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NNNNN: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 13, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The grand poobah of American comedy has authored the memoir My Anecdotal Life, several children's books and the autobiographical novels Enter Laughing (1958) and Continue Laughing (1996); here he checks in with a midlife crisis–fueled tale of a schlep's search for his origins. Nat Noland, a successful romance novelist, is hard at work on his latest book (of the same title as Reiner's), a spin on the Cain and Abel tale. When Nat's inner dialogue becomes a heated debate—between himself and, well, himself—his chipper wife, Glennie, signs him up with Dr. Frucht, a Viennese psychiatrist. Thus begins Nat's journey of self-discovery. Over the course of his cross-country travels, Nat, who was adopted, learns the incredible, lurid story of his birth parents—his dancer mother, Lena Lomax, and his father, Dr. Grimshade ("Calling that dung ball a dirty bastard is a compliment!... And so, shmucko, is calling that scumbag a dung ball!" Nat exclaims to himself). In New Orleans, Nat also finds his maternal grandfather, John Lomax. Slapstick cases of mistaken identity begin piling up, and tearful reunions ensue. Sloppy and speedy in a have-to-smile kind of way, this novel hits below-the-borscht belt. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Venerable comedic genius Reiner continues to amuse in a diverse variety of formats. For this novel within a novel, he tackles the age-old subjects of personal identity and sibling rivalry. As novelist Nat Noland struggles to eke out every page of his fictional retelling of Cain and Abel, he begins having a series of long conversations with himself. Overhearing her husband arguing with himself in different voices, Nat's wife, Glennie, subtly convinces him to see a therapist. During consultations with Dr. Frucht--frucht in German means fruit--Nat recalls a series of dreams about his childhood and adoption. Determined to resolve his questions about his murky past, he embarks upon a remarkable odyssey to discover the long-lost brother he may or may not actually have. This humorous romp through the psyche of an endearingly kooky author will find a ready-made audience in Reiner's legion of fans. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (February 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743286693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743286695
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,897,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Little Miss Cutey on February 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book writen by one of the funniest entertainers around. Carl Reiner is a classic and his humour shines through here. The main character, Nat, is a successful novelist and is always talking to himself and having bizzare conversations with himself (calling himself a shmuck etc) whilst writing his latest book (so it's like a book within a book). I'm just on half way through this, but I've really really enjoyed every part so far and it's been totally entertaining and very hard to put down. This kind of book had to be writen by a great comedian and who better than Carl Reiner?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It is a true fable where all is well that ends well. Mr. Reiner writes with ease about persons with distinguished achievements, wealth, and health. Even the ones who are sick are made to seem fit. There is a reason behind everything and each character possesses great human values such as compassion and understanding. Even the ogre of the tale has his good sides. Of course, the whole story is light and full of mirth. That is Mr. Reiner's style. He knows how to make people laugh. There is a minor story within the main story. Both are equally enjoyable. Nat, the main character, suffers from serious personality disorder that he succumbs to seeing a therapist. One thing leads to another and he is on the journey of searching the truth of his origin. He finds out a lot of information and a few close relations. It is first and foremost a love story between men and women and among family members. When told in Mr. Reiner's wild humor, it becomes more pleasing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Surfer Joe on February 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Quick witted, quick read, funny and serious all at once. I enjoyed this novel very much
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on February 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Carl Reiner's comic writing takes us back to another era in show business history, and the way his men and women talk to,. about, and around each other is like nothing so much as the grimmer mordant tales of James Thurber. Nat and Glennie are a perfect Reiner pair. He's a questioning novelist who has just discovered that he might have been adopted, while writing an epic tome based on the antagonism of Cain and Abel. Poor Glennie has to put up with a lot, including Nat's sudden attachment to the deliciously attractive doctor, Gertrude Trampleasure.

He should win the National Humor Award just for the names he comes up with. Some of them are as though Peter de Vries had never left us. It's hard to believe that anyone would exercise himself as Nat does, but the impossibility of the central situation is part of the charm of NNNNN. With a title like that, you'll be scratching your head about what it all means, but don't worry, you've got one up on the author. Some of the funniest sections of the book take place within Nat's own novel, conveniently also called NNNNN, a fantasy epic laid in the never-never land of Civviliaa, where twins first got their names through acronym: originally known as "Two Worthy Infants in Nature Similar," then reduced by verbal shorthand to "T.W.I.N.S." and thus to the word we know them by today.

And if you think that Carl Reiner is too old to write convincingly about sex between a bored, wealthy housewife in Cairo, Sherry Keebler, and her French lover, Francois, dream on! The pages fairly leap into the fire. "Don't worry," Sheery promised, pushing him onto her bed and climbing on top of him. "Even though I never liked you, Francois," she purred,. taking his penis in hand, "I will never, never, never, never let you go." Funny puts it mildly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blueberry mom on March 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm so glad I found this. Great writing. Enjoyed this book very much. What a funny man Carl Reiner is! The names he came up with- hilarious!- and the TWIN thing- too much!
What a mind he has. I would like to read some more of his writing.

This is a quick read-you've been warned- I read twenty-two chapters in a couple of hours, with a few interruptions. It was the kind of book that "I couldn't put down". Finally I went to bed but couldn't sleep so I got back up and finished it. Started weird- didn't really care for his bible story- but I admire his thinking and coming up with it- interesting take- but the rest of it was good/better. Good story about Nat. Light, easy, fun reading. Good for a quick trip, for a plane ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J Davis on September 17, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I listened to this book on CD during a long road trip. The novel is read by the author, Carl Reiner, which made a witty, wonderful book even more special. I can't say enough good things about this delightful, light-hearted novel. As you would expect from anything written by Carll Reiner, the plot is masterfully convoluted. Nat Noland is an author writing his own version of Genesis (and a strange one it is) with the help of himself. Who he talks to. A lot. His wife becomes very concerned when he starts using different voices for his other person and sends him to a psychiatrist. The pyschiatrist, with a great Viennese accent, helps Nat uncover a remarkable past. Fun and creative; this was a perfect traveling companion.
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