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Veronica
     

Veronica

3.0 11
by Mary Gaitskill
 

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A finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, here is an evocative novel about female friendship in the glittering 1980s.

Alison and Veronica meet amid the nocturnal glamour of 1980s New York: One is a young model stumbling away from the wreck of her career, the other an eccentric middle-aged office temp. Over the next

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Veronica 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary Gaitskill is a a plagiarist.  She lifted the names, theme, etc. from an unknown writer.  
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do not waste money on this book!! This author tries very diligently to inject what she perceives to be 'prose' into her story, but if you lose your readers in the process, how good is your writing ability? I could only stand to read the first 100 pages realizing that I was wasting time on something that was plain old dreck when I could be reading something intelligent that made some sense. An example of this awful prose is as follows: 'I looked at the car speeding next to us a plain girl with glasses on the end of her nose frowned and hunched forward. She cut us off and Rene muttered a soft curse. American pop music came out of her car in a blur. Ossifer. Love's desire. Huge office complexes sat silent in fields brimming with bright green desire. The queen knelt before a guillotine. Blood shot from her neck in a hot stream. The next day her blood stained the street and people walked on it now her head was gone and she could be part of life.' WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN????? (This is an exact paragraph, I did not type anything out of context.) Also, I am not a prude, but this author LOVES inserting the 'C' word every single chance she gets, even calling men that name. She also is hung up (excuse the pun) on genitalia and self gratification. She writes of very dismal sexual, drug laden events such as a sadomasochist club. She flits from present to past to far past faster than you can bat an eye. And all the while the titled character Veronica is hardly ever mentioned. From other reviews I've read, I find that she doesn't mention Veronica much until the end of the book. I think any favorable reviews that this book may receive come from people who mistake the inane prose and pornographic references as 'art'. Sometimes people don't want to admit that they just didn't get it either. If you want to read an incredible book covering the same topic of AIDS, but written with beautiful, intelligent, comprehensible prose, then read: 'Sarah's Song: A True Story of Love and Courage' by Janice A. Burns. There's no comparison between the two books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for tearjerking pathos and hearwarming resolutions, do not come here. Gaitskill asks hard questions about the nature of human relationships and does so in a highly subjective, at times impressionistic style which can be uncomfortable to those that want to be merely entertained. I find her writing bold and very uncompromising. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In all truth, there is nothing special about the story, the title itself has no deep reflection on the story, since Veronica is briefly mentioned in the first half and takes up the last quarter of the book. The novel's main character, a has been model, is stuck in her vanity but is 'rescued' from life of demons but a demon among the rotten- more or less Gaitskill's own words. This book was mentioned on NY Times best books of the year. Why? The sentences are choppy and the time jumps are unnecessary. How is the reader supposed to know what time in Alison's life Gaitskill is describing when for a paragraph in the time jump she is talking of the withered trees and the weather? It's as if Gaitskill tried to hard to be profound but failed miserably. She tries to make Veronica, a gaudy AIDS victim , seem like a martyr when she hadn't any benevolent qualities. Unfortunately for Gaitskill, she cannon turn water into wine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I could appreciate the writer's obvious skill, I found the writing itself to be somewhat muddled and confusing. In one paragraph Alison is in the present time, the very next paragraph she's at her childhood home with her sisters and in the very next paragraph she's in France. Then it goes back and forth like that all on the same page or two. I found myself having to pause and reread to determine which phase of her life Alison was referencing. Having said that, I still think it takes a lot of skill on the writer's part to write in such a fashion. I just found it equally laborious to read! I also found it odd that while the title is 'Veronica' there really isn't all that much about Veronica until you get past page 100.
Guest More than 1 year ago
But once you start muddling through its pages, Veronica goes on and on. And I was really surprised because of how many people did like this book. It just fell short for me. Too many flashbacks, too depressing, too slow. I suffered halfway through the book trying but I couldn't take it. Go to the library and check this one out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great. This is the first book I've read by Gaitskill, and I think she's wonderful. All of the female characters have suffered to some degree. Gaitskill describes their suffering as results stemming from bad choices. She really makes you think about the choices you make and how they could affect your life.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Fifty something Alison suffers from Hepatitis that just adds to her look and feel of being much older than she is. She makes pocket change cleaning her friend's toilet, but often loses focus even on that menial chore. Mostly she lives in her past when she was a model in Paris and New York, her childhood in San Francisco or through her deceased friend Veronica, a victim of AIDS though she knows when lucid that except for Veronica her banality was superficial. As she becomes sicker, Alison increasingly buries her mind in a time when she was pretty and treasured as a beauty. The present is too ugly and painful to stay in while the past though only skin deep and choosing to ignore the shallow, the failed love affair and any hardships is nicer even with Veronica death at least in what is left inside Alison¿s mind. --- This is a powerful character study that grips the audience from the moment of understanding of the lead protagonist in her present state vs. when her former existence takes hold. Fans will not find this an easy novel to read though it is well written and insightful as Alison in the present is extremely ill with no hopes and in the past so shallow life seems to have passed her by. Mary Gaitskill provides a strong drama that takes no prisoners as she demonstrates to the audience that they will have one chance to live life to the fullest so they should do it. --- Harriet Klausner