Original Material ©1995 Viking/Penguin; Cover Photograph: Dorothea Lange, ©1965, 1994 John Dixon; (P) and ©1995 Penguin Books Ltd
"To have a poet's precision of language and a poet's insight into people applied to one of the roughest, toughest, ugliest places in America is an astonishing event." (Molly Ivins, The Nation)
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Mary Karr is the type of writer I love; snarky, self-depricating, honest, raw, emotive, simplistic and many more adjectives I won't bore you with. This book is good and worth a listen, but can't compare to "Lit". She definitely improves book by book. Love her work.
Mary Karr is a beautiful writer. She knows when to delve into the minute details of a moment and when to cut to the chase. Her story is intriguing from the outset and kept me riveted. I recommend it highly. The recording uses her as the narrator and it took me a while to get used to her voice, but once I did, it felt authentic, almost as though she were sitting there telling me her story.
Mary Karr tells her incredible story in a matter of fact way. She does what many writers can't - she shares these painful events as she first experienced them without muddying the memories with retrospection, resentment or self pity. The Liars Club is an excellent book.
There is no better writer or reader. She is superb. I would follow her anywhere.
Read her other memoirs, Lit, and Cherry, and wait, as I am waiting breathlessly, for her next book.
I originally read the book 20 years ago, shortly after spending time writing down and reviewing my own childhood as part of a 12 step program. I also grew up around the same era in Texas around some dysfunctional behaviour so maybe it hits a little too close to home for me but this is truly a brilliantly written memoir in that you can inhabit the head space of her younger self for much of it. As others have said be prepared to laugh and be shocked often in the same paragraph. Although Ms. Karr's reading is a bit dry at times it suits the material pretty well. I wish the EQ was scooped a bit with the treble up and mid-range down.
Well written, searing and emotionally wrenching but reading performance flat. Author's memory for detail is excellent. I do recommend it.
i was so excited to "hear" a book that was read by the author - being relatively new to audiobooks - i thought it would really add something to the experience - but i could not have been more wrong! mary karr's reading was completely monotone and there's some serious issues tackled here that i'm sure - had i been reading the book instead of listening - i would have been more "moved" by... i purchased her newest memoir "lit" and am looking forward to reading her work rather than listening to her.
The story seems intriguing, the problem is that it is written by someone who experienced emotional damage and is (understandably) disconnected from the true/raw feelings present at the time they were felt. The events are more 'reported' than shared from a deep feeling and understanding. So in order for this to be a 4 or 5 star story I think there needs to be a professional writer (who is familiar with this emotional numbness and can see through it) helping write this story to help add better descriptions of the experience of this young girl. Perhaps the book is better than the audio book. This one is read by the author, it is a depressing drone with no feeling or incite one would expect from the person who experienced the events she is talking about. It is reminiscent of recordings taken of office visits to a psychologist or psychiatrist of a heavily medicated person seeking help.
I was disappointed in the quality of the material and the presentation. The story seems to have a lot of potential
No, I think I covered it all in the first bit.
I would recommend this book to anyone that loves regional dialog or needs a story that instills hope back into one's life.
The scene where Mary's father tells a story at the American Legions drew me into the story, I felt I was sitting next to Mary listening and watching her father tell a story only a Texan can. The love and admiration Mary has for her father became evident.
The soft southern accent was perfect; the abrupt ending of chapters was discerning.
Although I wanted to gulp down the book in one sitting, I also wanted to go back a repeat certain sections to enjoy the dialog.
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