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31 Aug 2010

Him Her Him Again What This Title is Freaking Me Out.

Written by sally @ 7:55 pm — Section: sally

For my birthday a few weeks ago, Gorjus said, “Hey, let’s go to lunch and a movie!” But he said this at 12:30 the day we were supposed to have this adventure, and he knows that I die if I don’t eat lunch by 11:30. “You can buy me some full-price movie snacks, though!” I said. It turns out we made a detour to the Dollar Tree and loaded up my purse with Cokes and Kit-Kats and some grotesque gummy peach rings. I did manage to squeeze a popcorn out of him, although at first he wanted to share one big one but when I said, “Uh, you’re not going to want to put fake butter all over it, are you?” and he said, “Oh yeah, I plan to fuck it up,” we decided that separate popcorn tubs were best. After the movie,* we went to Barnes and Noble, where he said, “You can have anything you want! By that I mean you can have one thing.”

I chose Him Her Him Again The End of Him by Patricia Marx. Never heard of it, never heard of her. But the spine is a houndstooth print (ARE YOU READING THIS, BOOK MARKETING FRIEND?) and I thought the title was interesting. Also, there is a blurb on the front from Steve Martin. (If I wrote a book and Steve Martin had occasion to say loud enough so that someone wrote it down, “This is a horrible, horrible book. Don’t buy it. Don’t even check it out from the library. You will get cancer and die alone if you even think about this book for very long,” I would put that in big letters on the cover and just put my name really small, maybe on the back page or something.)

I will do you like the narrator does the reader and not describe anything about it; the narrator hates descriptions, which is a clever way of skipping a bunch of stuff while writing the book. But it is funny, and if you think the passage below is funny, you’ll like the book. Maybe! I don’t want to ruin whose funeral the passage concerns, so I took his or her name out.

“Time for the eulogies, I guess. There is a pretty young thing on the podium–let’s say we don’t imagine what her connection to [person] is. She is reading a poem by Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson or Auden or Keats or Byron or Kahlil Gibran or one of those guys. Maybe you don’t feel this way, but I think it is cheating to read a poem at a funeral. Do your homework or sit down is my motto. Anyway, the girl continues reading, slowly and deliberately in that poem-reading voice people use. Something, something, death, the winds that blow, death, death, sunlight, end o’er the road, heaven above, something, doth die, something something, [person] dead, but then I don’t listen anymore” (193).

Just a note: if the phrase “doth die” didn’t make you snort a little, you may not find this book funny. What about this? “The party after the show was at the new chic place, an innovative steak house called What’s at Steak. There was no steak on the menu. That was the innovation” (117). Yes? No?

*The movie was The Kids Are All Right, which is a story for another day. Another day when I want to get angry over really dumb details. In related news, the weekend after this, Larry and I went to see Inception, and people: it is sad when the sci-fi action movie is way better than the sensitive lesbian drama.

4 Responses to “Him Her Him Again What This Title is Freaking Me Out.”

  1. poobou said:

    That book sounds like it would annoy the crap out of me.

    I haven’t seen “The Kids Are All Right,” and I’m not sure if I want to (especially after reading your scathing not-really-a-review). But I thought “Inception” was great. So… Yeah.

  2. Jay said:

    Is that the Patricia Marx who writes those shopping-centric things in the New Yorker? Because those are pretty funny.

  3. bulb said:

    Yup. The New Yorker writer. That probably explains the Steve Martin blurb. That and the fact she was earlier a SNL writer, which might also explain the missing descriptions.

  4. Jay said:

    Release the hounds(tooth)!