Coming soon: a search engine for the archives! Whoopdy-doo!
However, Lindquist redeemed himself 100% in my eyes on page 209 when he mentions my ex-boyfriend and then has him get punched out by the roadie for the Murder City Devils. Now, I am a nice person and I still really care about my ex-bf a lot. But there is nevertheless something truly satisfying about having that down in print. I believe the sound I made when I read that paragraph could aptly be described as "a hoot." Followed by a good five minutes of hearty giggling (and then guilt later, I swear, Sean).
Anyway, so, yes, Lindquist could (and should) really have eased off just a bit on the "look at me! I'm part of the scene!" stuff. And I say this while being fully aware of the fact that the music in the book is absolutely necessary in every way, as it is a part of Pete and not Lindquist (though I wouldn't be surprised to find out this novel was more than semi-autobiographical). There's also a chance the excessive name-dropping was done on purpose -- to make Pete sound like a pathetic loser who is desperate to maintain some degree of coolness even though he's actually now a LAWYER. Cuz, that's definitely the effect it had. However, this is a very well-written and enjoyable novel. I read it in one day and I had a great time doing it. It's also pretty true stuff -- I know a lot of Petes myself, though they are all sort of in various Pete-Stages right now (some are rock stars, some keep trying to make it big, some just play in a band for fun while working a real job, and some have given it all up for a serious career and done a lot of regretting from time to time afterwards (I'm dating that Pete)). I hope they all get around to reading this (sooner than Pete gets around to Ford's "The Sportswriter"). However, as much like Pete as they may be, they differ in one very important-to-mention way. My Petes would never, never even MENTION "Pearl Jam" in the same sentence with "Nirvana." And if you asked them which they thought was the better band, they'd look at you like you'd just asked a question so completely stupid they can't possibly have heard you correctly. Pearl Jam. Gawd.
It was horrifying to watch her mind go through the changes -- one minute she's a happy kid munching on a cookie after school and the next minute, she's in the hospital weighing less than 50 pounds and thinking her thighs are fat. She even believes breathing in air that SMELLS like food is enough to gain weight and her desperation to avoid gaining a single ounce is just gut-wrenching. I have felt that fear and I felt it again when I read this (a sign of good writing, incidentally). But when people tell her to stop dieting, she doesn't understand why since everyone around her is dieting too. Her friends throw away their lunches, her mom eats a few bites of salad for dinner and then sneaks down to the kitchen for cookies later, etc. etc. etc. The only people eating normally are her brother and father, and they're both too oblivious to really see what's going on.
One of the scariest parts of this book for me was realizing how many things Lori did when in the throes of anorexia that I do or have done. It's a real wake-up call. I mean, how can I yell at Lori to EAT THE DAMN COOKIE! when I pick all the cheese off my pizza, keep a constant mental tally of the calories I've consumed today, and wouldn't eat a real bowl of ice cream if you paid me? The book really made me aware of the fact my own habits have the potential for really screwing up my kids (when I have some) and that kinda shook me up a bit.
Because, in fact, her parents are the ones who really turned Lori into the anorexic she became and they didn't even realize they were doing it. Her mother is not only a terrible influence on Lori's eating habits (Lori picked up a lot of her behaviors FROM her mother), but she's also self-centered and childish. She doesn't give a damn about her daughter -- she's just concerned that having a skeletal child will reflect poorly on her. I wanted to smack her. And her father, though obviously caring, didn't put two-and-two together and tell her the obvious -- YOU ARE THIN and YOUR MOTHER IS JUST CRAZY, IGNORE HER.
I went on my first diet in the third grade and it took me about 20 years
to realize I look great the way I am. People, we have GOT to do better
than that. I wish all parents of little girls would read this book.