My roommate made me read this book. He was quite enthusiastic that I do so. I was expecting it to be some fun little high school comedy.
What I got was a depressing story about peer pressure and abortions. Thanks, roomy.
My Darling, My Hamburger stars Sean, Liz, Dennis, and Maggie (as you may have figured out from the cover), four high school seniors. The story focuses on their developing relationships, as Maggie and Dennis begin dating and Sean and Liz deal with the struggles of a couple that have been dating for a long time. When Liz ends up pregnant, she and Sean struggle to figure out what to do.
Meanwhile, Maggie and Dennis are getting dragged along for the ride.
Yeah, the distribution of spotlight time is not at all even. Despite having top billing on the cover, both Dennis and Maggie aren’t all that important to the plot. Maggie just suffers from Liz’s terrible decisions and Dennis suffers from Maggie’s dog-like devotion to her friend. Honestly, you could cut those two out and focus exclusively on Sean and Liz and the story would be almost completely unaffected.
This book is also extremely dated. It’s a book from 1969 and you can tell. The slang is dated, which makes the dialogue feel stiff and awkward at times. I kind of like it, though; it’s a piece of its time and it has a dated sort of charm to it. But for anyone who isn’t me and doesn’t wish they could live in the past, it might be a problem.
Not to mention how dark and depressing this book is. It’s all about kids with self-esteem issues, suicidal thoughts, shitty step parents, abortion, abusive partners, sexual pressure, near rape, all that fun shit. All of it culminates in an ending where no one gets where they want; the baby is aborted, everyone breaks up, and no one is happy. It’s absolutely miserable.
If you can get down for something like that, then maybe My Darling, My Hamburger is the book for you. But if you prefer a book with a lighter tone or a more modern piece, then steer clear.
I’m surprised they let this thing in a school library. Oh yeah, my roomy stole this from our high school library.