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Run Catch Kiss: A Novel [Paperback]

Amy Sohn
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

10 July 2000

"I was only twenty-two and already I was infamous..." So begins Amy Sohn's hilarious and wise debut novel, Run Catch Kiss.

When the saucy Ariel Steiner returns home to New York City to be an actress, she is buoyed by daydreams of becoming Hollywood's hottest ingenue. Nothing can stand in her way -- nothing, that is, but her freshman-fifteen pounds, a senile talent agent, and the fact that she's living back home with her parents in Brooklyn.

While waiting for the ever-elusive big break, Ariel discovers a hidden talent for channeling her erotic fantasies and becomes a sex columnist at New York's hottest downtown weekly. Soon, art and life are imitating one another, and the junkies, commitmentphobes, and other subjects of Ariel's columns are wreaking havoc on her life. But when she finally falls in love, the real Ariel must stand up. Is she a nice Jewish girl who wants to settle down or a brazen sex kitten who'd rather meet a deadline than the man of her dreams?

Sharp, savvy, and irresistible, Run Catch Kiss is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on that dangerous turn-of-the-century phenomenon: the single girl who wants it all.

Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed edition (10 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684867532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684867533
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 13.9 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 999,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amy's new novel, Motherland, will be published in August 2012 by Simon & Schuster. Beyond that . . .
In 1973 Amy was born in Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. Raised in Brooklyn Heights, Amy went on to attend Hunter College High School in Manhattan, alma mater of Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan. In 1995 Amy was graduated from Brown University, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, and with Honors.
In 1995 Amy returned to Brooklyn to pursue a career as an actress. It didn't go well, though she did appear in an episode of "Law and Order" for forty seconds, an episode for which she still receives residuals. In 1996 she became a columnist at New York Press, writing her autobiographical "Female Trouble" column, a chronicle of dating below Fourteenth Street that elicited loads of invective from readers and shamed her parents at dinner parties. This column was satirized in a cartoon by Anthony Haden-Guest that featured a blond and brunette talking, with the brunette telling the blond, "I'm the new you." This was thought to be based on Amy and Candace Bushnell, though Anthony never admitted it outright.
In 1999, Simon & Schuster published Amy's first novel, Run Catch Kiss, which has since been translated into four languages. According to the New York Times review of the book, "A little-known event that took place around the time that Richard M. Nixon was resigning as President was the birth of Amy Sohn, who has emerged as a representative of her generation." The review included the word "concomitant," "concupiscence," and "Spenglerian," three words that do not appear in the novel itself.
In 1999 Amy became a columnist at the New York Post, where she enraged management by comparing Mayor Giuliani to Hitler and writing an expose on the Yankees locker room. In 2000, Amy co-created, wrote and starred in a television show for Oxygen's "X Chromosome" animated series entitled "Avenue Amy."
In August 2001 Amy landed at New York magazine. At New York, her columns mirrored the trajectory of her life, from "Naked City" to "Mating" to "Breeding." In 2004 Simon & Schuster published her second novel, My Old Man, about a May-December relationship between a rabbinical school dropout and an aging screenwriter. It took place in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
In 2008 she became a columnist at England's Grazia magazine, where she wrote a column called "Diary of a Recessionista." The recession soon took over and the column was axed. Over the years, Amy has also written for Harper's Bazaar, Premiere, Playboy, Elle, The New York Times, and Details. She is a recipient of a reader award from Playboy called the Golden Bunny and was voted one of Park Slope's 100 most influential people. She is certain she is the only individual to have received both honors.
In 2009 Simon & Schuster published Amy's third novel, Prospect Park West, about four Park Slope mothers on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It was translated into five languages.
She has written television pilots for ABC, Fox, Lifetime and most recently, HBO and Sarah Jessica Parker, who optioned Prospect Park West. She has written two films, a Gen X Big Chill called Spin the Bottle, and a Gen X horror film called Pagans.
She grew up in Brooklyn, where she still lives today. She has a brother, five years younger. She voted for Barack Obama and raised money for him. Her favorite writers are Laurie Colwin, Hilma Wolitzer, Charles Bukowski, Nathanael West, Mary Gaitskill, and Bruce Jay Friedman. Her favorite films include Gregory's Girl, The Landlord, The Apartment, My Life as a Dog, and Together.
She had her seventh birthday party at Kramer versus Kramer but not all the children were permitted by their parents to come. As a child she was taken to the films Heartland, Splash, Heart Like a Wheel, The Magical Mystery Tour, and Mr. Hulot's Holiday and is glad about it. She thinks Wainwright elevates Apatow and not the other way around. She has strong biceps but weak abs. She is aware that her inspiration for this list was the Kevin Costner speech in Bull Durham. She has had sexual fantasies about Richard Ford and they were productive.
If she could switch careers she would be a Broadway musical theater producer or a sommelier. She dresses to the left. She believes that when it comes to hair highlights, cheap is expensive. Her favorite joke is, "What's the difference between a Jew and a Gentile? A Gentile leaves without saying goodbye and a Jew says goodbye without leaving." She also enjoys a very tasteless Katharine Hepburn joke whose punchline is, "How do you turn it off?" Her favorite candy is York Peppermint Patties and she always has a knot in the same section of her hair when she wakes up. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Like her at and visit her at

