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What Is This Thing Called Love? Hardcover – March 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312598904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312598907
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 4.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'"It was cold and raining at four in the morning when Buddy walked out of Caesars Palace, stark naked except for the L.A. Times wrapped around his waist." These sweet, hilarious stories about love are dedicated to Gene Wilder's cousin Buddy: "When he was alive he really wanted love, but settled only for sex." Many are about the time wasted by lovers who choose to hide their true feelings — Jane Austen without the happy endings. "She pretended to be a big flirt and I knew she really wasn't." Some are about unrequited love: "I asked Melanie to marry me when she came to my house for dinner.… Melanie just giggled. I was three and a half years old." Others illuminate the myriad differences between book love or screen love and the real, awkward world of miscommunication and lost opportunities. All together, they serve as a lighthearted reminder of love's potential (requited, even unrequited) to make a life worthwhile.'--Los Angeles Times

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Gene Wilder has been acting since he was thirteen and writing for the screen since the early 1970s.  His first book, about his own life, was Kiss Me Like A Stranger. His first novel, set in France in World War I, is My French Whore.  He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Karen.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brian Scott Mednick on April 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think it is something of a crime that Gene Wilder has retired from acting. I know there aren't many leading roles for a guy in his mid 70s with a face like his, but there's still no reason he can't take a supporting part here or there. These days, Wilder is happy just spending his days at home in Connecticut with his wife Karen, painting watercolors, listening to classical music, surfing the Web, and watching old movies on TV. He spends most of his mornings and afternoons writing. Since publishing his memoir in 2005, Wilder has turned out one book almost every other year.

Gene Wilder's latest musings on love, sex, and romance is a collection of twelve short stories entitled "What Is This Thing Called Love?" Not every story is a winner but three or four are outstanding, a few are very good, and a few just really don't amount to much. But as a whole, it is a breezy, entertaining diversion.

Wilder writes three stories about his late cousin Buddy Silberman, a nice guy who was always looking for love but ultimately just settled for sex. The opening story, "The Birthday," is probably the best one in the book as we meet the bubbly Buddy, whose gregarious personality is a mask for his own physical insecurities.

"The Kiss" is a charming story about a poor young man who falls in love with a girl a few years his junior, only to have his heart broken when she runs off with someone else. The friendship he develops with the girl's equally upset father is beautifully written. The last story, "Passion," is a moving account of a chauffeur falling in love with an unusual Czech artist he has been hired to drive from her home in Connecticut to an art gallery in New York City.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott A. Savoy on August 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Enjoyed this book a great deal! Gene made me feel again! I didn't realize until reading this book that I had forgotten how to be human . All I can do is thank Gene! It was Sunday reading but the stories I will remember for a long time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By guerilla girly on July 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love My French Whore and admired The Woman Who Wouldn't so I approached Wilder's new book of short stories with anticipation. I'll be minimal in my comments, a quality Wilder admires in literature and art. A few glittering gems in the bunch, the rest not good enough.

Keep the books coming though. Gene Wilder's voice and touch as an author are singular and distintive. He can hit it out of the park. Just not this time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Gene Wilder's little book of 12 love stories, is unpredictable and yes even a bit unconventional. The stories tell of love and lovers. They are insightful, from the story of first love and those intimate times together to the tales of lost love and obtuse behavior that results in no love at all. The narratives are of the young and the old, done with some pathos, but always the thoughtful wisdom of someone who has known love, lost and found it again.

The stories are really not explicit, but I would avoid giving this charming book to someone with conservative, delicate sensibilities. It would make an enchanting gift for a sweetheart or someone else of whatever age - in love.
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By discruss on January 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Gene Wilder as an actor and I also enjoy him as a writer. He is a true icon in the industry. I hope his works are shared forever.
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By bluesgirl on December 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this sweet little book. But then I love Gene Wilder. This book is sweet , lovely, not perfect, just like Love most days . Gene is one of America's Treasures if you don't enjoy something in this book - well you need to ask your self
What Is This Thing Called Love?
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