Everybody into the Pool Review
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Beth Lisick pens a memoir in the form of true stories from her past in Everybody into the Pool. She tells the tales of a child raised by naïve, conservative parents in Berkeley—the former homecoming princess who takes on alternative cultures. Lisick believes her normal upbringing is responsible for her wandering into life on the other side—living in illegal warehouse spaces, not seeing a doctor or dentist for ten years, driving junky cars. She and her husband were married by her gay father-in-law, who’s married to her lesbian mother-in-law. She lives on a block with two drug dealers, yet she does her own baking. Her stories, she claims, are about turning out too weird to fit into the mainstream world from which she came, but being too normal for the “fringe” world she found later (an interesting juxtaposition). Yet she believes she’s well adjusted. I think this is for the reader to decide.

  
 
The stories are amusing for the most part, though there’s really nothing too deep here. Lisick's tales of her high school years and days of living in an illegal warehouse in a drug-infested neighborhood are witty. But her stories about her stint working a nuns' fundraiser to earn enough money to have an abortion and her days of experimenting with bisexuality did not have me rolling around the floor in gales. Still, I guess I have to give her credit for putting them in writing for publication.

Lisick’s style has been compared to David Sedaris, and it is, in the sense that it’s a memoir told via short stories. Whereas David Sedaris and Laurie Notaro, through their blatant honesty, have had me laughing out loud while reading their stories, Beth Lisick, through what I think is her use of “shock value,” doesn’t quite make the cut.

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