Monday, May 16, 2005

Roseanne Barr

So I read a book that was later made into a Roseanne Barr movie. (Was there more than one Roseanne Barr movie?) The movie was She-Devil, and the book was called The Life and Loves of a She-Devil. By Fay Weldon.

I try not to be too much of a Polyanna, and I have appreciated some pretty grim books in my time. But I didn't like The Epicure's Lament, our last book club selection. That was because you couldn't like the main character, and you couldn't see the world without him. He was an unreliable narrator, but not as funny or smart as he thought he was, and the author didn't let us work around him at all.

Anyway, there is no one in She-Devil whom you care about. There's a clear protagonist--the wronged wife out for revenge. Normally, I'd love to be on her side. But she is not a very nice person, does not learn anything, is not redeemed by any positive traits. Being put-upon is not a positive trait.

And no one else she encounters in her long journey has any kind of wisdom, or dignity, or integrity. All the men want to have sex with her--most do. All the women are dim, pointless, reproduction and/or sex machines.

She-Devil and Epicure share this: both are trying to make me feel that the human race is pretty worthless. I've felt this way before: I used to have a list of things that make me ashamed to be a part of the human race (#1 on that list was that commercial for I Can't Belive It's Not Butter, the spray that starred Fabio. That convergence of elements was too much for me). I wouldn't put these books on that list, but I can say that they don't make me happier about humanity.

Not like French Martinis.

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