Looking for Mr. Goodbar: A powerful depressant

The woman’s position is decidedly uncomfortable.

Theresa Dunn is nobody you’d particularly notice. She’s an average looking girl with average intelligence who teaches first grade in a New York City school.

One of five children, Terry like millions of others attended parochial schools and like thousands of others was paralyzed by polio in the decade after World War II.

Polio made Theresa different.

That and the accidental death of her beloved elder brother who was more like a father to her than her father.

Hospitalization warped Terry.

Afterward she yearns for love and fears its impermanence.

In the sixties, she slips into the drug culture, looking to booze, marijuana, and sex to fill the hollow left from childhood.

Novelist Judith Rossner’s rendition of the vibe of Terry’s childhood trauma felt right to me: I survived a far less serious case of polio.

Whether Terry’s childhood trauma predestined her to adult misery and led to her murder is open to debate — and in today’s opioid epidemic is worth debating.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar is a slender novel on a serious topic, quickly read but not easily forgotten.

It is, however, a profoundly depressing novel.

Ready your preferred drug—good chocolate, hot tea, or a copy of Pollyanna—for a chaser.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar by Judith Rossner
Simon and Schuster ©1975 284 p.
1975 bestseller #4. My grade: A

©2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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