Meghan's Reviews > True Believers

True Believers by Kurt Andersen
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's review
Jul 29, 2012

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In a nutshell: former Supreme Court nominee Karen H begins a memoir with the proclamation that she will talk about 'everything' regarding Midwestern youth, Harvard in the late 60's, etc--and some horrible misdeed involving childhood friends (James Bond aficionados) that has never been revealed nor discussed with anyone.

According to the book, a 'believer' was what soldiers in Vietnam termed any recently killed comrade; the title comes into literal and figurative play several times through the book. But Anderson keeps the tone more playful than you might expect. And while the plot is predictable enough, there's a pleasant deviance from the route you think it's going to take, and that's when things get really interesting.

Having grown up in a household where Joan Baez, Hendrix, Dylan, Country Joe and the fish, et al were more familiar than the current top 40, I could clearly envision the narrator's pathos--maybe not as vividly as, say, my mother, but there are a lot of levels on which the book operates.
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