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Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals Hardcover – January 3, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As I've been told on more than one occasion, my expectation that a courtship will mimic a Victorian novel's plot might lean toward the unrealistic. But when seeking advice to bolster [my] love life...I shy away from current romantic self-help books... Enter Much Ado About Loving, in which dating blogger Maura Kelly and sex columnist Jack Murnigan comb classic literature for love lessons." --Elle

"A treat for any book lover, happily mated or cheerfully single." --USA Today

"A clever, amusing hybrid of lit crit and relationship advice." --Publisher's Weekly

"Like a Cliff Notes for the lovelorn, as told by two authors who've 'been there.' Much Ado is as sage as it is funny. " --Lucinda Rosenfeld, "Friend or Foe" columnist at Slate and author of the novels, I'm So Happy for You and The Pretty One

"I’ll take my advice from Toni Morrison over Suzanne Somers any day, even if it doesn’t come in bullet-point format, with a weight-loss chart. Wisdom rarely does. [Much Ado About Loving] is a clever mash-up of dating advice and literary discussion, with the authors alternating chapters and subjects...That’s probably the first time Virgil has been used for romantic advice, at least in this century - and that alone is an achievement. " --The New York Daily News


"I find reading novels to be more entertaining than reading advice columns, so why not combine the two? Dear Jane instead of Dear Abby." --Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

"In Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-So-Great Gatsbys and Love in the Time of Internet Personals, authors Kelly and Murnighan demonstrate that most literary classics contain great lessons about romance that are still relevant today... The authors take a magnifying glass to some of literature’s great and not-so-great hookups, injecting some of their own dating triumphs and faux pas, both relatable and comical." --The New Jersey Monthly

" Much Ado About Loving… plumb[s] great literature for relationship advice."
New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Jack Murnighan has a Ph.D. in medieval and renaissance literature from Duke University. His book, Beowulf on the Beach helped tens of thousands of readers rediscover their love of the classics. His two previous books, The Naughty Bits and Classic Nasty, were critically acclaimed tours of sexuality in the history of literature. He lives in New York City.

Maura Kelly has been a staff writer for Glamour, a daily dating blogger for Marie Claire, and a relationships columnist for amNew York. Her work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, More, The Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone. She received her BA in psychology from Dartmouth College and her MFA in creative writing. She lives in New York City.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451621248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451621242
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,842,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was a little skeptical at first, but was won over by both authors' knowledge of literature and the human heart. Humorous, self-effacing, and smart; you couldn't ask for a better guide to the classics and to romance. I'd recommend this for anyone who likes love stories, in particular.
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Format: Hardcover
I can live without money, but I cannot live without love. - Judy Garland

I am an unapologetic reader of romance books. I often skim the pro-romance blogs when they counter attack the criticism that romance has no literary value. I skim to keep abreast of what is being said but then I move on as I don't care what anyone thinks of my reading material. I read for escapism.

I requested to review MUCH ADO ABOUT LOVING because of its reference to "literary classics" that can teach us about love, romance, and relationships. This book is designated for someone in the dating scene. But I still enjoyed reading it because the "literary classics" give the same message as "trashy" romances - there is much ado about loving. I believe it will be useful for my teens as they come of age in romance.

Likewise, MUCH ADO ABOUT LOVING gave me a few chuckles and tender moments. Recommended read for those who enjoy books about literature, lifestyle, and even pop culture.

The publisher provided an ARC for this review.
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book is like listening in on a conversation between two smart, irreverent friends who are very familiar with all of the books we were supposed to have read in college. No heavy lit theory, just a lot of quirky ideas that will make you to sound witty at a cocktail party (if you repeat them as your own!). The dating advice is solid, too; but the real strength is how the authors commiserate with your relationship woes, both by recounting their own romantic disasters and by showing how these same issues have affected the great writers of the past. It may not fix your romantic life, but you'll feel better after reading it.
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Format: Hardcover
As a happily married person, I was not sure what I was going to get out of this book. However, what I got was insight into relationships, both romantic and other types (friends, etc.). It also created a new reading list for me as I want to rediscover the books mentioned in Much Ado About Loving. Finally, in this world of not having enough time, each chapter stands on its own as a good read.
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Format: Paperback
Is there anything that great literature can't do?

According to Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan* it can teach us some very important lessons about love. I tend to agree.

Kelly and Murnighan take turns writing the chapters and telling us about their hits and misses in the dating world. They share the triumphs and the failures. All along they tie their romantic adventures to the stories and lessons in classic literature.

The chapter names made me chuckle and inspired me to keep reading:

Love in the Time of Online Dating
Why Too Much Emailing Can Be Dangerous

Overly Great Expectations
Why Idealizing Someone Can Come Back to Bite You

The Brief Wondrous Life of My Last Relationship
Are Men Genetically Coded to Cheat?

I'm quite fond of books about books and this one was a delight to read.

*Why aren't these two dating? I wondered that throughout the whole book!

To see more of my reviews please visit [...]
Thanks, Jennifer
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Format: Hardcover
Like some of the other reviewers, I too was skeptical at first. As an academic, I typically HATE popular treatments of scholarly subjects, usually dumbed down to pointlessness. But this book is funny, entertaining, and literary. Kelly is a journalist and Murnighan is a scholar, and it pays off in the writing. The tone is chatty but not fluffy and there's always solid analysis underneath the humor and wit. It never descends into inane self-help speak. Instead, it reads like a good memoir from the point of view of a reader, but not a lit professor.

The Table of Contents alone is worth the read, but the authors make good on the catchy chapter titles.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book because it was 25 cents at a garage sale. I paid 25 cents too much. I did some research on the author and was stunned at what I found online about her. Very unauthentic for someone to write about people in general when she has such hatred for a good percentage of Americans...or the world for that matter. They say any publicity is good publicity. Not in this case! Google her yourself with terms like "Marie Claire Magazine"
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Format: Hardcover
"Much Ado" skillfully mines a collection of classics to provide you with romantic insights that are wise and funny. And you are re-introduced to some great books in the process. A job well done.
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