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Publisher's Summary

A powerfully funny, razor's-edge tale of a fractured childhood, Mary Karr's biography looks back through a child's eyes to sort through dark household secrets. She witnesses an inheritance squandered, endless bottles emptied, and guns leveled at both the deserving and the undeserving. In a voice stripped of self-pity and charged with brilliant energy, she introduces us to a family ravaged by lies and alcoholism, yet redeemed by the revelation of truth. Karr, a prize-winning poet, uses her linguistic skills and sharp personal insights to make The Liar's Club an utterly mesmerizing memoir.
Original Material ©1995 Viking/Penguin; Cover Photograph: Dorothea Lange, ©1965, 1994 John Dixon; (P) and ©1995 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"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)

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Love Karr, This Book OK

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.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Please Remake this Unabridged!

Any additional comments?

It kills me that Audible does not have an unabridged version of this book. The cuts are rough, disrupting the storyline, and the sound quality is poor (including some "air" or room static sound). What kills me is that these flaws disrupt Mary Karr's immensely satisfying narration of her absolutely phenomenal and most cherished memoir. I beg Mary Karr to read this entire book again, and Audible for producing/distributing, for listeners today and in decades to come.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dawn
  • United States
  • 10-17-10

Beautifully written, bitter sweet

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Searing memoir

Well written, searing and emotionally wrenching but reading performance flat. Author's memory for detail is excellent. I do recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A beautifully written sad 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Mary Karr Walks on Water

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Darkness in Texas

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredible texture in this outstanding memoir

An outstanding read. The author's read of her memoir made the story seem that much more realistic and not acted. Loved this audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Justin
  • Saint Louis, MO, United States
  • 11-06-10

hated this!

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Audio Review

Book should have been read by a Texan! It was hard to listen to a Midwesterner pronouncing Texas slang.

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  • Donna McVey
  • 06-20-17

Master class in Memoir

This is a master class in the art of writing.
For me, it was the logical choice after listening to the author's book on how to write a memoir. It is filled with vivid descriptions of the places and people in her life. Mary Karr delivers each character with flowing detail , from appearance to demeanour to the detail of their gait. They walk right off the page and stand beside you.

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  • M. Watson
  • 10-07-16

Not my cup of tea.

I didn't really enjoy this. It's really sad. Stopped reading after Chapter 3. Sorry,not recommended.