Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stacey's CBRIII Review #2 - Lit by Mary Karr

Years ago I read and loved her first book, Cherry and it seems as though every time I am in Target (yes, I buy a lot of my books at Target. Never call me a hipster) I always pick up Lit, read the back cover, and then put it back. This time I bought it. And then I read it. That is usually the process here.

Before I begin I will admit that I can’t stand poetry. Judge if you must. I would rather read every ingredient in Peeps one hundred times than read a poem. I understand that music lyrics are poetry and I love music but I’m not reading music. I find poetry pretentious and boring. I fail to see the beauty in any of it. In various writing classes that I have taken over the years, you always have to write poems which I dreaded.  Poems goob me out and I felt like an inarticulate moron every time I had to write one. However, I did get a few of them published (in my high school’s annual literary magazine, represent!) but I don’t know how. They all sucked as opposed to this here Pulitzer Prize winning blog I write…

Whenever a chapter of a book starts out with excerpts from poems, I groan. Loudly. I read them because I feel it may add something to the story but I personally can’t stand them. This was Lit. Every chapter started off with some form of poetry to set up what you are about to read. Karr considers herself a poet, and you can see that in her writing style, but I don’t so much care about her poetry or hearing poetry from anyone else. That was one large strike against this book and what almost made me put it down a few times.

But I kept soldiering on for what felt like forever. It’s not that the book wasn’t enjoyable, it for sure was, but I found myself losing interest and I still had 100 pages left. And I don’t think my losing interest had anything to do with Karr, her memoir or her writing style, I think I am more the problem here. It just wasn’t my jam towards the end.  

Karr was an alcoholic for a lot of years and she was raised by alcoholic parents so the books takes you through her history with drugs and alcohol and how she became and stayed sober. And in her getting sober is where she lost me mainly because she turned to God to do so.

The book takes you through her meeting her future husband (who quotes Shakespeare, double groan) and their marriage and the raising of their son. And now that I am thinking about it, having just finished the book Monday, I am not exactly sure why she drinks. She’s an awkward gal that needs social lubricant to deal with her stuffy in-laws and fellow pretentious poet types, which makes sense to me. But she also drinks all day long when she is at  home with her son and she’s very woe is me about it all but I can’t tell you why.

Anyway, she gets sober and she finds herself depressed from it so she sort of, kind of attempts suicide and then she checks herself into a mental institution for help. There she finds her divine intervention and that is where I think of better things to do besides read like clip my fingernails or pick my nose. Karr really isn’t even all that preachy about it she is just one of those coincidence believers like “I prayed so this good thing happened, that is proof God exists.” Uhhhh…or it’s, you know, a coincidence.

Karr is an excellent writer and the way she puts words together is nothing less than amazing but if you are going to read anything by her, read Cherry. Lit didn’t really do anything for me. She had me until page 253 and then I was done.

Book #3 – The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave. Review coming next Wednesday.


D.P. said...

Ew. Yeah, no interest.

Stacey Garrett said...

They all can't be winners.

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