Tuesday, January 6, 2009

FITA Revealed...Or, after 2 years it's about time

Kevin Smith once said that the characters he writes into his stories and scripts are the kinds he wishes he had in the real world: they talk in long soliloquies, and they have a vast knowledge of pop culture. If I were to create the world I wish I lived in, it would be written much like that of the infamous VC Andrews book, Flowers in the Attic. Movements would be “spin around with their legs flashing through a thin negligee.” There would be face-cupping and the swelling of “rigid male sex”. Teenage girls will wish for things like, "Let me have all those swelling curves that men desire." Every breath would be “aghast” and every uncle would be fucking hot.
Wait. Is that weird?

In my world, however, the protagonist wouldn’t be quite so whiney. Catherine Dollanganger (Cathy - the narrator) had a hard life I’ll give her that, but her gratuitous use of the word “daddy” when referencing her father, and her constant complaining about everything anyone does good for her makes me want to Chuck-Norris-Kick her most of the time.

We all know the story: Cathy and her siblings get locked in an attic because her Mother is an fucking retard and presumably doesn’t understand math, so when their father dies she decides to move in with her emotionally and physically abusive, albeit rich, parents.

If I were Cathy and Momma told me of this plan, I would have had the common sense to argue the following points:

  • Problem number one: the grandparents live in a house called “Foxworth Hall.” Nothing good has EVER happened in a house with a name that ends in “Hall.” Or “Manor” for that matter. Nothing. Ok, maybe Toad Hall.
  • Problem number two: Cathy has NEVER heard of grandparents then all of a sudden they are off to not just visit but live there? Really?
  • Problem number three: The kids are told that they have to ‘hide’ in the house because old granddad is sick. Really Mom? Hide in the attic? How ‘bout you just scrub up and start flipping some damn burgers at McDonalds? Oh I get it. You’re too good for that. But you aren’t too good to f your uncle, have his kids, lock them in your parents’ house, and then slowly starve and kill them off? Huh.

Now I understand that Cathy couldn't have foreseen quite all that, but still! -that’s what happens.

Did I mention that the grandmother, Olivia, announces that Cathy's parents, Corrine and Christopher, Sr., were really uncle and niece? Because she did. Then she calls the Cathy and her siblings (older brother Christopher, and the younger twin boy and girl) the "Devil’s Spawn" and pours tar into Cathy’s hair forcing her to cut it short and Christopher, Jr. to pee in it to loosen the tar. Hilarity!

So whatever, they spend a lot of time in the attic that adjoins their room. Now let’s talk about this attic. This attic isn’t like the crouch down split-level attic at my mother, Joan’s, place. No, this attic is an entire floor of treasures! What a happy coincidence, there is a school room up there! That’s not random at all! Oh and there’s a ballet barre, that’s not weird! Boxes of books? Check! Tons of decades old and not expired medical equipment, done! I should note here that I always thought that the attic never sounded so bad, but then again, I’m a homebody by nature. They decorate the attic with paper flowers – hence the name of the book, and Cathy teaches the twins to read and write. They put an old mattress on the roof so they can tan and the twins can get the sunshine they need, and – oh yeah – so Chris and Cathy could totally get it on.

What? The brother and sister? Yes, gentle readers. See, the years pass and Cathy and Chris were teenagers (I don’t think that word ONE is given to how she deals with her womanly curse, but I may be mistaken). Anyway, they begin to develop sexual feelings towards one another. Well, mainly Chris does for Cathy, but she confesses that she would watch him change and even at one point measure his unit. Nice. Chris just loves, loves, loves Cathy but she keeps saying that they must really be the devil’s spawn if they feel this way. That’s right, Cathy, you are!! Long story short, one night he rapes her on the mattress they kept on the roof for sun. It’s not really rape, she is just very conflicted about whether this is what she wants or not.

Shortly thereafter, the mother successfully kills one of Cathy’s younger siblings: a twin named Cory. This makes Carrie (his aforementioned twin sister) go a bit crazy and self destructive. This is the final straw for the threesome who begins to sneak out to steal items they can later pawn. I’ve never understood why they let it go this far.

I lived in a suburb of New Jersey and it felt so much like a deathtrap that I started sneaking out before I knew what to do once I did it. Cathy was literally in a deathtrap and it took her FOUR YEARS before she was like, “You know, we need to bust out.”The book ends with just that. Christopher, Cathy, and Carrie do indeed leave the house, catch a bus and decide to travel to Florida with the money and items they have taken with them. Cory is long dead and buried who knows where, Carrie is all emo and for good reason, Cathy is walking differently thanks to her brother’s “rigid male sex,” and Chris is sporting a Lancelot haircut.

*SIGH* Have I mentioned how much I freakin’ love this book?


"Lady" Bea said...

Goddamn, you're funny. I'm still compiling my "research." (Read: looking though my copy for dirty bits)

Dr. Fabulous said...

LOL that was a freakin' hilarious summary! Dead on!

Anonymous said...

Oh my where have you been? I've missed you. Great summary. You got all the highlights.
Bea's mom

Two of Hearts said...

Dude, they don't mention her womanly thing because it never happens until the beginning of book two when she gushes blood all over her ballet shoes.

Anonymous said...

Now I never have to read that POS...thank you!