Chicks like Casablanca because they imagine playing Ingrid Bergman’s part. You have your fling with a passionate and sensitive guy like Bogart, who is just a bar owner, a nobody, and in the end you take off on a plane with a safe spouse of better social standing. You wouldn’t want a Casablanca if you had to end up alone and empty-handed like Bogart.’
Well if I were Claude Rains I’d feel deeply offended by that. However, the above quote from Alexandra Ares’ novel Dream Junkies pretty much sums up the general depth of the average modern male’s understanding of women. In total, it is something shallower than the amount of water contained in a teaspoon.
Dream Junkies comes across as a forty years’ later response to Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying. Ares’ book has a female protagonist, Kitty, an immigrant journalist from Romania, who is constantly surrounded by a nearly endless series of attractively hot guys. But before you start thinking that you’re going to be reading a four hundred-odd page Humpathon, you’re not. Kitty would rather believe in love, although it is made clear that in her thirty-two years our girl is more than familiar with the world of groins and loins.
In this way, Dream Junkies is rather fascinating. Kitty befriends a New York artist named Desert Rose who talks Kitty into traveling with her to Los Angeles for a gallery show. Desert Rose is on the surface a strong, independent, take names kind of gal, yet she is in a sort of slavery to her not-really-boyfriend Charlie. Desert Rose is all pitty pat towards Charlie despite the fact he has not kissed her (or anything else) over the year they have known one another. Oh dear.
Ares is a terrific writer; shrewd in observation and smoothly descriptive in prose and dialogue. It is suggested that all men as well as women caught in an unsatisfactory love life give Dream Junkies a read.
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