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Knitting Under the Influence Paperback – September 1, 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Three L.A. girlfriends keep it together with their Sunday morning knitting circle in LaZebnik's sophomore warm-fuzzy (after Same as It Never Was). Charming, irresponsible Kathleen Winters is dependent on her identical twin sisters (semi-famous actresses reminiscent of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) for a paycheck and a home. After drunkenly spilling family secrets to a reporter, she sets off in a turquoise Mini Cooper to find an apartment and job of her own. Meanwhile, scientific researcher Lucy Cameron questions her career and love life as her lab and her self-righteous boyfriend become the targets of animal rights activists. Sari Hill faces the deepest conflict of all when the same "good-looking asshole" who tortured her brother in high school shows up with his autistic son at the autism clinic where she works. Each young woman re-examines her beliefs as the knitting projects—a hot pink bikini, a midnight blue baby blanket, a sweater—pass by. The tangled paths to three satisfying resolutions are marked by hot sex, an adorable gray kitten and, above all else, girl talk. LaZebnik juggles periods of personal crisis while maintaining her characters' complex individuality. Social knitters, especially, will relate to the bond that strengthens over the click-clack of the girls' needles. (Sept. 14)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Claire LaZebnik is a published novelist and non-fiction writer. She lives with her husband and four children in Pacific Palisades, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446697958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446697958
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,661,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

THE TROUBLE WITH FLIRTING is now available! It's my second YA novel, and if you liked EPIC FAIL, you'll like THE TROUBLE WITH FLIRTING. It's a lighthearted romance loosely based on Jane Austen's MANSFIELD PARK (but with one big twist). Please check it out!

Meanwhile, come visit me on my Facebook page Claire LaZebnik Writes--we have book giveaway contests and silly conversations about anything and everything--and read my blog at www.clairelazebnik.com. You can contact me easily through either. I love to hear from my fans!

Happy reading!

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished KUI, and I felt like I spent a fabulous weekend away with three close girlfriends, with all the benefits of intimate, nonstop conversation, and none of the obligations of having to cook, clean, and make bed assignments. LaZebnik creates a world that is at once familiar and compelling. Her characters are completely relatable -- you'll recognize parts of yourself in their busy lives and hilarious predicaments. It's a breezy read without being fluff. The author has such a keen understanding of how enriching women's friendships are -- the confidences they share, the advice and support they offer -- that you'll wish you, too, had a knitting circle comprised of wonderful women like these with whom to share your trials and tribulations.
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I am a knitter, and I'm 30 something, with no kids. I loved this book. The women were people I would be friends with. They have careers, love lives, and love to knit, drink, and hang out with the girls. I highly recommend this book, to anyone who loves to knit, and to anyone who liked "Sex and the City."
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Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Lazebnik's so I was anxiously awaiting the release of "Knitting Under the Influence". I read the book in record time simply because I just couldn't put it down. Page after page of witty dialogue and carefully crafted sentences draws the reader into the knitting circle which is Sari, Kathleen and Lucy's world. Lazebnik examines the flaws of her leading characters in a way that is honest and likeable. "Knitting Under the Influence" takes chick-lit to a whole new level. Hopefully it will be a chick-flick soon.
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Not a lot of plot and so predictable there are no surprises. Not even any patterns to give it that knitter's twist - the knitting pattern names come with recipes for weird alcoholic drinks. Probably the knitting references are just to get the attention of the growing audience for knitting related novels; there is never anything that would indicate any real knitting knowledge.

This would almost be a good book for the high school library, except for the alcohol/adult content scattered around it, as it is easy reading. I am sending my read copy to an adult library for English as a Second Language folks; it should work there.
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Format: Paperback
I am an avid knitter and was very excited to see this book. I enjoyed Ann Hood's "The Kniting Circle" immensely, in fact, that book got me started knitting. So when I saw "Knitting Under the Influence", I was looking forward to another delightful reading experience. This book blew me away. I felt like I was reading documentation of a college sorority hazing. There is no plot to speak of, and very little mention of knitting at all. I think the author just threw that in to ride the coattails of other popular fiction books that include knitting circles as the underpinning for female frienships. In the first chapter, the drinking that is described is absolutely outside the boundaries of normal, but it is couched in terms that make it seem cute. I found it offensive and sophomoric, and it perpetuated negative stereotypes of young women who are "trying to get it together".
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Format: Paperback
I found that this book was only loosely related to the craft of knitting and found the plot and dialogue to be shallow and crass. I also and am avid knitter and no one that I know would relate to the themes in the book. The ending is also lackluster and weak.

Definitely skip this one and read either Kate Jacobs' The Friday Night Knitting Club or Anne Hood's touching book entitled The Knitting Circle.

I am happy that I checked this book out of the the local library rather than purchase it.
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I'm sorry. I wanted to like this book; however, to be fair to the books I've rated 5-stars and feel proud to recommend, I'm afraid this one doesn't come close. I had to force myself to read the first 96 pages and then could no longer dedicate another minute to this plotless tale. Capitalizing on the current trend in knitting-related novels, this does the genre an injustice. It's chick-lit and not the good kind of chick-lit like Sophie Kinsella's work or the stories of Bridget Jones. This has three main characters, Sari, Kathleen and Lucy, who engage in, like, totally inane and profane dialog through probably 90% of the writing. Yes, they knit (one owns a knitting store), but from what I've read, mostly they obsess over guys and apparently alcohol? I'm not sure, I didn't get far enough to determine WHAT this was about.

In my opinion, the author's first novel, Same As It Never Was: A Novel, was far better. Read that one, skip this. And for a truly excellent knitting novel, I suggest The Knitting Circle: A Novel by Ann Hood.
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Format: Paperback
Author Claire Lazebnik has done it again: she's written a book that you can't put down because real-life just isn't as entertaining as her witty, wise world. KUI is loads of fun, but it also deals with some heavy-duty subjects. It makes you think without ever making your head hurt. And, it will make you want to take up knitting...I'm not kidding. But before you take up your needles and yarn, be sure to read Lazebnik's first novel, Same as it Never Was.
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