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Watch Your Mouthby Daniel Handler
Synopses & Reviews
A golem is a creature made of clay that will rise up and do your bidding. The story of the golem is an old one, and nobody knows whether it's true or not. It's like an old family story in this way, or like the best sex of your life — did it happen the way you remember, or is it all just in your dirty mind? The summer Joseph lives with his girlfriend Cynthia and her family is something like an opera, and something like a twelve-step program, and Joseph wants very much to find out what's true and what's not. Does Cyn's father want Joseph to sleep with her, or does he want Cyn all to himself? Does Cyn's brother want to seduce his mother, or is this just one of his experiments? And speaking of experiments, what is Mrs. Glass building out of clay, late at night, in the basement? You can't always find out what's true about a family, but Joseph hopes that he can remember the few important details he needs to know in time. Because something is rising out of the river, and he really wants to know just whose bidding it's going to do.
"Layered with coincidences and surprises, Joseph's on-the-lam nine-step self-help program achieves some of the novel's potential as a 'Turn of the Screwball' black comedy." Publishers Weekly
"...Handler is a writer who is more than ready to pick up Vonnegut's torch and write the kind of deftly funny absurdist story that both horrifies with its subject matter and hooks you with its humor." Salon
"A clever, stylized novel, ripe with literary and religious puns and symbols...Mouth is clever, witty, and unpredictable." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Watch Your Mouth is a tricky performance, sly and willful...the sense of humor remains very dry. It's funny." New York Newsday
"Sex...and Handler's clever writing provide entertainment, but the novel, like the golem in it...lacks the requisite soul for longevity." Library Journal
"Beneath all the busy trimmings...it's just another reworking of your basic self-reflexive parody incest opera mystery. About average for the genre." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] monsterpiece of creativity...[Handler is a]...virtuosic and original writer" San Francisco Chronicle
On the surface it appears that Joseph has landed a sweet deal: he's spending the summer before his senior year of college living with his girlfriend in her parents' house in Pittsburgh, where both of them will be working as arts and crafts counselors at Camp Shalom. Suffice it to say, things are not as they seem. Perhaps Joseph should have realized that this would not be the summer of uninterrupted sex and romance for which he had hoped. Perhaps he should have recognized the evil forces lurking around the Glass house. Instead, Joseph will enter the Glass home blinded by lust only to spend an erotically scarring summer in Pittsburgh. Watch Your Mouth is his story, or rather his opera, followed by his twelve-step program.
Tolstoy wrote that happy families are alike and that each unhappy family is unhappy in a different way. In Watch Your Mouth, Daniel Handler takes "different" to a whole new level...
About the Author
Daniel Handler is the author of The Basic Eight and Watch Your Mouth. He is married to a woman named Lisa Brown. He lives in San Francisco.
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