Who Will Run the Frog Hospital, Lorrie Moore
Lorrie Moore

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital

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From Publishers WeeklyA disillusioned, middle-aged woman's remembrance of an ephemeral teenage friendship is triggered by eating cervelles in a Parisian restaurant in Moore's acerbic, witty and affecting third novel (after Like Life). While vacationing in Paris, narrator Berie Carr, whose marriage is stuck in a bleakly funny state of suspended collapse, looks back to her girlhood in Horsehearts, an Adirondack tourist town near the Canadian border. There in the summer of 1972, she was a skinny, 15-year-old misfit who rejected her parents and idolized her sassy, sexually precocious friend Sils, who played Cinderella at a theme park called Storyland where Berie was a cashier. In a series of flashbacks, Berie recounts stealing into bars with Sils; sneaking cigarettes in the shadows of Storyland rides named Memory Lane and The Lost Mine; and how, midway through the summer, she was shipped off to Baptist camp after filching hundreds of dollars from her register to pay for an abortion for Sils. Moore's bitterly funny hymn to vanished adolescence is suffused with droll wordplay, allegorical images of lost innocence and fairy-tale witchery and a poignant awareness of how life's significant events often prove dismally anticlimactic. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library JournalLooking back at her childhood from an unsuccessful marriage, Berie Carr remembers her best friend, Sils, and their last summer together in 1972. They worked in an amusement park, Berie as a cashier, Sils as Cinderella. At 15, they were irreverent, wild, curious, and oblivious to authority, and they spent the summer testing limits. Sils's experiments led to the inevitable unwanted pregnancy, and Berie provided the genius to fund the inevitable abortion. Unfortunately, larceny became a habit for Berie, and she was eventually caught in the act and sent away to church camp. The stories of Sils and of Berie's husband seem to have little to connect them, and Berie's final commentary does not bring them together. Although the pieces are well done, the whole is disjointed. A possible candidate where Moore's works (e.g., Anagrams, LJ 10/1/86) are popular.Johanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode IslandCopyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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