The romantic mishaps of a paranoid television writer are chronicled in this debut novel from former E! host Asner, now married to director Steven Soderbergh.
Dani Hale is in her mid-30s. She has been working her way up professionally and has been dating Dave, a handsome director, for two years. In typical Hollywood fashion, Dave is cheating on her with a beautiful actress. Dani discovers Dave’s indiscretions and dumps him, but this betrayal, along with a dysfunctional upbringing that she has never resolved, break Dani’s thin façade of sanity. She increases her usual amount of stalking and snooping, and in doing so not only ruins potential love matches but readers’ sympathies as well. Dani is certainly crazy, but she is not funny-crazy, and her escapades are painful to read about. It is easier to relate to her obsession with dieting and lattes, and more difficult to relate to her obsession with and neurosis regarding men—and not just those she dates. Dani’s friends try to rescue her from her increasing paranoia only to be rebuffed. Once Dani ruins her relationships with her girlfriends, there isn’t an appealing thread left. Dani’s actions go from merely unattractive and perplexing to outright offensive. A surprisingly gory twist takes readers to the absolute edge of their suspension of belief. The book fails to be either a black comedy or an interesting, in-depth exploration of a twisted mind. Instead, it falls into a strange, pointless middle ground, making it excruciating to follow Dani to the book’s conclusion.