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Customer Review

on November 4, 2001
Mary, like most of us, was more endearing as a tough, tenacious little girl in "Liar's Club" than an out-of-control teenager. Some reviewers seem upset with the book exactly as they would a child who changed from attractive and lively into teenage angst before their eyes.
There is more evidence of Mary Karr the poet in this book. She is not chronicling so much as experiencing. Her kindness and tenderness toward the boys who touched her life is a fine strength in "Cherry." Rarely have I come across such lyricism in describing the beauty of a young male.
"His surfer cut hung in a bright wing across his forehead. He stood stock still in his pedals for the entire strip of road past my house like the figurehead on a ship's prow, and his thoughtless beauty dragged from me the faint tug of something like desire. His body was thin-muscled as a greyhound's. Maybe his hurtling motion made enough wind to cool him off, but he didn't look to suffer from the heat I felt so squandered in."
I winced with Mary when she looked back with pain at her own self-centeredness, her dismissal and uncaringness for anyone's pain but her own. Her descriptions of life as lived and hopefully survived in High School USA are right on the money. She had a fierce independence that most teens lack, but she certainly did wallow in her rebellion.
The last quarter of the book was self-indulgence, I know no other way to describe it. Ms. Karr distances herself by abandoning the first person "I" to the second person "you" for her drug induced psychedelic outing. It went on too long. Weird tripping is only fascinating to the tripper; it was like having someone go on and on about their strange dream last night. I felt as if I had been dropped into a bad David Lynch movie. This segment spoiled my enjoyment of an otherwise fine book.
I look forward to Mary Karr's next outing and recommend "Cherry" for anyone who doesn't mind taking a wild ride through the early `70s.
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