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Fleishman Is in Trouble: Soon to be a major TV series starring Claire Danes & Jesse Eisenberg Paperback – 9 July 2020
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'Sharp and wicked, insightful and funny, and then suddenly so touching' DAVID NICHOLLS
'It is a Great Novel . . . It has depth, wit, nuance and life. Heartbreaking and funny' NIGELLA LAWSON
'This is the novel of the summer . . . There is no one that this book isn't for. I can't believe it's a first novel. Pure brilliance' INDIA KNIGHT, THE SUNDAY TIMES
'Could be one of the books of my entire lifetime. I've never felt so seen' GRACE DENT, GUARDIAN
'This book is a work of utter perfection' ELIZABETH GILBERT
THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, JUNE 2019
Finally free from his nightmare marriage, Toby Fleishman is ready for a life of online dating and weekend-only parental duties. But as he optimistically looks to a future that is wildly different from the one he imagined, his life turns upside-down as his ex-wife, Rachel, suddenly disappears.
While Toby tries to find out what happened - juggling work, kids and his new, app-assisted sexual popularity - his tidy narrative of a spurned husband is his sole consolation. But if he ever wants to really understand where Rachel went and what really happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen it all that clearly in the first place . . .
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE:
'So sharp' GUARDIAN
'The most astonishingly brilliant Trojan horse of a novel' DOLLY ALDERTON
'Wonderful. Utterly blistering . . . A wildly entertaining, moving story' MARIAN KEYES
'Brimming with wisdom and utterly of this moment . . . Taffy Brodesser-Akner's debut is that rare and delicious treat: a page turner with heft' MARIA SEMPLE
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2020
LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL
SHORTLISTED FOR THE FICTION: DÉBUT BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS
RUNNER-UP FOR THE MCKITTERICK PRIZE 2020
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE/JOHN LEONARD AWARD FOR BEST FIRST BOOK
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This book . . . is the most astonishingly brilliant Trojan horse of a novel. Begins as a hilarious, fast-paced tale of a middle-aged Manhattan man navigating fast sex culture of dating apps, ends as a gut-punch feminist text ― Dolly Alderton, author of Everything I Know About Love
Sharp and wicked, insightful and funny, and then suddenly so touching ― David Nicholls, author of One Day
Wonderful. Utterly blistering about how women have to live - a powerful feminist book wrapped with perfect stealth in a wildly entertaining, moving story ― Marian Keyes, author of The Break
Here is a portrait of modern love and marriage that is blisteringly funny, wincingly painful, and - ultimately - both heartbreaking and humane. Fleishman Is in Trouble reminds me of the great novels of the 1960s and 1970s - just the sort of thing that Philip Roth or John Updike might have produced in their prime (except, of course, that the author understands women). Taffy Brodesser-Akner can write the pants off any novelist out there. She's a star, and this book is a work of utter perfection ― Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
Fleishman Is in Trouble is so much smarter than a Great American Novel wannabe written by another clever man . . . What Brodesser-Akner has achieved here, by Trojan-horsing herself into Toby's point of view, is to quietly reveal the souls of the women in the story. But more than that, to show that all stories - about marriage, love, loss, hope and disappointment - really are universal. Libby believes that "all humans are essentially the same, but only some of us, the men, were truly allowed to be that without apology". This is an honest, powerful, human story with no apologies. And it will do the "American Novel" a power of good. -- Katy Guest ― Guardian
I have just finished Fleishman Is in Trouble... and feel bereft. I read it too fast, because I couldn't stop, but can't bear that it's ended. It is a Great Novel (yes: cap G; Cap N). It has depth, wit, nuance and life. Heartbreaking and funny ― Nigella Lawson
From its opening pages, Fleishman is in Trouble is shrewdly observed, brimming with wisdom and utterly of this moment. Not until its explosive final pages are you fully aware of its cunning ferocity. Taffy Brodesser-Akner's debut is that rare and delicious treat: a page turner with heft -- Maria Semple ― Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Delving deep into the gender inequalities of sex, marriage, divorce and online dating in modern-day New York, it is a book teeming with insights and humour, a genuine tour de force -- Sarah Gilmartin ― The Irish Times
So urgently modern and relevant . . . I kept turning down pages ― Hadley Freeman
Chock full with humour and originality . . . It's a grown-up comedy that actually has far deeper things to say about love -- Francesca Brown ― Stylist
Excellent first novel by the New York Times super-interviewer -- Josh Glancy ― The Sunday Times Magazine
