THE HIGH COST OF LIVING by Marge Piercy

THE HIGH COST OF LIVING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Musical beds--with the compulsory lesbian scene for openers, and (as centerpiece) the dreary step-by-step coupling of a lesbian and a homosexual: yes, here we have the script for a low-budget porno flick. Low budget because the set is Detroit and all the cardboard characters are (supposedly) working class. Heroine Leslie (lesbian, karate expert, heavy-duty feminist of sorts, and yogurt eater) has left her lover in Grand Rapids for history graduate studies in Detroit, following her mentor George, a familiar type of ambitious, philandering professor. Both lech after seventeen-year-old Honor (no double meaning there), an obnoxious high school prima donna; and lesbian Leslie gets it on with Honor's friend Bernie (a/k/a Bernar'), a pathological if not very inventive liar. Between bedgames they all eat a lot and talk and talk and talk about last year's ""in"" topics: rape hot lines, women's literature, motorcycling, martial arts, cruising, communal living, academic grantsmanship, natural foods (""Enough of that cellulose!""). In self-pitying tones they exchange interminable tales of unlovely childhoods and ponderously analyze each other and especially themselves: ""I'm working on what I want to be, but nobody can stand it,"" ""Sometimes I think I'm basically destructive,"" etc. All this verbalizing is about as fascinating as you'd expect from a stereotypical grad student, a drop out, and a high school honey. And even the sex (the only action apart from a brief ride in a rowboat) is too predictable and leaden to get a healthy prurient interest off the ground.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row