Contemplating Inner Desires | Review of “Hooked” by Carolyn Smart (2009) Brick Books

We have all wondered about the actions of other people. Some people are bent on doing or saying things that will certainly lead to a bad end.  Carolyn Smart has looked at the lives of seven women (Myra Hindley, Unity Mitford, Zelda Fitzgerald, Dora Carrington, Carson McCullers, Jane Bowles and Elizabeth Smart.),   imagined the inner passions and feelings and wrote what she thought they were thinking. And her book Hooked is an immeasurable piece of literature.

Written on the Flesh (excerpt)-

Page 14  – Myra Hindley

as a girl I

used to write a lot of stories

laughed and sang

made up jokes

was bad a needle work

couldn’t bear domestic science

loved the mouth organ

played it for Maureen

mums liked me

I was a good babysitter

was a Catholic, took communion

after that boy drowned I cried

and prayed and prayed.

This book is an excellent work of literature in that it attempts to gain an understanding of the human condition. Smart has attempted to gain an understanding of some confused people of the past and we readers are richer by the knowledge she partakes unto us.

Rickety Rackety (Excerpt) – page 47

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

when you married me in New York

I was your blonde

your Viking

your Madonna!

not even my friends were there

not even my momma

I was a sweet belle no more

no southern more

no nothing

and I lay in my bed in the Biltmore Hotel

lost for the very first time

 

we were big drinkers, bad spellers, fast

spenders

we were spoiled children

like rattlesnakes we’d fight

I couldn’t get enough of you

 

oh dearest, dearest, my lovely Goofo

Smart has a flare for description. Her words here leave a vivid impression on the reader’s mind. This is a read that should not be rushed through and read again and again.

La Tendresse (Excerpt) – Page 66

Dora Carrington

I sketched my face at seventeen

lit up by flame at night:

thick strokes of lead,

a portrait without vanity,

blunt and looking back,

old beyond my years

 

to be pursued is terror and there’s nothing but distaste

 

but I am drawn to the demeanour

and baroque ways of the rich

they like my homemade clothes

my dancing and always

my virginity

 

I love no one ’til I’m almost 23

Hooked by Carolyn Smart is a brilliant piece of literature. She manages to give thought to the human condition by considering the thoughts of seven different women. A must read and something that should be read carefully.

Link to Brick Books page for “Hooked”

 

 

 

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