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James Collins's Beginner's Greek is a tender tale of how love conquers all, even if it takes longer than some might be willing to wait. Chick Lit fans especially will appreciate the uniquely male perspective that Collins, who spent most of his career as a journalist and an investment banker, brings to this modern fairy tale.
When 27-year-old Peter Russell boards a cross-country flight to Los Angeles, he fully expects to sit next to the love of his life. As luck would have it, he sits next to Holly Edwards, with whom he falls in love instantly. A lost phone number leads to years of wondering "what if," until Peter's best friend Jonathan introduces him to his new girlfriend, who is of course the same Holly of Peter's dreams. After Jonathan and Holly marry, Peter settles down with Charlotte, a Francophile who Peter tries to tolerate, but mostly just evokes feelings of pity and hatred. Of course, as with any fairy tale, the possibility for a happy ending is never truly out of reach, and Beginner's Greek is chock full of twists and turns to keep the action going.
While some of the dialogue may make readers feel like they just stepped out of a Victorian novel ("Oh no! I had no idea it was so late! Poor Peter! I'm sure you were coming to fetch me!"), Collins's characters convey enough depth to keep readers engaged through some of the more fanciful stretches of this captivating novel. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The two young professionals of Collins's polished debut, Holly and Peter, meet on a flight bound from New York to L.A. They tacitly understand they are soul mates, and she invites him to dinner, but Peter soon discovers that he has lost the number Holly wrote on a page torn from Mann's The Magic Mountain. With Peter's financial career and New York society as a mundane backdrop, years pass and Holly ends up married to Jonathan, a successful author and womanizer—and, conveniently, Peter's best friend. Still aching for his one-time seatmate, Peter marries Charlotte, a dull Francophile, because it made sense. Charlotte, of course, is also in love with someone else—a former flame, Maximilien-Francois-Marie-Isidore. At Peter and Charlotte's wedding, Jonathan is struck by lightning, precipitating an endless series of events that changes the lives of family, friends and lovers alike—including Peter's boss and Charlotte's ex-stepmother. Former Time editor Collins, 48, writes as if fully aware that anyone who saw any one of a thousand other romantic comedies will find the plot familiar: he plays romantic comedy clichés with an expert coolness. Anyone for whom chick lit is a guilty pleasure will find the tone here multiple notches above the usual fare. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I too always wonder who will come and sit next to me on the plane although these days there are hardly ever just two seats unless one can afford business class. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Geoffrey Hazzan
I found this book recently in a box and realized that I had read it partially about eight years ago. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Daniel Holland
How often do you find a book w/ wonderfully drawn and thoroughly likeable characters who go through twists and turns but finally end up happily ever after? Read morePublished 10 months ago by C. Henig
There's a charming tongue-in-cheek quality to Beginner's Greek akin to a Woody Allen screenplay, beginning with the opening scene: protagonists meeting and falling in love on a... Read morePublished 20 months ago by caraxida
I thought I would like this storyline but the author is very wordy (to an annoying extent) and the characters are hard to like because they are all sad throughout the novel.Published 24 months ago by Rachel Lanchak
PARTIAL SPOILER ALERT. This book was cute in all the ways a book of this genre is supposed to be but entirely too predictable at times. Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by Avid Reader
received read the reader sounder bored with the story and understandably I found the story boring and predictable but readablePublished on January 27, 2013 by sally rosenblum
I decided to read this book based on the promo on the dust jacket. However, it did not live up to its billing and the author falls flat on his face. Read morePublished on October 8, 2012 by Challenger Nuke
I really wanted to abandon this book early on in the prologue, but that a hard thing for me to do. I carried on disregarding the authors intent to impress with a large vocabulary... Read morePublished on June 17, 2011 by bluEnd