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The Way We Were

April 04, 1993

In Lee Wochner's mean-spirited review of Larry Colton's "Goat Brothers" (Feb. 28), he/she did not get it in a big way, didn't hear the author's voice, didn't see the irony, the humor, the honesty. What a shame. For Wochner to believe that Colton was glorifying or reveling in the bad behavior of the men portrayed is to so completely miss the message of the book that it is laughable, if not pathetically inept.

Wochner was obviously angry at the characters in the book. As a feminist, I too was upset. The behavior of the men Colton writes about is disturbing. But real. It seems to me that is exactly the point of the book, a point that Wochner failed to grasp, too hung up on his/her own lack of insight and compassion.

1962. A fraternity. 19-year-old boys. Come on, what did Wochner expect? For that matter, try 1993.

What Colton has done, and what Wochner doesn't get, is to blow the whistle on abhorrent behavior by men. Wochner believed that Colton failed to understand how screwed up he and his goat brothers were; he/she also accused Colton of drawing no lesson for the reader. The fact that this book even exists is testimony that Colton does understand. I certainly got the lesson. . . .

If you see a man get drunk, cheat on his wife, ignore his children, do you have to be told those are bad things? Can't you figure that out yourself?

Colton assumed his readers could. In the case of Lee Wochner, that was assuming too much.

MARSHA OLSON

TIGARD, Ore.

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