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The Next Best Thing: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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"Spares no bon mot in exposing Hollywood’s sexism, ageism and incurable penchant for extravagant silliness." (Kirkus)
"Full of warm and interesting characters as well as a wealth of insider industry detail (Weiner was a cocreator of an ABC Family sitcom), this is a must-read for Weiner’s many fans and anyone who enjoys smart, funny fiction." (Library Journal)
"An entertaining story about the dream-crushing compromises on the road from page to screen." (People)
“A knockout. Perfect comic timing meets effortless dialogue and an engaging plot…. Enjoy your place on top of the lit world, Jennifer Weiner. You've more than made it.” (The Miami Herald)
"Jennifer Weiner is funny and dead-on when it comes to building a satisfying summer read.” (New York Daily News)
“Ruth is a multidimensional heroine, and Weiner gives her real heart and soul. Readers will root for her to get everything she ever wanted—not to settle for the next best thing. This is contemporary women’s fiction at its finest.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Weiner’s snappy new novel showcases her humor and style." (Washington Post)
“A fascinating glimpse into the television industry…Weiner’s strong sense of comedy comes through in her characters’ witty banter and Ruth’s writing. You will cheer her on in her quest to find success and love.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
“Weiner is a chick-lit writer with chops—and she puts them to expert use in this funny, feel-good tale.” (Better Homes & Gardens)
“A juicy fictional account of life behind the scenes for a female TV showrunner.” (New York Post)
“Jennifer Weiner proves once again that her bestseller status is no accident by delivering another intriguing page-turner. She gives us sassy, sardonic Ruth to root for as well as plenty of zingers aimed at Hollywood's tweaked values. Readers are likely to enjoy a fascinating peek into the politics of television culture, coupled with a lively plot and a satisfying love story.” (Bookreporter.com) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Fifty pages in I knew there was something not quite right about this novel, and so I did a little investigating. I wouldn't normally search the internet or look at other reviews before I write my own, but on this occasion I'm glad I did.
It turns out that Jennifer Weiner co-created and wrote the short-lived sitcom State of Georgia in 2011. To be fair she acknowledges this at the back of The Next Best Thing. But there's a reminder that should be pinned to every writer's wall: just because it happened in real life doesn't mean it should be in your story. When I found out about Weiner's cancelled sitcom, and had a look around, all the problems I had with The Next Best Thing started to make sense.
As the story slowly unfolds, we see Ruth's ideas being taken away from her, changed piece by piece until her show is no longer the one she dreamed up. If only, I realised Weiner is telling us, if only I - sorry, I mean Ruth - could have made `State of Georgia' - sorry, I mean The Next Best Thing - the way I'd wanted to it would have all been OK, and it would have been a hit.
Weiner tells us in great detail how it all happened. Dozens of pages go by while we hear about how the show was picked up, the rewriting of scenes and introduction of new characters, the studio executives getting their way with casting, and the lowly status of the writer when it comes to decisions.Read more ›
That's what Ruthie has always wanted to do, write for television, and readers get to know both her and her grandma as they follow Ruthie though her dues-paying years. All of which lead up to her big break--the chance to produce her own show. It is also called The Next Best Thing, and is a sitcom about a slightly heavy underdog and her grandmother making their way in the world. Much of the book entails Ruthie's struggles to bring her vision to life, while juggling her personal relationships.
Just now, I started to type, "First and foremost, this is a Hollywood satire." And then I deleted. Because while this absolutely IS a delicious Hollywood satire (which is sure to please fans of the Showtime series "Episodes"), I think any Weiner novel is automatically a novel about women, our relationships, our insecurities, and our dreams. I say "our," because I think there is a very universal appeal to Jennifer Weiner's flawed protagonists.Read more ›
It is perhaps unfair to rate a book after only getting halfway through, but I had to stop reading when the author introduces George. He's one of the writers for the sitcom "The Next Best Thing." He's also a COMPLETE ripoff of 30 Rock's Twofer -- African American, Harvard, from a well-heeled family, and his paycheck comes from another budget because he's part of a "diversity initiative". That last detail was the basis of an entire episode of 30 Rock! There's a difference between homage and plagiarism.
I'm wondering if Weiner has some software that spits out these formulaic books. At this point they're clearly being churned out with little effort by the author (not to mention her publisher -- how does lifting AN ENTIRE CHARACTER, however minor, from someone else's work pass basic fact-checking?!) to meet deadlines and keep those royalties rolling in. I guess that's what happens when writers have to produce on demand.
I'm not sure if I'll slog through the rest of The Next Best Thing, but I'm willing to bet the narrator has a baby, since that seems to be the only happy ending available in Weiner's ouevre.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked it, I have enjoyed everything I have read by this author.Published 27 days ago by Patty Thomas
I didn't really like the book. Was rather boring. I have read a lot of this authors books and this is not my favorite.Published 1 month ago by P. Webb
I stopped reading the book after about 100 pages. The plot was extremely boring and was very disappointed since I liked her books in the past. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Barbiekay
Likable main character. Lots of internal dialogue. If your a big fan of diary writing you might like this. Got a bit tedious with long drawn out descriptions. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Louise Liin
Jen knows the business and it shows a great deal of heart in her writing thanks for a terrific read.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I hate to say it, but I was somewhat bored with this book. I have enjoyed other Jennifer Weiner books, but had a hard time with this one. Most times I wish a book was longer. Read morePublished 4 months ago by K. Clair
Jennifer Weiner consistently gives us beautifully flawed characters who are so identifiable that you can't help but feel part of their story. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Addie's Mom
Most expensive kindle book I have bought at $12.99. The part in the back of the first one sucked me in. This was different. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer