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Too many "pissed off"s, "s***s," and "f***s"
am 12. Oktober 1999
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."