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Jennifer Weiner's talent shines like never before in this collection of short stories, following the tender, and often hilarious, progress of love and relationships over the course of a lifetime. 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 on 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. The Guy Not Taken demonstrates Weiner's amazing ability to create characters who "feel like they could be your best friend" (Janet Maslin) and to find hope and humour, longing and love in the hidden corners of our common experiences.
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In her recent novels, notably In Her Shoes, Weiner explores human relationships in all their complexity, poignancy, and delight. Although Weiner's voice and settings are very contemporary, the messes people make among family members, friends, and lovers are as old as time. This audio production consists of nearly a dozen stories-some interrelated and some standalone-that are small portraits of fear, commitment, and love. In the first story, a long-married man with three teenaged children pushes himself away from the table and walks out of the house, never to return. His wife copes by swimming miles each day in the crumbling family pool, and the children try to handle their beloved dad's disappearance in their own sad and often self-destructive ways. The tale that will have listeners talking aloud to their audio players concerns a woman whose aunt leaves her a fabulous New York apartment. In order to endear herself to her loser real-estate-broker boyfriend, she agrees to sell the apartment so he can boost his confidence by getting the prestige (and the big commission). Performers Mary Catherine Garrison and Jordan Bridges are adequate; there's not a great deal of expression, and careful listening is required to keep the characters straight. Still, this is recommended for public libraries.-Barbara Valle, El Paso P. L., TX Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Another delightful example of Jennifer Weiner's tender way with words and emotions." -- Harper's Bazaar "Puts Weiner on the map as one of her generation's best literary voices." -- The Boston Herald "Shouldn't be missed.... It is the reader who will be taken by this set of eleven marvelous short stories." -- Entertainment Weekly "Fans will savor Weiner's confidential tone and salty wit." -- People ""The Guy Not Taken" showcases a maturing Weiner..."In Her Shoes" author Jennifer Weiner is resigned to the fact that in some circles she is referred to as the 'Queen of Chick Lit.' But I challenge anyone who says her short-story collection, "The Guy Not Taken, " isn't serious women's fiction. Not that there's anything wrong with chick lit, but the women in these stories are a far cry from the Manolo-obsessed bubbleheads sometimes found in chick lit novels. These women apply healthy doses of self-doubt, loneliness and misgivings along with their lip gloss and mascara. All the stories in Weiner's collection have that 'Calgon, Take Me Away' quality to which smart women, whose lives are complicated by careers, men, babies, parents and siblings, can relate." -- "USA Today" ""The Guy Not Taken" takes Weiner to next level as author...With her latest collection Weiner is proving that the masters of the oft-maligned chick lit genre are voices to be reckoned with. An accessible anthology that takes readers on a ride through divorce, heartbreak, insecurity and what might have been, "The Guy Not Taken" is a tender, thought-provoking read that puts Weiner on the map as one of her generation's best literary voices." -- "Boston Herald" "These autobiographical stories suggest that Weiner is the kind of wise-cracking pal who makes a great lunch date. In "Swim, " a woman who left her TV job after her sexy writing partner led her on, then eloped with the show's star, helps a nebbish craft a personal ad. When he says he's picked 'Lonelyguy 78' as his screen name, she blurts, 'Was 'Desperateguy' taken?' Even a coda on the inspiration for the stories is a hoot. The heroines-hooked-on-bad-boys notion wears thin, but fans will savor Weiner's confidential tone and salty wit. [3 out of 4 stars]" -- "People" "These stories range from an old lady held hostage to a New Yorker who gives up killer real estate for a guy. Weiner's fans will recognize the kooky-kid-sister sagas, but it's the new territory notably "Swim" and "Dora on the Beach" that shouldn't be missed. A-" -- "Entertainment Weekly"

This collection of 11 stories written over the past 15 years reads like a series of studies for Weiner's larger chick lit portraits. As in the novels (Goodnight Nobody; Good in Bed), smart, acerbic, 30-something women battle dating damage and broken childhoods (absent fathers in particular) in order to build their own families-or to convince themselves they still want to. In "The Wedding Bed," a new bride realizes, "I thought that every story I would tell for the rest of my life will somehow be about this: about the man who left and never came back." "Mother's Hour" tightly focuses on new toddler trauma as experienced by first-time mothers and shows how motherhood can be another conduit for woman-to-woman envy and suspicion. In "Swim," sometime scriptwriter and obsessive swimmer Ruth, her face scarred from the car accident in which her parents died, must eschew the verbal "edge" she finds so compelling in men in order to find love. One roots for Weiner's characters as they come to terms-and in some cases, heal-from disappointment and neglect. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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