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Good in Bed Paperback – April 2, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It is temping at first but unwise to assume Candace Shapiro is yet another Bridget Jones. Feisty, funny and less self-hating than her predecessor, Cannie is a 28-year-old Philadelphia Examiner reporter preoccupied with her weight and men, but able to see the humor in even the most unpleasant of life's broadsides. Even she is floored, however, when she reads "Good in Bed," a new women's magazine column penned by her ex-boyfriend, pothead grad student Bruce Guberman. Three months earlier, Cannie suggested they take a break apparently, Bruce thought they were through and set about making such proclamations as, "Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world." Devastated by this public humiliation, Cannie takes comfort in tequila and her beloved dog, Nifkin. Bruce has let her down like another man in her life: Cannie's sadistic, plastic surgeon father emotionally abused her as a young girl, and eventually abandoned his wife and family, leaving no forwarding address. Cannie's siblings suffer, especially the youngest, Lucy, who has tried everything from phone sex to striptease. Their tough-as-nails mother managed to find love again with a woman, Tanya, the gravel-voiced owner of a two-ton loom. Somehow, Cannie stays strong for family and friends, joining a weight-loss group, selling her screenplay and gaining the maturity to ask for help when she faces something bigger than her fears. Weiner's witty, original, fast-moving debut features a lovable heroine, a solid cast, snappy dialogue and a poignant take on life's priorities. This is a must-read for any woman who struggles with body image, or for anyone who cares about someone who does.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Weiner's first novel should satisfy readers from older teens and above. Cannie Shapiro is in her late twenties, funny, independent, and a talented reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. After a "temporary" break-up with her boyfriend of three years, she reads his debut column, "Good in Bed," in the women's magazine Moxie. Titled "Loving a Larger Woman," this very personal piece triggers events that completely transform her and those around her. Cannie's adventures will strike a chord with all young women struggling to find their place in the world, especially those larger than a size eight. Despite some events that stretch credulity and a few unresolved issues at the end, this novel follows the classic format of chasing the wrong man when the right one is there all along. Veteran storyteller Maeve Binchy gave us Bennie in Circle of Friends; now Jennifer Weiner gives us Cannie. Look for more books from Weiner. Rebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (April 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743418174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743418171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,028 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and Who Do You Love. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Carol S. VINE VOICE on May 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I must confess that I was predisposed to like "Good in Bed," since I've been a big fan of Jennifer Weiner's newspaper columns for some time. I wasn't, however, prepared for how fine a first novel she has produced, or how moved I was by Cannie's story. The book begins with a hilarious hook: protagonist Cannie Shapiro, entertainment columnist for a large Philadelphia newspaper, realizes that her recently-ex-boyfriend has been hired by a Cosmo-like magazine to write a [adult] column. To her horror, Cannie realizes that the pseudo-anonymous woman "C." in Bruce's first article is her. To make this invasion of privacy even more humiliating, the column is an unexpectedly perceptive treatment of Cannie's weight problem and its effect on their relationship. At first glance, one might assume the snarky tone of the first few pages would continue as the novel spun out in a kind of lightweight revenge fantasy. But Weiner uses Cannie's heartbreaking invasion of privacy as jumping off point for so much more. We see Cannie grow and change, exorcising childhood demons (mostly), getting over Bruce (at last), and most moving of all, finally coming to terms with her place in life (and yes, her weight, too). If the plot is moved along by a few too many incredible coincidences, if the book seems almost too jam-packed with characters and subplots, well, these are minor criticisms of a finely-written and sensitive first novel. Just promise me, Jennifer, you won't let Camryn Manheim star in the movie version.......
