Lucy's survival strategies also desert her when it comes to men. They're trouble when they don't want her, more so when they do. In addition, they're adept at giving the answer "no"--a trait they share with the males in Pam Houston's equally fine first book, Cowboys Are My Weakness. In "The Whole Weight of Me," for instance, Lucy's latest lad yet again eases himself out of things when she tells him she wants to see him soon. "'That would be great,' he said, in a voice that said clear as a bell that it wouldn't. And it was like someone had spliced together the wrong rolls of film from two different movies; it was that instantaneous how everything changed."
A less graceful, less wry writer would not be able to map Lucy's self-conscious journey of discovery with such ease and agility. Houston's adventurer is the sort of woman who runs into Carlos Castaneda after she's just missed a plane.
What everybody says now is, How do you know it was really him, like that is the pertinent question. It was him, I say, like I learned in graduate school, or another man by the same name. I mean, is it less interesting if it was just some guy who thought he was Carlos Castenada, or more?On the other hand, she's also the type who gets recognized while checking out a display of animal-shaped dildos--"the kangaroo, the rabbit, the great brown bear, noses and ears turned inward, poised at the ready"--in the first sex shop she's dared to enter. Wherever Lucy is, her creator--often in the space of a single sentence--can quickly fill in the most crushing experience with a mix of longing and expertly timed comedy. --Kerry Fried --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Pam Houston's "Walzing the Cat" is one of the best books I've read recently, interconnecting stories full of lyrical writing, jolt-you-to-attention insights, and luminous images. Read morePublished on July 2 2002 by Alex Nichols, author of Shadow Rock
Pam Houston once again has spun a web of collected stories encircling the life of of our heroine; this time, it's Lucy, photographer, hunter of the perfect emotionally available... Read morePublished on May 29 2001 by Lori Fox-Rigney
"Waltzing the Cat" is a good book, although it is not the best that Pam Houston has to offer. Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2001 by Molly M. Wolf
I enjoyed her first book, as it seems everyone else did, but it seems that Houston forgot that the Waltzing stories are supposed to be related to eachother--that it's not just a... Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2000 by Justine Cardello
Like many other reviewers, "Cowboys" is one of my most tattered collections on my bookshelf. Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2000 by "fleajuice"
I expected to like this book -- I liked Cowboys are My Weakness, for all its flaws -- but this is too much self-contemplation and too little real substance. Read morePublished on June 16 2000 by S. Kaiser
Reading this book was like spending time listening to the girls in my dorm talk about their endless, repetitive breakups, except that the narrator is middle-aged, not nineteen. Read morePublished on April 6 2000
Pam Houston writes in a mature voice that speaks of strong self-awareness and confidence in expression. Another review I read compared her writing with Bridget Jones's Diary... Read morePublished on March 27 2000
Even the reviewers (such as the girls from Colorado) seem to think that there is something cute about picking creepy, non-committal men. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2000