HIGHER MATH by Jennifer Ball


The Book Moose Minnion Never Wrote
Email this review


 This author's first presents more than we ever wanted to know about the life of a Hollywood slacker, by a former stand-up comedienne, author/producer of the musical Life Is a Low-Budget Musical. Marissa Minnion, nicknamed ``Moose'' by a former boyfriend in reference to her imposing nose, has fallen into a coma after eating too many Brazil nuts, but never fear--her life story has been reconstructed here by a crew of academics drawing on a lifetime of letters and journal entries. According to the evidence, Moose had a depressing tendency to trail boyfriends across continents on a moment's notice in pursuit of eternal romance, though all she won for her adventures in Chicago, London, New York, Greece, and Montana were the everyday betrayals and unbearable boredom that came just as easily at home. Home was Venice Beach, where Moose passed her days snorting cocaine from her neighbor's carpet, flirting with elderly men who begged her to spit in their faces, and dabbling in secretarial jobs, an acting career, and classes at UCLA while fighting an overpowering sense of ennui at every turn. Life was not turning out to be a cabaret, she often mused between tokes. In a search for meaning, she mined her experience as the daughter of an abusive psychology teacher and neurotically passive economics teacher to come up with such mathematically-based psychological insights as: ``Intelligence plus irritation multiplied by time equals knowledge squared,'' and ``Duration of patience with X divided by duration of time with X equals enjoyment of X.'' Such gems of wisdom--along with ``I think it likely that the Virgin Mary got pregnant from a hot tub,'' and ``Have you ever noticed how much police cars look like saddle shoes?''--drift through this lugubrious rap session like sweet-smelling smoke, leaving behind that hung-over, cotton-mouth feeling. California weeping, in need of a firmer editorial hand.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-571-12933-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1991