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Girlfriend 44 Hardcover – February 3, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (February 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312261667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312261665
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,788,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"You are not perfect," explains the laddish, caddish Harry Chesshyre to his 43rd girlfriend, Emily, in the break-up letter that opens this Machiavellian relationship comedy. Throughout his quest for the perfect mate, the 32-year old Harry maintains a stable, committed relationship with his flatmate, the finicky, repressed Gerrard. When their ultra-womanizing friend, Farley, apparently commits suicide over a love object named Alice, they both decide that she is the only one for them. Their farcical no-holds-barred competition for her, including a drunken pub crawl after Farley's funeral, counterbalances Harry's romancing of Alice as he realizes she might be "the one." Throughout, the witty, loquacious Harry serves as a mouthpiece for over-the-top opinions about men and women, sex and love. While Barrowcliffe's style is thoroughly British, his cynical insights into the single male mind are universal, such as his Maxim-esque tactics for hitting on girls: e.g., Mr. Listener, Search and Destroy, or the Mallory Principle: sleeping with your best friend's ex-girlfriend for the same reason as one would climb Everest ("Because it's there"). Where the novel falters is just where Harry doesAthat is, in its inability to comprehend Alice as a person, not just perfection personified. The other female principal, Lydia, while a witty foil to Harry and Gerrard, is similarly one-dimensional. Although this debut doesn't have the characterization depth of Nick Hornby's novelsAand Barrowcliffe's humor is far more misanthropicAAmerican readers will still find Harry's romantic misadventures amply entertaining. (Jan. 7) Forecast: The current rage for cynical romantic comedies from across the pond should help propel sales. That Ron Howard has already bought the film rights also bodes well.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In the spirit of Nick Hornby's bestseller High Fidelity (1996), Barrowcliffe's debut novel is a funny but dark look inside the hearts of modern men. Harry and Gerrard, two yuppies in their young thirties, share a messy flat in London. They exist in typical single lad fashion, in that they haven't let maturity get in the way of their endless beer drinking and girl-watching. And they are cynical about women. After the apparent suicide of a drinking buddy, however, they find themselves vying for the affections of the mysterious woman who drove him to his grave. It's no friendly competition: From the start, the two friends are plotting against each other with cutthroat fervor, a harrowing path that, at different points, takes one to jail and leads the other to homicidal behavior. Alice, the worthwhile goal of their rough-and-tumble game, is beautiful, successful, witty, and always about 10 steps ahead of her suitors. Barrowcliffe's story is genuinely suspenseful, even though his clever narrator undercuts the tension with nonstop asides, backgrounders, anecdotes, and philosophy. Lucky thing he's funny. James Klise
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

It was not set centrally on the page.
Finch
As I said before, this book is very funny and will make you laugh out loud.
Elizabeth Hendry
Extemely funny, well written, great dialogue.
Brian G. Curtis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Erik Johnson on January 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Girlfriend 44 is the sort of book you always look for but can never quite find-the sort that you want to read in one sitting but you can't because it's so good you want it to last forever. You end up reading it at outdoor cafes and laughing out loud, not caring who hears you or what they think, you read it half hanging off of your bed, comfortably slumped as its spell overtakes you, you lope down the street with a goofy grin on your face as though you are in love.
The setting is modern London, the heroes are Lost Boys who live for a pint and the perfect woman, but you don't have to be an Anglophile to appreciate the sarcastic irony of this male confessional.It's a male "Bridget Jones" or a "High Fidelity" without the music. There's even a bit with a dead body. Highest marks for this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lins TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book may contain more than you want to know about the workings of the male mind. "Girlfriend 44" is a laugh-out-lound/ groan-inside, novel about how men view women, dating, sex, themselves and each other. Prepare to be equally amused and HORRIFIED!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book immensely even though the character in it is vain, sexist and rude, a real guy's guy and a real guy's book. Harry, the main character, gets annoyed by everything in life and I mean everything. It's all very identifiable. There are so many poor guy books around these days but anyone who enjoys Nick Hornby / Steve Horsfall will love this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ah, two men vying for the attention of a beautiful woman, and turning into complete sleazeballs with self-centered intentions trying to do so. This book is very hard to find (I just happened to pull it off the shelf at a library).
The book starts off rather slowly, with plodding conversation between the two potential 'suitors', and drags on for about 30 or so pages, but once the chase begins things get hairy and neurotic. The book is fun from there.
Barrowcliffe, to my knowledge, didn't write anything else, but this is definitely an entertaining book. If you've got a few bucks to spend, FIND IT.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Maybe it's me, but I read about 30 pages and put this book down. I had a hard time getting into it, understanding the humor, following what was going on...They introduce you to Harry with a letter he writes in the first chapter and then he's at home & i guess kinda thinking to himself & then we see his two friends. Then it gets hard to follow what is going on, he's thinking to himself, he's reminiscing about his family, then he's talking with his friends, he's looking at pics of old girlfriends, some girl decides to stop by, they are analyzing a letter his friend Gerrard wrote....where is he going with all of this?! I felt over-whelmed, did he want to introduce us to the character, his family? His friends?? Then mix past with present?? Then you hear about how Gerrard is a kind of womanizer, but I thought Harry was too? It's unclear what traits they have that seperate them. I guess this book isn't my cup of tea!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Noah on May 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Women do not like this book. In fact, they don't seem to understand this AUTHOR at all. Barrowcliffe is a master of the male confessional, and the women who have reviewed his writing obviously have difficulty facing up to the honesty that Barrowcliffe laces into the descriptions and dialogs within his books. It is unfortunate, but true, that men are inclined toward a cycle of self destruction and are constantly the cause of their own undoing.
The narrator of this book lives true to that premise and much of the book centers around the search for the right woman, the intricacies of courting, and the Mallory principle which has been the destruction (and justification) of so many men.
Women don't want this to be the way men work, but Barrowcliffe's painful honesty when dealing with his subject matter is what makes this book truly stand out....Sorry ladies.
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Format: Hardcover
I read a review about '44' in a music pub (CMJ) and thought, "I'll check it out." What luck I fell into!
What I checked out was MY everyday 'doings' as I became engulfed in a story that could have been directly from transcripts of my life.
I found much of the dialog shockingly similar to that of my friends and me and that which wasn't, provided 'new' material for me to use the next time I see them! Successfully I may add.
It's a love story, a drama, a tragedy turned comedy turned narrative on post-college established dating scene; you know the time with career, money, friends and a heck of alot of baggage.
The time everyone envisions as a sophisticated stage in life, yet is really the same gulp of mouthwash, used and swished to the other side of the cheek...and still minty!
It's worth a swig and swish.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frederick M. Segrest on May 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I picked this one up at a convenience store in Scotland because it looked interesting. It kept me entertained during the trip back. Not as dry as most British Humor, but filled with amusing anecdotes and interesting comedy about being a bachelor with a strong sex drive. The plot surprises at times and is an adequate vehicle for the in-your-face humor. Don't expect a masterpiece of modern literature, but read it if you laugh at the articles in Maxim and FHM. This is a fun one, and reads quickly despite its heft.
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