Norman, Norman, Norman. If only you could taste the sweet and ripe fruit that blossomed with this tale. How dare you trifle her writing back in the day? If this book were a meal, I’d say I am fully satisfied–all the way through dessert.
Sure, all the ingredients are in the mix–humor, sex, famous encounters, awkward moments and certainly conflict. Like a great chef though–it takes skill to put it all together in a form, fit to serve on the “good” plates. Oh hell, for that matter, this could be slapped on a paper napkin and lose no luster.
The story grabbed me from the onset. Carole Mallory gets right to the meat. No elaborate staging or explanation–just a pure and direct look at a fascinating situation told in a most intriguing way–set in a period of history that seems as oxymoronic as her devotion to this complicated man/icon. Her skilled prose makes you that coveted fly on the wall.
While I mostly avoid “tell alls” or celebrity gossip reading, this is far removed from that genre–but who would know? Yes, there is explicit and raw detail which could put a few well-positioned men in hiding for awhile. That is only the dessert, however. Throughout is a back-story of pain, masked with the cover of humor. At the end of the road, we find bittersweet triumph fused with a down-to-earth class which (unintentionally, I’m sure, ha ha ha) puts Mr. Mailer in his rightful place. And so it goes…
Like that aforementioned great meal, though I have finished, I am wanting for more.