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Anagrams by Lorrie Moore

Anagrams (1986)

by Lorrie Moore

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I had some mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed certain elements and thought other parts fell flat.

See my full review on our blog:

www.thereadersroom.org ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
Clever - sometimes overly so - "collection" of viewpoints from a lonely woman re-imagining her life in multiple ways... It's an interesting concept but it makes it hard to relate to the characters ("are they real? are they not real? why should I care?") and means the book sometimes feels bitsy. That said, she can write really well, and some of her observations of humour behaviour are so precisely articulated and bang on the money that I laughed out loud with delight. ( )
  AmberMcWilliams | Sep 16, 2015 |
This novel read like a collection of what it would be like to have all your parallel lives written down so you could study them. Equally tragic and comedic.

One of the best lines early in the book - Benna was a woman who knew when she was ovulating by the dreams she'd have of running through corridors to catch trains; she was also a woman who said she had no desire to have children. "I watched my friend Eleanor give birth," she said. "Once you've seen a child born you realize a baby's not much more than a reconstituted ham and cheese sandwich. Just a little anagram of you and what you've been eating for nine months." ( )
  viviennestrauss | Aug 30, 2015 |
Innovative and clever, great title, but I really didn't like "The Nun of That," which took up most of the book's length. The imaginary daughter (and friend) and the pointlessness bothered me. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 4, 2014 |
I struggled with this book a lot. The beginning was good but then around the middle it got really confusing to me. What was real, what wasn't? I'm still confused, actually, about when Gerard was her teaching assistant? I don't know. But, in the end it really all paid off for me. At first I gave it 3 stars, then it crept up to 4, and now I'm putting it at 5 because it just keeps growing in my mind, even several days later. I do think the beginning and middle parts function more/better as short stories, but the end section is really worth the confusion you feel trying to connect the beginning.

Also, I really love reading things that play with language. ( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
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Gerard Maines lived across the hall from a woman named Benna, who four minutes into any conversation always managed to say the word penis.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307277283, Paperback)

Gerard sits, fully clothed, in his empty bathtub and pines for Benna. Neighbors in the same apartment building, they share a wall and Gerard listens for the sound of her toilet flushing. Gerard loves Benna. And then Benna loves Gerard. She listens to him play piano, she teaches poetry and sings at nightclubs. As their relationships ebbs and flows, through reality and imagination, Lorrie Moore paints a captivating, innovative portrait of men and women in love and not in love. The first novel from a master of contemporary American fiction, Anagrams is a revelatory tale of love gained and lost.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Benna Carpenter is an art history professor who wears glass jewelry, sings in local nightclubs, chain-smokes, runs an aerobics class for the elderly, teaches poetry, and has an adorable and devoted six-year-old daughter. Yet Benna is disillusioned, cynical and bitter. With brilliant imagination and wit, this extraordinary novel explores Benna's world of misheard exit lines, love gained and lost truths almost told, and fragile and desperate hope.… (more)

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