10 June 2010

Clueless in the NYTBR

Find myself mildly annoyed by Jay McInerney's Sunday review of Ann Beattie's latest novel, Walks with Men.  The book, which I have not read yet, is apparently a coming-of-age-and-beyond story of a young woman who attaches herself to an older, prosperous man who promises to teach her things about men (secret things, things she needs to know), if only she promises not to attribute to him what she has learned. She leaves him when she learns he is married, and then marries him herself. 

My annoyance is that McInerney faults the book for insufficiently explaining why an intelligent, attractive young woman would stay with such a man:
...the maddening thing is that the narrator begins to see through her Henry Higgins early on, and is certainly wised-up to him as her narrating older self, and yet still allows herself to be Svengalied.

Could he be more clueless? You'd have to look long and hard for a Galatea who does not see through her Pygmalion.

They should have had a woman write the review.

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