Product Description

Amazon Review

Amy Sohn lives in New York, where she writes a raunchy column for the New York Press called "Female Trouble." Her first novel features a young woman named Ariel Steiner, who lives in New York and writes a raunchy column called "Run Catch Kiss" for City Week. Any other similarities between author and creation are, no doubt, purely accidental. We first meet Ariel the summer after her graduation from college when she returns to the city, ready to resume the acting career she had as a child.

Unfortunately, college not only enlarged Ariel's mind--it had a broadening effect on her body as well. "I can't send you out for any ingenue parts until you lose fifteen pounds," her agent tells her. Ariel is sure this won't take long and indulges in an optimistic fantasy about the fame and fortune that will soon come her way once she's lost the weight--an appearance in a George C. Wolfe production; a walk- on in a George Clooney film; an Oscar-winning performance in a Woody Allen movie, complete with requisite Oscar fantasy: "I'd bring my father as my date, and when Jack Palance opened the envelope and announced me as the winner, I'd run up to the stage in a strapless Chanel and they'd cut to a shot of my dad drowning in a sea of his own mucus." But until the day when Ariel Steiner becomes the third part of a Hollywood girl-triumvirate comprised of herself, Gwyneth and Winona, a girl's got to eat; and so begins a ribaldly picaresque journey from actress wannabe to infamous New York sex columnist-- "the Hester Prynne of downtown."

Run Catch Kiss is a novel that will appeal to a very specific audience--fans of Amy Sohn; young college graduates who'd like to imagine it's really this easy to achieve notoriety in a city like New York; and readers who enjoy lots of name-dropping, club-hopping and frank descriptions of sex and other bodily functions. Sohn includes several of Ariel's columns ("Stench of a Woman," for example, or "Smutlife") as wellas the letters she gets in response. In between, Ariel and her cronies and assorted one-night stands hang out in places with names like BarF and BarBarella, and drop pop references to Gen-X movies and music. Sohn delivers it all up with moxie, making up for the novel's literary weaknesses by sheer full-frontal outrageousness. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

