Klonopin Lunch by Jessica Dorman-Jones (0 out of 5)
I should have thrown this motherfucker in the trash when I had the chance. Then again, I love to read stories of people who struggle with addictions, indulge in barely legal behavior, and the like. I thought from the rocking cover that I was in for a good read. Even the general premise of the book, it sounded like a somewhat inspirational memoir/self help, etc. I could not have been more wrong. Or downright incensed. Then disgusted. I went through the whole gamut of emotions, but they began with hope and ended with barely-disguised repulsion.
Jessica Dorfman Jones is a prime example of what’s wrong with the perception of a serious relationship nowadays. Too harsh? Read the book, and then we’ll talk. I grimaced and swore at the book repeatedly, to the end of the book, after page 40. She had me giving a shit until page 40 or thereabouts. Something went way fishy in Denmark after that, and it wasn’t the troupe of mustached lesbians in lederhosen crossing the bridge into The Netherlands. It was the narrative itself, the tone, the self-righteous indignation, the ill-concealed disgust with her actions, my ill-concealed disgust with her horrible habit of referencing classic rock bands and ‘apologizing’ for it. Please, apologize, to your public for writing this book and selling it for money. If anyone asks me what I think, I pray that I can calm myself down. I haven’t reacted this violently to a book since the last Tom Wolfe lesson in patience
Jessica’s story is this- she has a good thing going. She’s got a law degree, a steady job(at the time the story starts), a roof over her head, and a stable marriage to her college sweetheart Andrew. Sweet, predictable, reliable Andrew. jessica’s dissent with her normal, routine life is obvious from the second chapter. She’s bored in her average, everyday marriage and routine. She needs to shake things up. Her friend at work gets the both of them guitar lessons, because, well, they’re bored and need something to do. Well, not literally, but of course, that’s how it evolves. Her friend warns her from the first lesson that this guitar teacher- Gideon (love that name, reminds me of a turtle I once owned), is a rock n’ roll, easy on the eyes, bad boy. Of course, Jessica doesn’t listen. Of course, Jessica falls for the bad boy aura. He’s a swinging single, and makes it obvious to Jessica that he wants her. She waffles (well, she tells the reader she does, but those actions, ah, they speak louder than her words do) at this, but eventually, all of the runes fall into place, and yes, the expected happens. She falls into an illicit affair with this dude, begins using drugs, and starts a rock band. While still married to Andrew. And telling him left and right that she’s playing shows and hanging out with Gideon. And beyond that, which she leaves out. Andrew continues to be a kind, sweet, trusting husband who doesn’t question all of these weird field trips Jessica is taking with the band and Gideon. Andrew, for lack of a better and nicer way of saying this, seems like a pumice stone with no edge. He seems weak, gullible, and worse yet, a husband who trusts his wife. I hate that he is written with the weaker edge when he’s the one who’s wronged. I am not sure if Jessica’s intent was to make him out to be so dreadfully dull that it makes it okay to cheat on him with this living incarnation of Jim Morrison, or what, but I don’t dig that message at all. If she was so fucking unhappy, hey, go to therapy. Or confront him with her displeasure at the tired and true route the marriage is taken, and get it out in the open. But don’t fuck the first Steven Tyler-wannabe who rolls his tongue in your mouth. The whole institution of marriage, at least as what I was raised to believe is the norm, is insulted beyond words. Andrew’s character, because he’s a lighthouse in Jessica’s stormy sea of indecision, suffers the ultimate fate of being deemed dishwater, and that somehow might make her indiscretion okay. No, it doesn’t. Now let me get off the soapbox. I felt like I needed to vent a bit before I further eviscerate this book.
