Normal Girl

Off the Bookshelf

Normal Girl

by Molly Jong-Fast

Villard, 208 pp., $21.95

The rich are different from you and me -- not only do they have more money but their drug problems are much more interesting. This just about sums up Molly Jong-Fast's Normal Girl, a short chronicle of the self-destructive life of Miranda Woke, a perpetually indulged devotee of the Manhattan party circuit. The book is carelessly underdeveloped -- primarily it lacks compelling characters and an actual plot. It has as much setting and descriptive detail as a gossip column. Its attempts at humor and satire aren't particularly funny or revealing, either. Perhaps if Jong-Fast had a few more years to develop more insight into the (admittedly) autobiographical basis for this book, it would have more to offer. With the current publishing craze for the screwed-up but lovable heroine, it takes some nerve to want to put over a main character that is as self-involved and mean as such screwed-up people usually are. But as it is, the novel is as anorexic as the models, socialites, and drug addicts who barely populate it.

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Normal Girl, Molly Jong-Fast

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