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The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing Paperback – 25 May 2000

3.6 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (25 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140278826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140278828
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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.

Review

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I chose to buy this book as one of my 'summer reads' thinking it would be a light-hearted Bridget Jones-esq type story (as she is mentioned on the back of the cover) that would require just enough brain power to keep me amused and off the streets for a few hours during the hot summer months. However, I was delighted to discover that it was not at all like many of the millions of Bridget Jones look-alike books that have appeared on bookshop shelves in the last three years. I haven't finished reading it but so far I have found it original, funny, insightful and extremely cleverly written. I love the disjointed style and subtle descriptions of the characters.
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.
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Format: Paperback
...OK, I read and loved Bridget Jones but let's face it, we are not talking "Don Quijote" here. There is no need to rank the merits of all novels written after Bridget depending on how similar they are to it!! Has everybody gone crazy! There is life after Bridget, you know, and this could be it.
"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?
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By A Customer on 26 April 2000
Format: Hardcover
I just can't understand how this book came to receive those reviews that made me buy it. It fails as a serious reflection on mid-30s womanhood, it is not funny, it is not a page-turner, it is well writen, but far from a literary jewel.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book - have owned it now for around 5 years and probably read the "You could be anyone" chapter once a year. Every part of it fills me up in every possible way - the sentence "he hugged me but all I could feel was flesh and bones" stays with me - it was a barometer of how I judged boyfriends over the years - did I just think of them as flesh and bones or as soul. I devoured this book - anyone who can read the "you could be anyone " chapter and not cry does not have a heart or soul. Strangely the two last chapters are my favourites which seems to contradict the majority of reviews on here.
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By A Customer on 15 July 2000
Format: Paperback
Although there were parts that I enjoyed (mainly the beginning and the end), I found the rest of the book totally confusing. If anyone understands the point of the chapter about the neighbours, please make the connection for me, as to me, it just seemed like it was put there to take up some space. The cover was very misleading, and contrary to the blurb on the back, not nearly as much fun as staying in and watching 'sex and the city' (which is actually light hearted and funny).
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Format: Kindle Edition
I watched the film Suburban Girl (2007) starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin. It was a bit of a mess, but an interesting mess. I found the following vey wordy credit to be intriguing: Based on the Short Stories "My Old Man" and "The Worst Thing a Suburban Girl Could Imagine" from the book "The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing" by Melissa Bank. The film might be a messy dud, but the source stories might be better. So I took a chance on the 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.
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