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Happy All the Time (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – March 23, 2010
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“A luminous telling of two modern romances, a book that lingers sweetly and hilariously in the memory.” —Dallas Morning News
“Abounds in good lines, aphorisms, advice to both the loved and the lovelorn.” —The New York Times
“An elegant, fresh, funny tale of four people in love…. There’s electricity here... pure delight.” —Village Voice
“A pleasure…. Endless surprises and ultimately boundless joy…. It would be difficult not to enjoy it all!” —The New Yorker
“Colwin’s view of the world is comic with a subtle sense of sadness, and her love for even her most intractable characters does not keep her from laughing at their expense.” —The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
“[Laurie Colwin] handles feeling as cunningly as Ann Beattie and Frederick Barthelme handle numbness.” —Los Angeles Times
“If Laurie Colwin were an artist instead of a writer, she would be a maker of those small, delicious drawings dropped into the text of The New Yorker. . . . She is a master of lovely incidentals—the curve of the belly of a pitcher, the color of a blue Staffordshire plate, the comfort of ‘nursery’ food on cold days.” —Christian Science Monitor
“Colwin is ingenious, comedic, and spirited.” —The Boston Globe
“[Colwin’s] novels . . . have great charm—a charm that comes from a calm, witty and observant world view and her engaging writing style. She describes normal life with normal people; she writes about love, relationships and families. She illuminates modern urban romance. She looks at the way husbands and wives, brothers and sisters—and, almost inevitably in a Colwin novel, extramarital lovers—deal with each other. It might be boring if not for the acuteness of her insight.” —Buffalo News
“A truly wonderful writer.” —The Orlando Sentinel
“Colwin writes with such sunny skill, and such tireless enthusiasm.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review
“The successor to Dorothy Parker and Dawn Powell.” —Roger Friedman
“A writer of originality and vision.” —San Francisco Chronicle
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Top Customer Reviews
Guido and Vincent (rather WASP-y, the Italian nomenclature comes from a couple of generations back) are cousins and fellow graduate students when the novel opens, perfectly situated for finding their lifemates. When Guido sees Holly in an art gallery he narrates his observations about her to Vincent. "Notice how the nose tilts," he says, and later, "Notice the arc of the arm."
"Notice the feeblemindedness that passes for wit among aging graduate students," she replies, thus setting into motion a story full of wonderful zingy dialogue as pessimists pair up with optimists and love ensues.
Published originally in 1978, _Happy All the Time_ paints both of the primary women in bold colors. Misty is a linguist, frighteningly intelligent, and determined not to let Vincent's optimism capsize her ship. Holly is self-contained and self-determined, making her own decisions without consultation with Guido, whose great passion for her leaves him in a perpetual state of befuddlement. The book is indicative of the era it's placed in, as women behave in ways which have not been modelled for them, and the men adjust their expectations accordingly. From a feminist point of view, that makes this book an interesting read.
From an escapist's point of view, this book is highly entertaining, light but not too fluffy, and thoroughly enjoyable. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys Nora Ephron movies, Bridget Jones-type books, and satisfying endings.
Guido Morris. Holly Sturgis. Vincent Cardworthy. Misty Berkowitz. These are the rather enchanting names of the four principal players in our little drama. Guido and Vincent have been cousins and best friends since as far back as either of them can remember. Gifted with both privilege and personality, talent and wit, the two men have somehow managed to make it past graduate school and into bona fide adulthood without ever forming permanent or lasting attachments with members of the opposite sex. But all of that is about to change when they walk past a young woman with black hair and a composed face, sitting on a bench, and Guido falls instantly and madly in love. But Holly is not looking for love and Guido finds himself in the unfamiliar agony of being in love with someone who appears all but indifferent to him. Meanwhile, Vincent is coming to terms with his scattered and perplexing love life the hard way.Read more ›
Her sense of flow is great. The ending came up easily, and i was perfectly satisfied with it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Laurie Colwin in a joy to read. It is somewhat a traditional novel, no fancy postmodern tricks, but it surprises just the same. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Lorac
Consistent characterizations, interesting people, emotionally touching, telling, and oftentimes hilarious writing.Published 10 days ago by Jez
Here we have the tale of Guido and Vincent cousins and best friends. We follow them as they finish their college years and take up their careers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dora L. Davison
I read 21 percent of this on my Kindle and just couldn't take any more. It's a sappy story of 2 sappy men and. the sappy women they get involved with. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
Laurie Colwin created interesting,quirky characters in this novel. I enjoyed it but liked Home Cooking better.Published 2 months ago by GGT
I loved the characters so MUCH and her way of writing about them, describing them, and their attitudes......and then, it seemed nothing happened and i've already forgotten it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Marlea
Just one of the best books about New York, and what it means to come to New York and make a meaningful life for yourself. A feel-good book without being sappy. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Hope