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The Dud Avocado (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590172329
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172322
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #622,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 22 2009
Format: Paperback
The story is narrated by Sally Jay Groce, a young American girl on her own in Paris in the fifties, who falls in love constantly, has affairs without remorse, and is just too, too bored with it all. She's completely self-centered and shallow, wants only to have fun, and is living happily off her rich uncle's hefty allowance.

I enjoyed the first third of the book when I found Sally Jay's silly and immoral lifestyle somewhat interesting, but as the book wore on, it became a chore to finish. She's a pretty unlikable (if not odious) character, sounding more like forty or fifty than twenty, and the way she just floats from adventure to adventure seemed not only irresponsible and pointless, but sad.

I can assume this was quite shocking when it was published in 1958, but by now it's all been done before and better by the likes of Bridget Jones. I found "Dud" relentlessly tedious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Megami on Aug. 21 2003
Format: Paperback
The narrator of this story, Sally Jay, seems to have a lot in common with that other literary single-girl (pre-Bushnell days) Holly Golightly. She manages to combine innocence and world-weariness, rolling with her situation, no matter how chaotic it becomes. If anything, Sally Jay is Holly's older, slightly tougher sister. A young woman who has been running away all her life, gets the chance to run away to Paris thanks to an avuncular uncle, and lives a pink-haired bohemian existence, trying to experience life to the full - affairs with older men, hanging out with artists, nights at the Ritz followed by dingy student cafes. In the odd beginning chapter (it feels like you have missed an introductory chapter, and it takes awhile before you feel like you know what is going on) she meets a boy/man she has always had a crush on, and her chaotic life becomes even messier. One of her descriptions of him - 'I didn't know anyone he'd actually been wrong about - except of course me, but then as we know I am totally incomprehensible to everyone including myself' is shown by the end to be sadly true.
This is a well-written book - cleverly hiding its sinister elements in the light and deft descriptions Sally Jay gives of her life. You feel that sometimes she is trying to kid herself and the reader that really, everything's going to be all right. This is a genuinely entertaining read that still manages to encompass some big themes - the search for happiness and acceptance; making priorities in life; disillusionment and what it can do to temperament. Sally Jay is sure to stay with this reader for a long time.
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Format: Paperback
Elaine Dundy's book will have you laughing out loud at protagonist Sally Jay Gorce's Parisian misadventures. From the first page, Sally Jay's intelligent, somewhat addled but wildly sarcastic voice entices the reader as she relates her exploits as a young American actress in Paris, complete with stories of drunken carousing, falling in and out of love, dancing in gay bars, dining with aristocrats, coldly sizing up her spoiled Ivy League expatriate friends, and losing her passport along with her temper, among other madcap doings. Just goes to show that, 40 years ago, (who knew?) Americans in Paris were drinking, smoking, sleeping around, staying out all night and hankering for new experiences. This well-written, very entertaining book will be a real eye-opener for readers who think that America in the 1950s was populated exclusively with straight-laced, Ozzie-and-Harriet types.
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