Top positive review
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How does she get away with it?
on 29 January 2010
Lorrie Moore writes wonderful short stories, but here she tries for a novel. It is a very funny book, crackling with wit and wordplay, not to mention the lady-cannibal jokes. However, there is a strange starting point which seems to be a novel about the characters falling into and out of love, which abruptly stops half way through and then starts again, with the same characters but a different scenario.
Never mind. Lorrie Moore is a superb writer and if she wants to start again that's fine by me. I particularly enjoyed the second starting point where our main protagonist, Benna, is a poetry tutor in a community college, with an on-off relationship with a lounge bar pianist who wants to be an opera singer.
Looking back, it seems as if the first chapter is a short story, the next few chapters begin the short story at a different point which turns into a novel which then abruptly stops, and the final chapters are a novel using the same characters. One wonders how she gets away with it, but she does because she is witty and clever and you just go where she wants you to go. The clue is in the title, perhaps, or perhaps she is being deliberately self-indulgent and indecisive, but it's a wonderful read just the same.