A funny, sexy memoir of a good girl gone momentarily very bad.
The title suggests yet another tale of addiction and redemption. Not quite. Jones (The Art of Cheating: A Nasty Little Book for Tricky Little Schemers and Their Hapless Victims, 2007) was an unhappily married executive at a Manhattan dot-com in the late 1990s, just past 30 and worrying about losing her edge too soon when she began taking guitar lessons from a “Jewish Vinnie Barbarino” for whom she felt an instant sexual attraction. Thus followed a couple of years in which she fell in deeper with her Virgil of badness and increasingly estranged from her oddly passive and incurious college-sweetheart husband. She began nightclubbing, putting together a band, taking cocaine and other drugs, and enjoying lots of the best sex of her life. This is not an especially profound book—the deepest thing in it is the epigraph from the Gnostic Bibles—and Jones skirts romantic-comedy cliché territory. She even has a gay male confidant who inspired the book’s title and delivers its biggest laugh-out-loud line (which may be worth the price of the book). However, Jones is a talented writer. The chapter explaining the book’s title is a masterpiece of comic writing, and Jones writes freshly and perceptively about love, lust and sex. Despite ample evidence of her real-life ability to lie, in her book, at least, she is starkly (and wittily) honest about her own faults while being generous toward the deeply flawed men in her life.
Some readers will find Jones’ sins unappealing, but many will be eager to see what other books come out of her—a guilty pleasure.