- Paperback: 311 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307390942
- ISBN-13: 978-0307390943
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,586,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Trouble Paperback – June 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Christensen follows The Great Man with this slightly lesser work, a coming-of-middle-age novel that explores the sexual lives of three women in their 40s. Best friends since their college days, trust-funder Indrani, therapist Josie and L.A. rocker Raquel are like three very different but close sisters. After flirting with a man at a New York party, Josie realizes that she is sexually starving and decides to leave her husband, though Indrani thinks it's a terrible move. Meanwhile, on the left coast, the nearly washed-up ex-junkie Raquel becomes embroiled in a scandal when she's smeared as the other woman to a young actor with a pregnant girlfriend. Raquel hightails it to Mexico City and begs a less than-reluctant Josie to join her. From here the novel takes a predictable route as the women drink their way across the city, Raquel spirals further out of control, and Josie's inner vixen is awakened. The novel loses some of its mojo in the location change—Mexico City seems just out of focus—but the characters are marvelously realized, and when Christensen's on a roll, her wit is irresistible. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From The New Yorker
Josie Dorvillier, a Manhattan therapist, is trapped in a loveless marriage to an academic. When her best friend from college, a rock star whose best days are behind her, draws ridicule on a celebrity blog for her affair with a much younger television actor, the two friends decide to escape to Mexico City for an uncharacteristically debauched vacation of mescal, marijuana, and men. The subject matter teeters on the edge of tabloid, and the sex scenes with Latin lovers are sometimes just cheesy, but Christensen, a PEN/Faulkner Award winner, generally eschews sentimentality, spinning a stylish, even occasionally suspenseful story of middle-aged sexual awakening and female friendship. Of her troubled companion, Dorvillier muses, “Maybe she and I had failed each other by allowing each other the freedom to be ourselves, and maybe that was the inevitable consequence of true friendship.” --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
What begins as an escape from responsibility ultimately yields tragic results as Raquel and Josie submerge themselves in the culture of their contemporaries in Mexico, a group of musicians, artists and social activists that consume massive amounts of alcohol during dusk `til dawn forays into the local night life. Once freed from their personal problems in LA and New York, Josie and Raquel dive into excess, embracing Scarlet O'Hara's mantra, "I'll think about it tomorrow." Unfortunately, tomorrow arrives with painful consequences.
Christensen is a fluid writer whose prose is compelling, if not her obstreperous characters. Given the outrageous actions of her protagonists, I find myself ambivalent, a voyeur watching a train wreck. I don't know these people, nor do I empathize with them, their casual physical encounters and extravagant tastes. Nor am I seduced by their tragedy: I still don't like them or sympathize with the plight of wither woman.Read more ›
At least in the first third of the novel, one has the suspense of wondering what the heroine Josie's husband Anthony will have to say when he finds out that a glimpse of herself in the mirror (talk about Narcissus!) has persuaded his wife of 15 years to leave him. But once that (it turns out to be rather disappointing) event has taken place and Josie has gone off to hide from the paparazzi with her rock-star college buddy Raquel, we lose all real reason to keep reading.
But by then, though, I was hooked like a drunk on bad tequila (which gives some flavor of the last two-thirds of the novel -- the romp in Mexico City). It might be because the lavish and seductive descriptions of food, drink, and (yes) steamy sex are actually pretty compelling. As the scrumptious mocha-colored man-candy Felipe comments to the unbeguiling but electrically attractive Josie, "You love to eat. How are you so thin?" This is a question that was on my mind too as I raced through so many descriptions of tortillas, chorizo, chocolate cake, cheesy omelettes, mescal, beer, and so forth that I thought I was gaining weight through my eyes. But what a seductive and carnal feast! It brings its own rewards.
I also suspect that Kate Christensen, a writer I admire greatly from "The Epicure's Lament," is more aware of the flaws in these characters than most readers here are giving her credit for. It's easy to make fun of the book just by quoting it.Read more ›
I have never before encountered a main character I more wanted to die in the first ten pages before. While I'm certainly not Kate Christensen's primary audience, they sheer awfulness of the first dozen or so pages had me praying that Josie would be run down by a bus or brutally murdered by a junkie in an alleyway. The character oscillates wildly between evoking the image of a mid-life whore looking for any convenient excuse to hump something with a pulse other than her dull as dishwater husband, and at other times as a tragic victim of a seemingly loveless, and more importantly sexless, marriage. At the same time she teams up with Raquel, a celebrity fleeing paparazzi for sleeping with the soon to be father of a pregnant teen. While this reads like something you could hear conceivably hear off of E, so much of it is as believable as diamonds raining from the sky.
The plot line eventually picks up and actually becomes something decent, but starting from such a poisoned well made this an agonizing read for me, as I'm sure it would be for people of my particular mindset, which, if there is a just God in this world, isn't very many.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book. I would recommend it. The characters were plenty and author did a good job of getting me care about them. It was good.Published 20 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is a small story. A page or two worth of plot. The rest was one description after another of the most trivial details. Read morePublished on June 27, 2014 by Nancy Dunlap
This is a cliched story about a "cougar". Josie is in her mid-forties and a succesful psychotherapist. Read morePublished on April 17, 2014 by SuzReader
I had no idea that this book would be so mature and emotional. Excellent. All the characters are well crafted and the story well written.Published on February 2, 2014 by anon
You will not want this book to end. Examines all human relationships with raw vision and heart. A must read for wives, friends, lovers, mothers and daughters.Published on November 2, 2013 by Kindle Customer
While I thought Christen's "The Great Man" wasn't a great book, it was certainly a good one, leading me to believe "Trouble" would be of similar quality. What a mistake! Read morePublished on September 15, 2011 by Michael Warren
Filled with hot sex, amazingly real characters, fantastic insights into the complexities of love, marriage, and friendship; vivid, fascinating travel scenes, passionate commentary... Read morePublished on August 6, 2011 by Joan S. Kurland
"Trouble" was a book that I enjoyed but at the same time I wouldn't call it completely gripping. The ending wasn't, in my opinion, as solid as the rest of the story. Read morePublished on July 21, 2011 by Moderate Risk
I loved The Great Man and so did my book club. Trouble is very disappointing with a poorly conceived plot and ridiculous characters. Read morePublished on June 9, 2010 by Carol G. Sures