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Posted May 2, 2006
I found Elizabeth's novel very, very good. It is a good read, easy and flows nicely. What I didn't like is the fact that she blames everyone else (Charlie, her mother, her upbringing, the cocaine) for the fact that she is promiscuous, plain and simple. I don't get how any woman can just give excuse after excuse - face it Elizabeth you were a littly slu**y and that's it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2006
Ms hayt's memoir has become controversial because of her graphic depiction of some of her sexual experiences and because of the kiss and tell aspect regarding some of her dates. but it is a disservice to this book to dismiss it as purely a fluffy kiss and tell or even to dismiss it as another whining baby boomer screed. coming from an affluent long island background, hayt explores her disillusionment with what she had been led to expectfrom life, both good (marriage/motherhood) and bad (sex for approval). along the way she encounters experiences shared with many outside of trendy new york: she discusses how her abortion haunts her years later we learn how she was fired and hustles to rejoin the workforce and make her way. we might even characterize this memoir as a sort of candide from long island. there is more depth here than one might think. her writing is competent and conversational. it is never artificial or cutesy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2005
Elizabeth Hayt is a complicated person and this is a complicated memoir. There is a lot more here than the salacious kiss-and- tell (plus some professional payback) that drives its publicity. After reading it, we must ask ourselves, who is Elizabeth Hayt, really, and who does she want us to think she is? The answers to these two questions are not necessarily identical. On her way from suburban housewife to freelance journalist/art critic/single mom, she accumulates significant life experience. She gets fired. She has to hustle for a job. She wrestles with her motherhood issues. She succumbs to, battles, and ultimately overcomes cocaine addiction. She develops maternal feelings and bonds with her son. She has an abortion. A potentially controversial note is that the abortion-- and the potentiality of what might have been-- haunts her for years afterwards. Although she might have shared with us how this affected her views on the subject, the message conveyed to readers is that abortion is not a cost-free choice. And of course there is the sex and her relationships. If we accept that the sex was graphically described for a non sales generating reason (and some of the scenes do have a tabloid yuck factor: do we REALLY need to know in one of them that an exchanged body fluid was 'nicotine-tinged' as it leaked out of her?), it has to be that these incidents were landmarks in that particular relationship. A pattern emerges, however, in that soon after each torrid orgasm, she explains how the relationship deterioriated and ultimately failed. Although she questions whether having sex with someone before a relationship gets going is an effective strategy for building a long term relationship, she does not seem to infer any new operating assumptions about human behavior from her consistently unsuccessful approach. She writes well and her prose is accessible. Her comparison of new mothers to Lee's army after Appomattox is arresting and evocative. On the other hand, she sometimes overwrites and gives us too much information. Her writing is not as elegant as Virginia Woolf, but neither is it as angry as Andrea Dworkin. Overall she is a good storyteller. Where does Ms. Hayt end up at the end? I suspect she would like us to see her as striding into the future with happiness and autonomy and self actualization her companions, the results of this self examination. I don't completely buy this. While she does candidly examine herself in terms of an objective data gathering, I am not sure she performs an equally rigorous analysis of what she sees and who she is. She has not confronted those aspects of her personality that lead her to dead end relationships, which seems to be a recurring theme. Those traits will continue to cause her to make bad relationship choices, but will let her accumulate more life experience for the sequel. But you can't ignore the rich life experience she has accumulated and reports. And although we can see how she is not, perhaps, made for marriage, she is nevertheless someone I would seat on a jury to sit in judgment over my client. Her story is well worth the time to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 30, 2005
OK...the sex scenes are pretty good. But you can get that in Penthouse Letters. The rest of it is an exercise in watching a woman destroy her life...her self respect and then blame it on 'my father's lack of attention'. It makes a person glad that the husband finally told her to do what she had already been doing for years...'go ____ yourself.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.