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July 23, 2001 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-07-23

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- } irsMonday, July 231 2001- The Michigan Daily - 11
rossing' gets too M O I R A SReubens: jack' of all
ig for it's britches C R0 S N G des, master of none
Robyn Melamed Although the girls feel the loss of IA By Ryan Blay down Dennis Miller, would work.
Arts Editor their mother immediately, they quickly Daily Arts Writer As long as Reubens stays on as

is the 1920s in Ireland. There are
children, death and famine. The
ren eventually immigrate to
America. Sound
familiar? Well,
yes, of course.
. Could it be the
Moira's Pulitzer Prize
Crossing winning novel,
Christina Shea Angela's Ashes?
Grade: C Well, no. Moira's
Trade Paperback Crossing. written
by University
Alumni Christina
Shea, does not
quite compare.
Moira's Cross-
ing follows the
es of sisters Moira and Julia
eary from their rough childhood in
rk, Ireland to their not-so-rough
ilthood in America. The story
lores the idea that although the sis-
have different beliefs and values,
love each other unconditionally.
'ithin the first pages of the book,
girls' mother dies while giving
th to their sister. Ann. With this
:urring so early in the book, the
der never forms an attachment to
s character. But you're probably
nking that Moira and Julia will be
ire intriguing ...

realize that they must help their father
through this treacherous time. As their
father drowns his sorrosws with drink,
the girls work hard on his sheep farm
while also caring for Ann. The story
takes another dramatic turn when a ter-
rible accident leaves Ann lethargic. The
only way Ann is able to stay alive is
with the assistance of her family. One
night, out of pity for her suffering sis-
ter, Moira does not revive Ann.
Because Julia is religious and holds
very rigid beliefs, Moira does not tell
Julia of Ann's unnatural death. This
decision leads to a lifetime of strain
between Moira and Julia. Rather than
the characters expressing this strain,
and actually showing this turmoil, the
author leaves it up to the narrator to get
this point across. In this, it is very diffi-
cult as a reader to be compassionate.
After the loss of their sister, their
father suggests that the girls move to
America to start a brand new life. The
two start in the city of Boston, yet soon
after, Moira meets an independent fish-
erman. Both Moira and Julia follow
him to a fishing city in Maine where
the three of them become a sort of
family. At times, things become intense
between Moira's husband and Julia
because the two share religious beliefs.
Ironically, high morals attract Julia to
this man, yet she knows it is morally

Courtesy of Trade Paperback
wrong to lust after her sister's husband.
Unfortunately, nothing happens
between the two, leaving this part of
the story as empty as the rest of the
Although this book brings up inter-
esting moral issues, it crams way too
much into one story. No single issue is
fully explored, and because of this, the
reader does not get a chance to connect
with any of the characters. The magic
of a great book such as Angela's Ashes
is that one can really sympathize with
the McCourt brothers. At the end of
Moira's Crossing, you'll be puzzled by
the fact that you have felt nothing. A
story with such extreme issues as the
death of a mother, the death of a sister,
the half-abandonment of a father and
the unconditional love of sisters should
make you cry. When the only thing it
brings to mind is, "What an unfulfill-
ing book," you'll be annoyed. And that,
my friends, is what separates a classic
from a classic flop.

The bad feeling started as soon as
Regis Philbin appeared to give point-
ers to "Troy
Stevens" (a.k.a.
Paul Reubens)
on how to run a
You Don't game show. They
Know Jack continued while
ABC the ex-Pee Wee
Herman cracked
wenesdaysata30p.m. his jokes about
S"cheating ... I
mean greeting
the contestants"
and being the
only thing phony
and insincere on
the show ... At
least, it sounded like a joke.
The premise of "You Don't Know
Jack" is wonderful. Like the comput-
er game of the same name, contest-
ants use their trivia knowledge to
answer unusually worded questions.
If the network suits had to turn any
computer game into a show, this
would be the one. But Reubens, with
his sloppy hair and even sloppier
suits, is not the right fit for hosting.
Perhaps someone sardonic yet intelli-
gent, like Jon Stewart or even a toned

Troy Stevens, the show will have too
many categories like "things that
sound dirty, but aren't" and answers
where contestants have to yell out
"Stu Pidass!" "Ella Fyno!" and
"lvana Tinkle!" Somewhere in TV
land, Bart Simpson is ready to sue
the show for stealing his old prank
This isn't to say that the show
lacks imagination. Watching a mari-
achi band play while the contestants
made their final answers made me
wish "Jeopardy" would try some
intimidation. The contestants could
win an award for "weirdest person on
a game show" outside of "Win Ben
Stein's Money" players. Giving a
parting gift of the clapper was clever.
And any show that accepts spelling
"incorrect" while turned around as
acceptable for spelling the word
backwards can't be all bad.
As fans of the computer game
know, the real fun of the jack attack
was beating your friend to an answer,
not having the giant, freaky head of
the host floating around to cheesy
Paul Reubens, you're no Alec Tre-
bek. You're not even Anne Robinson.
You're just the weakest link.

3rothers go 'Double' or nothing

Be a part of the

Ryan Blay
ly Arts Writer
Most people will be lucky to
50,000 in their lifetime. Two brc
Rick and Steve Barthelme, m
ed to gamble away that much i
matter of t
years and tell
story of how
Double happened in tl
new book, "D
Down ble Down."
derick & Steven Both men
Barthelme well-educat
Grade: B+ teachers in N
Harcourt sissippi. Yet
allure of prod
itsg three 7so
slot machine
betting seve
thousand doll
ott 17 black
roulette wheel ssas just too m
resist. By thse time they sveref
ed, it io longer was a matter of
tg or losing, but of playing. Quit
came synonymous with failure.
Of course, gambling wasn't
tent of their lives. Rather, it is a
Spe with their family situati
losing a brother to cancer,
>thers Barthelme watch their w
rful mother and complicated fa
ss away. Sadly, it is from their in
nce that the brothers wag in Bi
A Giulfport.

n a

Although they at times appear to
know what they are doing, perhaps to
spite their father, Rick and Steve try to
defeat the system that ensures they
can't win. No matter how many times
they double down -on blackjack and
win. how many jackpots the slots tum
ip, they will never break even. The
dealers know, the waitresses know, and
the brothers arguably do too. Like a
Greek tragedy, the pathos exists in the
futile attempt they make to dodge their
There are only two problems with
their account of their story. The first is
the change in pronouns. This seems
minor. but when they refer to them-

selves as "Steve and Rick" in one sen-
tence and "we" in the next, it becomes
very distracting. The second problem
is the lack of a cohesive conclusion.
The brothers get into some tragicomic
legal binds, but they fail to address the
conclusion to their troubles. The book
would be enhanced if only they would
have completed that chapter of their
life, as painless as it must be to
As anyone who has read "Angela's
Ashes" knows, it's very possible to
find humor even in the bleakest of sit-
uations. In the midst of gambling woes
and middle class existential angst, the
Barthelmes show this to be true.

Luc- -________________
n a
ral AEf the Week
lars "
on *
tin- Kristin3u ahnaA *
the " The Michigan Daily would like to
way a , * 'e aO
on. thank Ben & Jerry's for their *
the * generous donation * MEXICAN RESTAURANT
ther "
loxi t
! !" !" ! !1i " ! "# !" t t a.t a 'i itlMr.-sttaa. i t..

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Welcome to Michigan 2001.
(000 students attended the event in 2000!)
Friday, August 31, 10pm-2am
(Groups will get a 15-20 min. slot)
For more information or to sign up,
e-mail pvachon@umich.edu
by Friday, August 10.



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