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Robin's Blue Paperback – October 22, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Robin's Blue" is a brilliantly vivid time capsule of blank generation 80s decadence fused with a poignant and sensitive coming of age tale that's totally timeless.
- Erik Himmelsbach --Contributor, Los Angeles Times
The colorful characters in Robin's orbit help bolster the coked-up story, and the final part proves to be the best. Realistically captures the rough road to rock bottom. ~Kirkus Book Review
From the Back Cover
The philosophers say "know thyself" but the admonition carries its own dangers
for the heroine of Pam Alster's stunning novel, a brutal yet compassionate
exposé of her protagonist, Robin, a paragon of honesty and self-deception, a
cunning dissector of her own foibles and those of her lovers, friends and enemies.
Under Alster's sure touch - a mash-up of a calibrated literary eloquence with the
punk directness of a sucker-punch - Robin emerges as a girl and woman who's
her own best friend and worst enemy: a tender masochist, an unrepentant liar and
fearless truth-teller - or maybe the other way around - a subversive infiltrator of
her own heart. Read this book. It may be trite to say: you'll laugh, you'll cry.
But I did. --Les Plesko, author of Slow Lie Detector
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Top customer reviews
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But the story is weak. And unfortunately, I think that most readers care more about a story than good grammar.
Here is what happens: a girl (apparently a drop-dead, smoking hot girl who attracts men of all shapes and sizes with no effort or personality on her part) begins her adult life very early by having sex with her boss and every boy at the place she works. Like all incredibly promiscuous teenage girls, she has daddy issues. Her lavish tastes keep her in perpetual financial trouble, which she solves by leveraging her only noticeable asset: her looks. She enters into dozens of casual relationships with various rich men, some of whom are one-night stands, others, repeat customers. Occasionally romantic feelings develop, but they are quickly suppressed not by circumstances outside of the heroine's control, but by her own need to find another guy with lots of cash. We are treated to a firsthand look at most of these 'relationships,' along with sexual scenes that the heroine recounts in a disturbingly mechanized manner.
Because it is the 70s/80s, her life in the fast lane involves a lot of cocaine. She lives like the characters in BOOGIE NIGHTS for about 10 years or so, but never suffers any negative consequences. That's right: she has sex with at least a hundred sleazeballs and never contracts an STD or gets pregnant. She snorts a truckload of cocaine and smokes a field of cigarettes, yet somehow never suffers health problems or loses her bombshell looks. If you've ever met a burnt out coke addict, you know that they ALL show it.
But it is not so much the unrealistic slickness with which our Teflon heroine evades all of the consequences of her super-dangerous and super-unhealthy lifestyle that makes the book so disappointing. It is the fact that she never learns anything. She never grows up; no major conflict comes to a head to teach us anything or resolve any of the family or personal issues that we are led to believe to be the cause of her decade of dope. There is no epiphane, no catharsis, no tragic die-off. The story just ends. Like the Sopranos, but without "Don't Stop Believing" playing in the background as a consolation prize. It's just... a bummer.
Robin's Blue was probably one of the most boring books I have ever read. Nothing special about Robin, her life was like many others in the 70's and 80's, boucning from job to job, doing drugs, trying to figure out life. OK, her daddy didn't love her, but he was such a small part of the book, I almost forgot about that. Also, she doesn't get along with her sister, her sister doesn't accept her. Well, aren't most sibblings usually at odds at one time or another?
I pushed through to get to the end. Their was no ending, the book just ended. I even went a few pages back, reread, nope, didn't miss anything.
Huge let down.
Alster has captured the 1980′s in such vivid, visceral and authentic detail, you can almost smell the Charlie perfume in the air! In addition to taking the reader deep into the emotional lives of her characters, each reaching for a life of love, Alster's acerbic sarcasm reveals the emptiness and the pain that personifies a generation that gave us cocaine addiction and dayglow leg warmers.
I rarely take the time to read anything accept a magazine these days but for some reason I reached for this one, and I'm glad I did! If you're the least bit nostalgic for that time, or curious about what pretty girls without a home do, you'll definitely enjoy this book and all the rich characters in it. It's a a genuine page-turner. I cannot recommend it more highly. Loved it!
Just can't see the 5 star reviews, but that's what I like about reading, there is something for everyone.
Most recent customer reviews
Well written, fast paced and meaningful.