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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Dud Avocado (New York Review Books Classics) » User review

You can't argue about tastes (they say)

  • Feb 13, 2009
Rating:
-1
It's a very risky thing, I've found, to try to tell other people what they'll find funny. Apart from a few baseline tests (I argue that if you can't laugh at Monty Python's "fish-slapping dance" sketch, there's something ... stunted ... about you), humor is just too personal to be able to make any sorts of guarantees about.

That's why I found "The Dud Avocado" disappointing, and more than a little difficult to make myself plow through. I picked it up for two reasons: the allegation that the book was hilariously funny (including an endorsement from Groucho Marx, of all people), and the richly atmospheric setting of 1950s Paris, a time and place about which I do enjoy reading. But the atmospherics didn't overcome my difficulty connecting with the alleged humor. Nor, more fundamentally, could they sustain my interest once I realized that once you strip away the humor and the setting, this is a "life-n-loves of a young woman finding herself in the big wide world" romantic comedy and that's a genre that interests me not at all.

So I don't begrudge the fact that other people seem to love this book. They probably love the genre too, and that's fine. But I was hoping for something else and this didn't turn out to be it. Oh well.

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More The Dud Avocado (New York Revi... reviews
review by . April 13, 2009
Having read the blurb for The Dud Avocado I thought I'd LOVE this book because I LOVED A Moveable Feast. Instead, what I got was something more akin to On the Road.    While by the end I enjoyed Ms. Dundy's book, it was a slow process of wading through it. Much of the time the story wasn't going anywhere. It was simply a long winded telling of the main character's (Sally Jay Gorce) experience in Paris...this was where the Moveable Feast comparison end for me.    The …
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Andrew S. Rogers ()
Ranked #364
Mostly, I'm a moderately prolific Amazon.com reviewer who's giving Lunch a try as another venue for my reviews.
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"Already singled out inOthe Oprah Magazine and named an Amazon.com 'mover and shaker,' this edition will...introduce a new readership to the unforgettable Sally Jay Gorce, described by one reviewer as a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and Holden Caulfield." --Los Angeles Times

"Before Bridget Jones, deeply sweet and recklessly intimate Sally Jay Gorce trolled for love (Parisian style) in novelist (and sometime wife of theater critic Kenneth Tynan) Elaine Dundy'sThe Dud Avocado, a madcap read from 1958 that's finally back in print in the United States." --O Magazine

"The Dud Avocadofollows a charming, if blundering, 21-year-old Missouri native, Sally Jay Gorce, who spends two postcollege years sipping Pernod on "la plus belle avenue du monde," the Champs-Élysées; staging William Saroyan and Tennessee Williams with an American theater troupe, and fumbling terribly at love." --The New York Sun

"Think Daisy Miller with a dash ofFear of Flying;My Sister Eileenwith a soupçon ofSex and the City; Anita Loos crossed with Allen Ginsberg." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Now, this favorite has been re-issued yet again, with a gorgeous black and white nude on the cover. Fair enough, for here is a book primarily about sex and style...few writers ever soared so high and so delightfully." --Los Angeles Times

"The Dud Avocadoopens with our beautiful and hapless heroine--imagine the panache of Holly Golightly crossed with ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 1590172329
ISBN-13: 978-1590172322
Author: Elaine Dundy
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: NYRB Classics
First to Review
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