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Cherry by Mary Karr

Cherry (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Mary Karr

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1411310,917 (3.63)26
Authors:Mary Karr
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2001), Edition: 1st Thus., Paperback, 276 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:uglies, scott westerfeld

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Cherry by Mary Karr (Author) (2000)



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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Okay, I finished it but I'm not sure why I bothered. I'm not even sure what the point of the story was. The prologue seemed only loosely tied to the rest of the story, and the title character seemed aimless and uninteresting. The structure of the novel, much of which was annoyingly written in second person, did not intrigue.

Bookcrossing: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6744053/
  wareagle78 | Jan 22, 2014 |
Re-read in preparation for the upcoming release of LIT.

This second in Karr's series of memoirs covers her teen years in Texas, during which she wanders around stoned and poetical. She's about 10 years older than I am, and there is a lot of overlap in our respective memories. Her voice is pure and overcomes the at times awkward choice of second person narration. I do not become quite as immersed in this as I do in her earlier book, but I enjoy it mightily. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
This memoir was well written but I found the first couple chapters were hard to get my attention. I prefer when a book can catch my mind in the first chapter. I have read her other book and found that one to be much better. ( )
  askum | Oct 23, 2012 |
in my top 5 -- that's saying something! ( )
  EdenTyler | Aug 21, 2011 |
describing herself as a wild, smart and bored-to-bits teen in the seventies: a wild, smart and not at all boring book. it may help many a teen understand their parents, actually. good. ( )
  flydodofly | Jun 13, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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To Bob & Vanette, Mary Ellen & Patti,
and Donnie

And to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141002077, Paperback)

As a girl idling her way through long, toxically boring summer afternoons in Leechfield, Texas, Mary Karr dreamed up an unusual career for herself, "to write one-half poetry and one-half autobiography." She has since done both, and even when she's recounting a dirty joke, she can't help but employ a poet's precise and musical vision. Her first memoir, The Liar's Club, was as searing a chronicle of family life as can be imagined--tough, funny, and crackling with sorrow and wit. Against all odds, its sequel doesn't disappoint. Cherry finds the teenage Mary still marooned in a family whose behavior ranges from charmingly eccentric to dangerously crazy. (This, for instance, is the Karr version of a note from home: "Lecia Karr's leprosy kicked in, and I had to wrap her limbs in balm and hyssop. Please excuse her.") But here the focus has shifted to Mary herself, furiously engaged in pissing off authority at every turn: flouting the dress code, dropping acid, running from the cops, falling in love.

First love, you may say, heart sinking in chest: what more can possibly be said about such a subject? Actually, a great deal. To read Cherry is to realize how rare it is to find a teenage girl portrayed on her own terms. As a chronicle of female adolescence with all its longings, fantasies, cruelties, and fears, Karr's memoir goes darker and deeper than any book in which the protagonist doesn't end up dead. She turns a savage eye on her own hypocrisies and failings, and we like her all the more for them. We even end up fond of Leechfield, easily the toughest, smelliest, nastiest little burg ever to appear between the covers of a book--"a town too ugly not to love," her father called it in The Liar's Club. Growing up in such a place is necessarily about getting the hell out, but it's also about inventing a new identity with which to make your escape. That's the blessing Karr's wise friend Meredith bestows after a particularly harrowing (and harrowingly funny) acid trip: "I see big adventures for Mary. Big adventures, long roads, great oceans: same self." Cherry is the story of how Karr begins to acquire that self, however fumblingly--a big adventure for Mary, as it is for all of us, and one we never finish as long as we live. Perhaps that's the book's greatest pleasure of all: it hints there's more to come. --Mary Park

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

(see all 6 descriptions)

The author shares a candid look at her own sexual maturity growing up in a Texas town.

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.63)
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