Calling it “A Reliable Wife” means a reliable story…I guess.

August 15, 2011 at 10:41 am 3 comments

Cover of "A Reliable Wife"

Cover of A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife” by Robert Goolrick – nope.

Okay so remember that fine film  “Original Sin” with Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas? Well it was made in 2001 and this book was published in 2009. I had to double-check all of this because when I started this book I thought “hey wasn’t this a movie?” and yes, it was a movie – before this book was written.  Goolrick has a discovered a pretty great racket, though I am sure he has never seen “Original Sin” of course.  Later this year I will be publishing a book called “Inception” it is going to be about dreams and stuff. It is going to be amazing.

Anyway, here is the formula from this book (I literally took most of this description from the summary of “Original Sin”):

  1. When a rich man from Wisconsin puts an ad in the paper for a wife, he is surprised when he meets the train to see the beauty who appears before him.
  2.  She alleges that she sent false photos to him to assure that he would love her for what she is and not for her beauty.
  3.  However, what she is a con artist and prostitute who teams with a former lover to steal money from men
  4. What she does not expect is that she falls in love with her new husband and ultimately must decide between him and her sadistic former lover.

Rinse and repeat.

So with this unsurprising and unoriginal story, I was trying to find something redeeming.  Honestly the writing is okay but confusing.  On one page Catherine, the prostitute/con artist, is stated to be unable to truly love anyone and then on the next page she loves her new husband for his kindness. I couldn’t tell if this was an internal conflict or just poor writing.  The description of the setting in Wisconsin, the smells, and the debauchery are pretty good. But pretty good descriptions does not necessarily a good novel make.  Goolrick tries to make this novel sexy, he tries to address religion and sexuality, he tries to examine poverty. It just all falls flat.

So save yourselves. Rent “Original Sin,” watch Banderas and Jolie have some sexy time together, and definitely buy my novel “Never Let Me Go” which will be a novel based on a movie that was based on a book. You will really like it.

Original SinStill of Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie in Original Sin


Entry filed under: August 2011 reads.

If it hurts everyone you love, it is not okay – Loving Frank by Nancy Horan Breakfast at Tiffany’s By Truman Capote – Don’t think about Audrey Hepburn, don’t think about Audrey Hepburn

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mark  |  August 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    When I saw this on the table, I thought is was some sort of manual. Oh well…

  • 2. Mary  |  August 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Oh gosh, did I tell you to read this? I read it for other book club; it was terrible.

  • 3. ecrabtree1974  |  August 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    No I promise Mary you did not lead me astray. This book was my own bright idea.


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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


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