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Review: Dear Mr. You

November 19, 2015

Dear Mr You

Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker is a series of letters to many of the men who’ve mattered to her over the years.  The men are addressed in the salutation with a name like “Mentor,” “Father Bob,” or “Orderly,” and then referred to as “you” throughout the letter.  I could follow the arc of most of the letters but couldn’t always understand their significance to Parker.  I don’t know that much about her life and wondered if they would have meant more to me if I did, but most of the letters felt incomplete to me and left me wanting more.

This book is very literary and was probably too smart for me because everyone else has loved it.  I’ve seen others call it “innovative” and “profound,”  but, for me, it was mostly confusing.  I really wanted to love it but it just wasn’t for me.  If you’re a fan of Parker’s or literary work, you should give it a try.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
28 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2015 4:25 am

    Happens to me all the time – I love my pop culture books a bit too much for the literary masterpieces to have much impact on me!

  2. Beth F permalink
    November 19, 2015 7:25 am

    Too bad this didn’t work for you. I wasn’t planning on reading this, but now you’ve made me curious.

  3. November 19, 2015 7:49 am

    I don’t know much about her either, sorry you didn’t like it more.

  4. November 19, 2015 8:07 am

    I don’t think it was too smart for you, I think it just wasn’t that great of a book. I read an excerpt of it and found myself underwhelmed. I like her as an actress, but not as an author. This is a book I would definitely not read and not miss.

  5. November 19, 2015 8:28 am

    I’m not very familiar with her either and don’t know much about the book, but you’ve made me curious.

  6. November 19, 2015 9:27 am

    As soon as you said “literary,” I knew I was out!

  7. November 19, 2015 9:31 am

    I had to goggle the author. I really don’t live under a rock, but I just didn’t remember her. NPR gave a good review, but that in itself is probably a put off for me….the last 3 books that NPR recommended were losers as far as I was concerned. Thanks for your honest review.

  8. November 19, 2015 10:12 am

    I’ve enjoyed her acting and several of the movies she has starred in, mostly from the 90s, especially the one where she played a young woman dying of AIDS (Boys on the Side with Drew Barrymore and Whoopi Goldberg). She is probably best known recently for Weeds.

    I had been eyeing this book, but I really don’t enjoy the epistolary writing style, and if the letters are also confusing…probably not for me. I would love a memoir that would tell us about her life, though. Too bad she didn’t write that….LOL.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Patty permalink
    November 19, 2015 11:09 am

    Yikes! I hate confusing books! I know this is not for me!

  10. November 19, 2015 12:41 pm

    Ugh – I hate it when a book makes me feel like that. Like I just couldn’t understand the profoundness the author was putting out…but I also think that sometimes it really is just confusing writing, structure, whatever.
    I would like to read her letter to Billy Crudup, though! He was in a long-term relationship w/ Parker when he had an affair with Claire Danes.

  11. November 19, 2015 1:04 pm

    Oh no fun! I remember her from Fried Green Tomatoes {which i adored} and I know she played in Weeds {but I never watched it}. That stinks when a book you think you’ll enjoy just doesn’t do it for you. I’ll pass on this one too.

  12. November 19, 2015 2:11 pm

    Good to know! I had been curious about this one.

  13. November 19, 2015 2:12 pm

    Mary Louise Parker the actress? I had no idea she wrote. I saw this one on some must read list and once I knew what it was about I groaned a little. It’s not my thing.

  14. November 19, 2015 3:54 pm

    Sadly not for me

  15. November 19, 2015 4:28 pm

    This wasn’t on my radar until recently and I was mildly interested. But, I don’t think this is my cup of tea. But like Sarah above I’d be curious to read her letter to her ex Billy Crudup!

  16. November 19, 2015 4:44 pm

    Sounds like an interesting concept

  17. bookingmama permalink
    November 19, 2015 5:43 pm

    I’m torn on this one. I loved her on West Wing and Weeds but I’m not sure I’d like it…

  18. November 20, 2015 1:48 am

    Thanks for your honest review, Kathy. You are too modest.

  19. November 20, 2015 12:23 pm

    I feel the same way about the movies that win all the awards! They are never as good as I assume they should be if so many people liked them OR I’m not smart enough to get whatever I was supposed to have gotten while watching.

  20. November 20, 2015 3:41 pm

    I love to read letters! I gotta give it a try!

  21. November 20, 2015 4:22 pm

    I totally know what you mean – I’ve felt that way about a lot of books, especially ones that are supposed to have lot of symbolism. Usually goes right over my head! But I am a fan of hers so I may read this book. It’s not on the top of my list though.

  22. November 22, 2015 2:55 pm

    I actually really liked this one, I thought the writing was just beautiful. It was a maybe a little too much in some parts, but a bunch of the essays really worked for me. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it!

  23. November 23, 2015 1:15 am

    I saw the hype for this book and did consider reading it. I’m glad I saw your review first. I can see this is not for me.

  24. Literary Feline permalink
    November 23, 2015 2:59 pm

    I hate that feeling: “too smart for me”. I feel that way sometimes when I’m reading books like this too. 😦 But I don’t believe that at all, Kathy. Not about you. This one just wasn’t a good fit for you. It’s not one I see myself reading, to be honest.

  25. The Cue Card permalink
    November 25, 2015 6:03 pm

    I can’t say I’m too interested in this one. But thanks for the warning on it.

  26. November 26, 2015 1:40 am

    I loved her in Weeds. Weeds is one of my top favorite shows in the history of television. Smart, witty, shocking, twists. But I admit I don’t know jack about her life. If it doesn’t explain why the letters are important and it’s not obvious in their writing, I am not sure it would make much sense to me. I can appreciate literary books, but I won’t read something just because it was written beautifully. There needs to be something more.

  27. November 29, 2015 9:28 pm

    Not for me. I’m not nearly smart enough!

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