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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)
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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.”
"Glover's Mistake" started with some promise. Sorta interesting characters, good dialogue, and some ambiguity in what people were about. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Daniel Holland
In addition to reading for my "enjoyment" - I asked a Londoner to read it, thinking it would transport him back to another time or place. He indicated it did neither. Read morePublished on April 19, 2012 by FredMcC
There is a particular brand of black humor and jaded view of life that seems to accompany life in contemporary London. Read morePublished on March 4, 2010 by Christine Zibas
Set in the London art world, "Glover's mistake" presents a story of delicate nuances of a relationship between two men and a woman. Read morePublished on January 11, 2010 by Aleksandra Nita-Lazar
The previous reviewers could have been voyeur bloggers capable of writing Pinner's Dampner erasable blog. Read morePublished on November 9, 2009 by Patrick L. Grady
I disagree with most of the reviewers below: I thought the characters were well-developed and the story original and fascinating. Read morePublished on September 16, 2009 by chico
I listened to author Nick Laird on the radio as he explained the story of his latest novel, Glover's Mistake. Read morePublished on August 31, 2009 by Glenn Gallagher
This book is written in 3rd person, but follows the story of main character David (it allows you into his head, but not into other characters'). Read morePublished on August 20, 2009 by jennahw
[this review refers to the advanced reader's copy]
like so many books written these days, 'glover's mistake' appears, for the sake of credibility, take the hipster angle... Read more