An offbeat memoir of a quirky writer and his life with his fiancée.
Journalist Gurley describes himself at various times as “neurotic, obsessive-compulsive [and] infantile-arrested” in this strange memoir of the six-plus years leading to his engagement to his girlfriend/fiancée, Hilly. In a series of therapy sessions with a Dr. Selman, Gurley and Hilly expose their foibles to each other, from their first sexual encounters to their heavy drinking to their inability to handle money and debt. Fearful of becoming one of the “castrati”—Gurley’s interpretation of a married man—he does everything possible to avoid change, including late nights at the bar, chasing other women and “infantile rages and apocalyptic phobias.” Although he refers to himself as a “kind of postmodern troll, like one of the fiends that chase you in dreams,” Gurley does exhibit love and compassion toward Hilly, who is also portrayed with all her flaws. Despite his initial inability to commit, his anger and his self-absorption, Hilly remained a loyal partner, slowly wheedling away at Gurley’s will to remain single. At times amusing, Gurley’s stories may offend some readers with references to marriage as a “lifetime prison sentence, a ball and chain” and comments that blatantly objectify women as sex objects. Even taken as a parody of a couple in love, readers may shake their heads in unison with Dr. Selman, wondering why these two people stayed together through all their troubles.
A farcical tale of two people loaded with emotional baggage who still manage to make their relationship work.