Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Group

I'm frantically trying to finish my book group book by tomorrow. It's Mary McCarthy's "The Group" (what a lot of books and groups in those sentences). Though it was doubtless very shocking and groundbreaking at the time (it was published in 1963 though is set in the 1930s) I'm finding rather laboured - she seems to be less interested in her characters as people than what she makes them say and do - the women are mainly just her, I'd think. Also I don't get quite a lot of the cultural allusions - I'm too young. (Hooray - something I'm too young for.) And maybe too British.

I Googled her to find out what she looked like and got the picture above, which came as a bit of a shock since I knew she died at the age of 77. However, this is not she, but Mary McCarthy Gomez Cuerto, who lived to 103. She's quite a good example, I feel, of Trying Too Hard To Look Young. Remind me not to do so. Actually, I probably don't try hard enough...
This is the author of "The Group". She died of lung cancer, so here we have another awful warning, though happily I've never felt the urge to smoke.
Must go and get on with the book.


  1. I still enjoy The Group. Way back in 1964, one of my friends was so engrossed in reading the chapter about Dottie that she went past her train station without noticing. The power of literature - or something!

  2. Lizzie12:29 pm

    I too still have a battered copy.

    REmember loving all the strange American cultural references; sororities and such. Seemed glamorous somehow - I can't think why!

  3. I can remember reading The Group years ago and wondering why everyone thought it was great, I thought it was rather pretentious and boring.

  4. I read the book years ago and can't remember a thing about it. I recently read Rona Jaffe's The Best of Everything which is sometimes compared to The Group and which I rather enjoyed. You might give it a go.