Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: The Girl Made of Cool by Alan Fox

Title: the Girl Made of Cool

Author: Alan Fox


Who Should Read It? These are three great stories, and I think if you give the format a chance and allow yourself to get into it, most people would enjoy it. Or most adults, I should say, as some of the content is slightly cynical, and I think some younger people might have trouble relating to that.

What I Have to Say:
I was pleasantly surprised by "the Girl Made of Cool." I had read some interesting reviews of this book that had me very curious about it, but going into it I really didn't think that I would like it as much as I did. People had said that it might be difficult to get into the "screen play format," and after reading the book, I'm still wondering what they're talking about. What screen play format? It's true that the format was a bit different than what one is used to in books - the place and time were often written out explicitly before conversations and things would take place, but it was still nothing like any screen play I've ever read.

I quite enjoyed the way he set things up, as the "the Girl Made of Cool" seemed more to me to be a social commentary on relationships and the different ways there are of approaching them than anything else, and by setting up the setting in such away, it allowed Alan Fox more freedom to work with what he was trying to say and to use his beautiful style for the things that actually mattered in the book.

Ridley and Chet, roommates, are two very different people, both in love with the same girl. It was incredibly interesting watching how these two totally different personalities approached the same situation. Chet was slightly psychotic, totally self-interested, and didn't hesitate to turn himself into another person in order to get the girl. He did his best not to think about love, as for him, ACCOMPLISHMENTS are what matter most. Ridley, however, seemed overcome by emotion and was unable to move forward without explaining his every move and over analyzing everything. I was often time horrified by some of the things that Chet thought and did, but there is a soft spot forever in my heart for Ridley. He's absolutely the kind of guy I could fall for.

Jayne, the object of their interest, had a slightly exaggerated personality, which was perfect for allowing us to really understand the way that type of girl might react to the differences in Chet and Ridley. The conversations she had with Ridley were interesting, insightful, and by far my favorite part of this story. Her relationship with Chet was horrifying in that it made me wonder if I have ever been so easily duped by a charming guy. It's so easy not to see what's right in front of us, in so many ways.

"The Girl Made of Cool" was a great story, but it was not the only story in the book. It was the best, but "Hell Has Blue Skies" and "The Lovely Lady at the Love Museum" were both also quite good.

"Hell Has Blue Skies" made me scared to ever have to have a real job in the business world. If Fox's portrayal of life in an office in "Hell has Blue Skies" is anything close to truth, well, I will be crazy one day. This simple story had me laughing out loud and physically cringing.

"The Lovely Lady at the Love Museum" was an incredibly short, easy read, and I was glad that it was the last story in the book, as it left me with a warm, happy feeling in my heart. This was the only one, to me, that seemed slightly out of touch with reality. Or rather, that looked at the world in a slightly positive light (as opposed to a cynical light).

"The Girl Made of Cool" was without a doubt the best story in this book - it contained the most substance and the most humour, but I would still recommend reading the whole thing. The two short stories at the end are still full of Alan Fox's cynical humour and creative writing style, and if you like the "Girl Made of Cool," you'll probably like those two as well. I think the YA crowd may have some trouble relating to the content of this book, but other than that, I think it's quite likable. I guess the only issue is if you can deal with the format (though, honestly, it didn't disturb me at all. I liked it, even. I have slight trouble understanding why others had so much trouble with it). If you have ever been duped by a charming guy or worked in the crazy business world, give this book a try!

Summary: THE GIRL MADE OF COOL (First Edition) -- Featuring a new novel and two other stories by Alan Fox. ---- Author ALAN FOX writes love stories, filled with a sense of awe and wonder, and set against a brutal world. "THE GIRL MADE OF COOL" is his vibrant new novel and the centerpiece of this collection. Here, Fox tells the story of a young man and woman who are falling in love with each other, but the young woman doesn't know it. She believes that she's falling in love with the man's far more handsome, more perfect friend. ... As the story unfolds and deepens, we see how these two highly talented young men must suffer, struggle, and wage battle to woo this young woman. This, as all the while, she grows into an ever greater beauty, a more charismatic personality, and an all-the-more alluring woman. ... This, as all the while, this young lady grows to become an elegant woman made of shining love and elusive cool. -- Also featured here in this collection, you will find: The Novel "HELL HAS BLUE SKIES" -- A love story about intense relationships in an office, whose unusual line of business is to train people to become 'world-class experts.' And the short story "THE LOVELY LADY AT THE LOVE MUSEUM" -- A colorful tale of romance and high-level maneuvering in the big city. ---- ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Alan Fox writes love stories about people looking for a sense of wonder in a brutal world, people pursuing beauty in the face of insanity. His previous novel, "The Seeker in Forever," is now available in a second revised edition.

Cover Story: I think it's unfortunate that this book wasn't given a real cover. Some interesting covers could have come from the content.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review by the author. This in no way affected my review.



Tales of Whimsy said...

Regarding your cover take: true true!

Simcha said...

Your review of this book has me really intrigued. I've never heard of it before but now I really want to read it. And I agree about the cover, it is really dull. Thanks for the review!

Unknown said...

As a rule I'm not really one for short stories, but that does not mean I do not read them. They are just not my choice of book. I like the themes in these but I'm not sure about this screen play format you talk of. This is ceratinly a maybe and I have to say that it is so great that you review different books to everyone else.

MBW aka Olleymae said...

Definitely sounds like an interesting book. I totally agree that Fox is shorted by that cover!

Sara said...

Love the title! And love that you get more than one story in the book :)

Aarti said...

I love that people describe the book as being in a certain format and you, even after reading the book, didn't really get what that format was! That happens to me quite often, not on format particularly, but on lots of other things. I feel like I don't always know the terminology, or that certain things even HAVE specific terms used to describe them.

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