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The Memory Book of Starr Faithfull

Vanderbilt, Gloria

28 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0394587758 / ISBN 13: 9780394587752
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1994
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Black Falcon Books (Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First edition, stated. Signed by the author on the title page: "Gloria Vanderbilt." Jacket design by Chip Kidd. Quarterbound in white paper-covered boards with a blind imprint "GV" on the front board and a black cloth, gold-lettered spine. Book is square and unmarked; corners sharp, tail of spine lightly bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $24.00). Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 007649

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Memory Book of Starr Faithfull

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, New York

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


The intensely erotic diary of a beautiful young heiress, Starr Faithfull, whose battered body washes up on a New York beach, recreates the illicit affair between a child and her cousin, a prominent Boston politician, in a story based on a real-life case. 50,000 first printing. Tour.

From Kirkus Reviews:

This ludicrous recreation of an early 20th century diary by poor-little-rich-girl Vanderbilt (Never Say Goodbye, 1989, etc.) proves definitively that being famous is in no way equivalent to being talented. Despite her fatuous name, Starr Faithfull was an actual person whose mysterious death in 1931 led the police to discover her diary, which revealed that her cousin Andrew J. Peters, who had served as mayor of Boston, had sexually abused her beginning when she was 11 and he was 45. After the investigation, the journal disappeared. Vanderbilt begins in 1917 on Faithfull's 11th birthday, and the sugary tone that poisons all the entries is immediately apparent. Faithfull soon begins pretentiously calling her journal a ``Memory Book'' and addressing it directly as ``Mem.'' Daily incidents are reported fastidiously, punctuated with plenty of phrases like ``Oh Mem, I can't wait!'' and other fey touches meant to lend little-girl innocence. Faithfull comes across as a simpering brat (``Lucy Edwina and I are the most important girls in school now that Cousin A. is mayor of Boston''), and her repetitiously similar upper-crust tales of Christmas and dancing school all run together. Even the abuse by Peters (whom Faithfull nicknames ``Fou'' because those are his initials in a secret code that she created) is meaningless fluff from this spoiled child's point of view. He plies her with a bottled substance (presumably ether) that Faithfull refers to as ``creamy dreamy'' because of the sensations it causes, and engages her in games of ``make the corn grow.'' Occasionally Vanderbilt appears to recall that this is meant to be a historical novel, so she has Faithfull pen a line like ``A very terrible thing has happened in Russia, Mem. The Bolsheviks executed Czar Nicholas II and all his family.'' In 1924 Faithfull moves from Boston to New York City, where she starts hanging out with a bad crowd, then becomes obsessed with a man. Hers is a sad, perhaps even interesting story that deserved better treatment. Painfully shallow. (Literary Guild selection) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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