"Again" because I was talking about it last week in this post, when I had only read 60 or 70 pages. Now I've finished it.
I'm still not sure that it's right to expose other people so very intimately to the world, but I gather that the main characters apart from herself who are still living, her mother and her sister, were at least accepting of it. (Her father, an extremely important member of the cast, died before Karr wrote the book.)
And I'm still a little skeptical as to whether she could truly remember so much, still suspecting that she must have filled in a lot of detail from imagination and general knowledge of the people (including herself) and places. If not, it's the work of a truly prodigious memory, and I suppose some people do have such gifts.
And there are certain things about her style that aren't entirely to my taste. But the energy and fecundity of her prose, especially her rendering of the visual, are extraordinary. I mentioned in that other post that I was set upon by envy very soon after I started reading The Liar's Club, and that aspect of it, the visual, is what I envy most. It is a book filled with pain and could have been almost unbearable. For that matter, never mind the book, the bare story could have been almost unbearable. I am not a fan of the "misery memoir" which has been a sort of trend for some time now, but this one (which I think was one of the first) certainly justifies its existence by its enormous merit. It is quite a book. I recommend it.
Mary Karr converted to Catholicism--in 1996, I read somewhere, which would be not long after The Liar's Club was published. A subsequent memoir, Lit, apparently goes into that, and curiosity may compel me to read it. But not right away.