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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Like Stepping into Someone Else's Life
Karr must be the bravest writer I have ever encountered. Most people would be far too embarrassed to reveal certain family and personal details... Karr brings them all out alongside the more public kinds of stories she might tell.
To read her words is to step into another's life. I think it is fair to say that all of us have stories we keep secret until the...
Veröffentlicht am 1. Juli 2000 von Renee Thorpe

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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Too many "pissed off"s, "s***s," and "f***s"
Mary Karr has a story here begging to be told. She does know how to structure an anecdote and doesn't seem restricted by a need to literally reconstruct what happened. But in addition to a self-help confessional, a reader is entitled to some artistry which in this case should have included appropriate language. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family myself, I...
Am 12. Oktober 1999 veröffentlicht


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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Too many "pissed off"s, "s***s," and "f***s", 12. Oktober 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
Mary Karr has a story here begging to be told. She does know how to structure an anecdote and doesn't seem restricted by a need to literally reconstruct what happened. But in addition to a self-help confessional, a reader is entitled to some artistry which in this case should have included appropriate language. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family myself, I know the language used by poor white trash just as Mary Karr does. But I do not agree that people who are angry, irritated, irate, or upset should always be depicted as "pissed off." Surely a good writer ought to have a more extensive vocabulary to bring to bear on true emotion, and a good editor ought to help that writer realize something more elevated than what we have here. This is essentially wallowing in low-class, trashy behavior, a type of infantile fecal-smearing act meant to attract attention. This reader hopes that re-telling this story helped the author to come to grips with it; the presentation offered little more than repulsion to this reader. The book doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as "Angela's Ashes."
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Like Stepping into Someone Else's Life, 1. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
Karr must be the bravest writer I have ever encountered. Most people would be far too embarrassed to reveal certain family and personal details... Karr brings them all out alongside the more public kinds of stories she might tell.
To read her words is to step into another's life. I think it is fair to say that all of us have stories we keep secret until the grave, and we also have the stories that we happily tell over and over again. One gets the impression that Karr is really telling everything, just to give an accurate account of her unique childhood. As a reader, I felt privileged to be allowed into Karr's life story. Not unlike being in a club of sorts. This sense of collusion is a strong thread in the book, and makes me ponder the power of the word, of secrets, and of writing.
To read the book is to be faced with unpleasant and heart-wrenching details, but there are lovely little touches on every page... her descriptions of other children are especially good. Karr is a very fine writer, and there is a lot of warmth and wonder throughout the text.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great, even if you don't like memoirs, 17. Dezember 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
A friend gave me this book, saying she had liked it but wasn't crazy about confessional memoirs.
The Liar's Club may fit that description, but don't be put off, because it's absolutely fantastic. Mary Karr's writing routinely verges on prose-poetry and is, despite its dark subject matter, funny enough to make you laugh out loud. Then, once you're laughing, she turns around and hits you with something so brutal that you're caught up short.
I did find myself wondering, as I'm sure others have, whether some embroidery may have been involved in the author's crystal-clear recollections of events long past. She appears to have kept copious journals, but still, you wonder how anyone could have gotten so much detail down with such precision, especially as a child.
Then again, maybe she's a hyper-sensitive person with a photographic memory. Ultimately I didn't care if parts of it were embellished a bit. She's such a good writer that if this depiction of events captures the truth of her childhood, more power to her. My main reaction was a weirdly worshipful desire to locate Ms. Karr and make her tell me more stories, the ones that didn't make it into this book. (Actually, I'd be surprised if this has not happened to her.)
