Jill Robinson

This is Patrick’s book review of Bed/Time/Story, found in an RTF file called Jill Robinson dated 19 Oct 2011. The term “as a kid” must be relative because the book was first published in 1974 when Patrick was 40. Then again, Patrick always was a kid in some way.

As a kid, I ran across an old copy of BED/TIME/STORY and it remains one of my favorite books of all times — the story of, as the tag says, “two people who just wouldn’t give up on one another.”

Oh, let it all hang out, Jill! The daughter of a Hollywood producer, mother of two, speed addict, Jill Robinson tells her story of diving headfirst into the bottom of the abyss and coming out the other side, bedraggled but intact.

It’s an amazingly romantic true story that effected me deeply as a child and still hits my spot as an adult — about her relationship with an alcoholic mathematician, Lawrence, in an era that was exploding with experimentation, a time of hippies and free love and consciousness raising, the dark side of Hollywood, Hollywood’s wild children. The couple sort of freefall through this mad world, experimenting with drugs, alcohol, sexual trysts (including a menage a trois with his ex-wife – one of my personal favorite scenes), self abasement and destruction on nearly every level yet survive — absurdly enough — through love and yes, faith.

Sound terrible? Weirdly it isn’t. There’s something astonishing about this story, about the fact that in spite of their lack of boundaries, this couple had an unshakeable belief in one another, a passionate and idealistic commitment.

At one point, Robinson is raped by teen boys at a party and is comforted by Jane Fonda; women’s issues were just coming to the forefront.

What a wild era! Robinson chronicles this crazy time in all its psychedelic, deranged, shape-shifting glory, a time when even middle-aged people were going through adolescence in some way because the world was a-changin’.

It’s very 70’s and yet it’s unabashedly romantic. Not for all tastes perhaps, but a great ride nonetheless. The age-old story of impossible love, the subject of countless fiction and Hollywood films — this time real in the land where few relationships last: Hollywood.