I think I just read the book equivalent of a chick flick…
Well, sort of. But it was a quick read and wasn’t that bad at all (am I sounding a little defensive here?). But anyway…here’s the standard, quick description for you:
From Tracy McMillan, an author who counts both Oprah Winfrey and Tina Fey as fans, Multiple Listings is a comedic family drama focusing on a single mother whose ex-con father is released from prison after seventeen years and unexpectedly moves in with her, her son, and her much younger boyfriend.
I could give you more, but that gives you enough the overall idea. It’s more cute than complicated. As it was written by someone who wrote for AMC’s Mad Men (which I’ve honestly never watched) and for Showtime’s United States of Tara (umm…ditto) the history of her writing it had me intrigued. So, when a free copy of the book arrived (thank you Goodreads), balanced in its cardboard packaging on top of the mailbox just as it began to rain (thank you fill-in mail carrier), I decided to check it out (ya know…once it had completely dried out of course).
Multiple Listings is written in first person, bouncing between two different perspectives – the woman who is the ‘main’ character and her father. So it takes both the male and female perspectives, which helps make it not so much of a ‘chick’ read. But…written from a woman’s perspective, and…basically saying that men are pretty messed up and worthless…? Yeah, that kind of pushes it in a chick lit kinda way. Not that it isn’t well written though.
The book seems to make boyfriends out as worthless wastes of time, effort and money. At least up until the moment that they aren’t, which isn’t for long, and of course any boyfriend who’s a little better than worthless isn’t the same boyfriend that was complained about earlier.
And fathers…? Those seem to be guys that don’t know enough to keep from screwing their kids up, ensuring that their daughters are going to pick boyfriends who are worthless wastes. Then of course there are the sons who are simply not yet old enough to be too messed up (and have that youth thing as a built in excuse). And, if these sons don’t have a father figure to talk to and bond with well…they’re pretty much just wastes of time, effort, etc., etc. Starting to see a trend here?
Maybe I was just being a little defensive of my gender and was taking things too personal when I read it. Maybe I’m a little jealous of the author since my writing muse has been a bit quiet and distant lately. Or maybe I’m making the mistake of finishing this blog entry on trash night and, like it does every trash night, it’s raining… Sheesh. A nice, rainy night is just fine for a night in, but not for lugging a few trips of smelly plastic bags down to the curb. And grumpy doesn’t make for delightful reviews. I’ll have to remember that when I eventually start reading reviews of my books (note to muse: “Get back here. You’ve got work to do!”)
But…grumpiness aside, I give a positive review to Multiple Listings (somewhere between a 3.5-4.0 out of 5). I probably won’t ever read it again, but it had characters that were well fleshed-out, and a fairly focused story (though it did kind of just peter out at the end like it ran out of steam). And it kept me entertained for a few nights before I fell asleep and that’s pretty much a success.
So…I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to my guy friends, but…if you’re looking for a quick read that’s not too deep, it can fit the bill.
Now I’ve got a 700-page hardcover suspense/horror novel sitting on my nightstand, ready to go. And that should ensure a few more interesting dreams each night when I set it down. So here we go…..