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The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Hardcover – August 1, 1993


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The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis + The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis: The Complete Series
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Amereon Ltd (August 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891909826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891909828
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,068,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Not exactly a household word, Max Shulman is nonetheless one of the great stealth writers in American pop culture. He cowrote The Tender Trap, which became a big-screen vehicle for Frank Sinatra, and his hilarious, Elvis-intensive satire Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! also made it to Hollywood, pairing the young Paul Newman with the equally young Joanne Woodward. Shulman's best-known creation, however, is probably Dobie Gillis--that smooth-talking schlemiel of a college student, always on the make for female companionship. And in this case, the synergistic success of the book--which generated both a limp movie musical and a much-beloved television series--does Shulman a real disservice. Why? The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis is much funnier than either of its live-action spin-offs, for one thing. With Dobie himself narrating, the plots shake off at least a grain of their sitcom stiffness. More to the point, though, is Shulman's mastery of wise-guy prose: the goofy, comical elevation of Dobie's voice suggests a kind of broad-brush S. J. Perelman, and if Shulman is a tad less clever than that comedic monster, he's also superior at inducing the world-class belly laugh. Certainly The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis does the trick nicely, and the period illustrations are an irresistible bonus, suitable for framing.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J Bucknoff, PMP on May 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was written in the late 1940s. I first read it in the 1970s and found it as relevant to the 70s (and the college experience of the 1970s) as it was to the 40s.
Today, in the 21st century, Dobie, his adventures, his point-of-view on life, college and (of course) girls (we call them "women" now, but Dobie uses the word "girl" in the most affectionate connotation one can give it) are still as fresh and relevant as it ever was.
"Love is a Fallacy" is one of the best short stories ever written and, possibly, one of the best expressions of the frustration of trying to get to someone's heart through their mind or intellect.
In another story, Dobie ending up in a Chemistry class because there happened to be a pretty girl on line at registration signing up for the class is not something perculiar to the 1940s. Let's face it, this kind of thing kept going on right through the decades up until the time when standing on line was totally replaced by electronic registration.
Dobie's experience with plagiarism (resulting from the conflict between completing an assignment or going out to meet a girl -- guess which choice wins?) is still relevant today, in the age of unlimited access to research materials thanks to the internet and the WWW.
This book led to the 1953 Movie with Debbie Reynolds and Booby Van and the famous TV series (1959 - 1963) with Dwayne Hickman and Bob ("Gilligan") Denver.
To any college "kid" who thinks that someone who went to college in the 1940s or 1970s doesn't understand the life and problems of a college kid in 2004: read this book. It will speak to you as much as it did to your parents and grandparents.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I happened upon one of these Dobie Gillis pieces in an older anthology, and enjoyed it so much that I immediately purchased this volume. Despite the fact that many of these stories are over fifty years old, the campus boy-chases-girl situations are still fresh, and Shulman's swift-moving prose is punctuated with hilarious dry wit and bright comical twists. These are well-crafted short stories, some of the best examples of this genre I've yet come across.
TEACHERS -- It would seem to me that this material would be ideal core curriculum for 7th-10th grade English Lit. students -- Why it isn't being taught at this time is a great mystery.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kaliopi Pappas on March 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I adore this compilation of "Dobie" stories, as well as its companion compilation, _I Was a Teen-Age Dwarf_. Narrated in the first person, _Many Loves_ chronicles various romances in Dobie's life. The thing is, each vignette features a different Dobie! A very changeable guy, he is! Shulman captures very well th hyperbole of the memoir, and the selectivity of recollection! You won't find funnier books anywhere... Murphy's Law is alive, well, and prominently-featured in these books! Dobie sitcom fans may be a bit confused at first, but there's no mistaking it...the 'true' Dobie's definitely there!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By wvmcl on September 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The highest compliment I can pay this book is that it is the only American work that truly bears comparison to the great P.G. Wodehouse. Dobie, though far from a confirmed bachelor, captures some of the inspired daftness of Bertie Wooster's narration of his own impossible adventures.

I loved this book when I was a teenager forty years ago, and loved it just as much when I reread it last year. Don't make the mistake of confusing these brilliant stories with that dopey sitcom. You won't go wrong with this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Max Shulman's Dobie Gillis is a young man on the make who remains as funny today as he did when he was created back in the 1950s. The genius of Shulman resides in the cleverness of the situations and matchless beauty of the writing. The apparent simplicity of his prose -- every sentence a perfect thread in a perfect piece of cloth -- is actually a form of high art, unequalled by all with the exception of SJ Perlman and Woody Allen. Read it and weep (from too much laughing!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
To my eye, by far the best chapter of the book is 'Love is a Fallacy.' Professors in all the English-speaking world use this chapter as assigned reading for their beginning logic students, and with good reason. Shulman is the only man I'm aware of that can take a list of logical fallacies and make you fall over laughing with it.
That chapter is worth the price of the entire book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Shulman's books or nearly all and this one seems to have the most sophisticated stories. They are really well crafted and are some of the most entertaining and funny short stories I have ever read. Shulman's plots and use of language make for reading that grabs you and has you howling and reading passages to your friends. Buy this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Do yourself a great favor and read this book! I discovered this book when I was about 11 years old and I haven't been the same since! Max Shulman is as funny as hell and the situations Dobie gets into will make you ache with laughter!
By the way, this book makes great reading for youngsters. Its the funniest route I know to a powerful vocabulary. Shulman loves big obscure words like "propinquity" and "eleemosynary" and he knows how to use them both properly and humorously. My 10 year old daughter has just finished reading this book cover-to-cover, with a dictionary handy. The other day she called her teacher a "harridan" -- thanks to Max Shulman!
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