Ditched by Dr. Right: And Other Distress Signals from the Edge of Polite Society

Elizabeth Warner, Author Villard Books $12.95 (241p) ISBN 978-0-8129-7392-1
Late in this collection of vignettes, Warner, a promotional copywriter turned actor-writer-performer, describes how, having moved to Los Angeles from New York, she finds herself in a rut. She begins to ""tell everyone the absolute and often unpleasant truth,"" including her opinion that one-person shows are nothing but ""whiny me-fests."" This characterization could also apply to Warner's book, which snarkily recounts a number of stories from her childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Having grown up the daughter of a psychiatrist on Philadelphia's old-money Main Line, gone to college and then taken a copywriting job in New York, she details a number of her experiences which she sees as unique or weird or amusing, ranging from the time she and her mother bought a mouse for her brother's pet snake to when she bought a dishwasher. But Warner's stories simply aren't that unique, and the way she tells them doesn't make them so. Warner's frequent name-dropping to show readers how culturally literate she is (at one point, references to Kurt Cobain, Dick Francis, Patricia Neal and Tennessee Williams all appear on the same page) seems unnecessary, and even when the writing is slightly amusing, it can also come off as mean. Warner says that she's performed some of these stories as monologues, and perhaps they're more effective as such.
Reviewed on: 07/04/2005
Release date: 07/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 117 pages - 978-0-307-48386-7
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