Meagan's Reviews > The Dud Avocado

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
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's review
May 18, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 18 to 31, 2012

This was a surprisingly light and fun read that was recommended to me by my husband who (having heard a review of it on NPR) said it sounded like that one "Chealsea lady book you read, only in the 50's." He meant Chealsea Handler, and having now read it, I have to say he was spot on.

Sally Jay, the American protagonist trying to find her freedom in Paris, is surprisingly similar to miss Handler, though she is also unique and different in her own right. Her voice is simply catching and like Judy, the young lady who lives in the same hotel as her, I hung on her every word. Sally Jay speaks to you, quite simply, and I am always a sucker for a narrator who seems to know they're in a one sided conversation.

Though I can't say that I found all of her adventures as equally entertaining as the way she related them, in part two of the novel things do start to heat up on an emotional level and consequences of living the life she does start to rear their heads. By part three, I'm as surprised as she to discover there was more going on than first assumed.

The book wasn't world changing for me, but I can't help but imagine the ruckus it would have caused when it came out in 1958. But alas, that time had passed and I find the ending in someways unsatisfying, (though happy). I suspect the era is to blame but cannot say for sure, especially since in some ways the ending really is fitting.

What The Dud Avacado does boil down to is a fun, light, amusing read that offers a way for us more "sensible" souls who can't afford to escape to Paris for a few years (or even a summer) a good way to live vicariously.

My only word of caution is that I suspect the overly sensible among us may find Sally Jay's decision making process a bit too flighty to adore.

Having said that, I consider it almost the perfect summer read.

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