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Six Weeks to Toxic Paperback – Apr 25 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Key Porter Books; 1 edition (April 25 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552638855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552638859
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #546,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Face it, we’re in the midst of a ChickLit epidemic. These are the signs: The central character is heading for her mid-30s; she works in film or journalism; she needs to get her life sorted (man, marriage, maybe a kid) and pronto. Parents are stereotypes-the phoney rich, the cosy suburbanites, the ex-hippies; a celebrity makes an appearance-this bit is mandatory. In magazine writer (Flare, Fashion) Louisa McCormack’s debut, there’s a twist. She throws the stresses of female friendship into the stew, as the challenges of being in one’s thirties split apart two close friends between New Year’s Day and Valentine’s.
Bess, our narrator, is a short, carrot-topped sound artist (she creates background noises like footsteps on Toronto film shoots); her friend Maxine (“Maxi”) is a tall, dark, well-off magazine journalist. She’s also a control freak, and we soon wonder why the self-deprecating Bess tiptoes around this creature. Loyalty, certainly; pity, maybe, perhaps even fear. Bess takes great care not to outshine Maxi. Since most of us have found ourselves lumbered with dreadful friends at one point or another, McCormack deserves full points for exploring this theme. She also writes with verve and originality about sex, a refreshing change amid the hangovers, bright chatter and partying endemic to the genreBess’s honesty and wit render her charming. Her post-millennium depression manifests itself as “[her] electron mood-denied access to a nucleus, incessantly peripheral, lone and stray and tiny.” This may be why the Bess-Maxi friendship has endured sixteen years; they have only each other. But deeper meanings are submerged amid the snap, crackle, and pop of McCormack’s prose. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes not, as when the two friends grind out their private college-era parodies of women’s magazines. Still, there’s something here, some mystery about female dynamics that will speak to young women.
Bess’s honesty and wit render her charming. Her post-millennium depression manifests itself as “[her] electron mood-denied access to a nucleus, incessantly peripheral, lone and stray and tiny.” This may be why the Bess-Maxi friendship has endured sixteen years; they have only each other. But deeper meanings are submerged amid the snap, crackle, and pop of McCormack’s prose. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes not, as when the two friends grind out their private college-era parodies of women’s magazines. Still, there’s something here, some mystery about female dynamics that will speak to young women.
Nancy Wigston (Books in Canada)
-- Books in Canada

“Breezy and compelling.” -- Flare magazine

“Six Weeks to Toxic insists it's a treatise on the complex character of female friendship and the writing, to be sure, is smart.” -- Vancouver Sun

“Six Weeks to Toxic is a sharp, sexy and witty read that delves into the female psyche.” -- Weekly Scoop

“Six Weeks to Toxic is …the thinking girl's chick-lit. McCormack is a quick and deft writer. -- The Globe and Mail

“Tales of relationship dilemmas, awkward parental visits and botched dinner parties are peppered with laugh-out-loud moments. Just right for a lazy afternoon.” -- WISH magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author


LOUISA MCCORMACK writes regularly for Flare and FASHION. She was a host of “The Chatroom” on TalkTV, and has also contributed to CBC Newsworld and CBC Radio One. McCormack was born in Montreal, Quebec, and now lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Myra on Nov. 20 2007
Format: Paperback
The "thinking" woman's novel. McCormack writes about topics that appeal to every woman: the frailty of friendship, success, love...but she hasn't opted for the cookie-cutter chick-lit format. Instead, her characters are complex and intriguing, and her plot-line takes interesting twists. A great read that is both entertaining and insightful.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Glover on June 14 2006
Format: Paperback
How does a relationship turn from terrific to toxic in a mere six weeks? What wounds can a best friend inflict to sever the cords of a long standing relationship? Louisa McCormack has the answers. Most women should appreciate this intelligent chick-lit novel but for those unlucky enough to have lost a soul sister, be prepared for a few page turning all-nighters as you relive the pain and survival that are par for the course in friendship dismantling. I highly recommend this book as a fantastic read, all the more so because it is the author's debut novel. I can't wait for her next offering!!!
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Format: Paperback
I've had a few `toxic' best friends in my past so I could relate to many aspects of this novel, but did find it difficult to read at times. It seemed very wordy making it tough to read, especially as I read mostly at night which made it even more difficult. I found the characterizations interesting and their relationship questionable and found the concept of a chick lit book not centered on finding a man refreshing.

