Sunday, July 23, 2006

71. "Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith" ~ Anne Lamott

If you are a writer, you must know of the author Anne Lamott via her amazing work, Bird by Bird. Nearly all of us have confessed to writing "shitty first drafts," a term coined by Lamott (which I steal frequently).

Plan B is the nonfiction version of a sequel to Tender Mercies. Didn't read it, so I didn't know what to expect.

If you like dreadlock wearing, hippy-dippy, left-wing radicalism, kid-loving-hating, Bush-bashing, Jesus-adoring essays, then, man, have I found the book for you.

Lamott's essays made me laugh. Made me angry. Made me throw down the book and say, "Blagghh." Made me bored. Made me irritated. Made me hungry (for chocolate, of which she refers to in 13 of her 24 essays).

While I appreciate her absolute dedication to honesty, did I need to know that I have a cellulite-ridden belly to look forward to when I'm fifty years old? Or all the ways that she's a Christian, yet hates - in a visceral, throat-ripping way - George W.? And while I realize she is a master at writing, or at least is portrayed as such, didn't her editors notice that the majority of her poignant essays ended with a sappy metaphor of light? I get it. Don't beat me over the head with any of your books, already.

1.75 out of 5.0 Barely-a-floats.


Shepcat said...

While "shitty first drafts" may be a frequent Lamott-ism, it's likely that she was inspired by a favorite Ernest Hemingway quote of mine:

"The first draft of anything is shit."

Diana said...

I don't get what the big deal is about Anne Lamott--I don't like anything she's written, including Bird by Bird. I just feel like she's profound on purpose, in this real self-conscious way, like she's thinking while she writes oh, yes, this is good, this is meaningful, this is profound.

Kristin Dodge said...

Oh, PG, you would have *hated* this book. Pretentiousness about parenting, social action, you name it.

We all have those "pull the car over" moments where we write something down, but I think she overwrites to an aural audience. Like she needs to put "pause for Lutheran chuckle here."

RC said...

interesting thoughts, i just finished this book but i listened to it on tap so i got through it quicker, and with Anne reading it it gave it a richer sense of her tone.

man, there are many many things i disagree with but i did like her writing style and her candid nature and enjoyed the book a fair amount indeed.

--RC of