My Life, Starring Dara Falcon

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9780679455028: My Life, Starring Dara Falcon

Dara Falcon is brilliant, manipulative, a pathological liar. The novel's narrator, Jean Warner, is perfect prey for her. Suddenly Jean's life, her marriage--her idea of herself--are dramatically wrenched out of their seemingly comfortable, if unexamined, balance. And in the process, one of Ann Beattie's urgent themes--the sometimes subtle and sometimes startling difference between how things look and how things are--is compellingly explored.

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Review:

Contrary to expectations raised by the title of Ann Beattie's new novel, the protagonist of My Life Starring Dara Falcon is named Jean, not Dara. This is just the first of many ironies Beattie seeds throughout this, her sixth novel. We learn of Dara Falcon's death on the first page of the novel and discover by the end of the third that in life she was manipulative, self-centered, dishonest, and amoral. But it was not Dara's bad qualities that first attracted Jean Warner to her 20 years before; in those days, Jean was a 20-year-old bride immersed in her dull but respectable husband's family and with only the vaguest sense that life was passing her by. When Dara Falcon with her mysterious past, her ebullient personality, and extravagant dreams blew into town, she becomes something of an obsession for Jean.

Befriending Dara leads to some major repercussions on Jean's life; as she says of their friendship near the end of the book: "I was interested; I was in some odd way validated: I was sometimes titillated, I admired some of the things she did and was repelled by others. Ultimately, I was had, and things spun out of control as they do when you're dealing with any volatile substance..." If at first Jean does give Dara the starring role in her own life, by the end she has come into her own and gives credit where credit is due. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. Thanks to Dara Falcon, Jean Warner has plenty of reasons to live.

From the Back Cover:

"Beattie is in top form. . . . A cool and contained pleasure, much like that of eating subtle and delicious mints one by one." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Beautifully eloquent. . . . Her sense of comedy is unerring." --The New York Times Book Review

"A writer of formidable talent." --Washington Post Book World

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Book Description Knopf, New York, U.S.A., 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. First Edition stated, no writing, marks, underlining, or bookplates. No remainder marks. Signed by Beattie on the full title page. Spine is tight and crisp. Boards are flat and true and the corners are square. Dust jacket is not price-clipped. This collectible, " NEW" condition first edition/first printing copy is protected with a polyester archival dust jacket cover. Beautiful collectible copy. GIFT QUALITY. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 003965

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