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Switcheroo: A Novel Hardcover – April 8, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (April 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060175680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060175689
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The First Wives Club (1992) proved how well Goldsmith could get into the psyche of the scorned wife. Here, she makes even the mistress a sympathetic character. Sylvie has the makings of a perfect life--marriage to a successful, loving man; well-adjusted children; beautiful house in the suburbs. But just when she's ready to reclaim the romance in her marriage now that her kids are in college, she realizes that Bob has a girlfriend on the side--Marla, a younger version of Sylvie. When she's finally ready to confont Bob, she is inspired to confront Marla instead, and, after meeting the ditzy blond, she discovers that each of them is seeking what the other has: Sylvie longs for romance and spontaneity, Marla for a stable family life. Sylvie convinces Marla to swap identities for two weeks to see what it's like in the other's shoes. After a retreat to alter their appearances, the charade begins. Goldsmith has a knack for telling a funny story, and she is at her best here. If readers can get beyond the operalike disguise premise, they are in for a buoyant ride through a crazy tale of love and family, betrayal and revenge. A movie version is already in the works. Stock up. Mary Frances Wilkens

From Kirkus Reviews

More monumental high-concept from Goldsmith (Marrying Mom, 1996, etc.), this time in a wonderfully funny fable about a wife and mistress who reverse rolesand a husband who apparently can't tell the difference. Sylvie Schiffer lives in happy domestic comfort with perfect husband Bob in a well-ordered colonial home in the plush Ohio suburb of Shaker Heights. There, Sylvie is surrounded by her perfect family (including her outspoken mother Mildred, who owns a ceramic store called Potz Bayou); she brews perfect cups of aromatic tea; she plays a perfect Steinway piano with an ebony lacquer finish; and in winter a fireplace fills her music room with the comforting scent of applewood. But not all is well in Sylvie's middle-class paradise. She's turning 40, her children are in college, and she wouldn't mind some marital passion to take up residence in her empty nest. But Bob, whose greatest passion seems to be his BMW ``Beautiful Baby,'' hasn't made love to her in months; instead, he's found a delicious little number by the name of Marla (does Donald Trump live in vain?), who works as a reflexologist (with a little toe-sucking on the side) and who incidentally looks a lot like a younger version of Sylvie. When Sylvie discovers the resemblance, she hatches a plot to ``switcheroo'' with Marlashe'll find out what it's like to be loved by her husband again, and Marla can experience the joys of having a man of her very own and a kitchen with an island in the middle. In another of Goldsmith's trademark transformations, Sylvie gets a face-life and tones up, while Marla eats banana-cream pies to fill out. It all culminates with a hilarious Thanksgiving when Marla, the non-wife, attempts to roast 28 frozen squabs. Contrived, yes, but hysterically funnyand after reflecting on the invisibility of women, the reader may find it no more contrived than, say, a Shakespearean comedy. (Film rights to New Line Cinema; $200,000 ad/promo; author tour; TV satellite tour) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