This book pulls you in. It's funny, poignant, shocking, memorable. I give it five richly deserved stars.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen One True Thing in the Liar's Club by Mary Karr, 18. November 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
"I never knew despair could lie." (p. 320). Truth comes in waves in Mary Karr's The Liar's Club. Like the clouds of locusts, the hurricanes, the barren western Texas landscape and its enormously vast skyline, truth is ladeled out in blasts of wind, the crank of oil rigs, the smell of DDT, and generous scoops of Easy Perm. The title of this book is not only ironic, but visionary because the force of resistance to the truth is palpable in the lives of the people who forge their own survival in reaction to it. Truth touches them everywhere, but they don't want to feel it or to see it. It reaches out to them and they avoid it. It comes to them in the dark and gropes for them, stumbling over trash cans and littered yards. Only the oddball memories of a child are able to fuse together a tunnel of meaning at the end of which we can gather the hazy, purplish light of truth. The reigning conceit is that despair never lies. If that is true, then this book is a testimony to science. Despair litters the pages of Karr's work. It empties itself into every nook and cranny of her childhood. Her mother's case of Nervous is euphemistic and foreshadows her impending psychotic episode with fire and lipstick. Self-loathing seems to be a theme for this family, so that her mother's truth is, finally, an attempt to "scrub herself out" in every mirror of the house (p. 149). Her father's truth is no less ironic. The stories he telles are stories that make misery and cruelty sound funny. It is his way of not allowing himself to feel victimized by his circumstances or the course of his life. His truth is not to let life make you feel like a victim and he teaches that skill to his daughter so that she, too, will have the tools to survive the blasts of other people's craziness. He wasn't naive about life, but he tried to be prepared. He was reliable and even though "no technical truth" was ever told in his stories at the Liar's Club, "he knew how to be believed." (p. 14,15). The truth of knowing how to be believed is--when it comes to dealing with despair--more accurate than the facts themselves. Despair and misery are the theme of this book. They are what constitute its "truth," if that is what you are looking for. More than truth in any abstract or even statistical sense, this book tells the story of surviving human suffering and weakness. It's a guidebook for people who think they have lost their way in life and to their surprise, realize that every detour, every account of misery and pain, leads somewhere. The fact that despair does indeed lie is the truth at the core of Karr's piece. Knowing when to trust hope and when not to; knowing when to trust or believe the despair you feel and experience, and when not to is the great "truth" of this book. She shatters our ideology that misery is more honest than hope. Her truth is that believing in despair may unnecessarily create lunatics. by Randi Quanbeck
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5.0 von 5 Sternen "Exposing the lies", 13. Dezember 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
"The Liars Club" is one of the most touching and simultaneously disturbing books I've read in quite awhile. In an unforgettable series of memoirs, Mary Karr has succeeded in retelling the astonishing events of her past in an earnest, heartfelt manner. Through her thorough recount, she is able to deliver a compassionate, and at times alarming, description of what it's like to love and be loved, to lie and be lied to. Mary Karr's voice shines as she describes her childhood from the witty, honest view of a young girl. Virtually all of her enthralling recollections are immersed in a unique humor that makes this book hilarious in a backwards way: "Your mother's threat of homicide--however unlikely she tries to make it sound--will flat dampen down your spirits." By using the fiery, blunt style Mary Karr has chosen as her own, she is able to throw the reader into her memories with great intensity: "Mother is reaching over for the steering wheel, locking onto it with her knuckles tight. The car jumps to the side and skips up onto the sidewalk. She's trying to take us over the edge." It's these two driving forces, humor and sharp honesty, that keep the reader from putting this book down. "The Liars' Club" is a poignant story of an ordinary child living in an extraordinary world. Mary Karr's witty commentary and intimate analysis of such a remarkable life make this book a very worthwhile read. Her compelling story should be considered as reading material for anyone striving to understand the value of his or her childhood.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Karr's childhood evokes horror, laughter and wisdom, 7. August 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
