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Bernadette

Postby Muskrat » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:03 pm

Just finished reading the public library copy of "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" Very nice, but I felt bad about depriving the author of her peppercorn in royalties, until I finished the book, and realized she owed me a peppercorn for acting as a captive audience to her 'I'm so messed up but so special' monologue. Her surrogate character is determined not to submit to therapy, but her acting out, and the author's insistence on justifying Bernadette's various cutesy pathologies, make it clear that the reader is the unpaid shrink who's supposed to be rapt. So we're even.

It's still a pretty good book -- witty, mordantly observant, sly. I would recommend it to anyone who likes acid-edged social satire and/or wacky set pieces, or precocious youngsters like the kid in "Fever Pitch" who gives Jimmy Fallon love advice in "Fever Pitch." Ms. Semple, like her protagonist, has talent, and like Bernadette the sooner she starts putting it to good use, the better.

But seriously. Nobody who wrote for Arrested Development ought to be allowed to write about a character who was involved in a gloriously unconventional, misunderstood creative project (20 mile house/AD) that was rejected by Hollywood philistines (reality TV neighbor/Fox execs). Get over it.

(Sorry if this sounds mean. I did like it, and would gladly send her the $0.50 or whatever she would get in royalties if I'd actually bought a copy).
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Re: Bernadette

Postby Ken Jennings » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:45 pm

I think you've misread the book if you assume the author is on board with Bernadette's nutty behavior. She's clearly a deeply unhealthy character who tests the reader's patience at almost every turn.

But seriously. Nobody who wrote for Arrested Development ought to be allowed to write about a character who was involved in a gloriously unconventional, misunderstood creative project (20 mile house/AD) that was rejected by Hollywood philistines (reality TV neighbor/Fox execs). Get over it.


That doesn't make any sense.
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Postby naurae29 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:06 pm

I just finished "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" the other night, and am not convinced Muskrat and I read the same book. The so-called "I'm so messed up but so special" monologue is by no means unapologetic, and I basically agree with Ken about the author's posture toward Bernadette.

Today, I started rereading the whole novel, just to see how the eventual revelations color everything else. The story holds up as a comedy of errors founded on a few underlying and very real tragedies. Semple manages to make her characters both cartoony and human. The novel is funny, thoughtful, and clever. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Re: Bernadette

Postby naurae29 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:30 pm

So, I was on Friday's episode of Jeopardy! and I was both shocked and thrilled that I got to ring in and answer "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?". Thanks for the assist, Ken!
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Re: Bernadette

Postby grodney » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:47 am

naurae29 wrote:So, I was on Friday's episode of Jeopardy! and I was both shocked and thrilled that I got to ring in and answer "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?". Thanks for the assist, Ken!


Congrats on the win the day before! I don't watch much Jeopardy! or follow strategy.....was there any evident logic to Fred's final wager? Were you surprised?
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Re: Bernadette

Postby naurae29 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:49 pm

grodney wrote:Congrats on the win the day before! I don't watch much Jeopardy! or follow strategy.....was there any evident logic to Fred's final wager? Were you surprised?


Hey, thanks! By his own admission: no particular logic. As evidenced by my reaction on national television: shocked! :)
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Re: Bernadette

Postby Ken Jennings » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:35 pm

naurae29 wrote:So, I was on Friday's episode of Jeopardy! and I was both shocked and thrilled that I got to ring in and answer "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?". Thanks for the assist, Ken!


That was you?!? No way! Maria Semple actually texted me that day to ask if Jeopardy was going to be a rerun...she'd heard she was a clue, but was very traumatized last time this happened and no one answered correctly.

So your buzz there really meant a lot to her. :)
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