This is one of the funniest books I have ever read!
Cheerful Grammie
I tried to read this several times and finally, when I started falling asleep without even finishing a page I decided it just wasn't for me.
Sara James
First of all, I won't get too much into it, but the story is totally unbelievable.
Brian Murray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian Murray on June 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't believe good reviews of this book. It was so simple-minded, so preposterous, and so STUPID at times, that I could not believe I was reading it all the way to the end. First of all, I won't get too much into it, but the story is totally unbelievable. Sylvie, a middle-aged housewife, finds out that her STUPID husband, Bob,(if you doubt that he is stupid, please read further) is cheating on her. She confronts his mistress, whose name is Marla, and finds that she is her EXACT TWIN, except 10 years younger, and therefore, skinnier and without wrinkles. Eventually Sylvie and Marla decide to go off to a spa together, get makeovers and plastic surgery so that they look like EACH OTHER (Bob was too stupid to ever notice that they looked exactly alike, if you can believe that) and then SWITCH PLACES, so Sylvie can get all the nookie she has been missing, and Marla can see what it's like to ACTUALLY BE MARRIED, since she's wanted to be married since the seventh grade. And NO ONE is the wiser. And then, of course, hilarity ensues.
Secondly, the conversations between characters are totally inane! Example: "God, I'm an a--hole. No, I'm the world's biggest a--hole." Bob stared out the window. "Think of the biggest a--hole in the world. Now raise it to the power of ten. That's me. I am a thousand a--holes." "Don't be so grandiose," John told him. "You're just a common garden-variety adulterer. I see them every day. Your d--- is running the company right now. I might as well be talking to it." Bob nodded morosely. "You're right." He looked down at his crotch. "He's the C.O.O." He sighed. "You know what I wish? I wish I could get him off the board of directors. Or just cut it off.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By curvynovelsdotinfo on March 13, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heroine: Average/Plump
Imagine the joy of finally seeing your children off to college and making big plans for rekindling the romance between your husband and you.
Imagine that your plans fall through time and again because your husband is so busy with work and late-night "meetings."
Imagine confronting the subject of those "meetings" and discovering to your great shock that she looks exactly like you . . . 10 years and 15 pounds ago.
Now imagine, just imagine, switching places with her!
What worked for me:
I love funny books, and "Switcheroo" certainly had some laugh-out-loud lines and memorable moments, which was very helpful in offsetting the altogether heart-breaking story of a marriage crumbling amidst a mid-life crisis.
As a wife myself, I could certainly sympathize with Sylvie Schiffer's hideous plight. But I was surprised to find how much pity I could dredge up for young look-a-like mistress Marla.
Size-wise Sylvie was slightly plump and feeling frumpy in the beginning of the story, but she shed some weight in order to be able to swap lives with Marla, who gained weight for the same reason. (Ordinarily fussing over losing 10 or 15 pounds and getting plastic surgery would bother me, but I think for the most part the author handled the situation in a rather tongue-in-cheek way and gave society a bit of a thumb-to-the-nose where its beauty standards are concerned.)
What didn't work for me:

Well, it's a modern-day faerie tale that uses science in place of magic, so let's face it . . . plausibility isn't really a factor here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pat on July 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you like Olivia Goldsmith, don't even think about opening this book or your opinion of her talent will be radically altered. The premise is unbelievably bad, the characters and their dialogue are totally unrealistic and the writer surely cannot be Olivia Goldsmith. I wince to think that I read even 50 pages of this tripe before closing the book with a resounding thud.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Rabideau on January 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Sylvie Crandell Schiffer thinks she has everything, the perfect house, great husband, and great children. There is only one thing she wants, she wants to find romance again with her husband Bob. There is one problem, Bob has been acting distant lately and has had no time for her. It gets even worse when Bob gets Sylvie a car she does not want or need for her fortieth birthday.
The next day Sylvie dunks the car into the pool and Bob acts unconcerned. This gets Sylvie thinking and she realizes why Bob has been acting the way he does. He is having an affair.
Sylvie goes to confront Bob's mistress and finds something strange. The girl (Marla) could be a dead ringer for Sylvie. This gets Sylvie thinking and she comes up with a plan to get even with Bob and maybe-just maybe get Bob back-Switch Places with Marla.
The fun begins when Sylvie and Marla actually do switch and all of the adventures and misadventures they have being each other until the very last scene after Thanksgiving dinner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 1998
Format: Audio Cassette
I thought "Bestseller" "First Wives Club" even "Fashionbaly Late" were interesting, funny, witty, etc...Switcheroo on the otherhand, it is hard to believe that Olivia Goldsmith actually wrote this piece of garbage. The dialogue and characters are so unrealistic (not to mention unlikable). It seems like Goldsmith wrote this book in hopes of having a screenplay created...it reminded me of a "Waiting to exhale" copycat. I kept hoping the book would get better, but sadly, it got worse! Don't waste your time on this book. Goldsmith seems like she is trying to inject humor and wit into the characters, but the entire book is flat, dull, and if you liked Goldsmith's other works, you will be thoroughly disappointed. Makes me wonder if Goldsmith is running on a deadline and selling out like one of her characters in "Bestseller".
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