Wally is certain he and Imogene are meant for each other (They both use mechanical pencils! Neither has had mumps! They are so alike!), but convincing his beloved is another matter. (“Do you know why it is I don’t have pierced ears?” she asks. “Because it’s too permanent.”) In defiance of the odds, or the gods, or perhaps just Imogene’s qualms, Wally and Imogene become a pair. They celebrate their anniversaries—the first time they touched each other on purpose, took public transportation together, saw the other with wet hair. But can they possibly end as happily as they’ve begun? (“Does he really have a cowlick? If yes, no bed will ever be big enough.”)
Made up of hundreds of chaplettes, clever illustrations, and darkly funny commentary on getting together and staying the course, Starting from Happy is a cunning and sophisticated send-up of coupledom that showcases one of the finest comic writers of our time.
Amazon Exclusive: Meg Wolitzer Reviews Starting From Happy
Meg Wolitzer is the author of The Uncoupling.
Imogene Gilfeather is a lingerie designer whose Featherware line features the Diaphanous Shroud of Turin Chemise as well as the Let My People Go Passover Bra. Wally Yez is a carefree scientist who studies dizzy chipmunks. They fall in love--at least one of them does. ("Wally is a big yes," says a friend of both, "and Imogene is a big No."). Perhaps you're thinking: wait, this is exactly the same plot as Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Or perhaps you're not thinking that. Regardless, thus begins a freakishly funny and oddly enduring relationship, told in ultra-brief chapters (some as short as a word) that the author calls chaplettes, insisting on spelling the word "the French way." This is the only novel that contains a bonus edition for readers who have had Lasik surgery and are therefore able to read the entire text in two microscopically-rendered pages. As you can perhaps tell, this is not a normal book, but then again, what is "normal"? Patricia Marx has wit without preciousness, barb without snark, and a greatly droll facility with language. Starting From Happy is original, sharp, sweet, and appealing--a book Edith Wharton might read at the beach.
I read a blurb by Woody Allen, and thought that was good enough for me. Both he and I were right. I laughed out loud, usually in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. Read morePublished 14 months ago by losvegas
Everyone was raving about this book, but it was not great. Maybe worth getting from the library. Unhappy would have been a better title.Published 21 months ago by harkinna
This book was witty and smart. A very easy read. Front to back in a few hours. I will be reading more Patricia Marx.Published 22 months ago by Kristin
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I really did. It seemed to have everything I like in a book: Excellent writing...check. Creative plot device...check. Read morePublished on July 11, 2012 by Denise Noel Kabore
I was so disappointed by this book I am writing my first ever review. It jumped around so much that it literally hurt my head and was unreadable. Read morePublished on June 24, 2012 by Anon8888
Quick & Dirty Review by Ink and Page
Starting from Happy: A Novel by Patricia Marx
Published in 2011 by Scribner... Read more
I really tried to like this book. I mean after all, the author is a former writer for Saturday Night Live, a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor and teaches... Read morePublished on May 4, 2012 by Julie Tuggle
When Imogene meets Wally, she forgets his name immediately, perfectly content in her non-demanding current relationship with a married man. Read morePublished on February 1, 2012 by Holly Scudero
I really didn't like this book. In fact, I could not finish it, despite it being a light read and a relatively short book. Just did not like the author's style. Read morePublished on November 8, 2011 by Gringo