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The Little Book of Heartbreak: Love Gone Wrong Through the Ages Paperback – December 31, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A hilarious salve for the lovesick." -O Magazine

"Informative, funny, and comforting...a highbrow take on broken hearts that inadvertently goes a long way to curing [one.]" -The Toronto Star

"Lively with a sassy, wry style...a fun, engaging, comprehensive romp through heartache and heartbreak." -Julia Alvarez, author of A Wedding in Haiti and How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents

“Meghan Laslocky has written a terrifically entertaining compendium of lost love, romantic revenge, and the uniquely excruciating experience that is heartbreak.” -Suzanne Morrison, author of Yoga Bitch

"Fascinating and revelatory delvings into love and loss... The Little Book of Heartbreak is not only a book for the heartbroken or heartbreakers, it's for anyone who has a heart and is in any way curious about the transformative forces of love, hate, anger, and lust." -Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, author of Suffering Succotash

About the Author

 Meghan Laslocky is a freelance journalist and producer for KQED public broadcasting. She has been dumped at least a dozen times, including on her birthday. She lived with her husband and son in the Bay Area.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1 edition (December 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452298326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452298323
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Meghan Laslocky's first book, "The Little Book of Heartbreak: Love Gone Wrong Through the Ages" is a cultural and social history of not-so-happy endings that will be published by Plume/Penguin in January 2013. To this project, she brings considerable personal expertise: She has been dumped at least a dozen times, including by one Willem Dafoe doppelgänger, one Anthony Edwards doppelgänger, one farmer, one bartender, and at least three published authors. Laslocky has been ditched after moving across the country to be with someone, via email and over instant messenger, in a Honda Civic, on her birthday, and in her own kitchen while making dinner. (To be fair, she's fairly certain she's countered by breaking the hearts of three or perhaps six men, several of whom barely spoke English, and one of whom she almost regretted dumping because he really did have great taste in music.) She also brings her years of obsessive reading of history and literature to her study of love gone wrong.

Meghan is attracted to off-beat stories about love and sex, relationships, and gender and has profiled men who have relationships with love dolls and a stylist for transgendered women. As a food blogger in San Francisco, she's bucked writing about cheese and locavores in favor of taste-testing edible sex aids and creating highly unusual cocktails. Since writing about wacky things doesn't typically pay the bills, she works as a freelance writer, editor and producer for KQED public broadcasting.

Meghan grew up on a farm in Vermont, where she raised a sheep named Caspian and spent a lot of time reading Nancy Drew mysteries and walking in the woods looking for gnomes. A graduate of Middlebury College, where she studied English literature, Meghan also studied at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she received the Clay Felker Award for Excellence in Magazine Writing. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, son and three cats, at least one of which was unplanned.

Customer Reviews

As a history buff myself, I really enjoyed this book.
Marcie
Tales of lore, mixed in with factual accounts, and peppered with personal anecdotes, this book is smart, hilarious, accessible and eye-opening all at once.
eunoia
Saw this book and read the review in Oprah's O Magazine so I purchased a paperback copy for my Mom and myself right before Valentine's Day.
Andrea Weber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Kramer on March 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here it is. Everything I've learned about relationships over three decades.

Read this and save you the trouble of getting married and divorced three times, with multiple effed-up relationships interspersed in between, and the frequent interventions of attorneys, doctors, therapists, real estate agents, and occasionally, a priest that tells you that you should just run out and get married again (really, dude?).

All the relationship kung fu you need, and then some, is right here. Chapter V is worth the price of admission. But don't cheat by skipping ahead--read the previous four--they're so good. (Speaking of cheating-pp 78-86 also worth its weight in gold, and by that I mean the price of gold the day after Lehman failed).

This book is also full of comforting messages. For example, try as you might, you will never be as big a jerk as Henry Russell.

