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Alvie Knightly is a train wreck: aimless, haphazard, and pretty much constantly drunk. Alvie's existence is made even more futile in contrast to that of her identical and perfect twin sister, Beth. Alvie lives on social media, eats kebabs for breakfast, and gets stopped at security when the sex toy in her carry-on starts buzzing. Beth is married to a hot, rich Italian, dotes on her beautiful baby boy, and has always been their mother's favorite. The twins' days of having anything in common besides their looks are long gone.
When Beth sends Alvie a first-class plane ticket to visit her in Italy, Alvie is reluctant to go. But when she gets fired from the job she hates and her flatmates kick her out on the streets, a luxury villa in glitzy Taormina suddenly sounds more appealing. Beth asks Alvie to swap places with her for just a few hours so she can go out unnoticed by her husband. Alvie jumps at the chance to take over her sister's life - if only temporarily. But when the night ends with Beth dead at the bottom of the pool, Alvie realizes that this is her chance to change her life.
Alvie quickly discovers that living Beth's life is harder than she thought. What was her sister hiding from her husband? And why did Beth invite her to Italy at all? As Alvie digs deeper, she uncovers Mafia connections, secret lovers, attractive hit men, and one extremely corrupt priest, all of whom are starting to catch on to her charade. Now Alvie has to rely on all the skills that made her unemployable - a turned-to-11 sex drive, a love of guns, lying to her mother - if she wants to keep her million-dollar prize. She is uncensored, unhinged, and unforgettable.
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By Paul E. Williams on 04-08-18
Psycho Chick Lit
As a heterosexual male I probably have no right to give Mad a critical review. It wasn’t written for me and I wasn’t it’s target demographic. So I’ll start with what I did like. First, the writer is witty. The book has more clever lines per minute than an episode of Family Guy. I also think,with the right actress, it will make a great movie. The attitude of the female lead in the book reminded me of the lead in the TV show, The Worst. But the beauty of The Worst was that that the characters fear of being hurt caused them to put on a tough facade that just causes the pain they were trying to avoid. The characters are attractive because we know they’re really hurting inside and just want to love and be loved. The lead character in Mad is simply a psychopath. She’s more American Psycho than Fifty shades. And that’s the problem, because a critical component of an erotic novel seems to me to be characters a reader might actually want to f#ck. No one wants to f#ck American Psycho. Where 50 Shades hit every evolutionary sexual hot button, Mad doesn’t seem to understand the required formula. Where 50 Shades has wealth, good genes, obsessive love, endlesss foreplay, and guilt-free sex because it’s forced, the thrill of imagined naughty ness followed by spankings that don’t hurt and bondage that merely frees the female from any obligation except to endure the pleasure. The characters in Mad are cold and passionless. They F#ck with mechanical, porn-star precision, but with all the passion of a $20 hooker. Robbed of any significant emotional connection to the characters, I found myself fantasizing about killing them rather than wanting to f#ck them. Maybe if I were a polite and proper female reader I might have had more fanciful admiration for the lead character’s “bad girl” persona, but I didn’t. She certainly deserves a spanking. Just not a good one. ;-)
(Final note: My review is of the audiobook. While the narrator was excellent, I would recommend against the audio version. The deficiencies I list above might not have been so problematic if I had been freer to imagine the character’s emotions. While I believe the emotions conveyed by the narrator seemed accurate to the text, it would have been easier for me to imagine her as slightly different or less psychotic without the narrator dictating the imagined inflection and emotions.