I feel really bad giving this book one star...I mean, it seems like it was a labor of love. Maybe I'm just the wrong audience. I don't find long stret...moreI feel really bad giving this book one star...I mean, it seems like it was a labor of love. Maybe I'm just the wrong audience. I don't find long stretches of dialogue with a lisping toddler cute or funny or particularly original. Trust me, memoir-writers, you are the only one who thinks your children are uniquely cute and clever. EVERYONE feels that way about their own children; it isn't interesting for us to read a transcribed, cliche'd interaction with a whiny child that happened 40 years ago.
Also, I get that this was written about another time, but I don't find the word "faggot" and all the homophobia in this book comical or quaint. In 1972, someone firebombed the Upstairs Lounge (a gay bar just blocks from where the Carr family was living in their posh French Quarter mansion) and 32 men, including a pastor, were killed.
People said disgusting things like "I hope the fire burned their dress off," and "the Lord had something to do with this," and "What will they bury the ashes of queers in? Fruit jars."
I'm sorry, but I just don't find homophobia funny, ESPECIALLY when you're setting it in a time when it was more "acceptable" in "polite" society to be a bigot. The way he described it was almost nostalgic. Yes, I'm sure it was an absolute hoot to attend parties with rich ladies charmingly discussing the subject of those "faggots and queers." And yes, it is just downright ADORABLE when your kids tease each other abut being a fag. So glad you included those hilarious little quotes from your oh-so-precocious tots cleverly throwing homophobic slurs around and making disparaging remarks about gay men.
And then there's the N-word. Yeah, it's in there. Now, I understand that it was a different time, but I feel like the only instances race was addressed (and hence, the N-word would pop up and hang around for a few pages) existed only to make the narrator into some kind of martyr. He complains that the hospital didn't want to treat his (black) maid's broken arm because she didn't have insurance. So, being the powerful white man that he is, he yells at the nun in the intake area (who probably has absolutely nothing to do with rules about insurance and payments anyway), insults her faith, and then tells them to treat his maid or he'll...well, I forget what he said he would do, probably say something negative about the hospital on his TV show. And then he tells them to send him the bill. He triumphantly reports that they took his maid into an exam room, set and casted her arm, and he never received a bill.
It amuses me that he seems to believe that was the end of it. Just because YOU didn't receive the bill doesn't mean the hospital treated her for free, buddy.
Actually, a whole lot of scenes with his maid really made me uncomfortable. I got a definite "mammy" vibe from how he portrayed her.
The chapter about his "stalker" made me a bit uncomfortable as well. The woman was very very obviously mentally ill--schizophrenic, probably, as she thought that Bob Carr was sending messages to her through the television. See, to me, that's just sad. Especially since this is a real person we're talking about here. And am I supposed to chuckle when the cop reports that they had to physically force her into the car and then straightjacket her? Shit, I don't know what the hell mental health facilities were like back then, but I'm sure they weren't pretty, and I bet she had a pretty good reason for resisting and freaking out when they tried to take her to one.
And his wife is just weird. She gets incredibly angry and throws a shit fit/tantrum in her boss's office when they play Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry." She breaks the record into a million pieces on the boss's desk and screams something about how it's horrible and it sounds like rock and roll and oh god no one can hear THAT kind of music on THE BOB AND JAN SHOW!!!!
Anyway, so yeah, if you were alive back then, and you were a member of the target audience of "The Bob and Jan Show" or "Second Cup" or whatever, and if you often think to yourself, "Well gosh! Kids say the darnedest things!! I wish I could read several pages of those darned things they say," then you might enjoy this book.
It wasn't a BAD book, I just couldn't help but roll my eyes really hard at some of the more ridiculous parts. And I guess I just really disliked the main characters. But I guess that's telling--the main characters should be likeable, and I just found them to be either too perfect, or too cliche'd. (less)
See, this is why I love WRBH. I would never think to read this book on my own, but because it's on WRBH, I'm listening to it and enjoying it so much....moreSee, this is why I love WRBH. I would never think to read this book on my own, but because it's on WRBH, I'm listening to it and enjoying it so much. It's really nice to hear stories and perspectives I'd never think to search out.(less)
listening to this on WRBH right now. i just happened to be home and listening today when they started it, which is nice--i love when i get to hear a b...morelistening to this on WRBH right now. i just happened to be home and listening today when they started it, which is nice--i love when i get to hear a book from the very first page. i'm about 45 minutes in, and it's getting off to a pretty slow start. the problem might just be that i'm not the target audience: i'm not a happily married, financially stable parent of two living in New York and working as a writer, embarking on a journey toward my own happiness because i'm apparently not happy enough already. well, we'll see if she has any illuminating tips.(less)
uh well...as of page 32, i'm getting the impression that this is one of those memoirs where the writer was an astonishingly precocious child who had t...moreuh well...as of page 32, i'm getting the impression that this is one of those memoirs where the writer was an astonishingly precocious child who had the maturity and vocabulary of an adult at the age of 3 (i'm not exaggerating) and, while i suppose that's possible, i've heard so many other people claim the same that i just find it irritating and self-congratulatory at this point. i think there should be some sort of rule against that in memoirs--quit painting yourself as baby geniuses; it doesn't impress the reader.(less)