We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.
My Book World
Twenty-eight-year-old Charlie leaves his night job writing news copy for a Los Angeles TV station to become “personal assistant” to actor and movie star, Kathi Kannon. When one learns that author Lane once served as Carrie Fisher’s PA, one wants to turn Kathi’s voice into Carrie’s, Gracie Gold’s (Kathy’s mother) into Debbie Reynolds. As with any competent fiction, however, Lane creates two great characters that only reflect that he once knew them both, not that he’s out to recreate them.
And this book is full of so many unforgettable voices. Begin with Kathi’s: off the bat she renames Charlie “Cockring.” From there, it’s only a short step to all the other outrageous things she says while he shops with her, travels with her, sees her in and out of hospitals for . . . well, read for yourself to find out what. Cockring’s head is full of voices: his father bellowing at him through the years by way of sentences in all caps: “WE ALL HAVE TO DO THINGS IN LIFE WE DON’T WANT TO DO!” (66); his own fears as he speaks to his inner Siri: “Hey, Siri, I want to impress. I want to be the best assistant. I want to rescue my failing grade” (77); the voice of Cockring’s Therapista; the voices of all the other PAs to Hollywood stars, all with their own nicknames, who collectively write what is known as The Assistant’s Bible, chock full of information every great PA should memorize.
Cockring realizes early: “I have to be: to accept life as it happens, to be still and rest in knowing the universe is friendly, that good things will come, that good things are already here, that ‘good things’ include tidying her house, getting her car serviced, sorting her pills, surrendering my needs to hers” (91).
NEXT FRIDAY: My Book World | E. M. Forster's A Life to Come