Theresa Dunn spends her days as a schoolteacher whose rigid Catholic upbringing has taught her to find happiness by finding the right man. But at night, her resentment of those social mores and fear of attachment lead her into the alcohol-and-drug fueled underworld of singles' bars, where she engages in a pattern of dangerous sexual activity that threatens her safety and, ultimately, her life.
Looking for Mr. Goodbar is “uncommonly well-written and well-constructed fiction, easily accessible, but full of insight and intelligence and illumination” (The New York Times Book Review). With more than four million copies in print, this seminal novel—a lightning rod for controversy upon its publication—has become a cultural touchstone that has forever influenced our perception of social rebellion and sexual empowerment.
The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’
For many years, I’ve heard about Looking for Mr. Goodbar, which has since become a household phrase. I knew what it signified, or at least, in part, what I believed it meant. I was a kid when the movie came out and I had heard through the grapevine of those parents who allowed their children to venture to the silver screen to see it, that it was a true story of a woman who perused bars for men to engage in sexual activity resulting in one-night stands. Fast-forward to 2018—you can imagine my surprise when I saw this novel was listed on Bookbub and I decided to download it and read at a later date. Welp, that date was now. I couldn’t wait to find out what all the hoopla was about?
After getting into the story of Theresa, I quickly learned that Rossner took creative licenses and wrote a story based off the real-life murder of Roseann Quinn. Miss Quinn was a twenty-seven year old who did what Theresa did by hanging out in random bars picking up men and sleeping with them without any form of protection. And I have to say, I’m really not sure how I feel about this novel.
Of course, Looking for Mr. Goodbar was a critically acclaimed novel and New York’s Best Sellers back in the ‘70s bringing about much talk and discussion and then made into a number one movie starring Diane Keaton. I remember watching the film much later when I was in my late teens, and I thought it was exciting, but that was because I believed the movie adaptation I viewed was truly based on the story of Theresa. Well, that’s what I get for thinking!
Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book. I found it to be extremely boring and drawn out on the same ‘ole same. I found the story to be sort of ironic, especially seeing as how Theresa starts out as this good girl and too shy for her own good. It took her professor to bring her out of her shell and ultimately led to her sexual exploration, humiliation and untimely death. What really angered me with the story is the stupidity of Theresa. My goodness, how could she just sleep with any ole Joe Smoe without any protection whatsoever? And we wonder why Aids is prevalent in our society today and a countless other STDs floating among the sexual pool? Sheesh!
I found this story very lackluster. It wasn’t anything to write home about in my opinion. I’m not exactly sure how this book was ranked critically acclaimed? Perhaps because of its content in its hay-day, but I wasn’t amused. In all fairness to Rossner, based on the way we live today and the things we see on film and read in books, this story really pales in comparison. It’s almost corny, if you will. I think the biggest let down for me was learning this story I’ve heard so much about forever in a day turned out to be based on a true story. Hmm, not sure where I was at, but I was always under the impression this story was about a real person. Oh well, the message certainly wasn’t lost on me, though.
I’m not sorry I read the story. It had its interesting moments. I can at least cross this one off my list.