Unfortunately the ending seemed anti-climactic to me. I knew from the title and description of the book that it was about a break up between two best friends so I kept expecting a huge outburst at some point which I suppose sort of came at the end, but it just seemed, well, anti-climactic. After having finished the book, I thought it might have been the point to have things go the way they did (sorry, not trying to ruin the ending here) because of their personalities, especially Bess's who seems to tip toe around Maxi. And, how do relationships between best friends normally end? This had me questioning many of my past relationships and I concluded that the gradual decent was appropriate as some of my toxic relationships ended similarly. And I think I've said far too much now!

I enjoyed the Toronto details of course and thought that Bess's career as a sound artist in the movie industry was interesting and the details were just enough to be informative without being overbearing and it was a nice change of pace for a chick lit novel. I quite liked some of the other characters and although I didn't like him in the beginning, Bess's love interest grew on me quickly.

I will definitely read Louisa McCormack's next novel `The Catch' at some point!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
hilarious Dec 6 2007
By flygirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after overhearing a woman mention it as her next "book club" read. I'm not sure what book the first reviewer read.... because it couldn't possibly be this hilarious, true to life, well written book. Ms. McCormack has an incredible way with words and a quirky perspective on life and friendships. I read this book in one shot and laughed the whole way through. Life in a big city, ambition and the complications of love and female friendships has never been funnier.I have a feeling the first reviewer wears control top pantyhose and brown sensible shoes.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
a hoot!!....and insightful Oct. 28 2007
By casey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was hilarious, and the subject of female friendship 'break-ups' really hit home, since I have been there a few times.
MacCormack also creates characters are also quirky and interesting, and her witty take on life in downtown Toronto is brilliant.
Can't wait to see what else she writes, and I will never look at friendships, or the ending of them, the same way....
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is a FUN Book! Oct. 24 2007
By Alexandra S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I completley disagree with the first reviewer. A friend passed this book on to me and I plan to pass it on to another. This is a fun, rolicking book. Tired of the heavy, dark, depressing and morbid stuff out there? Then read this and lighten up!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Losing a friend, gaining a man? (but no wisdom) March 21 2008
By Nilly Essaides - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I guess I was disappointed: the premise was so... good. I recently read a piece in Modern Love in the NYT to the same topic: what do girlfriends do when they break up? There is no protocol, divorce proceeding or an established rule about "who is at fault." Plus, what do mutual girlfriends do? All this I had in mind when I picked up the book (at the end of a painful and short breakup with a dear friend that left me confused) and looked for some answers. The set up was too banal: losing a friend in part because the friend gained a male? That's the oldest story in the book; the writing is easy and funny at times and thus the stars. But in the end, I don't think I learned more about what to do, nor did the 2 friends in books. It seemed like they just finally grew up from what was clearly an unsustainable girly relationship at mid-30s (grow up ladies) into an adult life where friendship must take a different pace. But instead of offering clues as to what, they just dissipated. Unfortunately for me, no hints on what to make of my friend who bailed. But there's lots of entertainment packed into that book and a good read even for the more mature than 35 crowd. Girl friends get more critical not less so with time. Plus, if you like pets and the men who adore them (I do), then there's a lot of fun stuff for the woman in you as well.
5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Terrible Oct. 15 2007
By G. Recipient - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's my fault. I know it. By page eleven, when I read "Maxi's cosmetic skills would have been the envy of a Pentagon logistician" (yes, I'm sure Pentagon logisticians spend plenty of time trying to improve their cosmetic skills), I knew "Six Weeks to Toxic" was not going to be a good book. I guess the cover should have given me a hint, too, since you see the legs of two girls: one is wearing red stockings with shiny green pumps (I know it sounds Christmasy, but the result if more "cheap hooker") and the other, pink stockings with open-toed stilettos. Sex and the City this is definitively not. Both the aesthetics and the prose of the book indicated I should have just given up.

The thing is, I hardly ever give up on a book before finishing--and, most importantly, a good friend of mine and I have been recently having problems, so I figured I'd benefit from reading about two long-term friends who, in just six weeks, end their relationship.

But there's nothing to learn from "Six Weeks to Toxic"--other than the fact that Ms. McCormack can't write, can't create a single sympathetic (or interesting) character, and that her idea of snappy dialogue goes along these lines:

"Please, Maxi? I really want to do Marcus a favour and it's hard to swing that, he's so forward-thinking."
"Well, you've really got me cornered, Bess, So I'll do it. But each walk counts as a separate favour."
"Thanks so much. I love you. Your wish is my etcetera."

Add a ridiculous ending, with a friendship that dissolves over nothing (a spat that in real life, people would laugh at in a day, if not less) and you have the most ridiculous, pointless, and horrible book I have read in a long time. Even though it's only 268 pages, it also felt as one of the longest.

It's my fault that I wasted my time reading "Six Weeks to Toxic." Don't make the same mistake.


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