DIARY OF AN EMOTIONAL IDIOT by Maggie Estep

DIARY OF AN EMOTIONAL IDIOT

KIRKUS REVIEW

 MTV's favorite performance artist, a self-styled rebel poet, now commits herself to print in this utterly conventional, at times semi-literate, narrative: an episodic tale of romance in the East Village, with interspersed memories of a screwed-up childhood. Zoe, the posturing narrator of this ``document of Emotional Idiocy,'' is a young woman much like the author: She plays bass guitar, writes porn novels for money, and saves her true self for poetry. She also works part-time as a receptionist in an S&M dungeon, which is perhaps where she learns to be so blasÇ about sextalk. Zoe's ``emotional idiocy'' no doubt results from her dysfunctional past. Her parents divorced early on, and she grew up in places as varied as Colorado and France. Later, she joined her itinerant father as he bummed from job to job as a horse-stable manager. Eventually, though, she ends up living in a New York tenement, where her neighbors include hookers, junkies, strippers, a Heavy Metal guy, a Hefty Lesbian, Japanese fashion students, and a superintendent with an unusually long penis. She and her best friends join together to form Idiots Anonymous, a group with membership restricted to ``dope fiends, sex addicts, or thieves.'' Such is the cool world of la vie bohäme: Zoe herself studies Burroughs's Junkie, makes the obligatory pilgrimage to Morocco, becomes a ``shaky junkie chick,'' and then detoxs and rehabs. Her desultory sex life includes lots of bad guys, masturbation, and some obligatory lesbianism. In the narrative's present time, she's keeping vigil in the closet of her latest ex, a.k.a. ``Satan.'' Poetical outbursts (e.g., she's ``scrubbing the metaphoric toilets of love'') only add to the pretentious claptrap here. Heroin chic, S&M chic, ``the arts'' as a lifestyle choice--all sound like a great idea for a Broadway musical, if only Jonathan ``Rent'' Larsen hadn't gotten there first. (Author tour)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-517-70179-0
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Harmony
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1997




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