Monday, August 16, 2010

A review: Everything Is Going to Be Great

On the first page of the introduction to Rachel Shukert's memoir, Everything Is Going to Be Great, she suggests that, in dire need, the pages of the book could be used as makeshift sanitary napkins. Four pages later, I learned how to say "penis" in Polish. If this is the sort of thing that is going to make you clutch your pearls and despair over the state of literature, or culture, or young womanhood, by all means, skip this book. But if your sense of humor is intact, and you are looking for a smart, insightful, and yes, hysterically funny, book, I definitely recommend Everything Is Going to Be Great.

Shukert's voice is brilliant. Reading the stories of her "underfunded and overexposed" European adventures is like sitting down to drinks with your best bawdy girlfriend. But what makes Everything Is Going to Be Great more than just a pleasant new entry in the "young women behaving like young men badly" category of memoirs is her brutal honesty about her life. At times, I wanted to step into the book and shake Rachel, to ask her "you're a smart woman - can't you see how badly this will end ?" But the thing is, even smart women make mistakes, and do things even though they know exactly how badly things will end. What makes Shukert's book so good is that she pokes at and exposes the wounds of her past, showing them in all their ridiculous - and sometimes self-inflicted - glory, rather than trying to cover them over. This lets us appreciate the great at the end even more.


For purposes of FCC disclosure: I received this book from the publisher.

No comments:

Post a Comment