MY DARLING, MY HAMBURGER by Paul Zindel

MY DARLING, MY HAMBURGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

By their names you might know them: seniors Liz Cartensen and Scan Collins are the beautiful couple who crumble, Maggie Tobin and Dennis Holowitz the uglies who become beautiful--literally--and admirable. And, disconcertingly, the changes occur off stage. In one scene Maggie is a clod, then ""she was like an entirely different girl,"" slender and self-possessed; ditto Dennis, ""who never wore the baggy sweater anymore."" Scan, who counts himself--unaccountably--among the world's victims, turns out, with little warning, to be a common cad. It's Liz, however, who's the hardest to hold on to--because there seems to be nothing there. Flip and smug at the start, she goes soft in long banal letters; succumbing to Sean after a derisive remark by her stepfather (they all have variously contemptible parents), she becomes pregnant, then rejoices that he'll marry her. But Scan, who ""can't talk to"" his father, listens to him, and gives Liz the money for an abortion. From then on it's all downhill--for Liz hurt and shamed by the abortion, for Scan ashamed of himself, for Maggie and Dennis parted peremptorily. Liz and Scan ""should have known what they were risking,"" Maggie thinks. ""The present becomes the past and it continues inside you."" Which is as incontrovertible as it is inconclusive. Whatever its flaws, The Pigman packed a wallop; more conventionally conceived though unconventionally structured, this floats on implications that don't coalesce.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1969
ISBN: 0060757361
Publisher: Harper & Row