Jessica is living it up; she’s drinking, doing drugs with Gilligan, and living the rock n’ roll lifestyle. She mentions turning 30 a few times, so you wonder “midlife crisis? perimenopause? mental illness?”. At least I did. I don’t know about you, but when I was 30, I had just been dumped by my soul mate for “Diapers” because she was younger. I turned my heartache around and went back to school and earned my (basically useless) degree. And I continued to work too much at the BibleBookMart. And I drank way too much and ate crap, but I was living life on my terms. I channeled my heartache into other avenues. Jessica may have been going through something similar, but shit or get off the pot doesn’t mean fuck someone who isn’t your husband. My stomach turned, every chapter in which she was physically involved with this Keith Richards wannabe (PS- he fails miserably, Keef pulled it off with aplomb), and then goes home and “sweetly sneaks up on Andrew while he’s cooking dinner and hugs and kisses him.” You whore. You were fucking this degenerate cokehead hours before, and then your guilt leads you to act all lovey-dovey with your husband. That’s the wrong kind of emotional stability and fragile eggshells you don’t dance around when you actually have a ring on it. Personally, my opinion means jack shit when it transcends to a review, except it’s my blog, my review, and in a book that is this one-sided, it has to be known why I project such a level of vitrol in its general direction. FYI.
Skip ahead of much “soul searching” and “guilty feelings” that Jessica professes to have, and she’s having kinky sex with Gigli one day when Andrew arrives home. Busted. What happens after seriously makes you dislike Jessica and her story more than you may have previously. Believe me, I didn’t think it possible. My heart ached even more for Andrew when you read how he reacts to this. I was sick to my stomach when the whole thing is resolved. Normally, I do not spoil endings of books. But my level of disbelief skyrocketed so much at the resolution of the book that I don’t fucking care. He forgives her and they’re still married.
WHAT?????!!!! Someone please, get Jessica a therapist. Or someone who can write her book for her, to elicit more sympathy. For if it’s meant as a sympathetic treatise, it fails on multiple levels. She is not a sympathetic character. She comes off as a spoiled, bored brat who has everything most of us want, and she just tosses it on the side of the road so she can screw the homeless wino to see if he can make her bells ring. Don’t give her Klonopin, that may make her worse. Someone that incredibly self-absorbed needs a good kick of reality. Andrew deserves a good kick in his ass for trying to save the marriage, but you can’t blame him, because he loves her and tries his best.. Then again, after what she put the guy through, and then TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT IT and SHAME HIM PUBLICLY, she deserves to be stoned. Andrew deserves to have someone who will love him unconditionally, and not try to change who he is. People change, times change, people either change or stay the same, but the love should not change. If it does, as a result of the people changing, there are options that should not include destroying the sanctity of marriage by sleeping with the next best thing. At least, that’s how most of it goes. Once the branch of trust has been dislodged from the tree of stability, well, that person will never trust again, not fully. At least not with that person, and not easily. Monogamy is hard to find, but if you do, hang onto it and don’t dislodge that boat from the harbor. If someone’s married or with someone else, and you feel the stirrings of sinful thoughts littering your mindscape, channel it into something else, but don’t break down someone’s stable foundation so you can build something for yourself on a lackluster foundation. The sermon is finished.
Jessica comes across as an insipid, spoiled, selfish young lady who just wants to sow her oats- after she’s already in a ironclad relationship. Sow your oats BEFORE you reach the altar. Don’t diss the man because he likes a quiet night in with a book; if I could find a guy like that who didn’t think me insane for not wanting to leave my house and just chill, I would hang onto that man for dear life. They’re hard to find, and you have a great one, and that’s how you treat him? You pull a R.Kelly and piss on him and his love for you? It’s wrong, and so is this book, for so many reason.
And for the love of Danzig, if you see this book, don’t buy it. If you’re offered a free E-book, accept at your own risk. Then jump on here and comment, because I would like to know what you think. If someone gives you a copy, recycle it. Don’t pass it onto someone, because I don’t anyone else to lose the total 4 hours out of their life that it took me to read it. Go the Nancy Reagan way and JUST SAY NO.