To Die for Paperback – Feb 17 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Taking her inspiration from a recent murder trial, Maynard ( Baby Love ) reimagines the protagonists in fictional form: 22-year-old Suzanne Maretto, a pathologically self-absorbed, ruthlessly ambitious would-be TV journalist, and the three high school misfits she recruits to kill her husband so that she can be free to pursue her chosen career. Using short vignettes related by 24 characters involved in the incident--parents, neighbors, a high school principal, even Phil Donahue--Maynard attempts to show how Suzanne could gull all three fatherless, poverty-stricken teenagers into committing murder for her sake. While carefully thought out and constructed, the narrative is only partially convincing. Although she does a good job of conveying Suzanne's low intelligence in monologues replete with pretentious errors ("myself having been a very different sort of individual"), Maynard fails both to make the voices of other characters sound genuine and to differentiate among them. In addition, Suzanne is so singleminded, manipulative and obtuse that she is essentially a caricature. Maynard is, however, more deft in her portrayal of our pervasive, pernicious TV culture, especially its influence on the lower middle class. Though Maynard's imagined ending is a cop-out, those not familiar with the outlines of the original case may find the novel absorbing. First serial to Penthouse; Literary Guild selection .
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Perky, aspiring newscaster Suzanne Maretto persuades her teenaged lover and his buddy to kill her straight-arrow husband; just deserts follow for all. Suzanne, who thinks that ``if people could just be on TV all the time, the whole human race would probably be a much better group of individuals,'' sets out to captivate the none-too-bright kids she's interviewing for a demo tape that'll get her out of her local (suburban Boston) station and onto the network fast track. There's Jimmy Emmet, who worships her as stupidly as does her hapless restaurant-family husband Larry; Russell Hines, who's just in it for the thousand dollars; and Lydia Mertz, who's so hopelessly smitten with Suzanne's big-sister glamour that she's willing to supply the gun. But the real culprits, as bestselling author/media-child Maynard (Baby Love, 1981; Domestic Affairs, 1987, etc.) keeps screaming in an amusingly flat series of self-revealing monologues, are Malibu Barbie, Victoria's Secret, Wheel of Fortune, abusive (or adoring) parents, and Donahue--all the accoutrements of cut-rate acculturation that give her characters such venal dreams and mindless determination. Maynard's ear for sincere garbage (``We're so connected, I can taste her Tic Tac,'' boasts Jimmy after Suzanne deflowers him) is as sharp as ever, but after 50 pages of such homogeneous stuff you'll start looking for the exit--unless, of course, your own taste for pulp romances of sex, power, and violence are just as depraved as the ones so lovingly excoriated here. What's most offensive here, as in Bret Easton Ellis's notorious American Psycho, is the raised-nostril pretense that this revolted attack on pop culture, already due for serialization in Penthouse, stands above it all. A more penetrating writer could have a field day analyzing recent popular fiction's disavowal of the tawdry culture that continues to grip it as tightly as Suzanne holds Jimmy. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most recent customer reviews
There is no doubt about it. This story screams Pam & Greg Smart at you. The infamous teacher who got her high school lover to kill her husband takes a starring role in this... Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2000 by BeatleBangs1964
Why doesn't this author write a book of her own? Does she have any imagination? Any idiot could take the Pam Smart story and change the names and a few things about the... Read morePublished on Aug. 23 1999
Joyce watched the TV movie based on Pamela Smart's antics, which starred Helen Hunt, and basically wrote a novelization of that screenplay. Yuck!Published on July 14 1999
What a Great book!!! It would definitely have to be among the best I have ever read. It's presented in a fresh, unique way and has great characters. Read morePublished on Aug. 30 1998