BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky [in Booklist]

Satire? Irony? A nine-hour extended joke? Certainly Marcy Dermansky’s latest is rife with almost every stereotype/cliché – the only one she thankfully avoids is the brown man as terrorist. That said, for those who survive the first eight hours and 40 minutes, the final poolside scene could prove explosively redemptive.

Sophomore “at that overrated liberal arts school on the Hudson” Rachel Klein (made spot-on as overprivileged and whiny by Emily Lawrence) sleeps with her famous writing professor, Zahid Azzam (who is effectively bewildered, as voiced by Vikas Adam). While Zahid travels to his grandmother’s Pakistani deathbed, Rachel takes his poodle to her family’s Connecticut manse for summer break.

Rachel’s still-gorgeous-despite-being-54 mother Becca (crisply voiced by Cassandra Campbell) has recently been left by Wall Street banker husband Jonathan (made impatiently self-absorbed by Johnathan McClain) for VD-ridden, way-younger pilot Mandy. Jonathan’s also boss to financial whiz-kid Khloe-with-a-K (delightfully biting as voiced by January LaVoy) who’s subletting Zahid’s Brooklyn apartment. Zahid returns early and heads to Connecticut with canine-collection as excuse – and stays, choosing mother over daughter as playmate.

Let the implosions carry on … and on!

Review: “Media,” Booklist, January 3, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2019


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