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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon

I would not recommend this book to anyone. The language is filthy, there are detailed sexual encounters and drug usage is casual and "normal."

This book is about 4 college friend and one hanger-on. They attend Sexton, an art college. Henry, Tess, Valerie (Winnie) and Spencer meet the insane Suz. Val and Spencer are a couple at the beginning. Val is a cutter and this is described as almost a sexual high which is another reason for not reading the book. Tess is pining for Henry but Henry only has eyes for Suz when she comes into their group. Suz is as wicked as they come, a female Charles Manson. Her personal motto is Dismantled=Freedom. She thinks everything has to be torn down. In fact, her "art" is to build something and then destroy it. The group become the "Compassionate Dismantlers" which is an oxymoron. There is NOTHING compassionate about these dismantlers. Trying to be so off beat, different, avant guarde they really are the worst of the following followers. Suz holds them completely in her hands and she just follows the devil. Just like Manson and his "family". Anything Suz tells them to do, they do, despite their own conscience. She immediately sets out to dismantle each group member. Her sarcasm, personal attacks, mockery, dares, all are to break them down. Then she begins to break down the relationships. She destroys Val and Spencer's relationship by seducing Val. She changes Val's name to Winnie as another way to show that Val/Winnie is no longer the old Val that Spencer loves but her newest and most complete transformation, Winnie. Winnie is Suz's creation. She owns Winnie body and soul. She's cut all her hair off and changed Winnie's clothes for black t-shirt and jeans. She gives Winnie a rifle. Then she keeps messing with Henry and Tess. She pushes and pulls Henry to keep him totally off balance but she encourages Tess to go for Henry. Here is where we see how much like Suz, Winnie becomes… she sabotages their relationship by piercing Henry's condoms with a pin and Tess gets pregnant. Winnie has been watching Henry and Suz and knows Henry's feelings for her and she wants to be sure she ties Henry to Tess and leave her Suz alone. Meanwhile, Suz's hatred for Spencer becomes more and more malignant. Despite all of them feeling sorry for him, Suz still gets her way and they help her. They drug him, take him off to the wilderness, strip him of his clothes and leave him to find his own way back. He does find his own way and finds their little cabin in the woods by the lake. So she tells them they are going to kidnap him (his father is rich) and ask for ransom. She drugs him and they tie him up. Tess has found out she's pregnant and she finally decides to pack up and get out because she's afraid Suz will kill Spencer. She tells Henry that she's pregnant and they argue but Suz can't stand for anyone else to get attention so she announces they are killing Spencer. Winnie carries the rifle and keeps it at his head the whole time. To let you know how messed up they all are, Spencer has been taking it all like a joke and still declares his love to Val/Winnie every chance he gets but Winnie is becoming more and more like Suz with her vindictive behavior. She's become totally butch and is holding a rifle to her ex-boyfriend's head for crying out loud. So Tess decides to "sabotage" Suz. She puts 4 Benadryl in Suz's Tequila so that Suz will pass out and they won't have to kill Spencer. So they all get drunk on Tequila, including poor tied-up Spencer. Then they walk him to the lake to "drown him". Suz commands Winnie to shoot him in the head. Henry and Suz begin arguing and she tells him that SHE'S pregnant too. It seems they had a sexual encounter recently. Winnie, Tess and Spencer hear all this and they get all upset too. In the heat of the moment, Tess picks up a rock and heaves it at Suz to make her shut up but it hits her directly in the head and she's dead. Henry tells them they have to sink her in the lake and tell everyone that she hitchhiked to California so he fills her clothes with rocks and drags her out to the middle of the lake and lets her sink. They all leave the cabin as it was and go back to their lives. Henry and Tess get married and have a wonderful little girl named Emma.

Ten years later, Emma is 11 years old, her parents are separating. Her father has had to move out to the apartment in the barn. She's desperate for her beloved Daddy to move back in. At 11 years old she still has an imaginary friend named Danner. Her real buddy is Mel and she and Mel decide to look around for something that might bring her parents back together. They find Suz's Journal and a stack of polaroids of the group. They decide that seeing old college friends might make them relive how they fell in love in the first place so they send out postcards to Spencer, Winnie and Suz which only read "Dismantled=Freedom". When Spencer gets his postcard he commits suicide. But whatever happened to Val/Winnie? How are the mysterious happenings affecting Henry and Tess? Why is their daughter seemingly in contact with Suz? Can Suz still dismantle, even from the grave?

1 comment:

LearnHowToMakeBows said...

Yikes! Thanks for the warning about this book. Seems to have a little too much racey content for me!

Appreciated your review and summary!
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