Smart and sassy but also dark and scabrous, fans of Maria Semple will love Fleishman Is in Trouble too. -- Red Online ― Sarra Manning
It's biting and bracing, and - like the best beach reads - offers unflinching insight into the unexplored depths of the human condition. -- Kristin Iversen ― Nylon
Her debut novel takes her uncanny knack for articulating the human condition with incisive tenderness to new heights; Fleishman is in Trouble is a wisdom-packed story about modern relationships ― Porter
Firing on all circuits, from psychological insight to cultural acuity to narrative strategy to very smart humor. Quite a debut! ― Kirkus (Starred Review)
Fans of Taffy Brodesser-Akner's whipsmart profiles will not be disappointed by her debut novel. Extending the same heady cocktail of forensic observation, sardonic wit and cynicism mixed with zeitgeist, Brodesser Akner writes a novel for our times: what makes a marriage? A parent? A man? And when does it all end? ― Pandora Sykes
A marvel, full of shrewd observations, barbed wit, and deep insight. Taffy Brodesser-Akner reveals the twisted hearts of her characters - and the twisted soul of contemporary America - with an eye that is at once pitiless and full of compassion for our human foibles. This is a remarkable debut novel from one of the most distinctive writers around -- Tom Perrotta ― Little Children
You're going to want to read this one: Fleishman in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner . . . It's about everything - love, friendship, life, death. Or, to borrow what we will now call the Tayari Jones standard, a literary novel with a great plot -- Laura Lippman ― Sunburn
This glorious debut has the humor of Maria Semple, the heart of Meg Wolitzer, the lustiness of Philip Roth, and a voice that is pure. It's wild and wonderful and goes in so many directions, each with profundity - my favorite thing that novels can do. How does one's favorite journalist become one's new favorite novelist? With this book -- Emma Straub ― The Vacationers
Blisteringly funny, feverishly smart, heart-breaking and true. Fleishman Is In Trouble is an essential read for anyone who's wondered how to navigate loving (and hating) the people we choose -- Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney ― The Nest
A funny critique of the intoxicating life of the recently separated... Everyone is disastrous and everyone is human, and the writing is so sharp that one finishes the novel somehow feeling warm towards them all -- Emma Brockes ― Guardian
A shrewd meditation on marriage and middle age... A twisty, sophisticated narrative filled with humour and pathos -- Olivia Petter ― Independent
Deftly done -- Olivia Ovenden ― Esquire UK
You don't get advance praise from Elizabeth Gilbert . . . for nothing. This New York Times writer's satirical novel about marriage and relationships in 2019 is dazzlingly clever -- Clara Strunck ― Evening Standard Magazine
Funny, acutely observed and certain to be on every sun lounger this summer -- Sarah Hughes ― iNews
[A] funny, searing debut . . . Shrewd and satirical, but balanced with sympathy, it's an impressive first novel from the New York Times Magazine writer -- Francesca Carington ― Tatler
Believe the hype. Fleishman Is in Trouble is even better than we were promised . . . A feminist jeremiad nested inside a brilliant comic novel - a book that makes you laugh so hard you don't notice till later that your eyebrows have been singed off -- Ron Charles ― Washington Post
Witty and well-observed . . . Brodesser-Akner has written a potent, upsetting and satisfying novel -- Tom Rachman ― The New York Times
Enthralling . . . [Brodesser-Akner] writes with the heft and masterful wordplay of a [Tom] Wolfe, but with empathy for and curiosity about all the players in the tale. It's a cutting sociological dissection of the way we live now, but it cares about its characters as people . . . Fleishman Is in Trouble will occasionally make you angry at the things the people in it do, but mostly it will make you hungry for whatever Brodesser-Akner is going to write next -- Alan Sepinwall ― Rolling Stone
[Brodesser-Akner's] prose is seamless, her asides clever, her observations always on point. Without flattening her subjects, she locates the stakes of their quotidian dramas and the hidden tensions of their seemingly controlled lives, transforming something unremarkable into something textured, absorbing, and darkly funny. When she writes a book about modern heterosexual marriage, you don't roll your eyes; you clear your schedule -- Claire Fallon ― Huffington Post
Taffy Brodesser-Akner dissects a marriage - and in doing so, interrogates the entire institution. She creates a page-turner as insightful as it is impossible to put down -- Elena Nicolaou ― Refinery29
In her debut novel, Brodesser-Akner does the seemingly impossible, imbuing the classic tale of middle-aged male ennui with a sense of empathy for women -- Keely Weiss ― Harpers Bazaar
Brodesser-Akner is a master of zeitgeisty pith -- Hillary Kelly ― Vogue
