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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2005-11-22 - 1:52 p.m.

The new DFA'79 record may just wrest the Go!Team from their place as my favorite pre-coffee morning jolt.

And not to damn with faint praise, but the new Mendoza Line record is a pleasant bit o'business.

I stayed up late last night to finish Truth and Beauty. My original, glowing opinion--or more accurately my experience--of this book changed somewhere midpoint.

As Lucy Grealy's charmed life falls apart, the fierce friendship between she Ann Patchett starts to become a little...weird. Grotesquely clingy. Beyond anything in the codependency pamphlets: dropping everything to take a 3-hour train ride to help her friend get ready for date...and then paying off her student loans and bills...and forever listening to her cry and cry and cry and complain and talk about suicide. It was exhausting just to read it.

That Ann can report all this with a straight face, offering it as a rosy example of real friendship, is a little disturbing to me. I may be wrong, but she seems to be asking her readers to look at her friend's extravagently screwy behavior as romantic and endearing, cuz look, isn't she an entertaining and talented fuck-up?

I think this would have made a better essay than a full-length book; by the end, I was just depleted.

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