As readers of Moore’s fiction know, she is a brilliant storyteller and sentence-maker ... The latest addition to her oeuvre reminded me of everything I ever loved about her as a writer and now, as happens with certain memoirs, I feel like she is my friend — a very elegant, accomplished grande dame sort of friend, to be sure ... Moore’s voice on the page is sometimes reminiscent of one of her mentors, Joan Didion, in its spellbinding rhythms and effortless transition between the physical and the intellectual ... Stories like these are grounded in her unflappable narrative tone and her conviction, shared on the last page of the book, assessing her prospects at age 30, that 'it would be all right.' Given the luminous literary career she had not yet even begun at that age, it seems to be so.
... striking ... Moore recounts with — what is that inflection? Not rue, not regret, not extraneous affect; the reader is invited to supply all of that herself, and the effect is both mesmerizing and sometimes maddening ... there can be little doubt that this memoir is Moore’s own provocative entry into the conversation. Through the #MeToo lens, her measured, superficially judgment-free recounting of her time in the middle of All That can be read as a personal statement of empowerment: She came, she saw, she took notes, and she left to become a novelist and a miss-no-detail student of female autonomy.
... poignant and hugely entertaining ... an examination of the masks women wear to meet social expectations, occasionally prompting them to forget who they are entirely ... The book bursts with brilliantly gossipy titbits, recounted with wry understatement ... There is a dispassionate matter-of-factness to Moore’s prose as she relates her most traumatic moments. Self-pity isn’t her style ... In Miss Aluminium, her tales of the Hollywood high life certainly provide giggles and glitz, though the darkness is never far from the surface.
It’s easy to sympathize with Moore’s embodiment of the painful, deeply sexist strictures of those years ... the second half has a ratio of (perhaps unintended) name-dropping to thoughtfulness that made it difficult to root for the young heroine as wholeheartedly as I had during those more poignantly described earlier years. Do we female readers slightly resent beauties who win more than they lose? Is this terrifying moment in time making us impatient with tales of glamour we might have otherwise enjoyed? Both things may be true ... It’s a heady world she’s in—the top-quality tier of early-70s Hollywood, and her intimacy with it both impresses and entertains. Still, sometimes her breathless list of eminences...makes Moore seem blithe, even though the gravity of her writing proves she’s anything but.
There is a coolness in the way she describes traumatic events. Such understatement also lends itself to wicked humour ... In another author’s hands, a Hollywood memoir would be pure titillation. What makes this stand out is its depiction of a specific place in time and the elegant restraint of its prose ... a cerebral twist on romance and a fitting end to an excellent book. The author’s happy-ever-after is of making peace with herself and having faith that things 'would be all right.'
... excellent ... though the events she describes are often upsetting, Moore’s touch is cooler than a writer like Maynard’s, her prose spare, her eye quietly ironic. One gets a sense that what is revealed has been chosen appraisingly, not out of coyness but, rather, out of something resembling an architect’s appreciation of a structure’s good bones. Moore’s writing has the slightly mysterious sense of detachment that she adopted when building her persona, many years ago, though paradoxically this is what makes her revelations, when they come, more piercing ... Occasionally, while reading the memoir, I found myself exasperated by Moore’s passivity.
... exacting prose ... Despite these seeming adventures, Moore’s saga is far from the stuff of fairy tales, and the shadow cast by the early loss of her enigmatic mother is never far from the page. More harrowing still are the accounts of the cavalier attitudes toward women and sexual assault, which Moore describes ever so matter-of-factly ... Moore offers readers a well-written, unobstructed view of what appears to be an idyllic life, ultimately revealing that looks can be deceiving.