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The Guy Not Taken: Stories Paperback – June 26, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; 1st Washington Square Press Trade Pbk. Ed edition (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743298055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743298056
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Garrison gives a fine reading of Weiner's collection of short stories about girls and women at various points in their lives (and one about a young man at a crossroads). As a narrator, Garrison's style is unobtrusive and understated; she reads with expression, drawing the listener into the story, but she does not create memorable character voices or give a "flashy" performance. She uses one basic voice for the protagonists of each story, and clearly differentiates between the main character and the supporting characters. The result is a narration that steps back and lets the author's words take center stage. Bridges, meanwhile, is excellent in his narration of the one tale from a male point of view-he does a great job voicing the drunk young men at a bachelor party, the Bronx-accented stripper who entertains the guest of honor, the one conflicted young man among them trying to decide whether to propose to his longtime girlfriend and the sensible girlfriend herself. Simultaneous release with the Atria hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 7).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Fans will savor Weiner's confidential tone and salty wit."
-- People

"Shouldn't be missed.... It is the reader who will be taken by this set of eleven marvelous short stories."
-- Entertainment Weekly

"Puts Weiner on the map as one of her generation's best literary voices."
-- The Boston Herald

"Another delightful example of Jennifer Weiner's tender way with words and emotions."
-- Harper's Bazaar

More About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and The Next Best Thing. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.

Customer Reviews

These stories just end with no conclusions that I can see.
M. Sulkowski
I am a huge fan of Jennifer Wiener as an author but did not like this book at all.
Jennifer24
It's something you expect for a movie plotline, not a story you read in a book.
LadyoftheIvy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Dana Y. Bowles VINE VOICE on September 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
....but then I am not a fan of short stories. However--since I am a Weiner fan, I thought I'd try her latest work. I have to say...although the stories are well-written, for the most part, I am beginning to find the author's work repetitive. The stories all revolve around women who are physically imperfect (fat, scarred, etc.); there is typically a familial struggle...and typically it is an absentee father (divorced and not involved with his children, or simply desertion). And although her latest in no way measures up to her first (Good In Bed), I was thrilled to see Cannie make an appearance in one of the short stories. And thrilled though I was...let's face it, there is a Cannie in everything that this author writes. Cannie Clones are everywhere; she was the dowdy Connecticut housewife in Goodnight, Nobody...she was the lawyer sister in In Her Shoes....she was the overweight doctor's wife in Little Earthquakes. The reality is that Weiner is a fabulous writer who uses her talent as the proverbial therapist's couch. I'd like to see a wider array of characters in her future work...so let's hope she works through her issues and can move on to something a little more creative.

DYB
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Shaz on October 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Before you go comparing this book to Weiner's "Good in Bed", keep in mind that this collection of short stories were written before that book, "half a lifetime ago, [starting] when I was 18", she tells us. Many of these were written during her college years at Princeton, and she still had her professor's written notes "polish this up [and] publish it". Think of these stories sort of as rough drafts- not perfect, but the raw materials are there.

Many of Weiner's books focus around broken marriages, which tends to get repetitive. But Weiner admits that her parents spilt up when she was 17 and she was so hurt that all her stories, from freshman to senior year in college, revolved around divorce and broken families. In "Just Desserts", Josie Krystal and her family suffer greatly when her Dad decides to up and leave the family; meanwhile, Josie must deal with a Mother that is always doing laps in the pool and a younger sister who is spoiled rotten and somehow gets Josie to do everything she asks. All the while, we wonder wether this is Nicki's nature, or a result of abandonment issues. In "Swim", we find a girl who's parents died early on, forcing her to live with her grandmother. Now in her thirties in L.A., she makes a living rewriting college applications for spoiled rich kids. A chance encounter with a stranger in a coffee shop gives her the idea to also start a business rewriting personal ads for people, making them more "marketable". (Interestingly, Weiner tells us her editor really wanted this story for the book, but Weiner, who admits to being a clutter bug, couldn't find it. So, she had to rewrite it from her memory, changing it from a NY setting to L.A. She refers to it as "Swim 2.0").
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bearette24 VINE VOICE on September 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm generally not a fan of short stories, but I genuinely enjoyed some of these: Mother's Hour - about a punk mother who is unfairly accused of abusing her child, The Guy Not Taken - about a woman who looks up an ex-boyfriend online and suddenly finds herself back with him in an interesting fantasy sequence, Swim - about a shy girl who helps a guy find dates, Oranges from Florida - about a guy who pretends to be from a radio station and brings a prize to a boy, and Tour of Duty - Weiner's first published story, about a mother/son trip to Princeton and the mother awkwardly breaking the news about her impending divorce from his father.

Interestingly, the first story was pretty bad...I'm wondering why it was placed so early in the collection, as that's what readers look at first. However, it was one of her earliest stories, and you can definitely see how she's improved over time. Most of the stories were of more recent vintage and much better than the first one, so I'd advise you to give the rest of the book a chance.

I do agree with some of the other reviewers who said that this book is too dark. It's better than Goodnight Nobody, but I'd like to see Weiner return to her light-hearted, funny style (which is shown in some of the stories, but not all).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Schindler on March 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My husband, knowing I'm a fan of Jennifer's books, bought this one for me for Christmas. I fully enjoyed it and finished it w/in hours. I found it quite easy to read, especially since the short story format can fit well into a busy schedule...finish a story, go to work, pick up book, and start a new story. Enjoyed it very much. Also, SO WHAT if Weiner puts a "fat" person in her stories. As a "fat" person (who really isn't fat, but in today's society, anyone over a 10 is considered heavy), I appreciate heroines who I can relate to. Not everyone is a stick-thin model living the glamorous life in New York City. Some of us are "real" women who make a living as teachers, mommies, or housewives. Kudos, Jennifer, for including "real" women in your stories.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JEM on January 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
While I really liked her novels, this compilation of short stories was sooooo boring! I took this on my vacation of relaxation and found myself annoyed with each story (because I love chick lits) and couldn't even finish the book. Each of the stories really lacked a point in general. It was like reading random books. Short stories should have some sort of point to them. Blah. Dull. Pointless. Boring. Unsatisfying.
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