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Peyton Amberg [Paperback]

Tama Janowitz
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2003
'What was the use of living in a porn film now, at her age?' pondered Peyton Amberg, alone in a glamorous Hong Kong hotel room. At twenty, when she could have pulled a film star, she'd had no sex drive at all. Then she - and her mother - had wanted love and commitment so she married the 'nebbishy Jewish dentist' who thought she was a goddess but left her cold. Now she is on a world tour of past loves and lusty last stands which are getting to feel painfully insalubrious. As the young man she pursues in Antwerp says: 'You must be as old as my mother Lady, you must be fifty.' Tama Janowitz manages to be both intoxicatingly funny and sobering at once in this unforgettable portrait of a woman at a crossroads. From Hong Kong to Rio, via Milan and an English country house, Peyton Amberg has pursued her flings. And now what she wants to know is, when had women taken over the man's role and why was the whole set-up so goddamn humiliating?


Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747561389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747561385
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,810,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

As viciously funny as ever... her insights into men and women and the roles they inhabit [are] frighteningly astute. -- Observer

Compelling … Janowitz leavens the despair with a captivating ironic detachment. -- Financial Times

It is one of the funniest books I have read, and the bleakest... raw, rude, upsetting and immensely invigorating. -- Fay Weldon, Guardian

It will find a sympathetic audience in every corner of the modern world. -- Irish Independent

Peyton Amberg might just be the definitive work of anti chick-lit. -- The Scotsman

Peyton Amberg surely confirms Janowitz as the most caustic chronicler of contemporary America. -- Attitude

Peyton Amberg, sharply observed and tartly written, is as black as a New York fashion maven’s wardrobe. -- Scotland on Sunday

This is a novel about class and sex in America, raw, rude, upsetting and immensely invigorating. -- Independent

About the Author

Tama Janowitz is the author of a book of essays, five novels and a book for children. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, New York Times Sunday Magazine and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peyton Amberg - Tama Janowitz 27 July 2009
Format:Paperback
Peyton Amberg comes from a very troubled background, her brother has been in jail, her sister has two kids and a husband who left her, and her mum is destroyed from years of severe depression treated with electric shock treatment. In her mid twenties she goes into a bar with her best friend Victoria and meets Barry a Jewish dentist from a good rich Long Island background. She marries him and settles to a life in the Upper East side of Manhattan in a nice apartment with a part time job as a travel agent, but soon she realizes Barry isn't the person she thought he was, he is always complaining and not very adventurous.
Peyton gets offered a free vacation to Rio and leaves dressed as her mother in law thinks she should and nervous, on the plane her wallet gets stolen by a Brazilian family sat next to her, in a panic she gets help from a very rich older man Germano, from that meeting onwards she sleeps with strangers where ever she goes as her relationship with Barry becomes strained. The story chops and changes between 3 different times, her time in Brazil with Germano, from meeting Barry through to her wedding and birth of her son Cash, and in Hong Kong with Xian Rong a chinese wannabe gangster. Over all the constant feeling is of a woman who can not accept what she has and believes it will be ruined so has mindless one night stands to get away from her life and her low self esteem.

Overall i thought it was a great novel, and i think everyone can relate to Peyton, the feeling of never being good enough and struggling to deal with what life has to throw at you on a daily basis. It is thought-provoking and funny in places, and dark and intense in others. The story and all the people in it will stay with me for a long time. I will be researching more titles by Tama and hopefully they will live up to this great novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, Dark & Funny! 5 Sep 2003
Format:Paperback
Amberg Peyton's heart is shaped liked a thorn! All the while its tearing up her inside... Tama Janowitz's latest offering is in many ways dark, sad and funny but ultimately a very bleak outlook on one person's very real pirsuit of happiness through love and relationships.
The book careers from one episode to the next, chopping and changing back and forth, almost as if each little sub-story is jostling for position. The book style is hard to follow, but in many ways this only added to the general sentiment left by the book. No detail is left unturned and you very much get the sense that we are delving into the persona of Peyton Amberg and looking outside on the world from within her.
Compared to any of the other books I have read by Janowitz, this leaves them all in the dust! This is an extremely intense book, one that left me with a lump in throat, mostly because it was soaked with such realism and emotion. Needless to say It was also easy to draw parallels between people in my own life and that of the characters in the book.
This is a very strong book and is very well written. I have read it several times and would recommend it to anyone. Each time it only gets better!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, Dark & Funny! 5 Sep 2003
Format:Paperback
Amberg Peyton's heart is shaped liked a thorn! All the while its tearing up her inside... Tama Janowitz's latest offering is in many ways dark, sad and funny but ultimately a very bleak outlook on one person's very real pirsuit of happiness through love and relationships.
The book careers from one episode to the next, chopping and changing back and forth, almost as if each little sub-story is jostling for position. The book style is hard to follow, but in many ways this only added to the general sentiment left by the book. No detail is left unturned and you very much get the sense that we are delving into the persona of Peyton Amberg and looking outside on the world from within her.
Compared to any of the other books I have read by Janowitz, this leaves them all in the dust! This is an extremely intense book, one that left me with a lump in throat, mostly because it was soaked with such realism and emotion. Needless to say It was also easy to draw parallels between people in my own life and that of the characters in the book.
This is a very strong book and is very well written. I have read it several times and would recommend it to anyone. Each time it only gets better!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sad, sad, sad 21 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
i've loved most of tama janowitz's books, even those trashed by the critics. "a certain age" and "the male crossdresser suppport group" are my favourites. "peyton" is a total disappointment. maybe janowitz felt like projecting the darkness and bitternes of the criticism she received for her former work into a novel. well, she succeeded. fay weldon considers this book funny and i really wonder about her sense of humour. the story is tragic, the heroine unsympathetic and what i miss most is what janowitz managed in all her other books: that though life may be more like hell than heaven, people find their way and triumph (in their own way)over it.
peyton just goes down down down and - opposed to a character like victor in easton ellis' "glamorama", who goes the same way, peyton's downward spiral left me cold.
it's sad that janowitz thinks that adding graphic (and extremely dull unerotic) sex-scenes and the mention of excrements on every second page will add a shock-element to the book's reception. that's repulsing withpout being intelligent. the single star is to express my hope that she will concentrate more on stories and less on boring shock-elements in the future.
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