Jessica's Reviews > Veronica

Veronica by Mary Gaitskill
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Sep 25, 07

bookshelves: here-is-new-york, chicklits
Recommended for: tyra banks
Read in March, 2007

Do you secretly love America's Next Top Model, but are dismayed by its contrast with your high-minded literary pretensions?

Read this book!

It's really good! And it's about MODELING!!! In the EIGHTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Emily (new)

Emily Kramer I actually thought this book was a watered down piece of fake joan didion crap. i couldn't make through - got about halfway in. Read the short stories collections instead - which she wrote when she was younger and mad and sexually charged.


message 2: by Jessica (last edited Sep 26, 2007 09:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jessica DUDE! NO! Sure, this book had some problems: I agree it was super-cheesy in parts, and the frame of her as a mopey, nostalgic, middle-aged hep-c-infected Marin County resident seemed especially lame and did not work at all for me. I enjoyed this novel more than most of Gaitskill's short stories, though, which I do like okay, only I can never quite relax and get over the feeling that here I am, reading edgy nineteen-eighties short fiction about S&M or prostitution or whatever, which is just such an unappealing thought... Actually, I did enjoy some of her short stories a lot, especially the ones about people moving to New York, or living in New York and wearing funny outfits because it's the eighties and they're all trying to be artists or get jobs or whatever. A lot of them are too focused on sex, though, which I personally find one of the most boring themes for fiction in all the world. _Veronica_ had some very lovely prose in it, and if memory serves me breaks from the tradition of her short stories by not using the phrase "pale leaves" to describe the salads. This book was GOOD! Plus, it was about MODELING! In the EIGHTIES! Jeez, woman. Get ahold of yourself!


message 3: by Emily (new)

Emily Kramer i just couldn't get over the whole back and forth from woman to girl back to woman. plus i read that the whole thing was once written from just one place in time and then she broke it up into a dialogue between her and her younger self. that idea just turned me off. As a girl she reminds me of Jules in St. Elmo's fire. The picture of her as a woman is vague in my mind. Do i need to keep reading?


Jessica Nah.... the back and forth thing was irritating. This is not one of those books with a hump to get over; if you didn't like it by the fifth page, you probably never will. Again, I was mostly just crazy about the prose, so was willing to forgive some things, but if it didn't do it for ya, that's actually understandable.

Full disclosure: Don't we all honestly start out judging a book by its cover? I read the paperback, which had this just sort of greeny-blue, shimmery-mosaic type cover, with no moony-looking pretty-lady photo. I have to admit that if I'd read the totally horrendous looking edition posted here -- which I've never seen before -- I might have had a totally different reaction to the whole thing. I also didn't know the book was about a model when I started it -- I didn't read the back cover or anything, just glanced at her crazy-ass author photo and had had it recommended to me by Mike. If I'd had more expectations or preparation going into this book, things might have been different. As it was, I did hugely enjoy it, but I guess I can see how someone else might not have, and I can even imagine how that someone else could have been me.


message 5: by Miriam (new)

Miriam The fact that Alexander Maksik loves it makes me not want to read it.


Charles Baudelaire i honestly don't understand the debate. this book was pure unadultered pleasure. I consider Veronica and Savage Detectives the two and only novels worth any literary mention in a while. i, really can't understand how soneone couldnt love this book. wait thats not true, some people found it depressing i guess. but yhe quality of the writing is such that it i felt light as a feather reading it.


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