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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars19
2.9 out of 5 stars
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on July 8, 2004
This book in not anywhere near Ms Brown's usual standards. Lacklustre story based on an unbelievable premise. Too bad!
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on February 25, 2004
After searching for months for a lesbian novel told in the third person, i was really excited to find Venus Envy. I am currently on chapter 22 and I think i'll stop here. I didn't like hte beginning, I haven't liked the progression into the middle and after reading these reviews, I think i'll jsut skip the end. I read Brown's Ruby Fruit Jungle and i had really loved it. Despite some far-fetched plot points, I was able to suspend my belief and give her the benefit of the doubt, but this one.. it just doesn't work. I blame the dialogue. It's really awful. But not that the rest of it is helping much. It feels as if the author let the plot dictate the novel and not the characters and that just makes for bad writing. I'd go for other Brown books, but just not this one.
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on August 24, 2003
A novel like this needs a light touch. Instead, Brown gives us a fantasy sex scene after which the lovers lie in each other's arms discussing Reagan-Bush AIDS policy & the evolutionary purpose of gay people.
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on June 22, 2002
I thoughly enjoyed this book about a women who decides to comes out to her friends ands family when she is mistakenly diagonsed as dying. With a premise that that sure to be a sure fire pressure cooker for the some reason this book never fully takes on. Still all and all, I enjoyed the book. The "Zeus/Mount Olympus" is pure fun. A nice message too, Live you life and make you life your own, who cares about some one else expectations?
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on January 10, 2002
Venus Envy was an enjoyeble book that got my attention and kept it the entire way through. The relationships between the main character, Frazier, and her family and friends, were developed so well that you were screeming at the book when her mother would call, and wishing that you had a friend like Mandy, her best friend.
Through her characters Brown shows a very realistic view of the pressures homosexual women feel. In her impressive character developement of Frazier she shows the fears an American woman may have of coming out. Such as being feared by parents and losing money in her business.
Over all Venus Envy was a well written book that showed true friends are the ones who accept you for who you are. I would recommend reading this book. And I look forward to rading more of Brown's books.
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on October 24, 2001
This is the third Rita Mae Brown book I've read. I loved the first two (Rita Will, Sudden Death). The premise in this novel is hilarious, and about the first third of the book does not disappoint. I'll admit, I could not put it down, but after the first third, it seemed to lose some steam. In other words, the great premise doesn't carry the whole novel. It may have been better as a short story. Anyway, all we're left with when the premise poops out are very one-dimensional characters who are either lovable 100% tolerant saints, or 100% prejudiced, narrow-minded bigots whom you can't choose but to hate. No character falls in between. A few of the plot lines ended up very unrealistic, at least to me. Unlike some of these other reviews, I absolutely loved the sequence in the painting, but I wouldn't have ended the book with it either. The problem is, by the time you get to the painting sequence, the plot has pretty much fallen apart anyway into either the mundane or the wholly unreal. Don't get me wrong, it is an interesting read and the author's humor stays with you throughout, but once the premise wears off, the novel falls apart a little.
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on November 8, 2000
When I started reading this book, I thought, Good ol' Rita Mae has out-done herself this time--it was the funniest, cleverist beginning of a book I have ever read--but I would rate the whole book as one of her worst. I recommend you read only the first 4 or 5 chapters--it is hilarious--but then close it up and give it to the book exchange before you get bogged down in the almost unreadable ending. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Rita Mae Brown fan--but this one really goes bad at the end. Her earlier works are much better; Rubyfruit Jungle, Six of One, and Southern Discomfort, High Hearts, and Sudden Death being her best.
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on August 29, 2000
When I read what this book was about, I thought it sounded interesting - what would we do if we thought we weren't going to live. However, I found the interesting idea was way overshadowed dull characters and writing. The characters are either goody/goody or someone absolutely hateful - very one-dimensional and totally unrealistic. As for style of writing, I felt like the book was written for pre-teenagers - very, very simplistic, although the subject matter certainly is adult. The ending read like some kind of inane dream that the author had one night, embellished with some kind of misdirected how-can-i-make-this-seem-spiritual mythology which seemed to me to be just asinine. I was bored from the beginning but kept reading, hoping it would pick up. Alas, it never did - I was embarrased for the author.
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on July 13, 2000
This book is absolutely one of the worst I have ever read. Brown may be one of the most talented authors in America, but I'm sure as heck not liable to read anything else she's written after this. This is basically a long, masturbatory "what would happen if" fantasy spun out into novel form, with some jarring out-of-context sex tacked on at the end. Brown's success writing other fiction must be the reason such worthless drivel could be published in the first place. I can't believe it's rated so highly here--in fact, the reason I looked it up in the first place is because I wanted to see how badly it had fared at the hands of Amazon critics! Wow. Doesn't the title_alone_give anyone a clue?
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on June 12, 2000
Upon finding this "liberal" novel in my conservative, college library, I was quite interested to read the author's views about homosexuality in southern aristocratic culture. The beginning of the story grabbed my attention with Frazier's near-death experience and her subsequent "outing" to her friends and family. However, by the second half of the book I was wondering if the author had a point to make, or even a plot. The conclusion of the novel was highly disappointing because the author forgot about the minimal plot she had developed and proceeded to display highly controversial political messages in the form of Frazier's interactions with greek mythological characters. All in all, Rita Mae Brown could have spent more time on character and plot development, and less time on the southern scenery she so loves to describe. If you are expecting to read an interesting and open-minded novel, chose something else, or you'll resent the time wasted.
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