Fleishman Is in Trouble offers a fresh take on modern relationships and mid-life reckonings in a story that complicates the roles of gender, social status, and ambition, with a delightfully comical exploration of emoji culture to boot -- Allison McNearney ― The Daily Beast
Toby Fleishman isn't the only one in trouble. Infusing candor, humor and social commentary, this book holds up a mirror to all of us, demanding that we take a hard look at how we live and how we love ― Mail Online
Debuts like this don't come along very often -- Phoebe Luckhurst ― Evening Standard
A funny, dazzlingly written, delicious subversion of the marriage novel . . . It's wry, deeply felt and moving - it's definitely the book you should read this summer -- Siobhan Murphy ― The Times
Just finished reading Fleishman is in Trouble and it is brilliant. Insights into middle age and marriage that will make you sit up straight in your chair, if you happen to be middle aged, and married. ― Tracey Thorn, author of Another Planet
This dazzling switchblade of a first novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner is smart and sexy and pitiless and humane. I think human beings must be cellophane to her. Thoroughly recommended ― Rhik Samadder, author of I Never Said I Loved You
Wonderfully, perceptively written . . . What I really loved was the savage social satire. Class division and wealthy one-upmanship, holiday homes, spin classes, mega-apartments, posh schools; it's all here. -- Wendy Holden ― Daily Mail
Taffy Brodesser-Akner's Fleishman is in Trouble is a clever novel that upends the sexist clichés of the Great American Novel as written by Philip Roth and John Updike -- Richard Godwin ― The Times
Every summer produces a status read, though it is a bonus when it's one that's also a must-read. This year's hot tome is Fleishman Is In Trouble, a novel by American journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner that is both a comedy of Manhattan manners and a very modern battle of the sexes, exploring a clash of female rage and male inadequacy -- Phoebe Luckhurst ― Evening Standard
Stylish, smart, surprising. I loved it ― Nina Stibbe, author of Reasons to be Cheerful
A great book. Really funny and really right about the deepest human stuff. All hail Taffy Brodesser-Akner -- David Baddiel
There may be readers who opened Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner hoping to be shocked by all the heavily reported sex and profanity. Indeed, the opening chapter suggests that the book is just about a newly separated middle-aged man, who, after years of monogamy, is bemused and confounded by the brutally sexualised business of online dating. It's a captivating start but the book is much more profound than that. Brodesser-Akner, in her debut novel, captures the essence of modern, middle-class New York mores brilliantly -- Alan Johnson ― New Statesman
Could be one of the books of my entire lifetime. I've never felt so seen . . . A coruscating, dizzying, razor-sharp attack on modern marriage, fatherhood, Tinder sex, social hierarchical woes and midlife unravelling. -- Grace Dent ― Guardian
I do think this book changed my life! . . . It's hilarious, fascinating, painfully observant. I have recommended it to every single person I know -- Scarlett Curtis
This first novel by one of America's sharpest journalists is the story of hapless Jewish doctor Toby Fleishman, raising his two children alone and discovering the joys of casual sex after being abandoned by his wife. Although at first we see the world through Toby's eyes, contradictory voices gradually begin to emerge in this cunningly constructed and acidly funny debut. ― Sunday Express
- Publisher : Wildfire; 1st edition (9 July 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1472267079
- ISBN-13 : 978-1472267078
- Dimensions : 19.7 x 2.5 x 13 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 44,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 January 2020
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I mean, the poor guy's five-foot, five inches tall, with receding hair and is in the process of being divorced. He's a liver specialist at a hospital, not the most exciting of doctors. And, he's just discovered dating apps and sounded like a horny teen. I got fed up of the various females (and female nationalities) mentioned, who were apparently body-parts-pic'ing him morning, noon and night, so much so that his phone was the first thing he grabbed in the morning to check on booty calls, etc. How could the guy not see that these women were as desperate housewives as he was desperate divorced-dad? He sounded like he really thought he was The Man. Actually, he sounded really boring and not much of a prize, tbh, and I couldn't see him as book-lead material. He did perk up and turn professional for a few minutes when he finally made it into work and a patient needed diagnosing, morphing into Dr Gregory House, complete with student-doctor followers, and reaching a diagnosis based on House-isms. That was quite interesting and made me note that whilst a copper ring around my iris might be attractive, should one occur one day, it's a sign of liver failure and I should seek urgent medical help. But, I digress.
