Customer Reviews for

Lit

Average Rating 3.5
( 172 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(59)

4 Star

(35)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(22)

1 Star

(27)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

This is a fascinating memoir

This is a fascinating memoir as writer Mary Karr obviously has come a long way. In Texas her parents were alcoholics who when sober were psychotic, but when drunk were beyond the fringe. However, much of that period is in her previous autobiographies The Liars' Club a...
This is a fascinating memoir as writer Mary Karr obviously has come a long way. In Texas her parents were alcoholics who when sober were psychotic, but when drunk were beyond the fringe. However, much of that period is in her previous autobiographies The Liars' Club as a preadolescent and Cherry as a teen. Instead Ms. Karr picks up her saga in her late teens and takes it to her current age of fifty years old. She left for college on the west coast, but though bored tried to desperately to prove she belonged at school and with her boyfriend's affluent parents. Like her parents she turned to alcohol to numb her past so those demons would not harm her present. When she became a devout Catholic Ms. Karr feels that changed her emotionally so that she can feel good about living inside her skin as even Harvard failed to give her the inner confidence of belonging she desperately sought.

Well written with incredible insight and yet filled with self deprecating humor, Mary Karr explains her obsessive human need for self actualization and acceptance. Ms. Karr's third memoir looks deep at herself seemingly even more so than before; perhaps because this time the adult cannot use the unintended consequences of the shield of a child (The Liars' Club) or a teen (Cherry ) to garner empathy from her readers. This is a winner of a courageous person overcoming her roots to make it in her mind.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on November 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Cry me a river

The Liar's Club was not a pretty story, but the writing was so beautiful it carried you along - poetry in prose. This is lost in Lit. Whine, complain, poor me is all that comes through.

posted by PdeW on January 9, 2010

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  • Posted January 4, 2010

    Karr strikes again.

    Having read "The Liars' Club" and "Cherry" I had great expectations for "Lit", which were fulfilled. Karr's bitter honesty about her self appraisal, her life, and desires keeps your nose in the book. I had no idea that Karr had carried this tremendous weight for so long. Hats off to her, and hope her telling of this difficult story releases some of her demons she has kept at bay for so long. This book will significantly effect many who read it.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2009

    Lit by Mary Karr

    I found this book even more far-reaching and important than The Liars Club! It is one of the most candid and useful memoirs having to do with recovery that I have encountered...and I am sixty-four years old. Mary Karr is honest, skilled and most interesting as she describes relationships and events in her life. I am so grateful that I took the chance and purchased this wonderful book! I would have missed so much otherwise!
    Fred Lippert

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fascinating memoir

    This is a fascinating memoir as writer Mary Karr obviously has come a long way. In Texas her parents were alcoholics who when sober were psychotic, but when drunk were beyond the fringe. However, much of that period is in her previous autobiographies The Liars' Club as a preadolescent and Cherry as a teen. Instead Ms. Karr picks up her saga in her late teens and takes it to her current age of fifty years old. She left for college on the west coast, but though bored tried to desperately to prove she belonged at school and with her boyfriend's affluent parents. Like her parents she turned to alcohol to numb her past so those demons would not harm her present. When she became a devout Catholic Ms. Karr feels that changed her emotionally so that she can feel good about living inside her skin as even Harvard failed to give her the inner confidence of belonging she desperately sought.

    Well written with incredible insight and yet filled with self deprecating humor, Mary Karr explains her obsessive human need for self actualization and acceptance. Ms. Karr's third memoir looks deep at herself seemingly even more so than before; perhaps because this time the adult cannot use the unintended consequences of the shield of a child (The Liars' Club) or a teen (Cherry ) to garner empathy from her readers. This is a winner of a courageous person overcoming her roots to make it in her mind.

    Harriet Klausner

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 29, 2009

    Drunk on Mary Karr's life

    Anyone who read The Liar's Club and Cherry has probably already bought or borrowed a copy of Lit, Karr's their memoir, which takes her from college to marriage, parenthood and divorce. A genetic donation from her alcoholic parents lands her in a mental institution, which she survives. Her son's curiosity about religion awakens her own, somewhat begrudging, faith.

    Karr is an entertaining, yet earnest storyteller, as exemplified by the book's title, meaning someone drunk on booze or literature or both. She records conversations and event details more clearly than most people living in a fog of liquor. The grace and vigor of the writing could only from from Mary Karr, poet and Texan.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    Cry me a river

    The Liar's Club was not a pretty story, but the writing was so beautiful it carried you along - poetry in prose. This is lost in Lit. Whine, complain, poor me is all that comes through.

