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Comment: Condition: Excellent condition., Binding: Trade Paperback. / Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin / Pub. Date: 2003-08-16 Attributes: Book, 240 pp / Stock#: 1014106 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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What's Wrong with Dorfman? A Novel Paperback – August 16, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (August 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312311885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312311889
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,141,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A neurotic Hollywood screenwriter turns hypochondria into an art form in Blumenthal's debut novel, a monotonous, under-plotted affair that revolves around the ever-expanding, pseudo-imaginary symptomology of Martin Dorfman. As the book opens, the 40-ish Dorfman's career is on the skids, which causes him to suffer everything from belly pains to cold sweats and vicious headaches. Dorfman imagines the worst with each successive symptom, but despite his gloomy predictions of cancer or some deadly, obscure disease, the best the doctors can come up with is a case of intestinal edema that they treat with a one-week prescription for a common drug. Blumenthal pens a few funny scenes around his protagonist's medical maladies, particularly when Dorfman meets an equally neurotic actress named Delilah Foster, and they match symptoms and try to one-up each other with medical horror stories. Unfortunately, Dorfman's ailments prove severely limiting as a vehicle for an entire novel, and the closest Blumenthal comes to developing a real plot is a series of scenes featuring Dorfman's screenplay, which undergoes a labyrinthine adventure of its own that involves a prominent Hollywood producer, Dorfman's 300-pound agent, Gavin, and the usual cast of anonymous movie development sharks. The narrative flows smoothly, but spending an entire book with the whiny, sniveling Dorfman makes for a trying, tedious read. Blumenthal has written humorous essays for Playboy and Punch, and some wry wit surfaces here, but not enough to keep this novel from becoming the literary equivalent of a long wait in a doctor's office.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A funny and surprisingly moving story written at the intersection of shtick and angst."
--Wall Street Journal

"Joseph Heller may be dead, Martin Dorfman might be sick, but the comic novel is alive and well in What's Wrong with Dorfman?. John Blumenthal manages to skewer Hollywood, romance and medicine with a sharp wit and sharper insights. Catch 22's Yossarian has a clone in Dorfman and Heller has an heir in Blumenthal."
-- Stephen Randall, author of The Other Side of Mulholland

"Martin Dorfman is an omni-phobic, anxiety-ridden hypochondriac-- a neurotic's neurotic. Which, in the hands of John Blumenthal, doesn't make him crazy--just hilariously entertaining."
--John Winokur, author of The Portable Curmudgeon

"One of my favorite books of the year."--Carl Lennertz

"Blumenthal has a jaundiced eye and a wonderfully ironic style."--LA Daily News

"Frequently hilarious and unexpectedly touching...A poignant and finely crafted exploration of the legacies and burdens passed down from parents to children . . . Blumenthal succeeds here at something very difficult: he creates smart, funny characters who actually sound smart and funny."--Publishers Weekly

"Sometimes we simply need a book like What's Wrong With Dorfman? so we can laugh at our human condition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --Mostly Fiction

"John Blumenthal's novel is one of those surprising gems...What's Wrong With Dorfman is deeply and completely funny, the plot is tight and the story sings. Not the easiest book to find, but worth digging for."--January Magazine

"More than worth its weight in entertainment value. John Blumenthal has taken an outrageous subject, injected it with a reality everyone can relate to, and sprinkled it with just the right touch of hilarity."--Inscriptions Magazine

"The rump side of Hollywood. A very good novel."--Bookviews

"Funny! Funny! Funny! Books like this don't come along that often." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title." --MSN Reviews

"Terrific! One of the best novels I've read in years!"--Bookfest

****************************
"A funny and surprisingly moving story written at the intersection of shtick and angst."
--Wall Street Journal

Catch 22's Yossarian has a clone in Dorfman and Heller has an heir in Blumenthal."
-- Stephen Randall, author of The Other Side of Mulholland

