Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ladies, Please

Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady (1985)
Florence King

What a crazy confluence of influences on this Southern Lady. Between getting molded by her grandmother and hardened by her mother and coaxed along by her dad and floundering among various sexual adventures, Florence King presents an entertaining read.
I had started it before and couldn't get into it the first time because I was looking for a different kind of humor. Not in a degree of funniness or observational power, both of which are present here, but in the presentation. Many of the scenes seem to be a set-up for someone's witty remark at the end as a stinger. Once I'd resigned myself to that, it moved along nicely and turned out to be a fun read.
Here's the first and last sentences of the prologue (which don't giving away too much and yet give away everything).
There are ladies everywhere, but they enjoy generic recognition only in the South. [...] No matter which sex I went to bed with, I never smoked on the street.


Linda said...

One of my favorite books. I've noticed that King is hit or miss for a lot of people.

Goedi said...

Yeah. I'm sure it resonates much more with a female readership that someone has tried to shape into ladyhood.