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The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez
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The Last of Her Kind

by Sigrid Nunez

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A book so atrociously written that not even its intriguing premise could save it--it's a painful, overwritten example of stream-of-consciousness taken too far. Maybe if I were more interested in 60's politics I would have soldiered through. ( )
  aliceunderskies | Apr 1, 2013 |
A big sprawling mess of a novel. I was pretty resentful by the end, although fairly happy the first half. Even the best written parts need more scene though. ( )
  marsJ | Mar 31, 2013 |
A big sprawling mess of a novel. I was pretty resentful by the end, although fairly happy the first half. Even the best written parts need more scene though. ( )
  marsJ | Mar 31, 2013 |
Nunez is at her best describing the college years of two roommates in the 1960s. Different classes, annoying rich girl that's going to change the world, etc. I don't have much interest in this class in this period (done to death much?), so it's a wonder I got as far as I did. It says something about the quality of Nunez's writing.

But by the time of Ann's cop killing and the unbelievable defense and set-up, I gave up a full reading and just skipped to the end parts. Life is too short.

We're supposed to believe that in mid-1970s New York City, an inter-racial relationship between two school teachers would be so tension-inducing that seeing a pair of cops (there are only white cops in NYC, btw?) approach her black boyfriend ... it was a rational response for main character to pick up a nearby gun (hey, who doesn't have one in this period? in this neighborhood?) and pop off the cop. Otherwise, the cop naturally would have killed the guy.

Inter-racial relationships in 1970s New York City is something I can speak of with authority: nobody gave a damn. (All right, infrequently, mouthy black teenagers would tell the black half of a couple to stick to his/her own kind but whitish people? Uh puh-leez.) Maybe they did in the 1950s or 1960s, I don't know. Attitudes and times change quickly, especially in big cities.

The entire set-up with the cops was preposterous too. Sure, cops do brutal things when they're under a lot of pressure, when they can get away with it, at the end of a long scary night ... but, let's see, in the middle of a street in broad daylight--when a guy is just wobbling around on a motorbike? Ingrid, why not go out and talk with a few cops? Ride with them for a day (not even a night!). This is the kind of minor incident they confront a dozen times in a day, not the kind of encounter likely to provoke one to spew epithets. Remember, we're supposed to believe that Ann never lies.

This depiction reflected the narrowness of Nunez's knowledge and experiences.

Also, as another reviewer suggested, what's the purpose of Georgette's romance with Ann's father? Just too icky. ( )
  Periodista | Jun 27, 2011 |
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We had been living together for about a week when my roommate told me she had asked specifically to be paired with a girl from a world as different as possible from her own.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312425945, Paperback)

 
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year
 
Ann Drayton and Georgette George meet as freshmen roommates at Barnard College in 1968. Ann, who comes from a wealthy New England family, is brilliant and idealistic. Georgette, who comes from a bleak town in upstate New York, is mystified by Ann's romanticization of the underprivileged class, which Georgette herself is hoping college will enable her to escape. An intense and difficult friendship is born.
 
Years after a fight ends their friendship, Ann is convicted of a violent crime. As Georgette struggles to understand what has happened, she is led back to their shared history and to an examination of the revolutionary era in which the two women came of age. Only now does she discover how much her early encounter with this extraordinary, complicated woman has determined her own path in life, and why, after all this time, as she tells us, "I have never stopped thinking about her."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Two women meet as freshmen at Barnard College in 1968. Georgette George does not know what to make of her brilliant, idealistic roommate, Ann Drayton, and her obsessive disdain for the ruling class into which she was born. She is mortified by Ann's romanticization of the underprivileged class, which Georgette herself is hoping college will enable her to escape. After the violent fight that ends their friendship, Georgette wants only to forget Ann and to turn her attention to the troubled runaway kid sister who has reappeared after years on the road. Then, in 1976, Ann is convicted of murder. At first, Ann's fate appears to be the inevitable outcome of her belief in the moral imperative to "make justice" in a world where "there are no innocent white people." But, searching for answers to the riddle of this friend of her youth, Georgette finds more complicated and mysterious forces at work. As the novel's narrator, Georgette illuminates the terrifying life of this difficult, doomed woman, and in the process discovers how much their early encounter has determined her own path, and why, decades later, as she tells us, "I have never stopped thinking about her."--Publisher description.… (more)

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