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Isabel's Bed Paperback – 5 Jun 2006

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (5 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755329465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755329465
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,297,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Chicago Tribune"

If Jane Austen had been born about two centuries later...chances are she'd have written like Elinor Lipman.... One of the last of the urbane romantics.



"People"

A warm, affecting tale about one smart woman letting go of her dumb choices and fumbling toward love....



"San Francisco Chronicle"

Delightful....Engaging....The perfect companion....After a short while, these characters become more vivid than one's own friends.



"People"A warm, affecting tale about one smart woman letting go of her dumb choices and fumbling toward love....

"San Francisco Chronicle"Delightful....Engaging....The perfect companion....After a short while, these characters become more vivid than one's own friends.

Carolyn See"The Washington Post Book World"By about page ten of this novel, the reader gets a...grin on his face, and that grin doesn't really stop for about a week.

"Chicago Tribune"If Jane Austen had been born about two centuries later...chances are she'd have written like Elinor Lipman.... One of the last of the urbane romantics.

"Chicago Tribune" If Jane Austen had been born about two centuries later...chances are she'd have written like Elinor Lipman.... One of the last of the urbane romantics.

Carolyn See "The Washington Post Book World" By about page ten of this novel, the reader gets a...grin on his face, and that grin doesn't really stop for about a week.

"San Francisco Chronicle" Delightful....Engaging....The perfect companion....After a short while, these characters become more vivid than one's own friends.

"People" A warm, affecting tale about one smart woman letting go of her dumb choices and fumbling toward love.... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Imagine, if you can, a cross between Phillip Roth and Melissa Bank' Maggie O'Farrell, Independent on Sunday

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I disagree with the previous review. I found the book very readable and thoroughly enjoyed the characters, to the point that am I currently re-reading it! The characters are detailed and well written, and the plot line is a twist on the 'normal' female based books.

Whilst you can see the ending coming, the method in which Elinor gets you there makes a refreshing change.

The book is a great holiday read, when you are sitting by a pool with a cold glass of something soaking up the rays.
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Format: Paperback
Thought this book had a good look to it and the back didn't really read that bad either.............................I was so wrong!!!! Tried really hard to finish this book but couldn't. The story line was dull and very slow and seemed to be going nowhere, by the middle of the book you would have thought that something would have got the reader gripped but nothing: the story seemed to be going nowhere. I wanted to know more about the people in the book but there was no structure or story to enable the reader to do this.

I wouldn't pass this book on to any of my friends to be honest it will more than likely go in the bin. I am very disappointed and tried really hard to overcome the boardom that this book provided!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really warmed to this book as I went on 18 Oct. 2001
By A. Woodley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The blurbs on the cover of this book really put me off at first - someone on the front cover saying that 'by about page ten the reader has a grin on his face' and on the back something about her being the new Jane Austen - etc etc. While being none of those things to me though, I found a lot else in it which grew on me as the book progressed, and surprising to myself I found that I couldn't put it down - and reading to the finish I found it a fun, and infinitely satisfying read.
The heroine of the novel is Harriet Mahoney - 42, failed in a long term relationship, aspiring novellist and looking for a way to escape New York and her ex-partner for a while - wound-licking stuff. She applies for a position ghost-writing Isabel Krug's life story - the fact that she has no idea just who Isabel is, or how notorious her story is, is the subject of the book. Harriet goes to live with her at Cape Cod and in fact it is the growing relationship between these two women which was for me, the most interesting part of the book. As we learn more about Harriet we also have more of Isabel revealed. Its all done in context of the novel and some of it is quite startling. One thing I'll say for Elinor Lipman is she really knows how to tell a story without over-killing points - but she is also wonderful at providing great twists to the story at various points.
It really is an 'engaging' read, but it might take you more than 10 pages to get into. I certainly didn't find I was grinning for a week - but I found it a great read and I think itsworth perservering with if you aren't immediately grabbed by it.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Diappointed 14 Nov. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Isabel's Bed looked like a great read & it's gotten great reviews, but in all honesty I was diappointed by it. The writing is great, I would give Elinor Lipman 4 *'s for her writing talent, but this story just never took off for me. Harriet Mahoney is a 40 something year old woman who finds herself alone after her live-in boyfriend of 12 years meets someone else. An aspiring writer, Harriet takes a job working for Isabel, living in her mansion & helping her to ghostwrite a novel about Isabel's scandalous life. Where this book fell short for me was in the character development-I never got to know or care too deeply about any of the characters. I will still give Lipman's other novels a try as she is a talented writer. This novel wasn't terrible, but I felt it was a little flat.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 10 Oct. 2004
By Ratmammy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
ISABEL'S BED by Elinor Lipman

