A profound comic novel cum love story in which a troubled young man attempts to fake a one-hundred-year-old woman's memoir in a single frantic night, and fails--meaningfully
[okay calm down time now is 29-Aug 9:45 pm 45 years done in 6 hrs 8.2 years per hour. 55 years left/so ahead of sched; a way to explain why what happened happened and thereby getting self off hook. don't forget are genius, but NO NAPPING.]
From the moment you meet our heroine as she recalls her rural childhood and struggles with the world around her, you know something is amiss. Just as you begin to suspect that the author of this "memoir" knows A) next to nothing about rural England at the turn of the century, and B) nothing at all about women, you discover the root cause of the heroine's difficulties is that this "memoir" is actually being improvised at breakneck speed by a young man named Bruno Maddox in a single night. Typing frantically, Bruno struggles to keep his narrative sounding plausible, but as dawn approaches and exhaustion takes hold he is forced to confront the obvious: that his threadbare, TV-taught understanding of world history is entirely to blame for the debilitating holes in his personality. A novel that begins like a turn of the century Judy Blume coming-of-age story turns into a harrowing, brutal satire of the New York media scene, a candid generational cri de coeur, a murder mystery, and, in fact, a love story.
How this young man found himself in such a ludicrous predicament, why he's so desperate to finish before morning, who has put him up to this challenge, and why he undertakes it, are just some of the ingenious surprises in this hugely entertaining, brilliantly conceived satire.
- New York Times Notable Books of the Year
In his first novel, Maddox, a former Spy magazine editor, concocts a hilariously off-the-wall satire of the memoir. The book tells the story of a young man, coincidentally named Bruno Maddox, who's taken it upon himself to recount the life story of an unnamed woman who was born on January 1, 1900. The brilliantly funny spoof begins as a classic chronicle of a long life, flush with the standard 20th-century memoir elements of war-torn England, 1920s Paris and suburban 1950s America. Bruno succeeds in presenting a merry little memoir (though he does include a few telling details that indicate that he is fabricating much of the woman's life): his unnamed protagonist discovers that she's prettier and more articulate than the other girls in her English village, moves to Paris (where she snorts cocaine with Henry Miller) and becomes a tea server at a military research facility during WWII. At this point, though, Bruno, who's crazily racing to finish the book, abruptly changes format and flashes forward to the end of her life. Now she's a decrepit old woman living in New York's Chinatown, composing a diary full of anecdotes of her glorious past and her caretaker is none other than a lovesick, aspiring writer named Bruno Maddox. Maddox's writing is purposely uppity, but the kitschy, honest overtones communicate a very witty take on love and life.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
March 25, 2002
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.