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Mary Karr's The Liars' Club

We must all hail Mary Karr!

I'm serious. I recently read her memoir, The Liars' Club and hot damn, something good has come out of Texas after all!

Mary Karr is foremostly, a poet. This memoir of her childhood growing up in a small, east Texas oil town, was first published in 1995. The thought of how this woman's writing has managed to escape me until two weeks ago is unnerving. I blame all of you, actually, for not telling me about her sooner. Jesus and the angels will help me recover from this most bitter betrayal.


From the first page of this book I was sucked in. I had to sleep with it next to my head on my pillow and carry it around with me at all times. When I finished it, I wanted to read it all right from the start again. Her writing is brutal, ballsy, alluring and sharp.

Mary was the type of child who, at the age of nine, climbed up a tree and started shooting bbs at the family of a boy who insulted her. She would flip off her grade school teachers and tell other authority figures to, "Eat me raw," thinking it was just another way of saying, "Kiss my ass."

Yeah, so when you see your neighbors' children behaving like anarchist strippers on crack and you wonder if you should call child-protective services, you might want to read this book first, because its hilarious and tragic and the best damn thing I've read in a long time. And I'm not saying it should have any bearing on you making that call. That's between you and God. What I'm saying is Brutally sharp alluring balls, people, that's all I'm sayin'.


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 4th, 2007 11:12 am (UTC)
liars club
So you liked it huh? Reminds me a bit of some girls I know.
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC)
Re: liars club
I've never known girls this ballsy.
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:09 pm (UTC)
What do you mean something good has come out of Texas "after all"? Have you ever been here?
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
Texas Ate my Sister
Yes. Four or five times. My sister moved there and died there. I hold a grudge against Texas taking her away from me.
Aug. 4th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
Jesus, honey, I'm so sorry.
Aug. 4th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
I'm always taking cheap shots at Texas. Sorry if I offended you.
Aug. 4th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
Not at all. You have feelings and you came by them honestly.

I thought you were being uppity left coaster for a second, but I reckon you can feel however you damn well please.
Aug. 4th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
I hope this comment conveys what I meant: A heartfelt sadness for you and your loss.
Aug. 5th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
Yes, thank you.
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)
And yes, it's a great book, one of my favorites. I read it several years ago.
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
Have you read Cherry, the follow-up memoir of her adolescence? I read that she's working on yet another memoir, (of her "adulthood") called Lit.
Aug. 4th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
I have indeed. She is too brilliant.
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:13 pm (UTC)
Hot damn, that's as glowing of a review as I've read in a long time. It's been added and moved to the top of the list, thanks.

One of my favorite memoirs is Too Close to the Falls, by Catherine Gildiner. A great read, to be sure.
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:18 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I remember you mentioning this one before. I'll add it to my list, too. Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the link to her thoughts on Frey. I'm so glad she didn't defend him.

My boyfriend has Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and has been trying to get me to read it for quite some time. It's on my list and has now been moved up a little closer to the top because you recommend it, too.
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
I was reading the blog on his website and stopped. :p He had fun facts about Los Angeles and I thought they were interesting, but then figured he probably just made them all up.
Aug. 4th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the review -- I'll have to read it. We've had that book for a long time & I've never cracked it open. (We buy interesting looking books and then stick them in a pile... for some future day when we have time, I guess.) Sounds like a great read.
Aug. 4th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
I just put it on hold at the library. And the next crazy little hellion I see, I will tell "you're going to be a poet when you grow up." And then I'll run.

She sounds like Scout, but more so.
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Yes! That's funny. Refresh my memory, who's Scout?
Aug. 5th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)
to kill a mockingbird and she is like scout only MORE and kinda like frankie in member of the wedding
Aug. 5th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, that Scout, of course! Haven't read Member of the Wedding.
Aug. 5th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
chiclets, you must read everything by Carson McCullers. search her out in used bookstores which i understand yr town has many.
Aug. 5th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I will.
Aug. 4th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
Ordering it now :)

Cuz if i don't...I kinda feel like you might kick my ass!!
Plus I need more books...don't we all? :)
Aug. 5th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Well, I won't kick your ass, but Mary Karr might. ;P
Aug. 5th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
can i borrow it?!
Aug. 5th, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC)
Yes you can.
Nov. 22nd, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)

I saw your comment over at Doug Lain, and then was browsing your sight to come upon the Mary Karr review. This is the second time today I've come across this book, totally randomly, so because I love sychronicity I figured I ought to add you to my friend's list. I'm looking forward to reading your journal.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )