Bad Behavior, Good Writing

Bad BehaviorBad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bad Behavior, Good Writing

A review by Christopher R. Craddock of
Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill

By the 3rd story in Mary Gaitskill’s collection, Bad Behavior, I had formed this opinion: There is good detail & analysis but the people are not so great. Perhaps more interesting than ‘normals.’ One guy is a real loser but he likes opera. So that is a mitigating factor. In the 3rd story a married veterinarian is seeing a hooker, falling for her, but she is trying to throw water on his fire. She is smart & nice. He is not such a bad guy but deluded about how pros feel about johns. Sad.

A little later there is an interesting but depressing story about a friendship, or frenemy-ship, more like. 2 women, both trying to make it as respectively an actor & an artist–the narrator likes/hates the aspiring actress, who also has a string of bad boyfriends. She sees a homeless woman & thinks it is her friend, but it isn’t. That’s how she thinks of her. Constance & Alice are two women in New York who were friends but Connie felt betrayed by Alice. Then she sees her at a party later & Alice wants to connect & gives her phone #. Not much really happens, but it is really interesting because of the depth of the analysis. It is really clear & concise prose. I think it is maybe a level beyond the bildungsroman, as far as self awareness goes.

The last story is called Heaven. Virginia lived in Florida as a child, but her older sister, Anne, lives in Newark, New Jersey, & a niece goes to stay with her. Don’t know where this story is going but I’m rooting for Anne, who is dull and stable but reads a lot of books. Virginia and Beth (starts w/ B but not 100% sure) are 2 younger sisters who are tall & blonde.

In summary: this book was good.

© 2016 Christopher R. Craddock

Notes I compiled while reading:

“I have read two stories & am on the third. There is good detail & analysis but the people are not so great. Perhaps more interesting than normals. One guy a real loser but he likes opera. Story I am reading now, a married veterinarian is seeing a hooker, falling for her, but she is trying to throw water on his fire. She is smart & nice. He is not such a bad guy but deluded about how pros feel about johns. Sad.”
03/23 page 125
“The last one was interesting but depressing. It was about a friendship, or frenemy-ship, more like. 2 women, both trying to make it as respectively an actor & an artist, the narrator likes/hates the aspiring actress, who also has a string of bad boyfriends. She sees a homeless woman & thinks it is her friend, but it isn’t. That’s how she thinks of her. The one I am reading now has a hooker who likes a john: Bernard.”
03/25 page 151
“The was a story about Constance & Alice who were two women in New York who were friends but Connie felt betrayed by Alice. Then she sees her at a party later & Alice wants to connect & gives her phone #. Not much really happens, but it is really interesting because of the depth of the analysis. It is really clear & concise prose. I think it is maybe a level beyond the bildungsroman, as far as self awareness goes.”
03/25 page 175
“I am on the last story called Heaven. There is a character named Virginia that lives in Florida as a child, but her older sister, Anne, lives in Newark, New Jersey, & a niece goes to stay with her. Don’t know where this story is going but I’m rooting for Anne, who is dull and stable but reads a lot of books. Virginia and Beth (starts w/ B but not 100% sure) are 2 younger sisters who are tall & blonde.”
03/29 page 202
“This book was good. I am finished but not ready to write my book report just yet.”

View all my reviews

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