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Terminal Velocity
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Terminal Velocity

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  122 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
"In 1970 I realized that the Sixties were passing me by. I had never even smoked a joint, or slept with anyone besides my husband. A year later I had left Nicky, changed my name from Ellen to Rain, and moved to a radical lesbian commune in California named Red Moon Rising, where I was playing the Ten of Hearts in an outdoor production of Alice in Wonderland when two FBI ag ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 26th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1997)
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Ferociously paced, Terminal Velocity delineates six wonderfully engaging characters: Artemis Foote, for whom being rich, talented, and beautiful is a kind of game; Jordan, a messianic fugitive who becomes Ellen's lover; Amethyst Woman, a Marxist/Leninist dentist; Ross, a red-diaper baby and now a columnist for Ramparts; and Pearl, an art history professor turned hippie. At the center of this vortex is Ellen, prior to her transformation happily married and a rising young editor at a genteel publi ...more
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
One sentence impression: Radical lesbian love movement unveils a triangulated romance entangled by lives of mystery, flux, and lies.

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Worst Miss: Jordan's letter to Rain about the "Thin-Skinned Princess" had me rolling my eyes. A poor and pathetic attempt at prose
Caroline Ryder
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
There was something a little chirpy and magaziney about the writing...absurd contexts (humping cauliflower patches while on acid, for instance) detract from the emotional narrative a little. The central characters are classic white liberal radicals, privileged, over-educated, and under-exposed to reality, so it's hard to take them and their self-created dramas too seriously, especially if you find those kinds of people annoying in real life. Anyone who has found themselves exposed to "lesbian dr ...more
Nov 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Re-reading my very favorite book. Ever. Probably forever. The voice of the main character & the dialogue resonate more with me than anything I've ever read. That particular, wry non-sequitor humor is exactly, perfectly mine only better. 23 year old me was dazzled by this book and Ellen/Rain Burns. And years later everything about this book is just as excellent as I remember it. Love you so, so much Blanche McCray Boyd. <3 Please finish this trilogy!
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is probably one of the best-kept secrets in modern literature. Apart from being witty and, at times, utterly hilarious, it also has a heart. You are charmed by the bumbling ways of the ladies at Red Moon Rising. It takes a look at radical feminist culture at its height and you will enjoy every minute of it.
Robyn Hammontree
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first half of this book will make you really want to try drugs. The second half will make you wonder why anyone ever does any drug ever. It's a beautiful and sometimes campy story about what it takes to break and rebuild yourself anew. "I was determined to reach terminal velocity. I thought something would ease in me. I thought I would be forgiven."
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
ok...radical lesbians of the 70's struggling with love, sex, drugs, failure, insecurities and life (aka "the meaning of"). Lots of lesbian sex and drugs. I have to admit it made me interested in dabbling in a few of the "unmentionables," though. (Heh, heh...)
Robert Corbett
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Much more about the thing wedge between bipolar disorder and the disorder of the 60s than lesbianism. I am not recalling as well as I would like The Revolution of Little Girls, but I am too in a different place as Boyd obviously was when she wrote this.
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
I finished the book. At least I did that. It kept me interested. I'll give it that much. I think my problem with this book is the characters. I don't know if the reader is supposed to be irritated with them, but I sure was.
Jul 01, 2009 rated it liked it
A slice into a life that I will never lead, but makes for an interesting read.
Jun 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hippies
Made me want to live in a commune and grow my own food and smoke a lot of weed....
Rebecca Lawrence
Very interesting story
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Fun romp around the feminist movement of the 70s. Skewers a lot of the pomposity of feminism.
Nov 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: kit
Shelves: lez
i recommend reading this with 'the revolution of little girls' they both intersect in great ways, but this is the superior book in my mind. so unbelievably funny at times.
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Blanche McCrary Boyd (born 1945) is an American author whose novels are known for their eccentric characters.

Among the awards Boyd has won are a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993–1994, a National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship in 1988, a Creative Writing Fellowship from the South Carolina Arts Commission in 1982–1983 and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing from Stanford Univer
More about Blanche McCrary Boyd...

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“Did you really say y'all to me? Did i actually make a political statement to which your non sequitur reply was, 'Are y'all vegetarians?” 3 likes
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