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Book Reviews: American Heire$$ + 12 80s Teen Novels

American Heire$$: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin
This true crime novel recounts the bizarre almost blackly comic true story of the abduction of Patricia Hearst and her subsequent participation in crimes committed by her kidnappers. Toobin has definite combative view on Heart’s culpability. He seems to have a personal dislike of her for being rich, privileged, sexually active and for not being emotional in a way he approves of.

The attitude of the author and the others in the book to the sexual violence Hearst alleges she suffered is disturbing. Other disturbing issues aren’t even addressed (Patty’s hygiene, her dramatic weight loss during captivity, her health issues and the bizarre behaviour of her one time fiancée). This was good but one can understand why Hearst didn’t cooperate with it.

Best Lines:
“This is the white unit,”

“Menacing procession.”

“Mood turned consistently apocalyptic.”

“Plotting revenge, in some unspecified way,”

“Soon recognise the folly of relying on a drunken stranger for advice on operational security.”

“Which had, like the counterculture, degenerated into a crime-ravaged ruin.”

“Never tried to persuade them that she still needed saving.”

“They fought on alone, though it was never clear to what end.”

“She possessed the long straight hair and tinted aviator glasses that were the signature of glamorous counterculture figures.”

“This kind of behaviour was less aberrational than it appears today,”

“The putrid disease of bourgeois mentality.”

“Made exactly the enemies he wanted.”

There were 20 ‘Sugar and Spice’ books by Janet Quin Harkin back in the 80s. They centred on a city girl being visited by her country cousin who never left. I read 6 of the books: ‘Two Girls, One Boy’, ‘Trading Places’, ‘The Last Dance’, ‘Dear Cousin’, ‘Nothing In Common’ and ‘Flip Side’. I liked them, horrendous 80s covers and all.

There were 20 of the ‘Roommates’ books by Susan Blake and Alison Blair in the 80s. I read 6 books: ‘All-Nighter’, ‘Crash Course’, ‘Major Changes’, ‘Extra Credit’, ‘Multiple Choice’ and ‘Final Exams’ and liked them, 80s covers and all.
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