The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing Paperback – 25 May 2000
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Every once in a while a novel sinks into your consciousness that bit deeper than the others. Weeks and years later, apart from recounting the plot, you're left with a feeling, a sense of its soul. It may yet be too early to tell if the The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing will be memorable, but it's soon enough to tell that it defines an epoch. Melissa Bank has written a definitive account of the journey into adulthood, a female perspective on mating and dating. Any woman born this half of the 20th century, who's enjoyed (endured?) more than one relationship with the other side will warm to this funny, frank and sensitive novel. Jane Rosenal's entrée to the world of significant relationships begins with her older brother's older woman. The bewildered teenager's naive understanding and disbelief as the relationship disintegrates before her eyes should have served as a mighty warning on the perils of the mating game. But, hey, what's a little knowledge without bitter experience? As Jane grows into, and out of, a career in publishing, so she melts into, and out of, a series of pointless affairs. Throw in a few life- shattering personal experiences along the way, a near- disastrous encounter with a self-help manual, How to Meet and Marry Mr Right, and finally, Jane learns the secret that has eluded her for so long. Elegantly written and searingly honest, Melissa Bank's debut novel is one to recommend to all your girlfriends--single or not. -- Carey Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This chronicle of a New Yorker's relationships has a wit and perceptiveness that singles it out from the crowd (The Guardian)
One of the funniest, most assured books of the year (Esther Freud)
A sexy, funny, pour-your-heart-out, champagnetingle of a read (Cosmopolitan)
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Top Customer Reviews
I feel sad reading all the other reviews below as it seems that many people feel disappointed by this book.
I think it was pitched at the wrong market.
"The Girls Guide" is not light-hearted comedy. It includes a brave witty heroine and the never ending quest for true love but it is deeper, better written and more touching than Bridget (here I go falling into the same comparison trap). It is not about what to wear to an exciting date, it is about feeling, about love itself, how it comes and how it goes and how a perfect man does not equal to perfect love. If you read it well it will make you laugh and it will make you cry and it will make you want to read it again after a while. What else can you ask from a book?
I thought the first chapter, the story of the discovery by the main character of the highs and lows of love and relationships through his older brother's summer affair, was pretty good. It would have made a neat short story that would have me thinking: here we have a promising new writer.
The rest of the book is disposable. It filled up a long night train ride through central Europe. It will be soon forgotten.
As to that absurd middle chapter on the neighbours: what was it about? I suspect it meant to make the book "serious" by introducing something unexplained: so not-best-seller, so pretentious... ridiculous. Another good short story though.
A writer with some potential. A vacuous and boring book.
I vaguely remember it being heavily promoted in bookstores upon release back in 1999. There seem to be a lot of cheap second hand copies floating around. Presumably now it’s fallen into the category of once popular but now mostly unread once the hype had passed. Frankly it’s amazing to imagine a time when a collection of short stories could sell in such large quantities. Judging by other reviews I’ve read, a lot of people don’t seem to realise this is a collection of lightly linked short stories and not one big joined up narrative. To be fair, the book cover and blurb don’t scream out that this is a short story collection and not a novel.
1. "Advanced Beginners"
Jane’s brother’s older girlfriend visits the family holiday home.
A big blank nothing of a story. Why did I read this? What was interesting about it? Why was I supposed to be impressed by this? The bland writing style emphasised the blank emptiness of it. It was a waste of time reading this non-story. It was readable but deeply indifferent.
2 out of 5
2. "The Floating House"
Jane goes on holiday with her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.
It’s okay. There’s not much to it but it reads okay.
3 out of 5
3.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although through out most of the book I was enticed by the dilemmas Jane faced and the virtues she may learn from them, it lacked continuity and was often disjointed. Read morePublished 13 months ago by jennifer cross
Absolutely adore this book. Very witty and funny. Easy to read and will most likely read it again this summer.Published 13 months ago by Charlotte
I loved this and have recommended it to everyone, men and women alike. It was very compelling and it kept the momentum throughout.Published 14 months ago by HelleBelle
Not funny. Not well written. Not deep.
Not made better by the fact that the protagonist's job is to read books and to filter out the many bad ones, often complaining bitterly... Read more
This novel was a sensation when it came out, billed as the American answer to 'Bridget Jones'. I've not read any of the 'Bridget Jones' books (though I found the film fun if... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Kate Hopkins
One of the best books I've ever read. Simply wonderful. I only wish the author would have included just one more story about the family that lives below Sophie's aunt's... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Miss Jane Bennett
The relationships and insights described are full of humour and pain. Made me laugh and cry out loud. One of those books which stay with you long after the last page has been read.Published on 6 Dec. 2013 by Freewheeling