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Kissing in Manhattan Hardcover – June 5, 2001
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The mood turns dark, however, with the introduction of Patrick, a thirtysomething Wall Street trader who collects women and spends his evenings tying them up in his room. In short order the book's easy comedy is torqued into something more dramatic by Patrick's descent into violence. That Schickler doesn't play to his strengths is not necessarily a bad thing: one admires a writer who reaches beyond facility to something more difficult. But the transition from lighthearted sexual ronde to dirty realism is a bit bumpy. On the other hand, the novel's picture of a dark, desire-ridden Manhattan is an attractively seductive slice of escapism. The linked-stories format gives rise to a feeling of multiplicity, which is just the right tone for a book about a city crowded with pleasures. Describing James, a love-struck young accountant, Schickler writes: "His mind tonight was on the fine and the illicit pleasures of the planet, on their merits and dispersement. Some people cut daisies, thought James. Some visit Wales, or choose cocaine, or dig latrines for the poor and the weak." Everyone, it seems, is after something different. But it's desire itself that interests the author of Kissing in Manhattan. --Claire Dederer
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
This quick read is comprised of several short stories, all revolving around different people living in Manhattan. At first, the stories appear unrelated aside from a few establishments in Manhattan being mentioned in each. The stories all seem to end very abruptly too, leaving you wanting more. This is not to say that the story wasn't good, however I felt a lack of closure to each one.
This continued until I got into the 4th or 5th story. By that time, I started seeing a pattern to these stories, and slowly it was as though each short story turned into a chapter in a novel. I was hooked.
I don't want to give away too much about the book because it really is a fascinating read. I'll tell you however that you can expect each story to deal with love, life, and sex, however bizarre.
I'd never heard of David Schickler before reading this book, however I'm now eagerly awaiting his next.
The reviewers here all have differing and interesting thoughts. I'm probably not going to have many original insights at this point, but I wanted to endorse this astounding work of fiction.
The first sign of how much I liked this is that is that I'm nervous that this will become a movie. I can see the the James-Rally-Patrick triangle becoming a film--and them casting Christian Bale in some absurd (patrick's word)attempt to capture the zeitgeist--yikes. The essence of this book is in Schickler's voice, his deceptively simple writing. The detail, the rich voice, the subletity of the writing.
The stories are all gently connected and it is fun to see small details and characters appearing again and again. The weakest story, by far, is the first one. Checkers and Donna. However, we are introduced to some themes and characters who will come up again. Several reviewers have touched on the weakness of the female characters--and while I don't even come close to agreeing with that assessment--Checkers and Donna might make you squirm. However, the rest of the book just traps you. I felt like a young James hiding in his dumb waiter and drowning out the rest of the world as I was propelled deeper into the story.
There is a change of pace--from comic to darkly comic to dark to light again. However, it works, if you are willing to go with Schickler. The magic is there--actual magic perhaps.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was lucky enough to stumble across this title at a used bookstore, and it was so great that I ended up giving the book away and purchasing an e-book version of it. Read morePublished on June 16, 2014 by Supertuber
A very unusual story that had a bit of everything. It was cleverly written, thought-provoking, hilarious, kinky, disturbing, and emotional. I really enjoyed reading this book.Published on May 3, 2014 by Tania Eddingsaas
4.5 stars. Interconnected short stories; emotional but never maudlin, quirky without being insufferable about it. Read morePublished on March 2, 2014 by J.C. Lillis
I thought this was going to be a novel. I didn't realize it was a group of short stories interconnected with recurring characters. The first story was very promising. Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by adorian
“Kissing in Manhattan,” which comprises eleven inter-linked stories set in and around a mysterious apartment house called the Preemption, is a pleasant little book. Read morePublished on February 6, 2014 by M. Feldman