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The Kept Man Paperback – January 6, 2009
In Twenty Years: A Novel
When five college roommates gather after twenty years, can the rifts between them be repaired? Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
aAttenberg has an admirable sense of fun...Displays a keen ear for dialogue and a half-cynical, half-affectionate tone that makes even the most venal characters likable.a
a"San Francisco Chronicle"
aTold with wit and verve.a
aOne finds a great deal to admire here... Ms. Attenberg [is] an able geographer of emotional landscapes.a
a"New York Sun"
?Attenberg has an admirable sense of fun...Displays a keen ear for dialogue and a half-cynical, half-affectionate tone that makes even the most venal characters likable.?
?"San Francisco Chronicle"
?Told with wit and verve.?
?One finds a great deal to admire here... Ms. Attenberg [is] an able geographer of emotional landscapes.?
?"New York Sun"
Top Customer Reviews
For most of the book, what could have been a maudlin Lifetime TV movie instead resembles a sharp-witted indie feature film (I can easily imagine Parker Posey in the lead role). Attenberg ramps things up with a gram or two of the diluted "Diet Coke" you might find in the backroom of a seedy Brooklyn bar, and the author's offbeat, modish humor straddles an uneasy balance between irreverent and compassionate. "I was never the party guest they anticipated . . . because my husband was in a coma. My antics were not even interesting in a performance-art kind of way, no Courtney Love hugging the punk hippies around the candle-strewn memorials, and then a year later bouncing back to flash her designer-clad augmented breasts at anyone who would look." Even the droll melancholy of Jarvis's moods evokes the Williamsburg faux-hipster scene.
Yet, for all its scenester cred, "The Kept Man" stays true to its central concern: the impossible choices presented to its heroine.Read more ›
It was easy to put myself in her hands as I read "The Kept Man," and I trusted her writer's voice to take us where we needed to go. She wasn't afraid to make her protagonist someone who could be unlikable, and do stupid things; just like a real person. Jarvis is a difficult person, but that stands to reason, because she was married to a great, eccentric artist who was no angel himself. They fit together because of who they were and who they weren't.
Attenberg does a great job in merging the character's internal journey with the changes in her real landscape: the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn changing from artistic to gentrified over the course of weeks, months, and seasons. You can almost smell New York, and the specific identity of that particular Brooklyn neighborhood and the people in it. (Hipsters...and the people who got there before them).
The supporting characters are also well-drawn, from the nurses at the long-term care center where Jarvis's husband rests in a coma to Missy, the car service driver who becomes the best friend Jarvis has, the book feels real and true, and soemtimes that means it's not pretty. But it's good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this author and her way of bringing the reader right into the scene with her simple but refined descriptions of the sights and sounds of her neighborhood . Read morePublished 15 days ago
I was disappointed in this book. I found the characters and plot to be unbelievable. The inner life of the main character was not sufficiently developed.Published on January 19, 2014 by Patricia R Martin
Her first mistake was that she completely gave her life away to her husband. She had no identity outside of his life and friends.Published on March 2, 2013 by Lisa D. Jacobs
Soooo slow. I kept hoping it would pick up but never did.
Can't believe she kept her brain dead husband on life support
for 6 years!!
I wanted to like the main character, but she made it difficult. I didn't always understand why she did what she didPublished on February 12, 2013 by Barbara
Very interesting story, I kept it and would read it again. Very good up and coming author. Interesting back and forth opinions on the quality of life when a family member is kept... Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by Mmi56
A Kept man was a bit over-written; the author describes every detail and very scene a bit too much, but the story was enjoyable.Published on January 26, 2013 by Avidreader
In The Kept Man, Attenberg explores the themes of identity, loss, and change through the story of Jarvis, a rootless woman who found meaning and purpose in marriage, and who now... Read morePublished on February 9, 2009 by Susan O'Doherty
As the first sentence of Jami Attenberg's prologue memorably notes, Jarvis Miller has been waiting for her husband to die for six years. Read morePublished on December 5, 2008 by Debra Hamel