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October 24, 2005

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Tonight, the role of Holly Golightly will be played by Michiko Kakutani

Three makes a trend--Michiko Kakutani, books editor for the NY Times, has continued to indulge her weird penchant for writing satirical reviews in the voice of a related fictional character.

Two years ago she wrote that insane review of Candace Bushnell's Trading Up in the form of a memo from Elle Woods (you know, Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde) to the book's main character. She doesn't always hit the nail on the head with this concept, but there are some great moments that suggest that she did really love that movie: "But I have to say, and I hope you won't think I'm being impertinent here, I really think you need to have a little more faith in people. You come across in ''Trading Up'' as this really cold, hard, cynical, manipulative -- you know, rhymes with witch. Maybe you just had it with all the creeps hitting on you and got depressed and jaded. Haven't you ever heard of Zoloft? Or maybe this is just a P.R. problem -- like did you authorize this biography or what?"

Then a few months back she reviewed Benjamin Kunkel's Indecision in the voice of as Holden Caufield. She loves good old HC, too, but she gets a little clumsy: "But hey, Dwight and his friends have spent the better part of their lives getting these chemical assists, and I've gotta say that Dwight (or this Mr. Kunkel, who turns out to be pretty great at channeling old Dwight's thoughts) does a swell job of describing what it's like to be high -- on weed or Ecstasy or this South American hallucinogen that makes everyone puke their guts out before transporting them to nirvana or whatever you want to call Drug Heaven. This drug Dwight takes in Ecuador gives a new meaning to stream-of-consciousness narration that old James Joyce certainly never, ever envisioned."

So today, she writes a review of Summer Crossing, Truman Capote's newly released first novel, in the voice of Holly Golightly: "Tru, Dear, There's Only One Holly. Moi." Not as creative a choice as her other wacky reviews, but she has a good time with it. Though perhaps Kakutani has trouble making those subtle character distinctions between Holly and Elle Woods: "As for her choice of men: well, darling, there's simply no accounting for taste. I've had my share of rats, certainly, even more superrats than I can count, but none of them were supersize, King Kong-type rats like Grady's. Her first love was this ├╝ber-married preppie rat, who hotfoots it after the poor girl while his wife's pregnant, then the minute the child's born, can't wait to proclaim what a happy family man he is. I mean, yikes and double yikes!"

I can't stand Breakfast At Tiffany's, and this little game might start getting old soon. But hey, Michiko, whatever gets you through the day.

categories: Books, Media
posted by amy at 11:51 AM | #

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