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Modern Lovers Hardcover – 30 Jun 2016

3.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (30 Jun. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718181484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718181482
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 194,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Modern Lovers is a hilarious and poignant exploration of relationships and contemporary life. (from publisher's description)

Hugely talented . . . if you are looking for some intelligent holiday reading then this is the book for you (BBC 4 Woman’s Hour)

Straub writes with such verve and sympathetic understanding of her characters ... Reading this novel has all the pleasures of reading one of Anne Tyler's compelling family portraits (The New York Times)

[Modern Lovers] has the smart, cool sensibility of Straub's other novels, and you're sure to love this one just as much (Elle)

A funny and insightful look at love and relationships (Good Housekeeping)

A lovely, satisfying early-summer read (EW.com)

Straub's novel might be set in well-trod modern literary territory (the parenting world of brownstone Brooklyn), but what she does with this familiar milieu is smart and fresh, offering new insights into the lives of people all around us (Brooklyn Magazine)

Thoughtful and hilarious, Modern Lovers proves growing up doesn't stop in adulthood (Real Simple)

[Straub] sets her observational wit on three middle-aged friends (former college bandmates) who find themselves in a crisis of identity as their now-grown children head off to college themselves (Huffington Post)

What happens when you age out of your cool? It's a topic that filmmaker Noah Baumbach has explored, and Straub is his literary counterpart. . . With the multigenerational structure, it would be easy to compare Straub to other masters of the genre like Meg Wolitzer or Jennifer Egan, but she's already a master in her own right after The Vacationers, so Modern Lovers should prove to be a witty romp (The Millions)

Wise and often hilarious, Modern Lovers is a testament to how the passions and secrets of our youth can last well into adulthood (Buzzfeed)

[Straub is] a precise and observant writer whose supple prose carries the story along without a snag. Straub's characters are a quirky and interesting bunch. . . it's a pleasure spending time with them (Kirkus (starred review))

Straub spins her lighthearted but psychologically perceptive narrative with a sure touch as she captures the vibes of midlife, middle-class angst and the raging hormones of youth. . . Readers will devour this witty and warmly satisfying novel (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

Devilishly observed (Booklist (starred review))

Sprinkled with humour and insight, this is a Brooklyn novel with heart (Library Journal (starred review))

Emma Straub is consistently excellent (Book Riot)

Emma Straub is quickly making a name for herself as an author who can deftly toe the line between literary and popular writing-her books are easy to breeze through, but there's also food for thought for the discerning reader

(Bookpage)

Praise for The Vacationers (-)

Now this is what I call good holiday reading. Straub writes beautifully and amusingly . . . hard to beat for sheer charm and gentle wit (Daily Mail)

Emma Straub puts the fun back in dysfunction (San Francisco Chronicle)

There's nothing more addictive than a darkly funny dysfunctional domestic drama. Straub's novel-set during a fraught family vacation in Mallorca-is pretty much the perfect beach read (Entertainment Weekly)

Charming and absorbing, this is a novel that demands to be read in long, satisfying gulps (Maggie Shipstead, author of Seating Arrangements)

Emma Straub is a magician, full of brilliance and surprise (Lorrie Moore, author of Bark)

A gorgeous and witty storyteller (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray Love)

Witty and big-hearted . . . leaves you smiling for days (Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette)

For those unable to jet off to a Spanish island this summer, reading The Vacationers may be the next-best thing. . . . [A] gorgeously written novel . . . When I turned the last page, I felt as I often do when a vacation is over: grateful for the trip and mourning its end (The New York Times Book Review)

Delicious . . . richly riveting . . . The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author (People (four stars))

I loved The Vacationers; funny and poignant and beautifully observed (Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You)

Straub's novel is cast from the same mould as the likes of Liza Klaussmann's Tigers in Red Weather and Maggie Shipstead's Seating Arrangements . . . The Vacationers is a holiday read in every way with a gently witty narrative that slips down as easily as a beachside cocktail (Independent)

Emma Straub is a gorgeous and witty storyteller (Elizabeth Gilbert)

Intimate, epic, beautifully observed (Jennifer Egan)

Witty and big-hearted ... leaves you smiling for days (Maria Semple)

Charming and absorbing (Maggie Shipstead)

Funny, poignant and beautifully observed (Jojo Moyes)

Emma Straub is a magician, full of brilliance and surprise (Lorrie Moore)

From the Back Cover

'Has all the pleasures of Anne Tyler's compelling family portraits . . . with a Lorrie Moore-like sense of the absurdities of contemporary life' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
Summer in the city . . .
Elizabeth, Zoe and Andrew met at college, had a band, grew up, settled in New York and somehow twenty years passed by. Still living round the corner from one another (and in each other's pockets) they're watching as their kids come of age one hot summer. But just as the kids start making those first hesitant steps into adulthood, so it's the parents who find that the lives they've so carelessly stitched together begin to slowly unravel . . .

