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What Comes After Crazy: A Novel Hardcover – March 8, 2005


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books; First Edition Stated edition (March 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400082951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400082957
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,146,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After a childhood spent in thrall to her sex-crazed, manic depressive fortune-teller mother, Maz Lombard is, understandably, a proponent of normalcy. But her carefully constructed family life in New Haven, Conn., collapses when her husband has an affair with the teacher at their daughter's babysitting co-op and then decamps to Santa Fe. Equal parts energetic comedy and earnest domestic saga, this brisk novel by the author of three parenting books hovers somewhat uneasily at a crossroads between poetry and punch line: very funny scenes, such as when Maz's precocious 10-year-old daughter, Hope, makes Maz's potential boyfriend deeply uncomfortable ("Look, just so you know, I do not want a new daddy"), butt up against gritty but mythologized memories of Maz's carnival circuit rounds with her mother, Madame Lucille. The plot thickens when Maz's husband, Lenny, unexpectedly returns to find Maz entwined with a new young lover and Madame Lucille shows up with husband number six for a long-term visit. But when Lenny and Madame Lucille kidnap Hope and whisk her away to Santa Fe, Maz realizes she must once and for all find the courage to defy her past in order to protect her future. Though lovely descriptions often grace the pages, and there are plenty of laughs, readers might feel that Maz is a bit curmudgeonly for a heroine.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Maz Lombard isn't crazy, but her life sure is. Her husband, Lenny, had an affair with a nursery-school teacher named Jolie, and then up and left for Santa Fe. A year later, Maz finally goes out on a date with Dan, a handsome doctor, but it gets sabotaged by her wacky family: her mother, Lucille, calls to tell Maz she's getting married for the sixth time, and Maz's eldest daughter, Hope, interrupts the date to inform Maz and Dan that Lenny is coming back home. Maz breaks things off with Dan, even though he accepts Maz's eccentric family. But Maz soon finds herself drawn into a different relationship: a passionate affair with an attractive younger man who just happens to be Jolie's boyfriend. When both Lenny and Lucille descend upon Maz's household, she realizes that if she wants to keep her family together, she's going to have to get her life in order. Shelton's lively novel is perfect for readers who enjoy the antics of quirky characters. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

I was born in Jacksonville, Florida, where I wrote my first book of fiction (a story about a king who was tired) when I was five years old and sold it to the neighbors so I could get money for ice cream. Since then, I've been a newspaper reporter, a columnist for Working Mother magazine, a free-lance writer, the author of three non-fiction humor books about parenting--and now, at last, as the author of two novels, I'm happy to be back to my fiction roots. Someday perhaps I'll do an update on the tired king. Meanwhile, I'm working on a new book, a love story, in between letting my golden retriever in and out of the house every couple of minutes or so.

Customer Reviews

I greatly look forward to Ms. Shelton's next novel!!!
Schoolmarm
Ms. Shelton has a brilliant way of bringing all of her characters to life.
mama rose
This story was a fun fast read and I'd recommend it to anyone.
a reviewer in Seattle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A. Smith on March 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ms. Shelton is a masterful storyteller. Her easy, readable style brings complex characters and situations to life. Once I started this book, I found I couldn't put it down. I carried it with me everywhere and treasured every spare moment when I could pull it out and read a few pages. To me this is a coming of age book for adults. It takes a life time to "grow up" and Ms. Shelton illuminates the journey with intelligence,grace and compassion. The main character, Maz, is a deliciously flawed heroine, who fights her way back into the center of her life. I couldn't help but be compelled by her story. I certainly saw myself in her. Don't just take my word for it. Pick up this wonderful book and enjoy!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. Warner on January 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I guess humor is relative for those not finding this book funny. I found it hilarious and the characters couldn't have been more real. It was easy to get into, character development couldn't be more on track and the story was fun. I'm looking forward to more from this author.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Reb on November 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read the advance copy, but I assume it's about the same as the final edition. I really enjoyed the novel; it's witty, funny, touching, and the main character, Maz, is likeable and vulnerable. I generally don't read the genre, but am glad I made an exception, because the book was delightful and entertaining.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By mama rose on November 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It usually takes me a few chapters to get drawn into a novel, but the character of Maz drew me in immediately. Ms. Shelton has a brilliant way of bringing all of her characters to life. I loved the way she put real people in real life situations that while difficult, could also be viewed with humor. I question placing this in the "chick lit" genre. I've read Sue Monk Kidd and Anne Lamott, and I would align it more in the realm of their works.This is just good literature. I think there are men who would enjoy this book as much as women because while Maz, a woman, is the protagonist, she deals with issues that we all do in our lives.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By a reviewer in Seattle on May 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I loved this story all the way through! I "read" while I drive, so I did the audio CD, (unabridged), and it was delightful! The storline was so fun and quirky and did have me laughing at so many parts... I do like Maz! This is a woman we all know! She's just having a bad day! It's how she's dealing with it that's the fun part!

The people who surround her in her life were great to get to know.... even her mother.... who could be padded-wall material.

This story was a fun fast read and I'd recommend it to anyone.

JMHO //(*_*)\\
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Loves to Read on March 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While I was reading this book, I found myself laughing out loud at the funny scenes between Maz, the main character, and her outrageous mother, Madame Lucille, and I was rooting for lovable Maz to come out ahead. It wasn't until I was done and still thinking about the characters that I realized this book has a lot to say about difficult but loving family relationships, and about the growing up we do long after we think of ourselves as adults. The readers who complain that it's not funny are really just saying that it's not ESCAPIST funny. The dialogue and situations can be hilarious, but it also leaves you with lots to think about. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of laughter along with their self-recognition.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Connolly on November 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Shelton has taken some very serious issues that many of us are facing in our own lives, addressed them in a captivating story, and made us laugh so hard that we can't even breathe. Just a few of the issues include: overbearing relatives who want to tell us how to live our lives and make fun of the one we're living, overcoming a very difficult childhood, bringing up our own children in a world of insanity (including our own), the break up of a marriage, dating after the break up, the ups and downs of a deep and abiding friendship, the challenges of a relationship with a daughter entering adolescence, and the weirdness of getting to know the new spouse of a parent. You name it, and Shelton has cleverly woven it into this story.

What makes it so incredibly funny is that while these characters do some really outrageous things that you think "Oh, my GOSH!! I can't believe she's DOING THAT!!!", most of us, deep down inside, have entertained thoughts of doing just about every single one of them ourselves. Otherwise, it wouldn't be funny, now, would it?

Shelton has bravely gone where few authors are willing to go and deftly crafted what ends up being a beautiful story of someone grabbing hold of her own life and bringing it into focus.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Holly Beth Smith on May 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Today I went two stops past my train stop because I was so engrossed in this book. I laugh out loud on the train. This morning a woman asked me what I was reading because clearly I was enjoying it so much. I told her and she promised she was going out and buying on her lunch break. I love this story. The main character is funny and smart and frantic and real. Lucille, her mother, is scarily similar to an aunt of mine. I can't say enough great things about this book. I'm going to suggest it to my book club.
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