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Stupid and Contagious Paperback – May 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This funny duet pairs two New York City 20-something neighbors: Heaven Albright, whose reversal in fortunes transforms her from über-PR exec to bumbling waitress, and Brady Gilbert, an aspiring music producer with problems navigating the bright lights of the big city. The story of their personal and professional travails unfolds in alternating chapters, appealingly narrated by zany Heaven and wry Brady. The two meet-cute downstairs at the deli, and even if the novel's arc is familiar (it's instantly obvious that Heaven and Brady's initial distaste for each other can never last), Crane's giddy, playful prose feels fresh. When Heaven inevitably gets fired from the restaurant, she joins Brady on a trip to Seattle, where he hopes for a face-to-face meeting with Starbucks founder Howard Schultz to pitch him an idea for Cinnamilk (the flavor left after you've eaten cinnamon cereal). The adventures that play out from New York to Seattle as the two pursue their idealistic dreams prove so much fun that a touch of predictability hardly matters. TV writer Crane heavily spices her debut with pop culture references from the '80s to the present day and keeps the story moving with snappy dialogue, a combo likely to entertain legions of (gum-popping) readers. (May 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

With this winning romantic comedy, former MTV head writer Crane delivers a first novel reminiscent of Laura Zigman's best-selling Animal Husbandry (1997). The story is told in alternating chapters by 29-year-old indie record producer Brady, who could have stepped right out of a Nick Hornby novel, and 26-year-old PR maven turned surly waitress Heaven, a veritable modern-day Lucille Ball. The two meet when they become neighbors, and Heaven keeps receiving Brady's mail, which she promptly opens and reads. But irritation soon turns into attraction as the two eventually take a wacky road trip to Seattle, where Brady waxes enthusiastic about signing a young band and attempts to land a meeting with the founder of Starbucks about his idea for a new drink. Crane makes light comedy, usually so difficult to create and sustain, look effortless. Laden with references to cool bands and obsolete snack foods and full of witty repartee, this will elicit knowing smiles from MTV and pop--culture devotees. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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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

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot; First Edition edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446695726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446695725
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Written in a he-said, she-said style, the novel opens with over-the-top Heaven lamenting the fact that her husband is cheating on her. Wait, her husband's not actually cheating, because she's only engaged, not married. She's just practicing for the future. But wait, she's not really engaged, just practicing that too.

Heaven's just been fired from her mega-PR-firm, new next door neighbor Brady has his own problems. He's trying to start his own independent music label, trying to get in touch with Starbuck's Howard Schultz to pitch "Cinnamilk," and he has to find a new place to live, because his psycho ex-girlfriend commandeered his rent-controlled apartment.

It is only around page 100, when Crane has finally established the "different-ness" of her characters, that she really finds her stride and settles into a story that is as enjoyable as it is familiar. After Heaven gets fired from the deli, she goes with Brady on a trip to Seattle. He's trying to score a one-on-one with Howard Schultz, and she wants to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the passing of Kurt Cobain.

It is here that the reader starts to take Brady seriously as a businessman, and when we start to see Heaven emerge from the bitter funk she's been in. It is also when we really begin to like these characters.

What really gives this novel it's refreshing flavor, is that the main character is not a fashionista, not even sporting the slightest shoe-obsession. Rather than search e-bay for name-brands, Heaven gets excited by receiving a can of "Tab."

The book also stands out from the fray with it's excellent music references-it's obvious that former MTV writer Crane knows her stuff.
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I'm not one for the atypical "Chick Lit", and despite the cover and the possible premise, this book was anything but. Smart and funny with two characters that I actually wanted to be friends with, "Stupid and Contagious" is a fast-paced, charming and thoroughly entertaining read. Highly recommended!
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Stupid and Contagious makes you wish the characters were real so they could spend the rest of their lives driving each other crazy. Also, a few more years of their heavy drinking and their habit of stuffing their faces with donuts, pancakes, double burgers, etc., would eventually bring results that might stop Heaven and Brady from looking down their noses at "fat" and "old" people they encounter.

That said, Crane is a talented writer with a sense of humor I appreciate. I have read Forget About It, which is a much better novel. I look forward to finding out what this author will do, and how she will choose to develop and grow when it comes to her storytelling, in the coming years.
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I mostly enjoyed this book. We read it for book club and only a few of us liked it. There was one chapter that seemed superfluous and more judgmental than the rest of the book (when they're on an airplane and the entire chapter is devoted to making fun of a larger woman). Otherwise, I thought it was light and fun.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fast read, because it gets your attention and keeps it. It's funny, sarcastic and a great well-written story. The dialogue is really nicely written to where you're sure these people are actually having this conversation. I could see myself picking this up again in the future and reading it another time.
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Caprice Crane's books read like extended episodes of a really good sitcom, which makes sense because Crane started out writing for TV. Crane's parents were both in the business - her mom was Ginger on "Gilligan's Island" - so the genre is obviously a good fit for her. Writing novels seems to work equally well, though.

Of all Crane's books, Stupid and Contagious is my favorite - quirky, fun and unexpected. Heaven Albright just got fired from her PR job and descends into a comic morass of neuroses and junk food. Her new neighbor, Brady Gilbert, is a minor-league music producer with a genius idea that'll be worth millions if only he can get someone at Starbucks corporate office to pay attention to him.

Crane's writing is full of pop culture and music references - I wish I listened to a Caprice Crane playlist while I read - and the humor is extra dry. The chapters alternate between Heaven and Brady's perspectives, and Crane does a great job getting in Brady's head. So many female romance/chick-lit authors write from what we all wish was a man's perspective, but Crane seems to really nail what this guy really is thinking, scary though it may be. The snappy dialogue and the honest interactions between Heaven and Brady come together to make this book a wickedly fun read.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book yesterday evening after reading the first few pages in Barnes and Noble and just finished... I loved every second of it (and obviously couldn't put it down). Cheers to Crane for this clever story and quirky characters. Stupid and Contagious is a great way to spend time... so if you're reading reviews wondering if you should buy this... DO IT!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard about this book per a recommendation from a friend. I decided to check it out and read the first few sections available for free on amazon. It had me laughing so I decided to buy it. The book switches from the perspective of the girl and then the guy. It's humorous and entertaining as you get both perspectives and the uncensored thoughts of both individuals. However, the story is a little lack-luster. It was a light read so if you're looking for something that doesn't require too much thought or attention, this may be a good option. But I was looking for something a little more advanced than the typical teen fiction level writing.

And a little side note, I really didn't care for the main character Heaven. Her mentality was just completely bonkers.
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