Alice K's Guide to Life: One Woman's Quest for Survival, Sanity, and the Perfect New Shoes

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If you've never flipped through a women's magazine, you may enjoy this collection of columns from the Boston Phoenix. But if you're a regular reader of Glamour, Mademoiselle or Cosmo, you'll most likely find Knapp's writing tedious, hackneyed and decidedly unfunny. Knapp's spokesperson is the eponymous Alice K., a 33-year-old single woman who works at Green Goddess, ``the magazine for today's enviro-conscious woman.'' Alice K. covers the usual single-woman beat: sex, dating, men, step classes, bad hair days, therapy and the supreme importance of accessories. In ``Pseudo-Spa II: The All-Shoe Weekend,'' Alice K. is feeling ``lethargic and bloated and premenstrual. Then she has a thought. `If these were the '80s, I'd have to start a diet and head to the gym. But no! The '80s are long gone!... What I really need is some new shoes!'" Not only is Knapp considerably less witty and original than Merrill Markoe or Cynthia Heimel (to whom she is compared on the back cover), but she has the rare distinction of making Erma Bombeck sound fresh and witty. Knapp's problem isn't insipidness (or fashion magazines would have been transformed long ago); it's the shallowness of her observations and the fact that she's not nearly as funny as she thinks she is. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452271210
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.73 (d)

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    What is it like

    Although somewhat exaggerated (I don't have quite as many thoughts about shoes as Alice K. does), Alice K.'s Guide to Life does convey how it feels to be female or even human in an original, entertaining,amusing, and sometimes heartwrenching way. I do sometimes feel indecisive and foolish and petty and stuck and loved and in love and grateful and wishful and lucky and silly and Alice K. (Caroline Knapp) sums it all up in a slightly satirical, slightly sympathetic, sometimes honest, sometimes cryptic way. <BR/>Although I don't usually go for the modern-girl-"chick-lit" type book, there is more to this book than what it seems like on the surface, something like a deeper understanding of the psychology of the characters that makes them seem like people you know, or people you may someday be. The writing isn't always perfect, but its good for an easy read that might leave you thinking.

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