Looking for Mr. Goodbar by Judith Rossner


Looking For Mr. Goodbar, Judith Rossner, 1975

My favorite quote: “I’d rather be seduced than comforted.”

Notable characters: Theresa Dunne, a woman leading a double life; James, the man who loves her; Martin Engle, the professor; Tony, a lover; Gary White, the killer

Most memorable scene: The closing one. I was so shook I didn’t know what to do with myself. Even my cat was like, wtf? (sometimes I read to her)

Greatest strengths: Its setting. This book brings 1970s New York to full life. Not just the scenery but the attitudes of the time — particularly those concerning sex, women, and feminism

Standout achievements: Although based on a real-life case, this book really, really works as novel — much more so than many novelizations of real world events

Fun Facts: In 1973, Judith Rossner wrote an article for Esquire about the brutal murder of a schoolteacher named Roseann Quinn, who’d been killed earlier that year by a man she’d picked up in a bar. For fear of legal consequences, the magazine chose not to publish the article, so Rossner wrote a book about it instead. When it was adapted into film two years later, Rossner claimed that she “detested” it, though she praised the performance of Diane Keaton

Other media: The 1977 film of the same name, starring Diane Keaton and Richard Gere (if you can f*cking find it, that is)

What it taught me: Well, not to go home with strangers I meet in bars for one thing … but really, I think this book is a kind of period piece that, if nothing else, sheds light on the pre-AIDS free-sex era and its sometimes deadly sonsequences. While not exactly a book I’d list as a MUST-READ, I found it to be deeply psychological and I think anyone who decides to give it a go will come away with something personally relevant 

How it inspired me: I thought the character Tony was especially interesting for some reason and found myself making mental notes of his mannerisms and speech patterns. So far, I haven’t utilized any of it, but you never know … one day, a fidgety, traumatized womanizer just might show up in one of my books … 

Additional thoughts: I didn’t realize this was based on a true story when I read it and was surprised and haunted by the way it just … ends. In that way, it reminded me of The Diary of Anne Frank — one minute you’re just reading merrily along and then BAM! It’s over. There’s something really riveting about that. Riveting and … sad 

My rating: 4 of 5 

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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