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4.0 out of 5 stars A penetrating look into the mind of a teenage girl
Anne Tyler's "A Slipping-Down Life" is the story of Evie Decker, a shy, plump teenager who always feels out of step with everything. She has no social life to speak of and spends her evenings listening to the radio. This habit is what sets the plot into motion when she hears an interview on a local radio show hosted by an elderly DJ named Herbert:
One...
Published on Sept. 9 2002 by Catherine S. Vodrey

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2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one.
I picked up this book because I've read two other books by Anne Tyler that I greatly enjoyed, but I was disappointed by this one. Maybe it was written before she really hit her stride as a writer. While entertaining, the book seemed somewhat empty. I didn't find the characters' actions very believable, and the "surprise" ending did not follow from anything...
Published on July 12 2000 by Crystal Eitle


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4.0 out of 5 stars A penetrating look into the mind of a teenage girl, Sept. 9 2002
By 
Catherine S. Vodrey (East Liverpool, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Paperback)
Anne Tyler's "A Slipping-Down Life" is the story of Evie Decker, a shy, plump teenager who always feels out of step with everything. She has no social life to speak of and spends her evenings listening to the radio. This habit is what sets the plot into motion when she hears an interview on a local radio show hosted by an elderly DJ named Herbert:
One evening in February there was a guest on the program. He came right after the "News of the Hour."
"I have here a Mr. Bertram Casey," said Herbert. "Better known as, known as Drumstrings." He coughed and shuffled some papers. "It's an honor to have you with us, Mr. Casey." No one answered. Evie was sitting on the bed, twisting her hair into scratchy little pincurls. When the silence grew noticeable she took a bobby pin from her mouth and looked at the radio. All she heard was static. Finally Herbert said, "Well. This is the beginning of a new feature on 'Sweetheart Time': interviews. May I ask if you are a native North Carolinian, Mr. Casey?"
Someone said, "Not for long I won't be." His voice was cool and motionless, like a stone plunked into a pool. Herbert coughed again.
"Whereabouts in North Carolina?" he asked.
"Farinia."
"Farinia, yes. Off of Highway--"
"But I'm leaving there," said Drumstrings Casey.
"All right. Where is it you're going?"
"A city, some city. It ain't quite clear yet. I aim to cut records and play night clubs, and if I once wiggle out of here I'm never coming back again, not even for Christmas. If my family gets to missing me they can come to where I'm at, I'll buy them a house with white telephones and a swimming pool."
Evie is transfixed by this young man and shortly afterwards sees him perform live. Wanting something--anything--to make her life exciting, she ends up carving his name onto her forehead with nail scissors. This gets her the attention she wants, with very unlikely results.
Drum and Evie's relationship forms the core of the book, and it's a penetrating look at the way two people can be together and even love each other without ever really knowing or understanding what the other person is all about. The ending is somewhat unsatisfying--it felt abrupt and hurried to me, as though Tyler had suddenly tired of writing the novel--but the book as a whole is a delight and every word rings true.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive reading for any teenager., April 13 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Mass Market Paperback)
I found this book fascinating. Direct and perceptive,it examines the consequences for a lonely, fat teenage girl who slashes the name of a would-be rock star onto her forehead with a pair of nail scissors. What is so interesting is that Evie, the mutilated teenager, never once regrets her action. She only wishes she had taken control of her fate earlier, while Drum, object of her unvoiced obsession and owner of the slipping-down life of the title, lets himself be drawn in by her startling course of action.
Every other character in the book, from Evie's sad , widower father to her best (and indeed only) friend Violet, seems drifting and unaware next to efficent and decisive Evie. I can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone. Not a word is wasted or misplaced by the author and the result is a startlingly vivid novel
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive reading for any teenager., April 13 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Mass Market Paperback)
I found this book fascinating. Direct and perceptive, it examines the consequences for a lonely, fat teenage girl who slashes the name of a would-be rock star onto her forehead with a pair of nail scissors. What is so interesting is that Evie, the mutilated teenager, never once regrets her action. She only wishes she had taken control of her fate earlier, while Drum, object of her unvoiced obsession and owner of the slipping-down life of the title, lets himself be drawn in by her startling course of action.
Every other character in this book, from Evie's sad, widower father to her best (and indeed
only) friend Violet, seems drifting and unaware next to efficent, decisive Evie. I can throughly recommend this book to anyone. Not a word is wasted or misplaced by the author and the result is a startlingly vivid novel
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2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one., July 12 2000
By 
Crystal Eitle (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Mass Market Paperback)
I picked up this book because I've read two other books by Anne Tyler that I greatly enjoyed, but I was disappointed by this one. Maybe it was written before she really hit her stride as a writer. While entertaining, the book seemed somewhat empty. I didn't find the characters' actions very believable, and the "surprise" ending did not follow from anything earlier in the book (as all really good surprise endings should). The virtue of this book is that it can be quickly read in one evening. I do recommend Tyler's books "A Patchwork Planet" and "Earthly Posessions."
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Tylers Best but a great book!, April 1 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Mass Market Paperback)
I read this book when I was a teenager. I have reread it since along with almost everything that Tyler has ever written. It is a good book. It is not a happy book. It is about life, sometimes life is not happy.
I became a Tyler fan as an adult and something reminded me of a book I'd read long ago as a teenager. Could that have been the same book? It was 'A Slipping-Down Life.'
Rereading it as an adult I could feel the emotions of Evie. That is a good book. When you can feel like an obsessed teen making stupid decisions when you are in your thirties, that is writing!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as Accidental Tourist, Aug. 21 2000
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Paperback)
I read this book after being enchanted by the Accidental Tourist and other of Anne Tyler's books. This book deals with the life of a depressed teenage girl and unless that kind of thing interest you, I would not recommend reading it. On the up side, it's really short so you can get through it rather quickly. I was hoping to read a good book, but only felt worse after finishing this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic... I feel so bad for Evie Decker., Oct. 21 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Paperback)
okay. right now I am doing a review of this book for my english class. Its too bad that I had to choose the book I was to review before I read it. The author's style in this book is pathetic. The only thing I can say the author has going for her, judging souly on this book is that she is very good at characterization. Her characters are intended to be pathetic, and indeed, they are.
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3.0 out of 5 stars " Evie Decker: Fake Teen", Dec 1 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Paperback)
Tyler does not do much research on teen and their life. While reading this novel I wondered if she herself had ever experienced her teenage years. Although Tyler makes her characters very depressing, this depressing feeling makes you think about life. Tyler made some very fullfiling points, but did not express them to her known capabilities.
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2.0 out of 5 stars skeletal compared to other great AT books..., Dec 30 2000
By 
Sarita (Chicopee, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Mass Market Paperback)
I found this book to be lacking. In character development, plot, etc. It just never really went anywhere - not that it needed to but it just didn't grab me as her other novels have. I found it to be very underdeveloped. Perhaps, as one other reviewer wrote, this was before she hit her stride? That's what I think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What the hell was she thinking?, March 31 1998
This review is from: A Slipping-Down Life (Paperback)
Evie Decker is the daughter no one would want to have, but many people end up with anyway. She pursues the wrong man for all of the wrong reasons, he rejects her, then she marries him. I winced as I read much of this book.
The end is a surprising turn of events.
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A Slipping-Down Life
A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 23 1992)
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