MY LIFE AS A WHALE by Dyan Sheldon


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 ``Betsy,'' says the loopy hero of Sheldon's latest wacko farce, ``how many times do I have to tell you? I do not have a Peter Pan complex.'' Oh, but Michael Householder--insistently average though the author makes him out to be--does have serious problems, some of them caused by his own selfish fussiness (he's the kind of guy who bakes his own crackers). Other troubles stem from the simple fact that, in his own words, ``As of the summer of 1986, some stockbroker in the Village and I were the only two fully operational, healthy, solvent, heterosexual males within...a seventy-mile radius of New York City...who were not married, about to be married, or as good as married.'' Thus, after his live-in girlfriend splits (starved for both commitment and affection, leaving her parrot, Gracie, behind), Mikey is pursued relentlessly, it seems, by every woman in town. His life turns into a living hell. So, the clever boy creates himself a wife, putting a woman's voice on the answering machine, taking out the trash in a lady's robe, teaching Gracie appropriately wively one-liners, and even getting his best buddy to attend a party with him in drag. This quells the female interest but causes a raft of other problems- -among them the fact that when he decides to ``separate'' from the little woman, he's suspected of being a serial killer.... Of course, things all work out in the end, and the ridiculous plot even takes on a madcap momentum of its own. Still, Mike is never a plausible, authentic character and the comic cogitations are overwritten. Not to worry, though. Hollywood snapped this up, which makes sense--it'll probably make a snappy, Tootsie-ish movie.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-679-40691-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1992