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Book Review of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless
reviewed on + 347 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12

For those who've yet to read it, the book can be divided into roughly three [unequal] parts: childhood, high school/college and Susan-as-an-adult. The first part was the best for me - perfect mix of funny and sad, just like a good sweet-and-sour sauce should be. The second section is shorter than the others, which is a good thing.
High school pretty much consists of a looooooooong riff on virginity, with a drawn-out celebrity stalking adventure thrown in. Her college years are covered by one anecdote; all I'll say about that is that Henry seemed like a "metrosexual before his time" and the more he went on about needing to screw his girlfriend the less convincing he sounded. This section was the low point for me. Stick with it though as the later stuff gets better.
Ms. Gilman's conclusions on the concentration camp tour of Poland were the high point of the book for me; her subsequent Congressional job and wedding plans are well-written, interesting stories that coast the book nicely to a smooth end.

I did have a major problem with her presentation: how could she possibly have gotten into Stuyvesant (one of the most prestigious high schools in the nation) and Brown, and have been that clueless? Her rant on having all those deductions from her first actual paycheck (as a high school student) struck me as preposterous. I don't see how she could possibly have not known about deductions (nor have missed the student withholding exemption status when she filled out her tax forms)? Her ignorance about Judaism (she is a native New Yorker raised in an ethnically Jewish, though non-practicing, household!) was so very far-fetched that I had to consciously disregard it as a failed fictional device. I deducted a star for this, and the uneven middle section.

That having been said, I enjoyed the book a lot, and would consider it as gift material for friends and family.