Item description for Pagan Babies : and Other Catholic Memories by Gina Cascone...
Overview The author looks back humorously on her experiences in Catholic school, including her first confession and first communion.
Publishers Description As a child, Gina Cascone would hide under her bed, in the closet, and run away from her parents, hoping somehow to escape her worst fear. But she couldn't hide from the awful truth... She had to go to Catholic school. Do nuns have legs? Is Original Sin the "starter sin" for novices? Can the rosary be said in under fifteen minutes? These are some of the questions that vex young Gina Cascone as she makes her way, grade by grade -- and prayer by prayer -- through the rigors of a Catholic education. All the answers can be found in this hilarious classic of childhood foibles: the traumatic first day of school, the dorky plaid uniform complete with matching beanie, glow-in-the-dark rosary beads, first confession trauma, proper dashboard decor ("Cadillacs got Jesus; Oldsmobiles got Mary"), and the race to save the most "pagan babies," who weren't lucky enough to be born Catholic and American.
Citations And Professional Reviews Pagan Babies : and Other Catholic Memories by Gina Cascone has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 05/05/2003
Publishers Weekly - 04/14/2003 page 66
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Studio: Washington Square Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.83" Width: 5.25" Height: 0.46" Weight: 0.46 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2003
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0743453271 ISBN13 9780743453271
Availability 0 units.
More About Gina Cascone
Gina Cascone grew up in central New Jersey and survived nine years of Catholic schooling. Her books include Pagan Babies and Mother's Little Helper. Gina lives with her husband in New York City.
Gina Cascone currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Pagan Babies : and Other Catholic Memories?
This book is fantastic Aug 28, 2006
A word of advice. Do not lend your copy of this book out. I am so glad they finally reprinted the book. I've lent 3 copies out - never to receive any of them back. This one will not leave my possession. You will laugh until you cry. I too went to Catholic schools and am still a happily practicing Catholic. I have some great memories too. Growing up during the 50's and 60's just does that....like the time I got into trouble for pretending I was a priest and pretending to consecrate Necco wafers. I don't know anyone who could put the laugh until you cry spin on the parochial school stories though. Irreverant, yes. A must-read? absolutely. Ms. Cascone tells her story not because she hated Catholic school, but because she has this fantastic sense of humor. I'd read anything she wrote. I bought sight unseen her book Life al Dente. I read excerpts of it to my Jewish husband in the car this weekend and even he laughed like crazy.
Disappointed Nov 13, 2005
The book did bring back pleasant memories of attending a Catholic School. It's too bad that Gina Cascone hated attending a Catholic School. I kept reading hoping that at some time she would say something good about being a Catholic. But that never happened. If I hadn't experienced Catholic Schools myself, this book would convince me that sending your child to a Catholic school is child abuse. I only recommend this book for people who hated being Catholic.
Thoughts from a convert Nov 17, 2004
Right off the bat I should state that I did not go to Catholic school nor was I brought up Catholic. I joined the Catholic church as an adult so I never got to experience anything like tha author details of her childhood. This is part of the reason I wanted to read the book. I love memoirs. I love Catholicism. I love good religious humor. This sounded like a perfect mix of them all.
I did find a lot of it humorous including her rebelious nature, her naive misunderstandings of doctrine, meeting her Sisters and other school chums. And while I realize that this is supposed to be read asnd appreciated as "the world according to a child" perspective, I did have a problem with the fact that the author did not bother to correct herself in certain things now that she is an adult and should better understand. For example, speaking about the Immaculate Conception as being the same as the Virgin Birth of Jesus. Even I, as a new Catholic, know that these are two completely different things.
Overall I was pleased with the book but I do have to admit that I got bored near the middle, put the book away for a few weeks and finished it later. Since each of the short chapters were on a different topic it was easy to pick it up and put it down again without missing a thing.
If your sister is a Sister, do not let her read this Nov 3, 2003
I had the pleasure of meeting Gina Cascone in SF at Books by the Bay - and she's as engaging and funny in person as she is when she's writing. I didn't go to Catholic schools myself, but all my neighborhood friends did as I was growing up in Cleveland and Chicago - and many of the scenes in Pagan Babies (including the adopting of the pagan babies themselves) ring absolutely true. Until her most recent book, Life al Dente, Cascone has been a children's author, and that voice comes through in Pagan Babies, which I think high school girls who have at last escaped the clutches of the nuns in their elementary schools could easily relate to. Irreverent to the point of blasphemy, Pagan Babies is a loving if scathing memoir of growing up Catholic. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Amusing but doesn't go far enough Aug 19, 2003
This memoir was very, very funny. Cascone has a way with a phrase and a quick delivery that keeps the book moving along, and her description of her classmates will ring true with readers of all denominations (we've all known the Teacher's Pet, the Rebel, etc.)
It's a bit hard to know how to classify this book, though. On the one hand, it's a very amusing trip down memory lane. On the other hand, it's a hugely one-sided and even somewhat erroneous picture of Catholicism. Cascone recounts her experiences through the eyes of a child, which is effective given the fact that this is a memoir. The problem is that her discussion of the Catholic faith never grows beyond what she knew as a child. The reader sees the religion through the eyes of a child who is being given very extreme, pre-Vatican II instruction. I'm certainly not faulting her for sharing her experiences and her reactions, and I certainly believe that they really happened. But the book is about an adult who, at the end of the story, rejects Catholicism based on a stunted understanding of what the faith really is. Ultimately, I guess it's a good argument in favor of getting to know faith as an adult before deciding to reject it.
In the final analysis, I think this was a very entertaining book, but it certainly doesn't offer anything in the way of real spiritual insight. Don't let it inform your view of Catholicism because there's much more to the religion than you'll find here.