"Hilariously entertaining."
--John Winokur, author of The Portable Curmudgeon

"Blumenthal has a jaundiced eye and a wonderfully ironic style."--LA Daily News

"Frequently hilarious and unexpectedly touching."--Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
If he wants to be cured he must find new employment.
Harriet Klausner
My guess is that it WILL get done, sooner or later. i hope in my lifetime, as I am slowly dying myself!
Daniel Halevi Bloom
If you appreciate dry wit, this is a good book fo you.
Kris S. Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RD Larson on October 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
What's Wrong With Dorfman?
By
John Blumenthal
Did you like The Wedding Singer or The In-Laws? This wonderfully funny and poignant novel looks at a man's middle age crises with the same kind of humor. I can see it with Adam Sandler in the title role. Or even Hugh Grant. Fast and entertaining to read, there's a continuous play on words. In the vein of "disease of the week" paranoia Martin tries to figure out what's gone terribly wrong.
A favorite quote from the book is:
"It is close to midnight and Ursula and the kids are asleep. The house is quiet. I am standing alone in the kitchen, holding one of the Little Pink Pills between my fingers, turning it, observing it, wondering if it will really be my magic bullet. Or if, like all the other cockamamie cures and nostrums and panaceas, it will go down as a failure. Do I have faith in Dr. Igor? Frankly, no."
Trust me. You will laugh and you'll identify with Martin and cheer him on.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Life is collapsing for Los Angeles screenwriter Martin Dorfman. In his mind the end of days have arrived as the signs are obvious since film producers ignore his efforts and his agent refuses to answer his calls or return them. He feels like death as a mysterious disease attacks his body; neither his doctor, other physicians, an herbalist nor a New Age "chiropractic allergist" can identify the illness let alone cure it. After paying out thousands of bucks his mentally aching spouse thinks Martin is a hypochondriac and suggests he visit a psychiatrist.
Martin agrees to try her more radical solution to his physical woes by seeing a psychiatrist. The shrink's diagnosis is that Martin suffers from screenwriter neuroses bordering on psychosis. If he wants to be cured he must find new employment. Psychosomatic illnesses may cause pain, but not as much as not writing scripts even if rejection seems the norm right now.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH DORFMAN is an intelligent very amusing tale starring an intriguing protagonist whose one-liners would make the novel fun to read, but also provides a serious undertone that catalogues the book as a not to miss tale. The support cast adds jocular "sincerity" as they stereotype their treatment of Dorfman. The tale cleverly reflects on inheriting ancestral mental baggage such as Dorfman knows he has all types of diseases because his father the doctor described the symptoms to him when he was a child. Fans of an amusing look at childhood environmental impact on the adult will appreciate WHAT'S WRONG WITH DORFMAN. One warning: don't run to see your doctor because what Dorman has is contagiously funny.
Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kris S. Thompson on August 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read about this book awhile ago and passed on it for some reason when it was self published. Thank the publisher for picking up this great story and redoing the cover because it caught my attention. This is a nice light summer read about Martin Dorfman ,the screen writer, who thinks he's dying and still isn't happy with the news. If you appreciate dry wit, this is a good book fo you. Dorfman even reads a big red medical book to try to come up with possible dieases that he may have. The scenes with him talking to his doctor are laugh out loud funny. I think this book would make a good movie within the same vein of About Schmidt. Pick it up today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jaydekitten on July 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
"What's Wrong with Dorfman?" explores the issues full-time screenwriter and hypochondriac Martin Dorfman faces as he encounters his past and his neurosis. Will Dorfman's script ever make it through the Hollywood runaround and onto the big screen? Perhaps, that is, IF he can put his imaginary illnesses aside for five minutes. While, at times, Blumenthal's characters give you a neurosis of your very own from their constant worry, "What's Wrong with Dorfman?" is a hilarious and entertaining read. Blumenthal's writing is witty and fresh and his characters are enthralling. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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More About the Author

A former Playboy magazine editor and columnist, John Blumenthal is the author "The Official Hollywood Handbook", "The Tinseltown Murders", "The Case of the Hardboiled Dicks", "Hollywood High: The History of America's Most Famous Public School", and the novels "What's Wrong with Dorfman?," "Millard Fillmore, Mon Amour", (both BookSense76 Picks), "Three and a Half Virgins" (Finalist, International Book Awards for 2013, and coauthor of "Passing Wind of Love.".

His work has appeared in such publications as "TV Guide", "Punch", "Playboy", "Oui", "Today's Health", "The Los Angeles Times", "The Christian Science Monitor", "Autograph Collector", and "Publishers Weekly".

He has also written for television and is the co-author of the movies "Blue Streak" and "Short Time". His blog posts appear regularly on Huffington Post.

His latest book is "Passing Wind of Love" (co-written with Barry Golson.) passingwindoflove.com