Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Brilliant writing -- witty, poignant, profound, funny
on August 3, 2009
FANTASTIC!! Read it if you're in love -- read it if you've ever been in love or wanted to be in love. Read it if you're stewing over a recent breakup. You'll find plenty in here to enjoy. This is a great collection of true break-up stories, told by some of the best writers around. The stories are at times profound, hysterically funny, and poignant -- one more witty than the next. Despite the title, I didn't find this to be a sad read. In at least one point during most of the stories, I found myself laughing out loud. At other times, I found the passsages so profound I had to share them with friends.
The stories are all over the place -- uniformly well-written, but in all shapes and sizes. The relationships range from gay to straight, young love, old love, unconsummated love, crazy sex addictions, crazy stalkers, roller-coaster relationships, May-December relationships, inter-continental relationships, some end with an explosion, some with a fizzle, some with death.
Kate Christensen writes of a romance during her sophomore year of high school -- with a classmate's recently-divorced dad who was (supposed to be) chaperoning the Spanish club to Mexico. Josh Kilmer-Purcell writes of his efforts to bed 25 men in celebration of his twenty-fifth birthday, with especially entertaining results with #7 and #s 17 & 18 (a couple). Gary Shtenygart writes of his sad Texas girlfriend, who "cried over the morning's cappuccino, cried over the evening's last espresso . . . " and taught him "there was a pain even a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor couldn't cure. A Texas-size pain, if you will." Dan Kennedy writes of a romance during his early twenties, with a driven aerobics instructor who had an apartment full of self-help books, ten years his senior . He was listening to college radio and drinking too much beer & she wanted to transform him into an adult with a mission statement and a real job -- much of the relationship was spent in couples counseling until it was derailed by the community theater lesbian. The last line of Kennedy's story -- post-breakup, he wonders who will be the next person "to actually let you see them naked. You're made confident by nothing more than knowing that with so many years still in front of you, it is simply bound to happen again." Brilliant.
The book also contains three graphic stories -- illustrated, cartoons, if you will. Emily Flake's Why Won't You Just Love me?, about her efforts to seduce a cartoonist, is just laugh out loud funny and pathetic. Wonderful.
There are so many things to love about this book -- but there were several things I didn't like. First, I didn't like that it had to end. I could have kept reading brilliant stories like these forever. Second, it introduced me to a number of authors I hadn't heard of before -- which led to an inevitable book-buying spree. Other than that, the book is about perfect. Highly, highly recommended.