Hello readers
My name is Amy Sohn and I wrote this book. My protagonist's name is Ariel Steiner. You might notice we have the same initials. Pure coincidence, I assure you. Ariel is 22 years old and Run Catch Kiss is about what happens to her when she gets a job writing an autobiographical sex column for a downtown New York newspaper. What happens ain't pretty, but it's strange and wild and pretty funny. Some guys want to date her so they can be written about, but others run the other way out of fear that Ariel will diminish their capacities. Her nice Jewish parents, Leo and Carol, who live in the city too, read the column and totally wig out - because how many parents really want to know what their kids are up to horizontally? I think you'll enjoy reading Ariel's story, particularly if you have ever dated someone who wasn't good for you, farted in bed, been moved by Bob Dylan music, embarrassed your parents, or laughed about sex. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I WAS ONLY TWENTY-TWO and already I was infamous. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not just a poor novel -- a lazy novel 18 Aug 1999
By A Customer
There's nothing wrong with novels about twentysomething and thirtysomething dating mores -- in fact, there can be a lot right. Whether it's a boy's life -- see Nick Hornby's High Fidelity -- or a girlie scene -- Hunting and Fishing -- there is a wealth of potential material to be mined, whether for humor and insight.
Not here, however. And not in this book. It's not just that it's a shallow, boring book. It's a lazy book. Sohn probably received a huge advance for a novel, and she basically just sends in a hodge podge of her columns -- dumbing them down in the process. I would have rather she saved the effort and just released an anthology of her New York Press columns, which, though shallow, at least didn't aspire to any kind of deep insight. But in the current form, this novel is -- well, embarrassing. Women talking with pottymouth had its day of novelty five years ago -- when Sex and the City the column first hit, when Liz Phair received critic's plaudits for singing about "$%#^ and Run." Now, it feels forced -- aiming to shock -- aiming to titillate -- and succeeding in neither. Let Sohn wind up in her eventual inevitable destination -- a talking head on "relationships," perhaps post on a late night cable version of The View -- and let fiction remain in the hands of the pros.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Sex in the City.... 23 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This is a very funny take on the all too familiar twentysomething novel of dysfunctional relationships. Exploring the world of singledom in New York with a sharp, sassy attitude and wisecracking language, Sohn produces a refreshing take on the City Girl formula. Not quite having it all, but certainly having it off once in a while. Great stuff.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just your average soft-porn novel.... 31 Aug 1999
By A Customer
It's not deep. It's not thought-provoking. It doesn't have much meaning either. But if you're into books that are quick, light and very...ahem...descriptive...then you will probably enjoy this novel. There are parts that are really funny, parts that are downright nasty and granted, it is somewhat interesting. I just wouldn't buy it until it's out in paperback. One last point, the way Ms. Sohn ended this novel, you can't help but wonder if RUN CATCH KISS is an autobiography.
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2.0 out of 5 stars YUMMY JUICY LIPS! 27 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Um, I really don't have much to say. I laughed. Sometimes. And then. I didn't. And then, I finished the book, and started another one. It's all a part of the cycle. Not a huge waste of money, but, don't get excited, either.
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1.0 out of 5 stars run on 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I'm afraid that in my opinion (only one person, admittedly) what works wonderfully in a magazine column makes poor book fodder. Though I wanted to look deeper, there was no surface to scratch....because underneath the brash, glitzy exterior of this novel is another surface: It is like a plastic onion in revealing lingerie. Those of you mining for nuggets of hard-won wisdom will probably go without. Some laughs, to be fair, several good ones.... but mostly sighs of boredom. Perhaps this is just the book the author had to get out the way before she could write something more worthy of her talents.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible waste of time and brain cells 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I'm all for fluffy books about 20 somethings and their dating disasters, and can accept trashy novels for what they are: fun. But this book is so poorly written, the characters so one dimensional, the plot development similar to that of a 1st graders book report. I couldn't stop reading it because I couldn't believe that such junk had managed to get published. The upside is I'm convinced that I could get my own bad novel published if I really try hard enough. This book is just terrible, no other words to describe it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Muffin shop hottie 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I haven't read the book but I've seen Amy at the muffin shop. I just wish I could be fodder for her literary hands. Maybe I'll write a book about my fantasies of Amy. Maybe someone will pay me for them. Go girl.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read! 16 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I just finished reading Run Catch Kiss on my plane ride home from Boston. As a single 30 year old female city dweller, I can completely identify with the characters in Ms Sohn's book. This book was engaging and energetic, a real summer treat. I look forward to reading more of her work.
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