Tuesday, March 20, 2018


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading? Love the One You're With by Emily Giffen. Newly wed Ellen is very much in love with her groom of three months, Andy. So why is she so very rattled by a random encounter with her long-ago love, Leo?

Yes, it's chick lit. It's about pretty people who are lawyers and photographers and sports agents. They live in cool neighborhoods and eat out every night. They have no money worries but tremendous romantic complications.

Giffen writes well. She's not Jane Austen, but she elevates potentially sudsy material above soap opera level. And the last three books I've read have been pretty heavy. I deserve a little tasty junk food once in a while.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth. A compelling but ultimately very frustrating book about Andrew Cunanan, the subject of the current Ryan Murphy/FX American Crime Story mini-series. This book was the source material for The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

It's a fascinating story because we'll never know why Andrew took out five well-loved and completely decent men. He wasn't your typical mass murderer. He was handsome, bright, funny and well educated. He had a gift for making (though not keeping) friends. He had talents and could have had a successful career (if he'd had any appetite whatsoever for work). There was no prior history of violence. So why in April did he suddenly begin a killing spree that ended with his own suicide in July?

Orth breathlessly tries to explain it away by pointing to his fondness for porn and drugs. Even in the pre-internet 1990s, porn was easily accessible. So were drugs. And yet somehow, South Beach wasn't crawling with serial killers.

There was one passage that stayed with me, that went further toward an explanation than any of her tsk-tsk-ing about gay porn and tweaking. His killing spree may have begun because his life of lies was about to be exposed. " ... the men he cared for most were turning their backs on him, banishing him to struggle alone, insecure, depressed and overweight. It was all their fault. They were forcing him to expose the sham of his grandiosity like a mangy peacock."

He had no faith, no sense of values, no sense of self. All Andrew Cunanan had was grandiosity. Perhaps that final, pitiless exposure was simply too painful for him to bear.  

3.  What will you read next? Maybe another biography? Or a mystery. My TBR pile is stacked dauntingly high with both. 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy Emily Giffen's books, but I'm way behind! I like the sound of Love the One You're With. (I also love your "Marilyn" photo!).

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