Rebecca Makkai's Reviews > Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties

Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin by Marion Meade
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's review
Nov 10, 2011

it was amazing

I probably shouldn't give stars when I'm only halfway through a book, but I can't imagine I'll change my mind by the end of this one. I picked up the audio book for the car (really just as background research for my second novel), and I'm so hooked I'm making excuses to run errands just to listen to it. I do love the voice of the reader -- she sounds like an older, sophisticated woman, leaning close to fill you in on gossip she just learned -- and I'm reminded again of how much a reader can make or break an audio book (something sadly outside of most writers' control).

I don't imagine anyone will mistake this book for either serious literary criticism or intense, analytical biography. It excels at being exactly what it intends: a deliciously gossipy and truly funny overview of the Algonquin Round Table and some of the more sociable writers of the 1920s.

I'll be ordering this author's other books, and I already queued up "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle" on Netflix.

And if anyone in the Chicago area desperately needs help with an errand that requires an hour or more of driving, I volunteer.

Updated: Finished the book. Yep, loved every minute of it, and she did a great job of wrapping up the story with the decade, even though the lives in question were, in some cases, just getting started. (It had a bit of an Animal House ending in that regard, but the sudden infusion of lively background music on the CD made it all quite festive.) Recommend most highly.
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