KNEE DEEP IN PARADISE by Brett Butler

KNEE DEEP IN PARADISE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 ``Most women like you, with a past like yours, would have ended up as a clerk at Woolworth's,'' a therapist once told Butler, the stand-up comic and star of the televison show Grace Under Fire. And while Butler was understandably outraged, it's easy to see what that astonished analyst meant. This tell-all-and-then-tell-some- more memoir stands out in its genre both for its frankness and for the awfulness of Butler's early life. Her father, an alcoholic, disappeared early. Butler grew up fast, living with her mother and four sisters in a succession of southern towns. She sampled drugs and started using alcohol as an adolescent, tried college and gave up, then slipped into an abusive marriage. She's unsparing in describing the duplicities of the alcoholic, but curiously, she's less persuasive in talking about how comedy helped her tap into something essential and restorative, or in probing the sources of her creativity. By contrast with what's come before, her descriptions of her growing success (the book ends before the launching of her series) seem flat and rushed, cluttered with names. Still, a better-than-average entry in the genre, best for its vividly rendered early scenes. (b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to People; $500,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-7868-6136-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996




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