Not That Kind of Girl

Not That Kind of Girl

4.3 3
by Carlene Bauer
     
 

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“[A] stunning new memoir… thick with contemplation, packed with ideas and images rendered in exacting, evocative prose…. Brave and startlingly beautiful.” —Time Out New York

“Truthful, intelligent, and engrossing. This may become a generation's definitive account of books and the city.” —Jeff Sharlet,

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Overview

“[A] stunning new memoir… thick with contemplation, packed with ideas and images rendered in exacting, evocative prose…. Brave and startlingly beautiful.” —Time Out New York

“Truthful, intelligent, and engrossing. This may become a generation's definitive account of books and the city.” —Jeff Sharlet, New York Times bestselling author of The Family

A loving and literate, honest and insightful look into the heart of that unsung heroine: the good girl. Fans of the strong narrative voices of such writers as Donna Tartt (The Secret History, The Little Friend), Nell Freudenberger (Lucky Girls, The Dissident), and Amy Bloom (Come to Me, A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You), as well as books such as The Nanny Diaries, Prep, and The Devil Wears Prada, will love Not That Kind of Girl: Carlene Bauer’s hilarious and touching memoir of God, books, and rock and roll.

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Editorial Reviews

Elle
"[Bauer's] style is light but not trivial-the laughs she wrings from her moral dilemmas are shaded with melancholy longing. Her passion for truth never leaves her, it just shifts forms. . . . Conjuring up the journey of transformation that all of us undergo when we strip off the roles our parents chose for us in favor of improvised intellectual wardrobes scavenged from found ideas, favorite books, flea markets, and cool friends' closets . . . ..[Bauer] renders the journey soulful and suspenseful, a pilgrim's progress through modern-day bohemia.
—Walter Kirn
Kirkus Reviews
Bauer's relatable but unremarkable debut memoir describes growing up and attempting to define herself while also keeping her faith in God. Raised in the New Jersey suburbs during the 1970s, the author received an "accelerated Christian education," primarily from Old Testament stories, in a school operated out of a church basement. She was taught that she should put her self aside to serve God, and warnings about imminent Armageddon made her an anxious, fearful child. Her peers at Christian school were told to avoid television and radio, but she watched MTV and loved rock 'n' roll. Skeptical of religious fanaticism but still holding tight to her faith, Bauer wittily reveals the insufficiencies and insincerities of church and Christian paraphernalia. In high school and college, she observed the world of drinking, sex and drugs but did not partake. She dated boys and attended frat parties for "research" purposes while seeking guidance from authors like Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. Virginal and sober, she discovered a love of poetry and the possibility of living a faith-based life with some flexibility, but she remained shy and insecure. She moved to New York City, aspiring to write and to create a new identity. She dug deeper into religion, society and herself, but repeatedly came back empty-handed. After sampling different denominations and ways of living, she finally gave up on the church and, later, God. As Bauer describes a slew of failed relationships, characters come and go too quickly for attachment, and the book devolves into a stream-of-consciousness narrative occasionally interrupted by events. Sarcasm and dry humor give way to a more desperate tone as her search for meaningbecomes harder and her list of questions longer. She never finds any real answers, and readers may find themselves as confused and discouraged as the author. Sassy societal commentary muddled by a lack of cohesion or a satisfying conclusion.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061893179
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/28/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
538,000
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Jeff Sharlet
"Not That Kind of Girl is a vigorously observed book about sex, God, and reading, by a tremendously talented writer who knows that none of those words-"sex," "God," or "reading"-leads to the kind of tidy conclusions that have come to make memoir a disreputable genre. Carlene Bauer's autobiography-one of the most truthful, intelligent, and engrossing I've read in years-redeems the form. This Christ-haunted confession of a 'good girl' who goes to New York may become a generation's definitive account of books and the city."--(Jeff Sharlet, New York Times bestselling author of The Family)
Mark Oppenheimer
"There are many memoirs that take sex seriously, many that take religion seriously, and still others that take rock music seriously. Not that Kind of Girl is about all three, and it's a true original. Thank God (yes, God) Carlene Bauer's book has arrived."--(Mark Oppenheimer, author of Thirteen and a Day: The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Across America)

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