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Lit from the Inside

    It may seem as though the memoir genre has been thoroughly strip-mined, but "Lit" is by Mary Karr -- the progenitress of the category -- and is just as bone-deep honest and moving as her first autobiographical volume, "The Liar's Club". It's a must read for anyone in recovery, or has struggled with addiction, not to mention co-dependency issues. And if you think your family is bizarre or disfunctional, this book is definitely for you. Karr's gifts as a poet shine through in this book -- I've been recommending it to everyone I know.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Lit is a book for women, men and young adults.

    I loved this book. The writing in particular was outstanding. I don't normally find myself reading memoirs but Lit almost seemed like I was reading a novel. This is my first time reading Mary Karr and I now want to read The Liars Club.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    This is the Memoir other memoirs dream about.

    Lit is Karr's third memoir, and it's her best. That's saying a lot, as her first, The Liars' Club, pretty much set the standard for the contemporary memoir. She is witty without being overly clever. She is moving without being sentimental. She has startling insight into what it means to be a mother, a drinker, an ex-drinker, a catholic, a writer, but most of all, a human. This book is better than the slew of memoirs that come out each year because it doesn't depend on the shock value of its content. As some other reviewers have pointed out, there are memoirs that have lower "rock bottoms" and crazier events. Those comments miss the point. We don't read memoirs (at least I don't) for an accounting of extraordinary circumstances, but for an extraordinary accounting of common human experience. Lots of us have dealt with alcoholism, spirituality, motherhood, etc. But few of us have Karr's gift for metaphor, her insight into what makes these experiences important, her ability to simultaneously take us on a journey through memory while taking apart and examining the machinery through which we remember. Karr's self-narrative is also about the ways in which we create ourselves through memory--and this makes it universal. I'm an avowed atheist, and I was moved by Karr's journey out of alcoholism and towards God. She is not preachy and Lit is not a "woe is me" pity party. She is a brilliant story teller who can write a sentence like nobody's business.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2010

    Awesome!

    I loved this book, I couldn't put it down. I also enjoy her other two cherry, and liars club.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Drudgery

    Reading this was absolutely fatigueing. I stepped away from the histories and biographies I enjoy reading to sample something else for the purpose of being open to other styles of writing. Selecting this book threw away valuable reading time. Yes, Mary Karr writes well metamorphically speaking but she goes overboard with it. At times I felt myself becoming almost physically constricted inside, tense in trying to stay with her. No Mam! No more for me.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Lit? Brilliant Is More Like It!

    How many times have you said that you could write a book about your family? Well somebody did. The result is a page turner that will remind you that you are not alone in how chaotic family life can be.

    For anyone who still feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain from their family, I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score." I thought that the book was just about forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. I was about how you should deal with friends, family and yourself and more importantly, how to keep these relationships strong when things go wrong. Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe it is because this book spoke to me and not down to me.

    I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it. "When God Stopped Keeping Score" is available here on BN.com.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Yes, another memoir, but a great one

    This is the hard one, the adult recollection of an adult's embarrassing failures. Mary Karr confronts her alcoholism and explains the faith that saved her - perhaps an unpopular point of view now among academics, but that it is what it is makes it a better read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

    Ms Karr's poetic writing was sometimes hard to follow but loved the book. It helped me understand how past thoughts are hard to throw out and the role alcohol and drugs play on this imbalance.

    There unfortunatley are a million Marys but few that can put it to words and creat a story. I could not put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    ugh

    I coulfn't wait to finish this book - I disliked it - it was way too long. Most of what she said could have been said in half the length of this book. I'll definitely choose something less whiney - such a self-absorbed woman to have a son and treat him as she did. You can't keep on blaming your MOTHER for your shortcomings and alcoholism!!

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Dear help me decide

    DO NOT GET THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2012

    AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So stupid its ridicoulus that ppl like this book.. FYI dont waste ur money....

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Self important autobiography of a mediocre writer.

    Don't waste your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    NO

    I couldnt finish the book. Lacked a sense of purpose from the start.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Ummmm no just no

    I woudn't waste my time on that book! It was to edgy kept going off topic and too depressing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    A

    Sucked

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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