Lindsay's Reviews > Anagrams

Anagrams by Lorrie Moore
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's review
Mar 10, 2008

liked it
Read in March, 2008

The concept of this book is intriguing and for the most part well executed. The relationship between a woman, Benna, and a man, Gerard, is described in six different "possible lives" or what Moore calls anagrams: jumbled up versions of the same people and ingredients, rearranged into six different plot lines. The last one is the longest -- maybe it is the "true" one, maybe it isn't, but it is unequivocally the saddest. I was just going along with this book for a while, enjoying the humor, and then all at once it sidewinded me in the gut. Be forewarned: it's sad. At best, Moore hits life on the head completely:

"I could not be enough of the world for him. A woman could never be enough of the world, I thought, though that was what man desired of her, though she flap her arms frantically trying."

At worst, I kept getting a mental image of the Carrie Fischer character in When Harry Met Sally (which is a movie I hate) sitting in a diner with her girl friend, making penis jokes that are slightly too clever and refined for real life. Moore's prose is packed to the gills with clever wordplay. It starts out enjoyable but becomes a little nauseating with repetition. A little less Miranda July a little more Ernest Hemingway, I found myself thinking, and felt like an asshole for thinking that. But I think you know what I mean.

Still, I liked this well enough and would like to check out some of her other stuff in the near future. Until then, I am just going to be sitting in that corner over there, actively dreading my 30s.
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