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Playdate Paperback – March 13, 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pity the 21st-century househusband. Although former weatherman Lance Ramsay enjoys staying at home in the San Diego suburb of Encinitas, his 10-year-old daughter Belle's classmates consider him a loser, and his wife, Darlene, is so busy opening a new "Darlene's Diner," the franchise she started eight years ago in Barstow, Calif., that lovemaking has become perfunctory. Lance longs for another child and wishes his wife were more sensitive to Belle, but he finds plenty of distractions: having lots of tantric sex with Wren, the wife of Darlene's business partner, and dodging the amorous overtures of Wren's babysitter. Wren's sister, Robin, starts writing a book about househusbands, which gives a macho neighbor a chance to express his contempt for housebound men. Over the course of a few busy days leading up to the new diner's opening, in which everyone is sleeping with everyone, a brush fire threatens the region, which leads to the inevitable question: will the Ramsays' marriage go up in flames? US Weekly film critic Adams wittily skewers his shallow characters, resulting in a novel that's equal parts cleverness and tedium. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

When a novel starts with the Santa Ana winds about to bear down on a well-groomed California suburb, you know havoc will ensue. In the manner of Tom Perotta’s Little Children (2006), Playdate follows the complicated, about-to-explode life of a modern-day, stay-at-home, suburban dad. Nice-guy Lance has given up his career as a TV weatherman to help his high-powered wife, Darlene, start a new business. His days are consumed with caring for their daughter, Bella; trying to impregnate his reluctant wife; and having tantric sex with the wife of his wife’s business partner. The early introduction of tantric yoga (i.e., sex) puts the novel squarely in the satire category, but Adams is not completely content to let the story rest there. Earnest discussions of modern parenting, marriage, and gender roles fill almost every chapter as the impending storms threaten everything from Darlene’s new business to Bella’s birthday party. Unfortunately, these discussions sometimes come off as clunky exposition, in which the characters seem to be presenting talking points rather than having a conversation. Overall, though, the novel is an enjoyable, if slightly heavy-handed, romp through modern suburban life. --Marta Segal Block --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250003881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250003881
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,319,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

THELMA ADAMS' novel PLAYDATE was reprinted in paperback by St. Martin's Griffin in March 2012, following its hardback debut in 2011. The book is an Oprah Beach Read and a Parade Magazine pick of the week. She is a Contributing Editor at Yahoo! Movies, following eleven years as the film critic at Us Weekly, and six years at the New York Post. She has twice chaired the New York Film Critics Circle. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parade, The Huffington Post, Marie Claire, More, Interview Magazine, The New York Times, The international Herald Tribune, Cosmopolitan and Self. She has appeared on CNN, E!, NY1, NBC's The Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, Fox News Channel, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Bravo and VH1. In 1993, she earned an MFA in fiction from Columbia University; in 1985, she earned an MBA in Arts Management from UCLA; she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley in 1981. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, son, daughter, three cats, one spaniel and a flock of wild turkeys.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have mixed feelings on this book. I enjoyed the message which basically is it doesn't matter who raises the kids, all the jobs are important but they go hand in hand. It isn't just the moms who are important it is the dads too. This life is one big puzzle and we need all the pieces.

However the affairs and the way the kids were just pushed through the book really didn't catch my fancy too much. Maybe this book is just too modern for me. I didn't think I would get through it, I made it halfway and thought this isn't bad and then the last 30 pages I wanted to scream enough already. Half the words seemed like nonsense to me.

No one really had any depth to them, because if they did, they wouldn't be in those situations! All the guys except for Lance were painted as jerks, which today's society says they are if they go out and work for a living they are like cavemen. Which isn't true.

My review seems a bit harsh but I couldn't give a everything-is-awesome in this book. I am relieved it is over and I can move on to other things!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In some ways, a guy might fantasize about being in the shoes (or yoga robe) of Lance, the protagonist of this story. When he's not parenting his precocious daughter, or managing the cookie sales for her girl scout troop, he's sharing some intimate moments with his lovely neighbor, or fending off the persistent offerings of his neighbor's live-in nanny. But the fantasy would die in the details, as does the plot of this book.

It's a good premise, but to be honest, it just never travels very far. Lance's wife has her own business startup issues, and there are the typical misconceptions about a stay-at-home dad. But all in all, there really isn't a lot of there... there.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lance is a former weatherman turned house-husband. His wife, Darlene, is busy opening up the first in what could be a chain of new restaurants targeted at working mothers.

The two have one child, sixth grader Belle. They're considering having more and while Lance is excited, Darlene may not be as enthusiastic. She's so driven by her job and starting up her business that she is slowly becoming disconnected from Lance and Belle. Meanwhile, Lance is connecting with other women in his life, included the wife of Darlene's business partner and Julia, the babysitter who watches over the kids of the wife Lance is having an affair with.

Apparently, being the king of the Girl Scout cookies is quite the turn-on for some of the ladies in Lance's life.

If it all sounds a bit complicated, it can be at times. But you won't have any trouble keeping up with things in the story. Told over the course of three days, Thelma Adams' "Playdate" fills in enough of the details to keep you interested but it doesn't really break any new ground. The main question the novel ponders is how much do we all what we do to define a person or persons. The story could have been a bit better if had actually delved a bit deeper into the questions asked here, but the novel instead goes for humorous moments and brings everything together in a nice, neatly wrapped romantic comedy package in the final pages.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Looking for a fun read, I ordered this from Amazon Vine. I was disappointed to say the least. The San Diego County wildfires provide a backdrop for this novel, and this is by far the most compelling action within the book. The main character, Lance, is an out of work weatherman while his wife, Darlene, is an up and coming restaurant owner. I think that while there was potential for a story here, the characters were so poorly developed and annoying that I couldn't get past it. Lance is a stay at home dad, and readers are reminded of this no less than 100 times in the book. It was though the author was trying -too- hard to make this the single dimension of this story. I couldn't wait for this one to end, which was a disappointment since I really liked the unique setting. This is one playdate to cancel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book. The description sounded interesting, funny and fun; a campy look at the drama of the 'burbs set against the background of the Santa Ana's and resulting wildfire.

The characters were not well-developed enough to form any emotion about and therefore their foibles just seemed silly and childish. Plot lines were started but not developed (i.e., Sam's crush on Belle) and the end was just too tidy a package.

I'll be reading the book again as I'm leading our book club discussion on it next month, and will add to my review if my opinion changes, but I finished this book today, in one day, and I've already forgot most of it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had a hard time getting into this book, and relating to the characters. The characters lacked dimension, and didn't seem real to me. I didn't really feel connected or that I cared about any of them. The book simply didn't draw me in. I think it had a lot of potential, but it was slow to start, and ended in such a fast, slap happy way that was very unrealistic. It wasn't the best read.
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Format: Hardcover
The story sounded interesting enough. I am from California and this author milked every single description or cliche about California and did it repetitively. It was torture reading how many times she could say "birds of paradise". Yes we know, birds of paradise and bouganvilla thrive in Cali...stop repeating it! The characters were shallow and not entertaining at all. I couldn't even force myself to finish the book because I know it would be a complete waste of my time. It was bad enough I that I read 3/4 hoping it would get better.
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