If Scout Finch, the spunky heroine of To Kill a Mockingbird, had been raised by a pack of dysfunctionals, her childhood might have resembled that of Mary Karr's. Karr's matter of fact recounting of a life that no child should have to remember alternately shocks and amuses. It brought back some harrowing memories of my own childhood. Karr is to be commended for looking upon her parents' problems, which range from the idiosyncratic to the truly frightening, with empathy, humor and compassion. Her older, protective sister's story would also be worth hearing. I was chilled at times by the quasi-adulthood forced upon the older sister, and touched by her caretaking of younger sister Mary. The "adult fights" these two sisters share now, with one screaming "You were always so F-----ing cute!" And the other shooting back, "Well, you were always so F----ing competent!" resonates with the truth of the complicated, multi-layered relationships that most siblings share. That these two siblings seem to have survived this childhood at all, much less that one has written about it so well, is truly a miracle. At the end of this book I wanted to call up Mary Karr and congratulate her, weep with her, and put my arms around her
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Karr's childhood evokes horror, laughter and wisdom, 7. August 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
If Scout Finch, the spunky heroine of To Kill a Mockingbird, had been raised by a pack of dysfunctionals, her childhood might have resembled that of Mary Karr's. Karr's matter of fact recounting of a life that no child should have to remember alternately shocks and amuses. It brought back some harrowing memories of my own childhood. Karr is to be commended for looking upon her parents' problems, which range from the idiosyncratic to the truly frightening, with empathy, humor and compassion. Her older, protective sister's story would also be worth hearing. I was chilled at times by the quasi-adulthood forced upon the older sister, and touched by her caretaking of younger sister Mary. The "adult fights" these two sisters share now, with one screaming "You were always so F-----ing cute!" And the other shooting back, "Well, you were always so F----ing competent!" resonates with the truth of the complicated, multi-layered relationships that most siblings share. That these two siblings seem to have survived this childhood at all, much less that one has written about it so well, is truly a miracle. At the end of this book I wanted to call up Mary Karr and congratulate her, weep with her, and put my arms around her
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Like a Picture From an Old Life Magazine, 11. Januar 1998
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
Mary Karr has nailed the language, smell, taste, sounds, colors and feelings of a childhood in Texas and Colorado in the 60's and 70's. She tells us the story that only a child raised on adrenalin can tell - one of humor, fear and alert, honest observation. Her memories are sharp and clear and exactly what a child would have chosen to note. This is the painfully honest and extrordinarily funny (as only the truth can be) story of two little girls trying to raise their alcoholic parents and the pasts that led the parents to that point. What is so wonderful about this memoir is that, in spite of the tribulations these little girls go through, their love for their parents and their willingness to protect them surpasses all other emotions. If for no other reason, read this book for the language. I've heard people say that it's exaggerated or embellished for this book. I can tell you that she must have a memory like a steel trap because she brought back words and sayings from my childhood that I had long forgotten. If you are only going to read one memoir this year, forget "Angela's Ashes", forget "The Color of Water". They both pale in comparison to "The Liar's Club".
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Good, Not Great, 27. April 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
Although I think Mary Karr is an exceptional writer (the prose flows), the content of this book did not affect me the way it seems to have affected many others. Perhaps because I grew up in an ethnic Northeast world, the wild Texas characters just seemed downright crazy to me and I couldn't identify with them at all. And believe me, my family is no stranger to alcoholism, but it was never flaunted the way it was in this book - I guess our family problems are simply swept under the rug a little bit more!
Although most people who read this book seem to have given it a "10", I absolutely enjoyed "Angela's Ashes" and "the Color of Water" much, much more. Again, the stories seemed more realistic and interesting to me. Just one girl's opinion!

I would like to add that, like Frank McCourt, the fact that Mary Karr could grow up to be a best-selling author after a childhood like that gives you faith in the resiliancy of the human spirit.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful use of imagery and perspective., 1. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Liars' Club: A Memoir (Taschenbuch)
Mary Karr deftly utilizes imagery and perspective to create an interesting piece of literature. As she drifts through her memories of a dysfunctional childhood in East Texas and Colorado, Karr often paints very vivid pictures that are almost poetic, describing many situations she encountered in fine detail. These intense images allow readers to feel like they are there, living vicariously through the words. Also, the perspective adds to the imagery. Each incident is remembered very clearly, as a child can be very observant, yet the incidents are described with a poet's precision, utilizing the perfect words for each description, as only a mature and well-read adult is capable. The language constructs universality that will instantly hook and draw any reader in. I strongly recommend this book, if only to admire the skillful use of words.
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