If you really like Jim Carrey, stick out the insanity for the gems of comic fantasy and the nuggets of memoir gold.

MEMOIRS AND MISINFORMATION

A mad fever dream starring Jim Carrey, incorporating morsels of autobiography with adventures involving Nicolas Cage, Kelsey Grammer, Taylor Swift, Anthony Hopkins, Goldie Hawn, Sean Penn, and many more.

“They say his empire was ruined by the same psychosis that found him, at the end, driving around Tucson with a loaded Uzi on his lap, ranting in word salad, high on methamphetamine.” This remark is made about a fictional celebrity guru named Natchez Gushue, but when you encounter it in Chapter 2 you may wonder if it also applies to the creators of this book. Carrey and his collaborator Vachon pull out all the stops as their protagonist Jim Carrey careens from midlife blues through love and career complications toward the apocalypse. (The actual apocalypse, in which the world ends.) “He was nearing fifty, his fans aging, too. His talent was such that Hollywood could not replace him in its usual way, the kind of body snatching that saw Emma Stone swapped in for Lindsay Lohan, Leonardo DiCaprio taking over for River Phoenix.” The question is, should he stage his comeback with “Disney’s Untitled Play-Doh Fun Factory Project” or with a star turn as Mao Zedong in a biopic by Charlie Kaufman? Mixing the memoir with the misinformation, as the title suggests, is not the clearest or most powerful way Carrey might have presented the story of his life. Did his parents really tell everyone to feel free to beat him, “joking but not really”? Was an affair with Linda Ronstadt in 1982 “the only truly selfless love he’d ever known”? Is the scene where Carrey remembers telling Rodney Dangerfield a joke on the older comic's deathbed (“Don’t worry Rodney, I’m gonna let everyone know you’re really gay. That kind of thing isn’t frowned on anymore”) real? Moments of candor and alarming or moving revelations are a bit lost in the mad rush from Hungry Hungry Hippos in Digital 3D to the end of the world, when “Cher and Dolly Parton whizzed by overhead, both singing Leonard Cohen’s 'Hallelujah.' ”

If you really like Jim Carrey, stick out the insanity for the gems of comic fantasy and the nuggets of memoir gold.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-65597-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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