12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
deliciously classic lipman,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pursuit of Alice Thrift (Hardcover)
Thank God, more Elinor Lipman! Her latest gem is the story of the initiation into simple humanity of Alice Thrift, a brilliant but socially-challenged surgical resident who has all the instinctive people skills of a chilly stethoscope. The paradoxical inversion of Lipman's usual lucidly insightful heroines works to perfection here; Alice's cluelessness is itself a kind of x-ray vision and Lipman is as hilariously wise about men and women as ever. Alice's insanely persistent suitor, the sublimely slimy Ray Russo, is a perverse delight; watching the twists and turns of the courtship is like watching a car wreck in slow motion, but it dawns on us slowly that this is precisely the car wreck Alice needed. The novel's minor characters are realized wonderfully, and the delicious unfolding process of naive Alice's education in the intricacies of actual human beings is pure joy. I can't agree that this falls short of Lipman's usual wonders; it's simply a delightful read, laced with laugh-out-loud dialogue pitched to perfection and all the treasures of Lipman's effortlessly graceful style. She is our Jane Austen and hurray there's more of her now to read.