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Stop Making Sense

I read anything that's nailed down, or even just moving slowly. Cereal boxes, candy wrappers, all genres, etc., and I don't always have much time for arbitrary distinctions like literary fiction vs. genre fiction.

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls Shallow Anecdotes, not a Memoir

This is the story of 4 children who survived horrific abuse and neglect by their alcoholic father and out-to-lunch "artiste" mother, told by the second daughter. It's being marketed as a memoir, but if you're looking for another Angela's Ashes, or even Running with Scissors, this isn't it. The author appears to have learned nothing from her experience. She closes the book with her mother making happy toasts to the memory of the father, even as her younger sister (understandably) has taken off for California after being discharged from a mental hospital--after all, that sister had "never really applied herself."

There is no depth to this book--no mention of the mental anguish she might have felt when she escaped to New York and left her younger brother and sister in that environment, no mention of seeking help (Al-Anon, support groups, therapy, *something*) once she was in a position to make that happen, etc. This is a classic story of an alcoholic family, and the people play their roles admirably (The Hero, The Lost Child, The Scapegoat, etc). Too bad the author doesn't realize it. As I said, this isn't a memoir; it's a series of shallow, pseudofunny anecdotes. Not recommended.