Wednesday, 7 August 2013

So I Read Drinking At The Movies

A 250 word (or less) review of Drinking At The Movies
by Julia Wertz, Three Rivers Press

Honesty has a weird relationship with narrative. One kind of narrative storytelling is fiction, which is essentially entertaining lies that encapsulate some kind of narrative honesty. The other kind, narrative non-fiction and autobiography, uses real events to tell a story. The trouble is that a lot of this true style of narrative is somewhat dishonest. There is a temptation, I think, to try to take real life and construct a compelling, higher-truth kind of literary narrative. If you have at all lived a life, you know this is very seldomly how things work. Real life is messy: for all the excitement and fun and tragedy there is an equal measure of pointlessness, routine, and miscellany. Basically, in real life people have got to buy groceries and poop. What I like most about Drinking At The Movies, the autobiographical tale of anti-ingenue Julia Wertz moving to the Big Apple for profoundly unprofound reasons, is that it is uncut narrative honesty. Wertz invites the reader into her life with all of its intimate drama and banal misery and just shares it with a satisfyingly self-aware lens and a razor-edged sense of humour. It's simply a conduit to life as Wertz. And of course all of this is delivered in Wertz's equally honest feeling cartoon style. Drinking At The Movies is an enjoyable autobiographical comic that manages to be an amusing and unpretentious slice of life. And if nothing else it has the refreshing feeling of being honest.

Word count: 245

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