Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

I wish I were popular and beautiful and wealthy and talented.
My mind possessed the wisdoms of the ages, and there were no words adequate to describe them.

Go Ask Alice purports to be the honest-to-goodness real diary of a poor girl who starts off as a sterling, if somewhat shy, student and is gradually drawn deep into a web of drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, and suspiciously aggressive potheads. Of course, once the book became a hit, Beatrice Sparks, a Mormon psychologist and youth counselor, came forward, claiming to be the book's compiler and editor, though not it's actual author who was, of course, Alice. or, well, not really. Actually, Alice is in the book for about 3 sentences, but for simplicity's sake, I'm going to assume the anonymous diarist is named Alice as well.

Anyone who actually reads the book, however, will start suspecting early on that either Alice or Beatrice is making things up as they go along. I could buy that Alice started drinking out of peer pressure and a desire to be cool. I could buy that she started smoking pot for the same reason. I found it harder to believe that she became a voracious addict to LSD after being secretly given a spiked glass of beer. Credulity is stretched to the breaking point, however, after the second time Alice's addict friends break into her house to plant drugs then, later, inject the candy bowl at the neighbor's house with cocaine and call the police. Alice, of course, winds up on the street, alternately transcribing her pathetic sexual escapes and waxing philosophical in ways that your average teenager doesn't. In the last several entries, Alice kicks the habit but then mysteriously dies in a postscript that, presumably, was not part of the original diary.

Later, Dr. Sparks published a series of books, all with the "real-life diary" angle, dealing with a boy who falls into Satanism, a homeless teen, and a knocked-up teen. These, fittingly enough, were shelved under fiction, ensuring that their terribly contrived, retarded, didactic stories will never be taken as seriously as Alice's. Sparks's most recent book? Open and Say Ah: The Story of a Lying Psychologist.


Christopher said...

I am unsure of how you inject candy with cocaine. Is this possible?

Amanda said...

I knew people reading this in high school that didn't know it was fiction. It never interested me. I only found out last year about its fakeness.

Carlton Farmer said...

Glenn Beck is a Mormon, and he is awesome. Tell me where I'm wrong.

Christopher said...

If you like Glenn Beck so much, why don't you marry him?