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Dutch

Dutch

Thanks for being my friend, and thanks for putting up with me.

The Cigarette Girl - Carol Wolper I just want to comment why I believe this book is actually called "The Cigarette Girl", because someone commented that they didn't get it--she didn't even smoke, thinking she was supposed to be literally a girl who smoked.

Back in the 20s/30s there were 'cigarette girls' who worked at movie theatres, and stood back and carried a tray that was strapped around them and sold cigarettes and candy. They added nothing to the film, but they were always there, and likely saw it all.

That's the main character Elizabeth's take on her position in the film industry. She's never given much credit, and she is seeing all that is going on around her good, bad, and ugly.

It's symbolic because of the fact there are no more "cigarette girls" working, but she exhibits the quintessential wallflower, working as a screen writer instead.

This story was an easy, quick read (I read it within one day), and did make me laugh on occasion. I completely identified with Elizabeth, and her disdain for phony women and suck-ups. The last thing on her mind is marriage and kids, and she tries to fit in to the world where practically everyone thinks this is important. Love it.

But what distracted me was the dialogue and narrative flowed in to each other. I wish this novel was written in third person. Carol Wolper has a great talent for writing witty dialogue, but the problem is that everyone had witty dialogue, and after a while, it was just a little unbelievable. She should have saved all of it for her main character letting her stand out.

A BIT OF A SPOILER... BUT NOT REALLY... KEEP READING AT YOUR DISCRETION...

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The other problem is the sudden ending. The last chapter is three pages long, and I actually had to keep rereading it to make sure I didn't miss some deep meaning that whipped right by. I hadn't.

The book is unapologetically raw and cute at the same time, cleverly done with actual snippets of movie script-style narrative/dialogue. But it doesn't seem like Wolper is a real "and the moral of the story is...." kind of writer. I was expecting some meaningful ending, and I was a tad ripped off. Which was so unfair since the book had me all the way up to those last few pages!

Or was that the point...?

Wolper describes her character as being the type that doesn't care for mushy endings. Maybe this was her way of proving it? If it was, the ending matched exactly what the character was about all along. All I know is I didn't really like it. I wanted the girl who never had a happy ending to finally get one.