October 10, 2004

Two women bond and become unlikely friends in ISABEL'S BED, my introduction to the writing of Elinor Lipman. This book has made me a fan for life, and although I've been told most of her books are as good as this one, I can imagine that a "bad" book by Lipman will still be a passable read.

Harriet Mahoney finds herself going nowhere in the world of writing. Her dream is to have a book published, and she is currently writing a novel based on her parents' life. She belongs to a writing group, where she does not feel she totally belongs, and she is in a long-term relationship with a man that only cares about his bagel business.

Harriet soon finds herself without a boyfriend and without a place to stay. She and Kenny had been together for twelve years, when he tells her he's met someone else, the love of his life and they are now engaged to be married. Out of the blue, she gets an offer to ghost write a story by an infamous adulteress, Isabel Krug, and Harriet finds herself moving into a mansion in a New England town called Truro. The neighbors despise the mansion for being "more Malibu than Cape Cod". But Harriet loves her new home, and is now on her way to getting to know her new employer, who was in bed with her married lover when his wife shot him to death.

Isabel Krug is a woman of mystery. What's not mysterious about her is her need for attention and drama in her life. It is evident in her choice of men (two of whom were married at the time she got involved with them) and her desire to write a book about the murder that made her famous. Harriet suspects that she was hired not just to write this story for Isabel, but to be a companion to this woman, who lives alone with her handy-man Pete, and a man Harriet later finds out is her husband, Costas. Isabel needs Harriet just as much as Harriet needs Isabel.

As Harriet learns more about the murder of Guy Van Fleet, the more she learns about Isabel and her wild and crazy past. Lipman has a knack for writing witty and intelligent passages and I found myself laughing throughout the book. Lipman also does a wonderful job building up the character of Isabel Krug, who was larger than life but yet written in quite a believable fashion. What I loved most of all was the friendship that developed between Harriet, the very insecure writer with low self-esteem, and Isabel, who was beautiful and glamorous and belonged with the rich and famous. Lipman paints Isabel as a woman in need of attention, but someone who is compassionate and understanding, too. Harriet grows with the help of Isabel, as she slowly gains confidence in herself and finds out truly what makes her happy, and it isn't her "passion" for writing. ISABEL'S BED is highly recommended by this reader!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly-charged entertainment! 14 Oct. 1999
By belladena - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful novel! This book had everything - romance, intrigue, friendship and revenge. Such a great combination. I really did love this book, a second for me by Elinor Lipman, and much better than the semi-drivel that was The Inn at Lake Devine. One thing bothered me about Isabel's Bed - the absence of you-know-who by the end of the book. The Itzy-Hare-Pete-Costas combination should have ended with a collective bang! Needless to state, I highly recommend this book! It's a light and fast read, packed with humour and realism.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just short of hilarious 12 Mar. 2000
By Renee V. Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Isabel's Bed is elegantly written but would be more satisfying to the reader if the characters were more fleshed out.Someone told me not to miss this book because it is so funny. Well, it IS funny. Elinor Lipman has set up an interesting situation with unusual characters and manages to make some rather unsavoury people look surprisingly appealing. But Isabel turns out to be much nicer than she should be. A twist at the end of the plot vindicates her somewhat, but the reader wonders how a woman in her forties with so much self confidence and potential could get into so much trouble. When she turns out to be so doggone nice, it almost lacks credibility.
Still, the author concludes with a satisfactory ending and the loose ends of the plot itself are pleasantly and firmly tied up. If there is a nebulous thread or two, it applies to characters whom we have come to view with jaundiced eye.
This was the first Lipman book I have read and I don't intend it to be my last. Lipman has a splendid sense of irony. However, although I usually believe that less is more, I hope that the next book of hers I read is a little meatier.
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