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Glover's Mistake Hardcover – July 9, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0670020973 ISBN-10: 0670020974 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (July 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670020974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670020973
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,191,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. It's hard to like a self-appointed cultural critic, but teacher-by-day, blogger-by-night David Pinner makes it schadenfreude-fun when he turns his loathing scope on his closest friends and then himself in Laird's latest (after Utterly Monkey). David, an oafish 35-year-old Londoner, reunites with Ruth Marks, the gorgeous and famous 47-year-old American artist who briefly taught him (and promptly forgot him) in college. David falls for her while she's in town for an artist-in-residence program, but Ruth prefers David's bartending flatmate, Glover, a 23-year-old virgin grappling with faith and the father he's left behind. Though David succinctly lambastes the very idea of love (Information killed it), he plots to wedge himself between Glover and Ruth—sometimes with an epically intense dishonesty. Whether David is saving his sometimes overwhelmingly flawed friends from a tragic error or making one himself—or both—the book offers a bit of twisted redemption in its hilarious nod to selfishness of all stripes. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker

David Pinner is a lonely, overweight thirty-five-year-old English teacher, who pseudonymously writes a dyspeptic London culture blog, The Damp Review, where he is “unafraid, hard-boiled, outrageous.” When David becomes friends with his former teacher Ruth Marks, a prominent American artist, he senses that “his life had turned a corner,” and when she falls for his handsome young flatmate, James Glover, he refuses to be marginalized. Laird convenes a cast of enjoyably catty art-world types, and grants David, even as he longs to be included, an unsparing awareness of their affectations, “their casual manners and ironic patter, their insinuation that surface was depth.” The attempts at wit mostly fall short, but the cultural insights are persuasive—artistic analogy gives “endless, untrue hope for reconciling everything.” As David’s preoccupation with Ruth and James becomes increasingly malevolent, an archetype emerges: the disaffected blogger, “searching not for things to love but a place to put his rage.”
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Customer Reviews

This book was really boring, and frankly kind of pretentious.
Nicole Del Sesto
Nick Laird has captured it perfectly and infused it into his novel, "Glover's Mistake," a book that engages even when it makes readers slightly uncomfortable.
Christine Zibas
The three main characters aren't interesting or well-developed.
Book Dork

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Fulkerson VINE VOICE on August 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was really difficult to finish. Not because it was offensive, or shocking, or I thought that the author didn't have any abilities. It's that the book was so boring in its retreading of so many other stories before it. It reminded me of the show Friends with some cocaine and sex scenes thrown in. Laird tries to shake up what is otherwise an tired old love-triangle tale by attempting to be cutting edge with some vulgarities, but it just ends up being a cliched mess. Every character in the book reeks of pretentious platitudes, and they all send off an air of privileged "me me me" attitudes. This could be fine if Laird would have balanced this with some irony or some distractions that showed these characters for the inept whiners they are, but he never does. They just perpetually spin into a self-serving vortex that makes you want to scream (or close the book forever!)
While I was reading this story it made me think of many other, and better, books about relationships I've read in the past, and by the end of Glover's Mistake I could only think that I was the one who made the mistake of reading this book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dave on July 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While this book is set, ever so superficially, in the London art scene, it has virtually nothing to do with either London or any art scene. Yes, there are a couple of openings, and yes, there are a few lines of coke, but it's all irrelevant to the story - these people could have been working at a laundry in Des Moines for all it mattered.

It starts out slowly, as the protagonist (David) seems dreary from the first, and nothing changes that. While his internal dialog is occasionally witty, it's at strange odds with his conversation, which is puerile, and often embarassing to the reader.

We're supposed to see this as a love triangle, in which David's unreturned infatuation with the artist Ruth is derailed when she becomes involved with David's flatmate Glover. David broods, whines, and eventually manipulates a destruction of Ruth and Glover's relationship. This might seem sad, except that one doesn't really care what happens to the relationship: Ruth is unsympathetic, and Glover always seems in way over his head.

Glover's mistake, which ends his relationship with Ruth, seems inconsistent with his character and ends the novel on a false note that reflects a lack of imagination on the writer's part.

Miss this.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Book Dork VINE VOICE on June 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Glover's Mistake is about the love triangle between lonely, single David, his young roommate Glover, and Ruth, an eccentric, middle-aged artist.

A Few Positives
- Ruth's daughter Bridget is probably the most dynamic, interesting character in the novel. Sassy, rebellious and intelligent she enjoys pointing out her mother's hypocrisies.
- David's bitter sarcasm can be entertaining.

The Negatives
- Controversy becomes cliche; blogging, snorting coke, older women dating younger men, religion, and modern art. Laird is trying too hard to connect with this generation. He instead should have picked one or two and really developed the issues.
- The scheming that occurs in the second half of the novel is contrived and an obviously desperate attempt to add excitement to the plot.
- The three main characters aren't interesting or well-developed.
- Laird is trying to monopolize on the whole "cougar" trend currently occurring. This would be fine if he was being innovative about it- he is not. The relationship follows the exact trend you would expect.

Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with this novel and would not recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chico on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I disagree with most of the reviewers below: I thought the characters were well-developed and the story original and fascinating. Laird's writing is brilliant, even while you are wincing at the events unfolding. The pub scene toward the end alone is worth reading the novel. For fans of David Nicholls (though much darker); I can't say it better than the Washington Post reviewer "it's like going to bed with Nick Hornby and waking up with Muriel Spark." If you get that, you'll get this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Assunta Sciarretta VINE VOICE on August 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I enjoyed reading Glover's Mistake. The pudgy main character, a 34-year-old teacher, David, seemed authentic although very whiny and obnoxiously needy. He's a slacker-liberal-arts type who drinks, does drugs socially, and slogs through his life just missing the mark. His self-conscious assessment of his situation is hilarious. David introduces his roommate, a hot 23-year-old bartender, Glover, to the woman David has recently become reacquainted and reinfatuated with - the 47-year-old American artist, Ruth. Ruth's attraction to Glover instead of David messes up David's quiet life.
The plot is pretty much a male version of chick lit. There is the meeting, the hook-up, etc. The author made Ruth's 47 years seem more like 60, thuogh. Her observations and reflections were those of a much older woman. (i.e. In the movie version, I could picture Helen Mirren playing Ruth instead of a more age-appropriate Heather Locklear.)
I thought the blurb billing the story as insight into the moneyed London Art Scene very misleading. If this is the London Art Scene, it's kind of boring. A better peek at the art scene (although N.Y.) was Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him. London did not feel necessary as the setting here. This novel could just as easily haven taken place in New England.
The quirks and portrayal of the minor characters - Glover and David's parents, Larry-Ruth's agent, Jess the lesbian - were so great. They were so colorful and real. There were so many little details and descriptions in the book that were worth repeating; I found myself folding down the corner of many pages as I went along. Definitely a book worth reading!
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