Narrated by the author.Challenge: TOB Nonfiction May Genre: Memoir Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible
MOTIVATION for READING: I had heard this one was quite funny. I like funny.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Can I just say that this book is so much more than any synopsis can attempt to share? let’s see what the goodreads blurb has to say:
The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, the poet dubbed “The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas” by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange koans and warnings of impending danger. Above all, there was her gun-toting, guitar-riffing, frequently semi-naked father, who underwent a religious conversion on a submarine and discovered a loophole which saw him approved for the Catholic priesthood by the future Pope Benedict XVI – despite already having a wife and children.
When the expense of a medical procedure forces the 30-year-old Patricia to move back in with her parents, husband in tow, she must learn to live again with her family’s simmering madness, and to reckon with the dark side of a childhood spent in the bosom of the Catholic Church. Told with the comic sensibility of a brasher, bluer Waugh or Wodehouse, this is at the same time a lyrical and affecting story of how, having ventured into the underworld, we can emerge with our levity and our sense of justice intact.
Ok, maybe it does. Or maybe you have to READ THIS BOOK and then realize how much you really were forewarned but didn’t quite expect until after. Does that make any sense to anyone?
First, I admit that I was instantly struck with a “Yes-I-Want-To-Read-This-Please” thought when I saw she was from Kansas. I have a big soft spot in my heart for the state of Kansas.
Two, even though I’m not Catholic (I’m Lutheran by upbringing), most if not all of my friends growing up WERE Catholic. SO I *know* enough about that religion to have an understanding – especially in comparison to Lutheranism. Yea, whatever.
Third, I had to find out a few things that struck me odd about this blurb. Um, a priest who is ‘frequently semi-naked’? And… they let her (or disallowed – which could it be?) to put that in a book!? I’m still rather shocked. Did any of his parishioners READ this book!? yikes.
WHAT’s GOOD: Remember when I said, “this book is so much more”? I fell into the author’s words like a feather into a down pillow. I agree very much with the bit in the blurb that describes this as “a lyrical and affecting story”.
This would be an interesting story to contrast with Educated, for father analysis.
What’s NOT so good: My midwestern mild-mannered sensibilities were quite offended. No, not offended… What IS the word? I just can’t believe she put this stuff into words and published it! I am so much more private, I suppose. Yikes!! It’s been enough time away that I can’t even remember the particulars but I remember the shock and awe.
Reminded me of the question in The Animators about using other people in our art.
And… I have to admit that I didn’t think this book was for me at the beginning. The author narrates and this can always be risky. It took me one or two hours to adjust to the tone and what I interpreted as snark in her voice. But I’m glad I stuck with it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I love that the LOVE in this family is evident. They may not get along but they love fiercely anyway. That is my impression. What a contrast to Idaho, hmmm?
My favorite story – laugh out loud funny – was the one about Patricia and her mother checking into a Hilton Hotel and there was cum on the sheets. I kid you not. OMG.
RATING: Five slices of pie.
It is always tough to catch pie references while listening to an audiobook but I do have these notes to share:
Lots of pie. In the Intro, even. In Ch 2, she mentions working in a diner and the owner looks like he wants to smash pies into faces. Also, a mention that Mrs. Ford got eye surgery and can now read her pie recipes.