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8: All True: Unbelievable Hardcover – April 3, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Fusselman (The Pharmacist's Mate) skated figure eights when she was little. Those become a metaphor for the way events have folded and unfolded in her life. Her pivotal event was being raped by the husband of her babysitter when she was four. She doesn't describe the actual rape, although she refers to the perpetrator over and over as "my pedophile." Around the time of the rape, she went to a performance of Sleeping Beauty with her mother, but suddenly walked up on stage to kiss the prince. She says many people, including her editor, did not find this believable. She wants readers to understand that this was "true" if "unbelievable," as her subtitle suggests. Indeed, she seems to think this is what writing a memoir is all about-making some inner truth believable to others. Though it's only 132 pages, that count has been inflated with many little vignettes-listening to a wise taxi driver, trying to learn to ride a motorcycle, being treated by "alternative" healers, watching monster truck videos with her children. Even so, there's a lot less here than meets the eye.
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"Fusselman makes the world strange again, a place where dying and making life are equally mysterious and miraculous activities."
"Weaving together tales of her attempts to get pregnant with entries from her recently deceased father's journal, Fusselman delivers a memoir both endearingly eccentric and enduringly innovative."
"This sweet, sincere story of Fusselman's attempts to get pregnant and to come to terms with her father's death is told in a wholly original epigrammatic style--the encapsulated meditations of a woman taking life as it comes, beat by beat."
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Not only is the content refreshing but the form and structure is breezy at times, dense at others. Laughable and disturbing, this book is worth read.
It is obvious that Fusselman has had a troubled life and is using her creativity to explore it and come to terms with it. I just am personally finding nothing in her work. That said, she does have talent and I can't recommend against her books.
A Guide to my Book Rating System:
1 star = The wood pulp would have been better utilized as toilet paper.
2 stars = Don't bother, clean your bathroom instead.
3 stars = Wasn't a waste of time, but it was time wasted.
4 stars = Good book, but not life altering.
5 stars = This book changed my world in at least some small way.