moves west to L.A. to escape the memory of her mother, who killed herself when Rebecca was a teenager. Seeing her mother's ghost everywhere, a driven yet self-loathing Rebecca bounces from job to job (logging tapes at Entertainment Tonight, acting as personal assistant to a mad screenwriter named Stavros) and from man to man (Isaac the beautiful slacker, Giorgio the unavailable accountant) as an artsy proletariat in the lower rungs of the film and television industry. She lives in a self-described world of futons, lithium and chaos, feeling she must emulate her film idols Fellini and Antonioni. Resnick narrates Rebecca's adventures nonchronologically, jumping between the late '80s and the mid-'90s; her impressions, mostly in the first person but sometimes third, are interspersed with snapshots of life in L.A., featuring characters ranging from a one-legged agent's assistant named Esmeralda to a cow killed by Satanists on a hotel roof. As a result, the distanced reader gains only a fractured portrait of Rebecca, the city and the time period. With chapter titles such as "My First Abortion" and "More Things She Learned in Therapy," the prose is outweighed by the pose. When Rebecca says, "nobody escapes vanity here, or shallow dreams or basest desires," the reader versed in Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero has already grown numb to her frenetic tale.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Rachel Resnick is the author most recently of the memoir Love Junkie. Also the author of Go West Young F*cked-Up Chick, her articles, essays and celebrity profiles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Marie Claire, Women's Health, BlackBook and others. She is a contributing editor at Tin House, and the founder and CEO of Writers on Fire. She's currently at work on a new book about her adventures as a culinary virgin. Check out her blog at www.theartofboilingwater.blogspot.com.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Well, I have mixed feelings on this book. Obscured by all these annoying I'm-so-blase-and-hip descriptions of places and people are actually a few prosaic gems. But, alas, Ms. Resnick's writing is indeed like B.E.E., as someone else noted above, in that it's entirely too self-absorbed. The author tries too hard to name-drop, place-drop, and brand-drop, while at the same time trying to make the reader think the protagonist is all broke and tragic. Ugh. This reminds me too much of Elizabeth Wurtzel's "Poor Ivy League Girl on Prozac Who Sluts Around and Acts Like a Disaffected Spokesperson for Generation X" attitude. Fun to read, but this book needs some editing (sorry, but Resnick ain't no female Jack Kerouac - the run-on sentences and grammatical inconsistencies just don't work) and its author a bit of an attitude adjustment.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Read the two reviews below this, as they very aptly describe the weaknesses of Resnick's writing. I almost wouldn't write in, at the risk of being redundant, but quite frankly I'm monumentally annoyed that I wasted my precious time and money reading this painfully amateurish, and appallingly un-original piece of navel-gazing. Perfect, however, for bratty, MTV-fed 13 year olds in the mid-west with dreams of "making it" in "HelL.A.", as it most closely resembles the journal of a whiney, self-obsessed teenager. It's like "My So-Called Novel", trying too hard to be gritty, edgy, and eccentric, and inherits the worst traits of not only Bret Easton Ellis (as noted below) but Tama Janowitz. And what's worse, it's like, _so 1992_. Look, I live in L.A. and if I wanted to hear this sort of pretentious, self-absorbed, superficial name-dropping I'd actually listen to all the show-biz wanna-be's who are not good-looking enough to be stars, and not capable enough to be execs that litter the streets here.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Like B.E.E., Rachel Resnick has no greater fan of her writing than...Achelray Esnickray. She has Ellis's same penchant for brand name dropping (both products and people) which give her writing an almost immediate sense of being dated, just like Bret Idiot Ellis. He and Resnick should be pen pals. They could write to each other about all the cool clothes they wear and neat people they've met and cool and neat places they've eaten. At a reading in Los Angeles, Resnick bragged (incessantly) about how long she worked on F*cked up chick and the furor over the title, and how radical she is (maybe radical in the juvenile, valley girl, surfer sense) and how wise an audience we were for being there to support her greatness. Sheesh! Her personality certainly carries over to her fiction, and both are extremely f*cked up. Maybe some day, when she gets OVER herself, RR will write a book we can care about. Until then, she can continue to work hard at becoming one of the vapid celebrities she thinks she's making fun of. If she's teaching writing at UCLA, time to apply to USC.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "aimeeb3" on November 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Where are the women writers who write women characters that overcome obstacles or are just plain interesting? I dont think this is what V Woolf meant when she spoke of Women and Fiction. Here is the situation. This writer was teaching a class at UCLA called Strong female characters. I thought great title for a class so I bought her book and read as much as I could fathom. Have I been hit by a train? What a dissapointment. Who is she trying to fool? Will the real Rachel Reznick please stand up and write. I know she has it in her. I saw her read, she seems sexy enough to write sex and smart enough to write good characters..but Huh? shocking and disappointing that she would subvert feminism or project a feminist sentiment when in fact her writing is just some cool slick way to write.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angel Perales on May 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I had to read the book in patches, since the chapters are episodic and do not really follow a comprehensive plot. I will not say that the book is badly written because it is not, at least not in the way that A Million Little Pieces (James Frey) is badly written. The book was just boring to me. The premise is all MONDO Los Angeles as skewered by a cynical feminist. Yes, originality is uberlacking and MONDO cool is just so typical to me. Even the title of the book, Go West Young F*cked Up Chick, has that smug ring of I'm so cool (soso mediocre cool would be more the reality).

Still, there are A FEW enjoyable chapters in the book. The most intriguing ones are when the protagonist talks about the entry level PA jobs in films and the little humiliations endured just to get your foot in the door. If she just stuck to topic and plot the book would be exponentially better but she had to go off into that MONDO world where she encounters every coolio bizarro Angeleno she could describe: all of them caricatures, stereotypical in their strangeness, none of them with any real character depth except "weird dialogue".

She even has a 2 page chapter titled "Bukowski Doesn't Live Here Anymore- He's Dead" and is about how if a girl was as ugly as Bukowski was she would never have become a famous writer regardless of her talent- the small chapter may have a point.

So if you don't mind reading a book where you skip whole segments of chapters because the writer indulges in typical MONDO coolness but where the writing is still interesting enough to go to the next chapter, then I recommend this book.
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