Oct 10, 2022

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Lit audiobook

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Review #1

Lit audiobook free

Pages 54 and 55 in the paperback edition. This is not the first time a writer I might otherwise like and respect has seriously wounded by, no matter how they frame it, describing adults with intellectual disabilities as if they are freaks. A mere few examples:
“the bus disgorged them” .
“A flat faced woman with the severe and snaggled underbite of a bulldog stood introducing herself with a handshake before she sat.”
“She wore a brown beret flat atop her head like nothing so much as a cow pie.”
“And they were mushroom pale, as if they’d been grown underground. It’s a shocking thing to face all at once so many kecked-up, genetically disadvantaged humans. In a country that values power and ease and symmetry, velocity and cunning, kinks in their genetic code had robbed them of currency.” But in her writing Karr exacerbated that very problem! “Looking at her I felt smart all of a sudden, also lucky. You could talk these women out of their bus tokens. Still, glad I’d dodged the bullet they’d caught almost implicated me in their handicap. (At the time I saw only their difficulties. Now I also marvel that they could with verve hug an individual they’d just gotten off the bus with, and that total strangers shampooed Katie’s red hair and rubbed lotion on her freckled arms.) This is how she softens the mocking descriptions?This is what she admires? Those characteristics are potentially dangerous, not necessarily admirable, actually.
I was also not impressed with the patronizing “To say the women changed my life may be a stretch, but only just.” Nor was there any redemption in how well she reports they did with the poetry test/experiment Karr devises and what Karr gleaned from the results. That she did the test at all is, in and of itself, demeaning.
Were any racial or ethnic group described in an equivalent humorously derogatory fashion there would be understandable outrage. Karr’s words wound, deeply, and they harm those least able to defend themselves (along with those who dearly love somebody with an intellectual disability). The intellectually impaired are not fair game.
I have read “The Art of the Memoir” and seen youtube interviews with Karr and cannot reconcile that the same highly intelligent and otherwise thoughtful person wrote the above. I am open to, and hoping, that perhaps there is something I am missing.


Review #2

Lit audiobook streamming online

This book was TOO well written! It was kind of a chore to read, very thorough and clever sentences, spanned decades. I was more interested in the alcoholic part. The part was stuck out to me the most was when she was talking to a medical professional about her struggle with drinking and the med pro stated, “You’re like a pickle who wants to be a cucumber again. It’s impossible.” I really appreciate the author sharing all her private moments and shame. A recovering alcoholic writer friend recommended it to me. I saw Mary Karr speak in St Louis last month, she is delightful, crass, witty, awesome woman who has overcome great obstacles to be in a good place. A true survivor who worked hard to make good choices and stay on the right path.


Review #3

Audiobook Lit by Mary Karr

Lit is the second best in the memoir trilogy, with the Liar’s Club being the best. I think the author was understandably constrained by privacy concerns for her ex-husband and son, so she couldn’t really get into all the truthful details of her life.

It was important to see inside an alcoholic – how easily one can tumble into drinking a whole lot and how hard it is to come out. I don’t know if Mary was down-and-dirty honest about details of how bad she really was. If so, that’s OK; I wouldn’t be either. What happens inside AA has always seemed like a mystery to me, almost like a cult. I was unaware of the extent of the support a sponsor gives. And how challenging the sponsor can be. It’s kinda scary to have that much power.

Towards the end, when the author really lets her mother have it, and her mother understands, I felt the love between the two of them in a most real way. Mary Karr is at her best when she is real and it is her mother’s saving grace that she allows Mary to speak honestly without recrimination.

I am a retired teacher and I was always amazed at how talent just ups itself anyway in people who come from families that aren’t stable. Mary Karr has that kind of fearsome talent.


Review #4

Audio Lit narrated by Mary Karr

Enjoyed it overall. It was well written and touching. Much preferred the 2nd part though. Getting through the first part was a struggle and I nearly abandoned it as I found the long winded account of the author’s Mother’s escapades and behaviour boring and monotonous. It became interesting for me when I read about Karr’s personal experience of her struggles with her family and her addiction, followed by her recovery. The 2nd half had a lot more depth, and provided me with an insight I wouldn’t otherwise have had if I’d stopped after reading the first chapters. Am therefore glad I persevered.


Review #5

Free audio Lit – in the audio player below

Mary Karr is a very talented writer and, to begin with, I was thrilled to have found a new author to read. For the first two thirds of the book I was totally absorbed with the story of her difficult background and incompatible marriage, the highs and lows of motherhood and her descent into alcoholism. Unfortunately the final chapters of the book are a blow by blow account of her conversion to Catholicism, which I was not expecting and found cringeful in the extreme. I forced myself to read to the end as Id invested a lot of time in the book but there was a lot of eye rolling and general exasperation involved on my part. V. Disappointing 🙁


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