Teenager Evie Decker’s life was uneventful until the night she heard Drumsticks Casey being interviewed on a late night radio show. Something about his laconic, irreverent voice attracted her, and she started going to his gigs until, overwhelmed, she carved his name (backwards) into her forehead.
Which is pretty much where I stopped, about half way through the novel. Apparently a “major motion picture” (have you ever noticed they’re never made into minor films, or straight to DVD), with Guy Pearce no less, I found A Slipping-Down Life meandering and unsatisfying. Okay, literary writing does tend to be more about the characters than the plot, but even so I was uninvolved. When I checked the copyright page I discovered this was first published in 1969 – Anne Tyler’s unquestionably grown as a writer since then, and unless you’re determined to read her entire collection I’d recommend skipping over this and moving onto something a little more accomplished. – Alex