Rich's Reviews > Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple
by Maria Semple
Oct 14, 2012
Read from October 14 to 16, 2012
This book about Seattle "Subaru Parents" describes my life so chillingly accurately that I am now absolved of writing my own book about their Portland-counterparts' bat-shit antics. Favorites: "Suddenly, Audrey Griffin started running toward the car all stiff and out of rhythm. You could just tell she hadn't run in about ten years." -22. "Perhaps because we both went to prep school and Ivy League universities ourselves, we did not fetishize them like other Seattle parents." -43. "Wooowww," Audrey Griffin said, spreading the word up and down like a roller coaster. Her voice was so full of hate and craziness that it pierced my skin." -85. "There's a story that during the filming of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola had a sign on his trailer: 'Fast, Cheap, Good: Pick Two." -113. The book becomes less plausible, more fantastic as it goes, rising in a crescendo of unbelievability -- but it's all benevolent and fun, and you barely notice it and it's easy to go along with it. There's magical-thinking, including the idea of truly terrible human beings finding redemption and owning their misdeeds and apologizing to those they've hurt with lies, slander, and manipulation. But really wonderful in a, "I wish that would actually happen! I wish people didn't just become more of their worst traits as they aged!" Sheesh, what a pessimist I am. I probably need to join VAV -- "Victims Against Victimhood," an awesome critique of the bullshittiness of 12-step groups. A great book.
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