updated 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

In a week of heavy mail, abuse was lavished in not quite equal parts on cover subject Kevin Costner, who is being divorced by his wife, Cindy, after 16 years of marriage (PEOPLE, Nov. 7) and movie reviewer Ralph Novak, who, as usual, takes his licking and keeps on ticking.

Poor Kevin's whining about being a victim of success and how marriage is "a hard, hard gig" left me cold. While Cindy Costner was struggling to save her marriage, the only struggling this greedy, womanizing egomaniac was doing was to save his phony "family man" image.

Kevin is quoted as saying, "I wish I could stop and raise my family, but this is my time." Poor Kevin. When was Cindy's time? When she helped him form his career, when she had his three kids or when she raised them by herself?
SALLY WOOD, Sedalia, Colo.

I wish I could stop and watch a Kevin Costner movie—but I have to raise my family. This is our time.
MARY E. MIKULA, LOS Gatos, Calif.

It is my opinion that the only people who truly know what is happening in their lives are Kevin and Cindy Costner. No situation could be as one-sided as your article portrayed.

Throughout his successful career, Kevin Costner has stayed out of the tabloids, remaining down-to-earth and hardworking. That you would exploit the sadness through which he and his family are now going is beyond me. Divorce is a very personal thing, and a broken family needs time to heal and get on with life without being in the spotlight.

I was appalled to realize that once again sensationalism has won out. To focus on the divorce of Kevin and Cindy Costner and relegate movie legend Burt Lancaster to a mere corner of your cover is unthinkable. Lancaster rose from the slums of New York City to become an Academy Award-winning movie star. During his career he always found the time to support causes he believed in and to help those who had yet to realize the American dream. It is the loss of this fine gentleman that should be honored fully on your cover, not the sad and private demise of a marriage.
SANDRA MOSS, Los Angeles

Was the breakup of Kevin and Cindy Costner more important than the passing of a great actor—Raul Julia? You disappoint me.
KATHRYN MAGEE, New Castle, Ind.

Patricia O'Neill realizes that all she has to do is "look at a bed" and she gets pregnant? Has anyone ever told her she wouldn't have to worry if there weren't a man in that bed? O'Neill and Charity Bullard chose to have children and are living on welfare. Maybe if they acted more responsibly, they wouldn't have to suffer the side effects of Norplant and I wouldn't have to support them and their families with my tax dollars. (And I'm a bleeding-heart liberal.)
MARIE A. CONN, Halboro, Penn.

I have been on Norplant for two years and having nothing but praise for it. It is the most convenient type of birth control I have come across. I do feel for the ladies who had trouble with their Norplant, but my doctor explained everything to me, and I have had none of the problems they have. Seems to me they should be going after the doctors who put them in instead of the people who are making them.

Obviously, Ralph Novak did not find it necessary to read Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein before panning Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation. In the Shelley version, Frankenstein's monster is articulate, can swim and, yes, moves more quickly than Boris Karloff. The blind-man scene "shamelessly lifted" from The Bride of Frankenstein can also be found in the novel. So if Novak has complaints, I suggest he direct them to Mary Shelley instead of Coppola.
KENT BARTELL, Plymouth, Mich.

So, Ralph Novak is disappointed that De Niro's Frankenstein monster "doesn't lurch in traditional Frankenstein fashion" and "speaks in articulate English." If Novak had only bothered to read Shelley's book, he would know that the monster could not only speak but read and quote Milton with a passion.

Finally, in this day of the trashy, titillating and trivial, we read of an inspirational life. Bob Massie might not have won as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, but someone who is able to face a life-threatening disease with such faith, humor and selflessness is truly a hero.

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