Fallopia's Reviews > Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York

Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York by Gail Parent
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Mar 25, 13

bookshelves: new-york-city
Recommended for: anyone who loves New York, hates New York, is nostalgic for the 70s, or hated the 70s
Read on December 26, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: too many times to count

"A few years ago, on Manhattan's East Side, a man set up a business where he sold diet shakes, delicious chocolate milk shakes having only seventy-seven calories. Well, I tell you: fat young girls came from near and far and lined up around the block at lunchtime. I was one of the ones who had two for lunch every day."

Well, the women began to suspect that the shakes weren't as lo-cal as the man claimed, so they went to some authority who determined the shakes had over two hundred and seventy calories. Sheila is crestfallen; "DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE A MAN LIES ABOUT CALORIES?" she demands.

Sheila is fed up; she is going to kill herself, and this book is her suicide note. Written in the early seventies, it's very dated, and yet still rings true; it can be both very funny at times, and extremely depressing. I first read it at the impressionable age of 13, and several times since; it has warped me beyond repair. (And no, I never got married, either.)

Sheila Levine is full of gems like, "People say New York is a jungle. It's not; it's a big jockstrap. It supports the men; look at the figures."

Incidentally, the author, Gail Parent, was one of the writers on the 70s TV series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
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