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109 of 128 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Like others who hated this book, I really wanted to enjoy it. Like the main character, I'm a fat word-lover, often too smart and sarcastic for my own good, who considered the Pink Rose Bakery in Philadelphia a second home. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time screaming at this book, and when I was finally finished I threw it against my wall. On the one hand, I admire the author for presenting a full-figured, flawed character. However, Cannie, the heroine, remains self-centered, self-pitying, immature, judgmental, condesceding, elitist, and cruel throughout the whole book, and is repeatedly indulged by friends, loved ones, and worst of all the author, Jennifer Weiner. Weiner allows Cannie to dance through life without having to take responsibility for herself, and the "redemption" she experiences rings false. Worse, the book is littered with cliches, including, most offensively, a lesbian with two cats named Gertrude and Alice, who is reviled by Cannie and her siblings even though it may be the closest her mother has come to a partner in her life. I pity the lesbian reader who reads this book and encounters such a one-dimensional, snide rendering of a stereotype.
A thing that aggravates me about reviews of this book is that many claim it's better than Bridget Jones because the character is heavier, a "real fat woman." I found Bridget a lot more likeable, regardless of her weight, because you got to see her standing by her friends. Cannie seems to have friends who treat her a lot better than she treats them, or herself. While I'm sure that the author saw Cannie as very kind, the glimpses of a loving Cannie are few and far between her monologues of self-loathing.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dr W. Richards on July 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The premise of this novel is excellent: after all the 'thin is best' propaganda, including that propagated by Jane Green's 'Jemima J', it's great to see a book which not only criticises the anti-fat culture in our world today, but argues that it's not necessary to be thin in order to be loved.
Cannie is in her twenties, an averagely-successful journalist on a city paper, just taking a breathing-space from a three-year relationship with Bruce... and is fat. Which, she claims, does not bother her, though we, the readers, suspect that this isn't the case. Then the bombshell strikes: Bruce has just got a column with a popular national women's magazine, and his first column is entitled 'Loving a Larger Woman'. And guess what? It's about him and Cannie, to whom he refers as his ex.
Cannie has never thought of herself as a larger woman until this point. And the article is crueller still: it begins 'I will never forget the day I discovered that my girlfriend weighs more than me.' And finishes: 'Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in the modern world'.
Naturally, she is humiliated, and the relationship is now completely over. Too late, she reads the full article, only to discover that it wasn't cruel after all, that Bruce understood her insecurities and hang-ups only too well all along, and that he loved her regardless of them. Her weight was an issue with her, not with him, and his reference to loving her being an act of courage meant that she, not him, made it difficult for them to be together because she could never quite convince herself that he loved her.
This is an extraordinary article, written with sensitivity and feeling. So here's my first problem with the book: we're supposed to believe that Bruce is an insensitive, uncaring loser. Huh? The guy who wrote that article?
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98 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Booklvr5 on August 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read many reviews here on Amazon about how great this book was so I decided to give it a shot...big mistake. The first part of this book was funny at times, clever, and made me want to read more. The farther along this book progressed I found myself hating the main character more and more. She was whiney, self absorbed, and rude to everybody she wasn't friends with.

The character of Cannie was so utterly bitter that I found myself actually hoping she wouldn't get the fairy tale ending we all knew she would get. I'm all for the idea of having a plus size main character, but she was absoultey horrid to anybody who wasn't plus sized in this novel. The writer made you sympathize for Cannnie with all of her weight struggles, but the way she made thin people into evil beings made me like Cannie even less. She went too overboard with the "woe is me, because I'm fat" issue. For instance, the thin nurse in the doctors office who was trying to be pleasent to everybody, the author made her out to be this horrible character all because she was thin. I really had it with this issue when she was at some ridiculous Hollywood party and she told some "size 0" movie star she liked her music and the lady responds with "If I had a nickel for every fat girl who said that to me..." *NOBODY* is going to be that rude, and that is the way all thinner people are portrayed in this book. I have no problem with having the main character be larger, and showing that bigger people can be successful and elaborating on the hardships and mean spirited ways people can be just because of a bigger size, but it's extremely condescending that the author turns around and does the same thing to thin people throughout the entire book.

The BIGGEST complaint with this book was the complete and total lack of realism.
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