One Pill Makes You Smaller: A Novel
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One Pill Makes You Smaller: A Novel

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Eleven-year-old Alice Duncan has a problem: her body is, literally, growing up too fast. Gawky, innocent, and tongue-tied, Alice is taller than her teachers, with long, long legs and a voluptuous chest she refers to it as "The Breasts."

One Pill Makes You Smaller brings to life the surreal experience of being a girl--stuck in a woman’s body. Dierbeck shoots down the rabbit...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Picador (first published 2003)
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Rose Symotiuk
The best book about child-rape you'll read this year! No, really.

Perda da inocência.
Gostei do livro, da ambiência meio maluca em que a personagem tem que viver, nas suas diferentes fases, e no modo como, estranhamente, se consegue abstrair dela, até passar para o outro lado.
A perda da inocência é colocada de um modo muito cru, delicado e irreal...como afinal o é qualquer transição deste cariz.
A personagem é estupenda, muito bem conseguida, eterna (de tal modo que tem alturas em que esquecemos a data da acção, com os todos os inconformismos e repugnâncias...more
Aug 29, 2007 Kathryn rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I wouldn't.
Hmm, I wanted to like this, but it didn't quite live up to the promise of its premise. It felt spotty and episodic, with a lack of continuity; some important scenes were just skimmed over while others, like the dicey rape or 'seduction' of the 11 (!)-year-old narrator by a smooth-talking and rather nauseating drug dealer named J.D. went on and on, in excruciating detail. As for the end of the book, when narrator Alice suddenly reinvents herself as a strong, confident young woman with a true arti...more
Couldn't put it down. The writing is absolutely unique and captivating, I want to read more of Dierbeck's writing!

On to the meat of the story. I felt very dissatisfied by the ending, and at times the plot lurched forward too quickly.

At times the story's message was murky. Condemning, or condoning rape? At times it was hard to tell. I agree with the general consensus of how disturbing moments were, and really, did the author have to go into so much detail? Yet, as writing is art, art is meant to...more
An original story using the basic outline of Alice in Wonderland as a drawing point, however still very unique.

Following the story of a very thoughtful and artistic girl who, although is still a child, looks much older then her age and draws certain attentions because of it. Set in the 70s, it's ultimately a coming of age story, ending with the initially innocent Alice becoming much more wise to the world.

Although I found this an intriguing and well written book, certain themes around what would...more
A novel about an early developing teen girl/woman in the 1970's who's making her way in the world. Has references to Alice in Wonderland. The book definitely takes a twist in the latter half of the book dealing with her appearance as an adult yet her limited experience as a girl. She tries to negotiate through the obstacle course that is the response (especially male) to her physical appearance. She struggles with a sexual conquest as she guesses at what the rules are and what it's all about.
I always feel like I'm cheating when I write a review for a book I didn't finish, but then I also feel like an explanation is needed. I tried to read this book, but there was just nothing engaging in the first chapter. I just couldn't seem to find the energy to care about anyone or anything that was being written about. Maybe it got better after I stopped reading it, but it started out so....badly that I just didn't want to waste any more time with it.
Readable, but scattered and trying too hard.
Ok, this was an exceedingly creepy book. I would not recommend it to anyone who has issues with 11 year old girls having sex and dropping acid. Clearly these are valid issues to have, as I think anyone would agree. I realize the book is not saying this is good stuff either, but I'm not sure in the end what exactly it WAS trying to say, and it will probably haunt me for a long while to come.
I really wanted to like this book but it pretty much just grossed me out. The protagonist is 11 years old!!! I really don't care how big her boobs are, she should be playing with dolls, not dropping acid and giving out "drubs". Another reviewer stated that this is one of the best written novels about child rape, and I really can't argue with that.
Definitely a peculiar book, quite possibly the future script for an indie film. While overall somewhat disturbing (think, 11-year-olds tripping on acid/engaging in sexual activity) there were occasional genius plot points scattered here and there. Not for everyone though.
Very distressing novel of Alice, an 11-year old neglected girl who is so eager for acceptance she does whatever people tell her to do. Brings home the point that gifted children are STILL children, not yet adults, who need wisdom and loving guidance.
Just another perverse book about molestation and drugs. I do not pretend that these things do not happen, but I cannot stomach the idea that any author is able to go into such detail involving a rape. Also, hated the ending, because there WAS NO ENDING.
Trippy and unusual. Not for the squeemish. I liked it and was grossed out at the same time. This is an example of cool cover art not working out for me. I didn't dislike it, I was just kind of waiting for it to be over.
This book took something from me. I am not the same after reading it. While it starts out slow, it becomes impossible to put down at times. Provocative, truthful, leaves an imprint.
Not my favorite book, but I think this would make a great indie movie. I just picked it up in the New Books section of the library one summer.
good, but i had really high expectations (for some reason) and they were not met. the girl didn't seem entirely believable, for one thing...
Stephanie Toomey
Everything is left entirely unexplained. That's really all of the critique I have to offer. Nothing is concluded.
Very interesting read...creepy yet intriguing characters. A story of victims and victors...
Sue Russell
One of the creepiest books I've ever read---with elements of genius.
Captivating. However, kind of disturbing at times.
Mike marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2014
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Christine Rice
Christine Rice marked it as to-read
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Lisa Dierbeck lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband. She is the author of two novels, The Autobiography of Jenny X (Mischief + Mayhem/OR Books) and One Pill Makes You Smaller (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), a New York Times Notable Book. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Dierbeck has contributed to...more
More about Lisa Dierbeck...
The Autobiography of Jenny X Una Piccola Pastiglia Gialla Corre, Alicia, corre

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“I pronounce you cured," he said. "My condition, however, is more critical. Alas. It's worsened considerably."
"What condition?" said Alice, testing her foot out, stamping it on the ground to see how sore it was.
"Being in love," he said, "with you."
Alice didn't look at him. "Since when?" she asked after a minute.
"Who can say? I think, probably, since the first second I laid eyes on you.”
“She would let a speeding automobile hit her to show them all how unloved she was.” 2 likes
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