But most important, it's a great read, funny, entertaining, and in its own good way, heartbreaking. But without the lawyers and all that. So go buy it, read it, love it. And then go out and love better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By eunoia on June 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Little Book of Heartbreak takes you on a journey through time, exploring historical, scientific and modern day representations of love. Tales of lore, mixed in with factual accounts, and peppered with personal anecdotes, this book is smart, hilarious, accessible and eye-opening all at once. The author writes from a place of neutrality, but is also able to offer comfort and incredible humour through her own insights into each scenario. Chapters that were particularly intriguing were one that examined the concept of monogamy, as well as one that likened being in love to having an addiction (yes, we have all been there).
This book came to me at a particularly difficult time in my life, and became a sort-of life raft, emblazoned with the mantra "You Are Not Alone". A surprisingly cathartic read, brave and (at times) painfully honest. You will be hooked right from the introduction to the very last page. Read it with a box of tissues on hand as you will be brought to tears on more than one occasion - from both joy and sorrow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Bauer on March 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I received this book as a goodreads giveaway and really enjoyed it even though I couldn't ever recall having had my heart broken. In school, I stayed away from literature, art and history in favor of math and science, and this book filled in a lot of holes for me. In her very conversational, matter-of-fact writing style, Meghan Laslocky walked me through so much of what I had missed in and out of the classroom decades ago.

Through the author's fun history lessons and her introductions to major figures in the worlds of art, music and literature, I finally have a background in the basics when these are referenced in conversation, books, movies or TV programs. A brief explanation of the brain chemistry of love and heartbreak was the most helpful to me -- she was speaking my language. Finally, I was able to look back at some of my own and my peers' behavior during high school and college in a whole new light.

For the heartbroken, the book is filled with suggested reading and viewing, all of which are listed in the back of the book; as well as suggested music from many different genres. In her conversational way she says, "It's okay to read in bed in your pjs in the beginning, but shake it up eventually and read in a park or a cafe." Her practical advice is spot on, straight forward and down to earth, i.e. "Exercise." At the end of the book she shares some great ideas of new things to try to make you feel better and get on with your life.

As for me, I finally have a better perspective on human behavior that will make me generally a more understanding person will be especially helpful when working with teenagers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debra L Zambetti on March 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fans of Mary Roach will appreciate Laslocky's interweaving of physiology, sociology, art and good historical gossip. Beautifully written with plenty of wry asides and downright sharp wit. Oh, and Laslocky treats her readers as the levelheaded, educated folks they are with her matter of fact discussion of how women's position in a patriarchal society created and/or exacerbated heart wrenching situations. My favorite parts, of course, are the heartbreak stories of the famous and the unknown. Why is hearing about someone's tale of romantic woe so... reassuring? Is it that we're not alone? Or that at least we're not as pathetic as that poor slob?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jody Powell on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a lovely little surprise. It is a thoroughly entertaining and interesting book of what are essentially essays that look at the experience of heartbreak through a number of different (and sometimes unexpected) lenses. It's sort of an anthropological tour of the human experience of love and loss. I should also say it's damn funny - I laughed out loud many times. And seriously...you think people behave badly now? Try the 16th century!

There are of course references to historical figures (Abelard and Heloise, Edvard Munch, Schumann), and discussions about heartbreak in literature and the movies. There are many gems of stories scattered throughout the book, to the point where I felt like I was on a treasure hunt. What I really appreciated was how the author, while teasing us with some cool little story about love gone wrong, would do a "book alert!" to tell us about how we could go deeper to learn more about the story. By doing this, she shares with us the fruits of her labor in digging up and analyzing all of these stories, encouraging us to go further. Personally I can't wait to dig deeper.

She also provides insight into the science of love and heartbreak - why does it feel like our hearts have really broken? What's happening on a chemical/physical level in our bodies as we grieve the loss of love? What is really happening when we say we are "high on love"? Amazingly, given the fairly short length of this book, Ms. Laslocky gives us a cogent and well summarized overview of the scientific side of heartbreak.

Another fun surprise is her music playlists - not just breakup lists, but many of the different stages of heartbreak! We're talking expert here.

I thoroughly and wholeheartedly recommend this book to all...at the least you will be entertained.
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