'Really entertaining. The characters are complex and likeable. It's one of those stories that makes you realise that life really does run away from you' Guardian

'Immersive, rich, screamingly funny' USA Today

'Straub's characters thrum off the page. The sort of witty and relatable summer title you'll devour with a contented smack of the lips' Irish Independent

'Funny yet tart, warm yet incisive. I adored it' Red

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an entertaining read if you like witty and sharp social commentary set in a milieu of the 'new' middle classes (chefs, musicians) in Brooklyn. Straub is a good observer and dissects her subjects with an acute eye and pen.

The problem is, though, that her material here is better suited to a magazine column than a novel: there's little narrative pull or drive and while her one-liners are often very funny ('the thing about Dust was that he wasn't smart or interesting except if you were counting skateboarding or oral sex'), a whole book made up of them gets wearisome very fast if there's no substance to hold them together.

So I like Straub's style, I'm just unconvinced that the novel form is the best showcase for it - 3.5 stars for potential and for making me giggle.
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By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 May 2016
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Although witty in parts, this novel didn't really engage me despite my best efforts. There was sunshine for once and I love reading in the garden but Modern Lovers was not calling out to be read. It's a shame as the writing shines, at times, but is perhaps more suited to a short, snappy magazine article format rather than a novel where it seemed like a small fish in a vast pond.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Emma Straub’s latest book is about people. Seems simple enough to say but once you get into Modern Lovers you realise that there is nothing more complex or more fragile in this world than the lives of humans.

Modern Lovers centres on a group of ‘incestuous’ friends and their children and the lives that they lead in modern day New York. Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe were all once in a band, however, having grown up and settled down their lives become seemingly humdrum and work-a-day. It is only with the prospect of a film being made about their band that they begin to understand just how much life has changed for them.

I didn’t love Modern Lovers, in fact to begin with I really struggled to get into it. However, I persevered and realised that it is actually quite fascinating and that Emma Straub has woven a complex web of characters whose lives entangle (and strangle?) them. They run the risk of existing and not living. Straub manages to make the mundane come to life.

An element that I really loved about this book was the innocent nature of first love. Straub’s portrayal of this between Harry and Ruby was sweet but realistic. It was everything first love should be. Emma Straub got this right.

If you pick Modern Lovers up to read then please make sure you stick with it. It seems a bit slow at first but the tension and drama does pick up to the point that you cannot put it down.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub is available from June 30th 2016.

Follow Emma Straub (@emmastraub) on Twitter and for more information please visit her official website [...]

For further titles from Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit [...]
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By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Jun. 2016
Format: Paperback
Ditmas Park in Brooklyn, the older neighborhood with large homes, family oriented and where everyone knows everyone else. We meet the characters in this book, and their life unfolds over a long lazy summe. The characters each reveal their own story, and their perceptions of others stories.

We meet Elizabeth, a real estate agent, and her husband, Andrew, who has never really found his choices in life. His family left him a bit of money so he can afford to look at what is next. Elizabeth is the real bread winner. Harry, their son, who is beloved and keeps to himself. Elizabeth's best friend whom she and Andrew met in college, Zoe and her partner and wife,Jane. They own a restaurant no are very busy all the time. They have a daughter, Ruby, who is rebellious and looking for her life . As the summer proceeds, the wheels seem to come off their lives, Zoe is think of divorce, Elizabeth is not happy with status quo. Harry and Zoe become than friends, and no one really knows what will occur next.

This is their story, and each one gives their best, and it's good enough.

Recommended. prisrob 06-28-16
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to read a unique and interesting book I've never read before (because I've read them all lol) and I finally found what I was looking for in this book.

Not only is the story unique in itself! But also, this author writing is so smart and descriptive with the older characters viewpoints as well as the teemagers . it makes you think that you really do know these people!

OK glad I didn't listen to over reviews saying this book was rubbish and too predictable because...I didn't see it. Each page has something different and exciting about it and of you want that. Read this book!!
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By 🐑 the lambanana 🍌 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jun. 2016
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Set in Brooklyn, it follows some characters that met in college. Some had become famous. Some not.

It also has a rather nice teenage, blossoming romance.

It's a little too predictable for me and unbelievable. Although I suppose I was a little jealous of their fantastic jobs.

It's funny in parts and it's an OK beach read.

Overall it's fast summer pool read.
3.5 for me.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This truly is exactly what is says on the tin, it is a story of love in the modern time and how work life, social life and social media life can make that a damn sigh trickier than it should be. I loved the setting of this book and also the issues dealt with but something about the mix and the number of characters left a little something to be desired for me and so this book wasn't as good as I hoped it was going to be.

I really liked the structure of the book in that there were various chapters dedicated to each character and so we got to hear their version of an event and how they were coping with things that had just happened to them. I also liked the storyline being composed of characters that had been intertwined for an extended period of time. I felt a little like I wanted to know more of the history of the people in question, like I'd arrived late at a party, but I think that part of the storyline was done deliberately as things did begin to unfold gradually over time.

In terms of characters, I struggled a little to remember who was who and so I think this affected my enjoyment of the book as a whole but then I did end up listening to this one on audiobook and this may not have happened had I read the physical copy of the book that I checked out the library. I liked the fact that there was an LGBTQ element to this, re-affirming once again that this book is about modern lovers and modern families. I also liked that fact that there were young people involved, showing that the pressures of modern society on relationships affects new relationships, old relationship, young relationships and more mature relationships too.
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