Add in that the tale then started to be told from what I believe were differing 1st Person perspectives. I didn't clock on about this soon enough and wondered for a while who was talking and why the book had suddenly changed from Third Person narrative. Only when I read on and this newcomer's former job was mentioned did I realise that she was a (Jewish) university friend of Toby's whom he'd reconnected with on the advice of his therapist who'd told him to get in touch with all the friends he'd dropped over the last 10 years or so of his marriage, and who'd appeared in a flashback part of the book. She (I can't remember her name now, 2 mins after putting the book down) and Seth (also Jewish, and very crude, a la American Pie, in his teen-like humour) went to Israel with Toby where I think they dossed around a bit?
Not once did I smile or laugh in the 54 pages that I read. That could be on me, as I don't always find pop 'funnies' funny, but here I struggle to recall anything funny, other than that allegedly, Toby's (non-Jewish) about-to-be ex-wife's (Jewish) friend who's been botoxed and fillered and skinny'd, and who was much taller than him (it was made to sound as if the whole world is taller than Toby) suddenly made a move that made him think she was coming onto him. It was the fact that he was suddenly so full of his 'sexual attraction' to so many, many desperate-sounding women that might have made me huff a little, but not full-out LOL. Not even Toby and Seth's explanation of 5th base (the 'bases' thing is something we Brits aren't quite as crude as to have, and don't entirely understand, I suspect) made me laugh. Nope, this is a definite DNF.
Oh, and maybe the microscopic font doesn't help the book's case? I struggled to read it, on top of struggling to read the tale.
Beware: this irritating book stays in your mind. I woke up one morning, about 3 days after finishing this, with my cat (RoroBlu) smacking me on the face with his paw, pulling me from sleep. I'd been dreaming that RoroBlu was smacking me and telling me, *Taffy Brodesser-Akner*, off for writing such an awful book, and full-naming 'me'. Yes, my cat was telling the author off for the book. Weird, but cathartic, as I now no longer have the book in my head!
I thought this book was amazing. The insight into how women feel about their lives and ultimately what they have to accept was nothing short of miraculous. This is not intended to sound sexist but I am not sure a man can really understand the female angst within this book.
This book is anything but boring. in my view it is an exceptional novel and may it receive all the plaudits it deserves.
Once there was a mystery, things got a bit more interesting and we finally hear a different side to the whole story (but not till nearly the end) but that was also pretty one-dimensional.
The third person/first person narrative was really confusing, told by a minor character...this is explained later but didn't make much sense and was confusing for most of the book.
I didn't like any of the characters - none of them seemed like real, complex people, however they were written about (and we're told all about their problems, which are :sex, money, popularity). I don't think you need to know much about Judaism to know what's going on, but this gives a poor impression of the community. Maybe I got it wrong, but I didn't think sleeping around, working 24/7 and being rich were traits of the religion (although the last is stereotypical I guess).
I only finished the book as it was a book club choice. I feel cheated out of £8.