I’m not feeling poorly, vitamin D levels are not that low, though what sullen pre-adolescent hasn’t used this line to unfeeling parents? No, I’ve just finished Marieke Hardy’s memoir, You’ll be sorry when I’m dead.
Marieke appears vulgar, promiscuous and, frankly, a self-absorbed pain in the neck, especially to her parents. She also appears vulnerable, naive and fragile. And a great deal of fun. Of course she controls how we see her; if it is her and not a narrator as character.
At the end of some chapters, she uses an unusual technique of allowing the right of reply to those who featured in her reminiscences. The response from her ex-boyfriend at the end of chapter one gets to the heart of whether Marieke is presenting the real Marieke or a constructed one with her as a seeker of controversy aiming for maximum laughs. Matty writes, “…if you’re going to share – then don’t hold back. Because, it seems you want to share Marieka the caricature, when the soul of the Marieke that I knew, in dark, hard times, well, she was a real person. And a lovely one at that.”
This book was hilarious. And honest. And poignant. Her wit, insight and intellect are brilliant. She melds pop culture with an extensive vocabulary. Her imagery is equally original and vivid. For example, regarding her lack of rhythm in dance she describes herself as having “all the coordination of an epileptic duck”.
I have not laughed so much and so loudly recently. Read it!
(*Ignore my recommendation if you are a conservative-voting, teetotalling wowser who cannot abide the frequent use of profanity. The latter not including the profanity that comes from Alan Jones.)