GOD SAID ``HA!'' by Julia Sweeney

GOD SAID ``HA!''

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A disappointing version of Sweeney's well-received one-woman, autobiographical show of the same name. Sweeney, best known as the androgynous character Pat on Saturday Night Live, was excited about living alone in her small L.A. home after an amicable divorce from her husband of five years. But when her younger brother Mike was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma in 1995, he moved in with her. Then Sweeney's parents followed suit. The three houseguests, along with Sweeney and her three cats, made quite a crowd in a house intended for one. Added to the fray were more family members and friends who popped in to visit the ailing Mike, as well as a brand-new boyfriend of Sweeney's named Carl, whose visit from out of town turned into a Catholic schoolgirl's dream of surreptitious sex behind the house after family dinners. (Amazingly, the two are still together.) Sweeney's tale of domestic woe is interspersed with the story of Mike's decline, his chemotherapy, and his eventual death. Also, Sweeney discovered toward the end of Mike's battle that she, too, had cancer--a treatable cervical cancer that necessitated a hysterectomy three days after Mike's death. This is sad, powerful material. Sweeney tells it here in a deadpan way that is never maudlin, but that is also, on the other hand, too terse to be emotionally satisfying. The same is true of the lighter moments: While there are events and characters that seem to have great comic potential (such as Sweeney's descriptions of her parents' idiosyncracies and her recollections of her career highlights and lowlights), that potential never seems to be fully realized. Occasionally touching but sadly flat. Something seems to have been lost in the translation from stage to page. (b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: July 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-553-10647-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1997




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