Picks and Pans Review: Mostly True Confessions: Looking for Love in the Eighties

updated 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Jean Gonick

"It's not so much the unexamined life that's worthless," declares one of Gonick's love-seeking characters, "it's the unshared life. I feel better when I share my stories with people and they recognize them as stories of their own." Just about everyone should find something recognizable in this collection of comic short stories by a columnist for San Francisco Focus magazine. The men and women in these vignettes have all loved, lost and lived to love again, and their observations on modern-day romance are witty and on the mark. "The thing is, you never know what's waiting around the corner," says one man to a female fresh from a painful breakup. "No," muses the heartbroken one, "but you can pretty well guess it's not a million dollars or Harrison Ford wanting to buy you a drink." The real advantage of marriage, decides a jaded single in another story, is "you get to make love to someone you actually know and like and who won't give you a fatal disease." These people are well-educated, upwardly mobile types. Some of the romantic difficulties they experience are peculiar to modern urban society (for example, being a single woman in San Francisco and finding that men at parties seem to dance only with one another). But much of the amorous angst will be familiar to anyone ever engaged in the quest for what Gonick calls "the finding of love, the keeping of love, and perhaps a little dignity along the way." This is funny, wise entertainment. (Random House, $14.95)

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