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The Guy Not Taken: Stories (2006)

The Guy Not Taken: Stories (2006)

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3.44 of 5 Votes: 2
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1416535209 (ISBN13: 9781416535201)
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About book The Guy Not Taken: Stories (2006)

I know that Weiner is a good writer and storyteller, but I just never got around to picking up another of her books (or seeing that movie with Cameron Diaz) until this weekend, when I gobbled up The Guy Not Taken, a collection of short stories by Weiner.They're good, and they deal heavily with two main themes: divorce and the difficulties of being a mother to a very young child.Weiner describes The Mother's Hour as being "as close to a horror story as I'll ever come," a good description of one of the scariest stories I've read in a long time. It's well-written and, like many of the stories, touches on some important issues, in this case ageism and, especially, classism. And motherhood and divorce.This line, in particular, really resonated with me: She had, she realized, gotten out of the habit of loving him during the first few years of their daughter's life, when every minute of every day was a struggle, and while she'd learned to get along with him, she'd never learned to love him again.Paul and I have spent a lot of time and money on therapy and on making sure that this doesn't happen with us, but I understand the sentiment oh so very well. It's so easy to focus on just getting through the days, just waiting for bedtime, for a little peace and quiet, for a moment to ourselves, for an end to the battles over diapers and potties and vegetables and indoor voices.People always say, "It goes by so fast." And we hear, "Just hold on, it will pass." But what they're also really saying is, "Live in these moments. Try to enjoy them, feel them, experience them, share them, don't just endure them. Don't just look ahead to the next thing."This is it. This is life. And there's no use waiting for it to get better: make a life of this collection of experiences you're living, no matter how difficult it seems. (Although, sometimes, I really do look forward to being able to tell the kids that I'm running out to Borders; please call me on my mobile if anything comes up and they need me.)

Normally I'm a big fan of short stories... and normally I'm a fan of Jane Green. But these stories were just so unsatisfying, with goo short stories there's a quick punchy point made and a satisfying resolution to a conflict. All these stories with the exception of the first story were just quick conflict with no real resolution or sometimes a lame attempt at a resolution. The first story was told over the progression of three interrelated stories and in that sense it should've just been a book all on it's own, and still even with three parts it ends rather lamely. Sure Josie gets married but what about all the daddy issues and everything that her and her siblings have, clearly the issues are present in the last part and what they just ignore them... she just marries and lives happily ever after? bull shit! Disappointing to say the least. Josie the main character of the first story (three parts) is too weak. Actually all the protagonists of every story are weak, you think there's going to be this defining moment where they get so fed up that they'll finally be forced to stand up for themselves... but no they just let people walk all over them. The next character a writer leaves her job because her partner who she gives a BJ to marries someone else, so she leaves and starts a business helping students fill out college applications??? Then there's the lame guy story where the girl is clearly insane and he is just a loser who's jealous of a dog. I'll skip the rest and just speak of the last story where an old woman gets held hostage to two New York teens passing a water gun off as a real gun. They've basically abused her and used up tons of her funds (and clearly she couldn't have that many seeing as she works at an ice cream stand) and yet when she finds out that it's a water gun, it's like... oh these two girls have issues, but I'm going to be nice because they've had a tough life. I hate to be repetitive but BULL SHIT!

Do You like book The Guy Not Taken: Stories (2006)?

I'd just finished reading a non-fiction on the Kashmir conflict, immediately followed by The Luminaries, and was in desperate need of some light, fluffy reading. Jennifer Weiner has always been fun to read so I picked this book up. It turned out to be a far cry from her usual light-hearted fare, as these stories explore men and women at different stages of their life, dealing with love, loss, families and relationships. These aren't stories with happy endings; there's a sense of underlying sadness in almost all of them.I'm generally not a big fan of short stories, but I quite liked the book, despite the fact that it is neither light chic-lit nor serious literary fiction; and weirdly straddles a world in between. The writing is a bit uneven - I later read that the stories had been written over a number of years. Despite these minor criticisms, it's a well written book, even though it wasn't what I was looking for at that time.

Listened to The Guy Not Taken: Storiesby Jennifer Weiner (Goodreads Author), Mary Catherine Garrison(Reading), Jordan Bridges (Reading. From a teenager coming to terms with her father's disappearance to a widow accepting two young women into her home, Weiner's eleven stories explore those transformative moments in our every day. We meet Marlie Davidow, home alone with her new baby late one Friday night, when she wanders onto her ex's online wedding registry and wonders what if she had wound up with the guy not taken. We stumble onGood in Bed's Bruce Guberman, liquored-up and ready for anything on the night of his best friend's bachelor party, until stealing his girlfriend's tiny rat terrier becomes more complicated than he'd planned. We find Jessica Norton listing her beloved New York City apartment in the hope of winning her broker's heart. And we follow an unlikely friendship between two very different new mothers, and the choices that bring them together -- and pull them apart. I give this book half a star and a 0. A terrible book.

I guess I initially missed the part of the title that said stories until I started reading this book.However, as I am a fan of books of short stories I'm not bothered by it.I was just expecting your typical "chick lit" type of book and was pleasantly surprised with short stories.The first few stories were with the same family and that was enjoyable.And then we got into the rest of the stories which none of them were. Each was uniquely different in it's own way.And then the last one. Initially I was pissed off by it. Then the ending came and I got slightly amused by it.Quick read (would have been quicker if I didn't let myself get distracted during the day but it is what it is) and enjoyable and anyone who has maybe enjoyed any of her previous books would probably enjoy this one.
—Blow Pop

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