Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book Review: The Liar's Club

I love memoirs of crazy childhoods.  Perhaps it's because I know I'm safe from all that dysfunction and strife thanks to my loving parents and idyllic upbringing.  When the back of Mary Karr's memoir, The Liar's Club, described it as an "account of an apocalyptic childhood," I thought I was in for some serious loony toons.  Considering Karr's mother spent some time in a psych ward and both parents were alcoholics, there was certainly some crazy going on, but the way it was shared through the book didn't do it justice.

Karr's story of growing up in blue collar Texas generally follows a linear pattern but her own stories are given to us in a broken manner.  One moment she is talking about her mother's drunken rage and the next she is retelling one of her father's tall tales that comes off more like irrelevant rambling.  Every time she mentions moments of sexual abuse or a chaotic car ride you think you are finally getting to something good, but then she cuts off the story without either letting us know the end of it or showing how it affected her.  It is like she has blocked out most of the traumatic experiences in her life...but if you're not ready to share them in full, why write a book?

The last 15 pages provide valuable insight into why Karr's mother dove into alcoholism.  I read those last pages faster than any other bit of the book.  But it was too little too late.  I was already upset I didn't get more detail throughout the rest of the book.

3 out of 10 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails