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Straight Up And Dirty: A Memoir (2006)

Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir (2006)
3.47 of 5 Votes: 5
0060843276 (ISBN13: 9780060843274)
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Straight Up And Dirty: A Memoir (2006)
Straight Up And Dirty: A Memoir (2006)

About book: I read Stephanie Klein's Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp a while back, and liked it. I've read her blog for at least that long, although I never delved into the archives to get the full story this book, her first, covers. It was a little weird knowing what her kids look like and knowing her husband's real name (he comes in at the end of this book, albeit with a pseudonym, like everyone in the book). It did make reading it a little less suspenseful, knowing that she gets her happy ending (and is still happily living and blogging it!).The writing style is good and she's very confessional. It's likened to "Carrie Bradshaw" of course, as any single gal in the city who blogs/writes successfully is heir apparent. But that seemed more true for this book, as she was constantly dating, being wooed and visiting the hot spots and Hamptons mentioned on Sex and the City. The flow of the book was awkward, and I was often confused because it jumped around her divorce, the central event of the book -- so you'd read about her getting over it and dating, then jump back to good times with her first husband before they were married, then forward to just before the divorce, back again to the wedding -- and on and on. I guess non-linear story telling is en vogue, but I think I prefer a little more clear cut narrative. Picked up the book for $4 at Strand -- a nice hard cover that looks really cool because its cover is dozens of thumbnail images of her. I read it now instead of on the cruise BECAUSE it was hard cover. And I made it through in just over a day. So a quick, fun read.

In one word, WOW! This book provided many hours of great entertainment. The author's accounting of her own experiences of life after divorce and picking up the pieces go straight to the heart of the matter. Anyone going through or having gone through divorce can identify with and relate to most everything the author describes. Readers who haven't gone through the horror of a divorce should read it just to see why the rest of us act the way we do. All kidding around aside, this book is in your face with the nitty gritty and pain of divorce and the aftermath. The author tells it with open heart to heart emotion laced with humor. I found this book to be entertaining but also funny, sad, witty, sharp, fresh and sexy. Divorce = sexy? I know, doesn't seem to go together but you will have to read this fantastic book to see what I mean.
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I've avoided reading this book for years now. I got to know the author through a mutual friend, and I had such a hard time coming to terms with reading a memoir when I 'knew' the person whose life it was about. It felt wrong of me to read about her life, private and personal details she went through, and get to know her in a way that felt so removed from a conversation. I'm so glad I got over that and read her memoir. This sounds cheesy as I'm writing it, but it's given me strength when I needed it most. So often we are afraid or simply don't know how to find happiness within ourselves. She took me on a journey were I could identify and personally grow from, just by being a bystander.
As an occasional visitor to Klein's blog, I picked this up thinking it would be a quick and entertaining read. WRONG. This book is so disorganized and confusing that I couldn't even finish it. It's horribly written stream-of-consciousness with no discernible structure. Klein can be funny and brutally honest, but her book is completely self-absorbed and pretentious. The thing is, Klein probably knows this, but thinks it's clever and cute (or at least marketable), whereas I do not, and didn't stick around long enough to see if she redeemed herself.
For my book club I'm going to write a real review of this book. I found this book to be much too wordy, chocked full of cliché’s, overly dramatic and fun to read. There were passages when I was just hoping she would get on with it but there were others where I was laughing out loud. I am a firm believer in the editor's pen and I feel it was lacking here but I still give the book a three. I would re-label this book as a self help piece. I think it speaks to women who are in verbally and even physically abusive relationships or are recovering from these situations. There is a lot of preachy but helpful, empowering advice for this audience. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I am not in this target audience so I sometimes found there to be too much introspection, even for a memoir. The few times the author described an actual event or scene and used dialogue, I really enjoyed it. I wish there were a little more actual dialogue and decriptive passages about places, ect. and less soliloquy about her feelings.All the New York isms were a bit much. She was using what was once fresh language but is already just cliché in much of her dialogue with friends and even with the reader. I found it overshadowing her true intent of the narrative. Loved all the grit and raunch. Hate to admit it but I’m that kinda’ girl. I hope you enjoy this read despite its flaws.
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