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Often hilarious, always witty second novel by the film-star author of the ultra-hip, well-received Postcards from the Edge (1987). As with fellow stylists Nora Ephron in Heartburn and Fay Weldon in She-Devil, Fisher's knock-'em-dead brightness: and wit overwhelm any urge the author may have toward strong plotting and a forceful climax. Even her punchiest scenes fade to the subjective and fail to give shape to their brilliant contents. That said, this is terrific fun and shows Fisher headed toward the majors. At age 28, Dinah Kaufman, who lost her virginity three times (the first two were not meaningful), reviews her love-life, sex-life, and her ex-marriage, which, for Dinah, is still--subjectively speaking--on the stove and cooking. The facts aren't clear, but it seems that Dinah's recently ended marriage to older playwright Rudy Gendler, whose star is still rising on the New York stage, lasted until she could no longer bear his overly critical nature and after eight years walked out on him. But divorce leaves Dinah hanging by her thumbs and facing an emptiness only Rudy can fill. Then out of the blue, Rudy shows up on the West Coast, where Dinah writes the soap opera Heart's Desire, pops her into bed--and tells her he's found Miss Right back East and foresees marriage. He loves Dinah, but Miss Right is young, cool, calm, and serving--and never an emotional anatomizer like Dinah. Dinah indeed is a master surgeon at tissuing emotions until they bleed like the skin tom from her ever Band-Aided thumbs: ""My father loved me and I never saw him. He might as well not have loved me. So, I guess I confuse love with absence. Which is perfect. I can have an entire relationship with nothing going on from the other side. When nothing becomes enough, anything more becomes unsettling."" So, during a West Coast writers' strike, she pursues Rudy to the Hamptons on Long Island, with no plan except to extend the pain in her thumbs into her whole psychic being, a pain that gives Rudy--and the reader--shivers. Oral surgery with laughing gas.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Simon & Schuster