HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
Loading...

The Liars' Club (1995)

by Mary Karr

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,621592,283 (3.75)98
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 98 mentions

English (56)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Although I picked this book for Bookclub, I really did not care for it.... ( )
  Swissmama | Apr 8, 2015 |
This is actually well-written, and I generally like memoirs like this- at least I used to. But this book just didn't grab me at all. I was fighting it for about 60 pages, and decided to stop- life's too short.
Someone recommended I read "Lit", a memoir of her later life, so I thought I'd read this one first so as to be chronologically appropriate, but I guess I'll never get to "Lit".
I give it 2 stars because I don't think it's a bad book- I'd pick it up again if I had nothing else- but it wasn't gripping enough. ( )
  DanTarlin | Feb 9, 2015 |
Reading the reviews of this book I see most praise it for the way it is written, for its ability to evoke local colloquialisms, for its exceptional character development (even though it is largely non-fiction), and as “wickedly funny.” It is this last description I take issue with. I didn’t find it funny at all, in fact I found it thoroughly unpleasant.

I’m not usually one to wallow in the dysfunction of others, particularly when it has no resonance for my own life. While I do agree with the humorous observation that the definition of a dysfunctional family is any family with more than one member, I don’t find experiencing that dysfunction at all enjoyable. The only reason I read it is because it was next on my list of books to read. It didn’t really make me want to read the sequel, or to see the movie that is in production.

This work is an autobiographical-”ish” description of the childhood of the author, Mary Karr. As we move from one unpleasant event to another we are introduced to her alcoholic parents – a loving but sometimes inattentive father, an oversexed, mentally ill mother, a controlling, somewhat bossy sister – and other supporting characters. The whole work is beautifully written, really well organized in a sort of linear, non-linear way (best way I can describe it), and in fact, I agree with most of the praise it is getting…except that I did not find it funny, or enjoyable.

My skeptic-alarm went off in a few instances while I was reading this. First, the author is recounting events that occurred when she was a small child. While she does note places where her memory is not exact, she remembered an awful lot of detail for being an 8 year old kid…hyper resolved descriptions of scenes, and verbatim descriptions of conversations. I certainly don’t have that kind of recall. I’m not saying the author is deliberately making things up, but I can’t help but believe there is some exaggerating going on. Second, with the exception of a couple of vignettes she seems to go out of her way to gloss over anything pleasant or uplifting that might have happened to her. And those instances where she did you just knew it was a prelude to something horrific.

I can see why writing this book would be cathartic for Mary Karr, and I can see why it would be popular with those that might have had some of the same experiences, which I think probably accounts for its popularity. As a work of literature it deserves the praise it received. Since my life resembles nothing like what she experienced I mainly found it an unpleasant trip through the dysfunction of another family. ( )
  mybucketlistofbooks | Jan 10, 2015 |
Well written but depressing as hell! The confluence of her parents' vastly different worlds sparked a tension and conflict of mammoth proportions. That their world endured, however chaotically, was surprising. That Mary Karr evolved from that world without sociopathic tendencies is astonishing. If I read that Karr had a complete, total breakdown, I would not be surprised in the least. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
I had a mental block against reading The Liars' Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr (1995) since 1995 was right in the heart of my time working at Barnes and Noble and The Liars' Club was a runaway best seller. Anything that was a best seller in the late-1990s makes me wary after all the time I spent sticking on and taking off 30% and 20% off stickers and restocking the shelves at the front of the store. My DAFFODILS book club, however, decided to read something from the 1990s and when this was was suggested, the nearly 20 years since I had to deal with those discount stickers disappeared and I finally felt ready to dive in.

[full review here: http://spacebeer.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-liars-club-memoir-by-mary-karr-1995.ht... ] ( )
  kristykay22 | Sep 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
My sharpest memory is of a single instant surrounded by dark.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143035746, Paperback)

In this funny, razor-edged memoir, Mary Karr, a prize-winning poet and critic, looks back at her upbringing in a swampy East Texas refinery town with a volatile, defiantly loving family. She recalls her painter mother, seven times married, whose outlaw spirit could tip into psychosis; a fist-swinging father who spun tales with his cronies--dubbed the Liars' Club; and a neighborhood rape when she was eight. An inheritance was squandered, endless bottles emptied, and guns leveled at the deserving and undeserving. With a raw authenticity stripped of self-pity and a poet's eye for the lyrical detail, Karr shows us a "terrific family of liars and drunks ... redeemed by a slow unearthing of truth."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:10 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The author, a poet, recounts her difficult childhood growing up in a Texas oil town.

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
27 avail.
112 wanted
2 pay3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.75)
0.5 1
1 11
1.5 2
2 43
2.5 10
3 161
3.5 34
4 224
4.5 18
5 149

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 98,524,144 books! | Top bar: Always visible