It's remarkable that we've been doing this feature for over a year, and are only now cracking the weathered covers of Christina Crawford's masterpiece. When I say "weathered," I mean it: my copy is from 1980 and informs us that said book is "SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOVIE STARRING ANNE BANCROFT AS JOAN CRAWFORD." Some of you may have missed it, so let's review:
"…ANNE BANCROFT AS JOAN CRAWFORD."
What a world that would have been, no? Setting aside the question of how Ms. Bancroft would have tackled the role, can we address the hypothetical arc of Faye Dunaway's career had she never hacked up a rose [...]
We don't usually tell you that reading a particular "Classic Trash" selection is mandatory, so let's take it slowly: "youuuuu mussssttttt reaaddddd thissss boookkkkk." Whew. Okay! Now we can talk about it.
Papillon is my jam. Papillon is the best. Papillon is the most fun. Papillon is the shit. Do you ever do that thing in a new relationship where you assign reading? NO, THE WORST, I KNOW, but you show up with a plastic bag containing four paperbacks and say: "You are not going to understand why I am this horrible, aggravating way unless you do the reading"? Does anyone else do that?
Well, I do that, and Papillon [...]
Oh, DAPHNE. Daphne. "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." THAT'S how you open a novel, guys! Right there. Make it count. What's Manderley? Why aren't you there now? Why are you telling me about it? We have so many questions, and we've barely used our old-timey paper knives to cut open the first few leaves. (Just kidding! This book is from the 1930s, the leaves were already cut for you. Which is good, really, because I don't even like to have to turn my Kindle on, and instead just leave it in sleep-mode all the time, you know?) No, the first chapter of the novel is not [...]
And here we come, at last, to the selection closest to my dark and twisty heart, Margaret Mitchell's hideous bitch-goddess of a novel, Gone With the Wind. It's awful! It's wonderful! It's Marlboro Reds. Apparently, in a 2008 poll, it clocked in at second place (behind The Bible) as the favorite book of the American people. If that doesn't explain your local news reports, what will?
I'd love to be able to say, as one does about C.S. Lewis, "oh, I didn't get the super-offensive subtext about how Muslims inadvertently worship a flaming devil-beast, even though Jesus will still consider taking them to heaven so long as they don't also [...]
Oh. Oh. WHAT could be more delightful? You've read it, of course. It's… oh, I can't even describe it. It's a delight. A melodramatic, delightful delight. Do you have a guest room? Put this next to the bed. Were you one of the many young people who became a classics major as a direct result of The Secret History? Put this next to your threadbare futon with the soy sauce stains on it. Donna Tartt: kicking ass and ruining lives since 1992.
Let's talk about that title. It's awful! And, obviously, I assumed that it was one of those situations in which the author has a totally boss title, and [...]
How in the world is it that I am just now reading Clan of the Cave Bear for the first time? Isn't that wild? I have so much to say about it I could burst. Let's get one thing straight: we have zero interest in the book's historical accuracy. As far as plot summary, let's just go with: "totally totally a legitimate description of a bangin' Cro-Magnon blonde successfully infiltrating a group of fugly Neanderthals and being all Katniss Everdeen connnnnnnstantly until the World's Worst Pre-Human boots her out because he's threatened by powerful women with the ability to verbalize their emotions." THAT OLD STORY, RIGHT?
Right. When I announced [...]
I know, I said we were doing Fear of Flying. I said! But, I'm gonna level with you, I figured it would wind up in an Unpleasant Internet Scuffle, because Erica Jong is more likely to get squiffy with me than Jackie Collins. She just is! And I'm a little gun-shy after the MacGyver Rage Incident. Also, whenever I think about Fear of Flying, I think about her husband always leaving skid marks in his underwear (or was it on the sheets? I think it was on her sheets), and, ew.
NOT THAT THERE ISN'T LOTS OF EW TO GO AROUND IN HOLLYWOOD WIVES, TOO. Let's get [...]