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Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him Hardcover – May 31, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (May 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670038660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670038664
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,860,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this enjoyably tart art world sendup, winsome, aperçu-spouting Mia McMurray (think Party Girl–era Parker Posey) is a gallerista—one of the invariably decorative young women who act as a gallery's de facto concierge, and "who is always, always watching," as Mia herself puts it. A mysterious portrait by the recently late Jeffrey Finelli (killed by an errant cab in front of Mia's Simon Pryce gallery) gives the novel its winningly clumsy title and sets up its main conflict, between grasping art collectors and representatives of Finelli's estate. Former Mademoiselle and Woman's Day editor Ganek, herself a significant art collector, offers sharply drawn characters and convincingly savvy details. That the book's most important female collector is presented as a loudmouthed and overdressed refugee from Absolutely Fabulous gives a sense of its waspish humor. But Ganek stops short of crude caricature, and Ganek's portraits of the variously sneaky, ridiculous and pretentious art world denizens are tinged with affection and depth. The tone is sophisticated chick lit, and there's a sweet love story threaded in, but what most clearly animates this debut, and sets it apart, is a real sense that art matters. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Mia McMurray, assistant to Simon Pryce, a medium-level art dealer, ushers readers into the Soho gallery scene as they launch a show by Jeffrey Finelli, who is unknown but extremely talented. His major piece provides the novel's title. On opening night, Finelli is hit by a taxi and dies. Demand for his pieces skyrockets, and niece Lulu becomes part of a world she never wanted to know. Ganek portrays hangers-on, wannabes, nouveau riche, powerhouse dealers, poseurs, and artists. As for Mia, a blocked painter, she wishes the shows were hers, and her accurate though cynical observations reflect both her dissatisfaction and her intellectual acuity. Lulu becomes the darling, finding her place in this crazy scene. Mia, despite the lies and backbiting, not only survives but also finds a new path. Former Woman's Day editor and art collector Ganek has written a debut that reads like an amusing fairy tale as it offers a view into a world few readers are likely to have experienced. Danise Hoover
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Perhaps it was a sign when, at the age of nine, she dressed as a bookworm
(tights, antennae and an enormous painted cardboard "book") for an
improvised American-style Halloween in Sao Paolo, Brazil that Danielle
Ganek would one day become a writer. Her first novel LUlU MEETS GOD AND DOUBTS HIM was described in a New York Times daily review as funny, sharp-clawed, and a "glossy, amusing story that still finds time to, why and whether the art world differentiates between trash and treasure. Vanity Fair said "she captures the absurdity of the New York art world with wide and witty brushstrokes." Her second novel THE SUMMER WE READ GATSBY will be published by Viking in 2010.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Colleen10014 on June 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You don't need to be a collector, or even interested in contemporary art, to enjoy the first half of "Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him." Ganek writes entertainingly about a world she knows well, where tycoons spend millions and "art is the new cocaine."

But something happens to the novel around the middle. The story becomes a chiché, and the "surprise" manages to be both predictable and, in the way it is revealed, absurd. It's almost as if a different, and lesser, writer had penned the second half of the novel, or as if Ganek had given up and decided to get it over with quickly. It's a shame, because this could have been a good novel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bookphile TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What I most liked about this book was how very easily I could relate to Mia. I was initially reluctant to read it after reading many rave reviews that highlighted the novel's peek into the New York art scene. I was afraid of being trapped in yet another pretentious, boring novel about unlikable characters. I was very happy to find that this is not the case with this novel. Mia is refreshingly awkward in the world in which she lives and Ganek vividly portrays her heroine's feelings of being an outside who somehow managed to make it through the door. Mia is self-effacing and honest and doesn't try to gloss over her shortcomings. I especially liked how she never tried to sugar coat her jealousy with respect to Lulu. Who hasn't sometimes felt jealous of the good fortunes of a close friend? Mia harbors Lulu no ill will but she's not above a bought of self pity every now and then when she compares her life to her friend's.

While the insider's perspective of the art world is interesting, it is not the central focus of the novel, as many reviews would lead one to believe. The novel is really about people--Mia especially--and their simple pettiness, their generosity, the goodness, and their regrets. Though some of the characters are flamboyant, they all seem real and approachable. They have conversations that sound genuinely like conversations that real people might have. The absurdities of the super rich are certainly on display in the novel but, unlike similar novels (The Right Address in particular comes to mind), these characters are what they are. Ganek presents them as people rather than as ciphers and that is refreshing.

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of this novel is the pure love for art that Mia possesses.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Clark on July 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I went through a phase of heavy political novels, and Lulu was a serious breath of fresh air. A big part of the fun is the dish on the gallery world of New York City. Sadly, the protagonist is underdeveloped and plot vapid...but I think that's what I signed up for. If you're looking for a relaxing peek into the gallery world and you're not expecting a literary masterpiece, I think, like me, you will enjoy Lulu.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Manhattan's Chelsea section Mia McMurray works as a gallery receptionist assisting patrons at Simon Pryce Art Gallery by looking snooty and pretty. However, Mia sees the job as temporary as she dislikes her peers whose self-importance seems ridiculous to her as all they do is act like candy to customers; Mia plans to cross the barrier and have her work hanging at a gallery; albeit a nice one rather than the dump she works in.

When talented artist Jeffrey Finelli is killed by a taxi on his opening night gala, Mia watches the entire accident in slow mo. She also observes the fascinating holy war over his paintings as a battle royal between collectors and his estate explodes. His death leads to a feeding frenzy as everyone wants to own an original Finelli especially his masterpiece "Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him". However, the painting's model, Finelli's niece, Lulu claims ownership.

Lulu and Mia become friends; encouraging each other. The former quits Wall St to paint and takes a chance on love with an artist; while the latter begins to date art dealer Zach Roberts while quitting her candy girl role to become a writer.

In many ways this chick lit tale is a coming of age story as Mia finds her groove when she stops watching and begins doing. The story line is amusing as Finelli stars in the art of death with his posthumous season being like uneaten asparagus quickly over though his masterpiece keeps reselling. This is a fun look at the art world as Lulu and Mia take no prisoners.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Dork VINE VOICE on March 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Danielle Ganek desperately wanted her novel, Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him, to be a witty, chic, well-written novel. The problem is this becomes painfully obvious after reading only the first page of the book- this is not an effortless work of prose. Mia, the novel's narrator, is a gallery receptionist/undercover aspiring painter who describes the rise of the late-artist Jeffrey Finnelli. Finnelli is killed by a taxi on the opening night of his collection, which then sends the values of his mediocre paintings through the roof. Along the way, Mia makes friends with Jeffrey's muse, contemplates her future and tries to play hard to get with an art adviser (despite her insistence that she will never get involved with someone in her industry again).

The premise for the novel has potential (that's why it gets three starts), but is just so poorly executed. The novel is told in the present tense, even though most of it is technically in the past. Description is used in excess and there is a certain cheesiness factor at times (A checklist quiz of where they should go on their dinner date? White flowers spread throughout a bedroom because that color seems to fit her? Please...) I was disappointed with the "chick-lit" feel of the novel, since I really hadn't anticipated it would turn out that way. Definitely not one I'd recommend.
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