bookboy's review of What She Saw in Roger Mancuso, Gunter Hopstock, Jason Barry Gold, Spitty Clark, Jack Geezo, Humphrey Fung, Claude Duvet, Bruce Bledstone, Kevin McFeeley, Arnold Allen, Pablo Miles, Anonymous 1-4, Nobody 5-8, Neil Schmertz, and Bo Pierce
Awful. Just plain awful.
by bookboy on June 19, 2007Soon after I read this book, I tossed it out along with my retro polyester pants and orange creepers. The concept of the novel is a clever one and it starts out as being cute and funny. Even as a gay male, I could identify with Phoebe and a lot of her unwise choices in men.
Then somewhere along the line, the book loses what little bit of charm it has and suddenly you're finding yourself not liking Phoebe that much. As each man revolves his way through her life, you begin to dislike her and her choices more and more. Some of the boyfriends listed aren't even boyfriends but rather fantasy characters, penpals and in the case of Arnold Allen (the only Black guy who stereotypically appears on her list) a criminal. By the end of the novel you're thinking that she deserves everything that has happened to her. Some guys aren't good enough, others are too good and why doesn't she have any friends? One word for you Phoebe: THERAPY!!
At first I thought this was going to be a Sheila Levine for the new millenium. Whereas Sheila's self-depreciating humor and poor choices in men endeared you to her, Phoebe's self depreciating humor had you hoping she would grab a bottle of sleeping pills and end it all. I guess Mrs. Rosenfeld is a fairly talented writer as she was able to evoke such dislike for her protagonist from me, but overall this novel went absolutely nowhere and was a complete waste of my time. I liked Bridget Jones better and that's a stretch. I wouldn't really recommend this to book anyone. If you can find a copy, check out Gail Parent's 'Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York'. Although it's well over thirty years old now, it still maintains a crisp, hip, cutting edge feel to it unsurpassed by many of the other writers writing in the same vein as What She Saw.
About the book
What She Saw in Roger Mancuso, Gunter Hopstock, Jason Barry Gold, Spitty Clark, Jack Geezo, Humphrey Fung, Claude Duvet, Bruce Bledstone, Kevin McFeeley, Arnold Allen, Pablo Miles, Anonymous 1-4, Nobody 5-8, Neil Schmertz, and Bo Pierce
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