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Starting from Happyby Patricia Marx
Synopses & Reviews
While waiting in line for apple pie at a party, Imogene Gilfeather, a lingerie designer who does not understand the reason for romance, meets Wally Yez, a scientist whose business card says and#8220;An Answer for Everything.and#8221; Imogene is told that Wally is the perfect guy. (and#8220;Perfect,and#8221; she replies, and#8220;is not my type.and#8221;) He is told that her company, Featherware, manufactures intimates (andlt;Iandgt;that andlt;/Iandgt;gets his attention). Unfazed by Imogeneand#8217;s indifference (who needs love when you have a career, friends, and an undemanding affair with a married man?), Wally resolves to win her over. E-mails turn into late-night phone calls; one date turns into two and then into more. Thus begins the most absurd and amusingly unbalanced relationship to grace the pages of a novel. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Wally is certain he and Imogene are meant for each other (They both use mechanical pencils! Neither has had mumps! They are so alike!), but convincing his beloved is another matter. (and#8220;Do you know why it is I donand#8217;t have pierced ears?and#8221; she asks. and#8220;Because itand#8217;s too permanent.and#8221;) In defiance of the odds, or the gods, or perhaps just Imogeneand#8217;s qualms, Wally and Imogene become a pair. They celebrate their anniversariesand#8212;the first time they touched each other on purpose, took public transportation together, saw the other with wet hair. But can they possibly end as happily as theyand#8217;ve begun? (and#8220;Does he really have a cowlick? If yes, no bed will ever be big enough.and#8221;) andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Made up of hundreds of chaplettes, clever illustrations, and darkly funny commentary on getting together and staying the course, andlt;Iandgt;Starting from Happy andlt;/Iandgt;is a cunning and sophisticated send-up of coupledom that showcases one of the finest comic writers of our time.
"Domestic lit gets a stylish, sarcastic tweak in former SNL writer Marx's sort-of love story about a cranky New York lingerie designer and a geeky scientist (after Him Her Him Again The End of Him). An inauspicious meeting leads to 618 micro-chapters during which Imogene Gilfeather and Wally Yez have been compatible singles, dutiful marrieds, and committed parents — and thought better of each station. Marx moves the story forward with an infectious zeal, ditching traditional narrative in favor of a torrent of often tweet-sized 'chaplettes' that distill the essential truth about falling in love and staying there — with whimsical illustrations, including a New York child's guide to the U.S. and Imogene's shroud of Turin chemise. With no expectations for uplifting, life-affirming messages about family and commitment, Marx allows readers to revel in a quirky take on sex (and death) in the city. 'Did anything go well for Wally and Imogene in these years? Were there moments of happiness?' ask the intrusive author. 'Sure there were, but is that the kind of book you want to read?' Definitely not. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the “fiercely funny” ( The Washington Post ) author of Him Her Him Again The End of Him comes a resoundingly original and hilarious novel about dating and relationships from The New Yorker staff writer and comedic genius Patricia Marx.
Imogene Gilfeather and Wally Yez meet while waiting in line for apple pie at a party. She has been told he is the perfect guy. (“Perfect,” she replied, “is not my type.”) He has been told she is a lingerie designer. (That gets his attention.) One date turns into two and then into more...and thus begins the most absurd and amusingly unbalanced relationship to grace the pages of a novel.
A tragicomic take on the girl-meets-boy story, Starting from Happy follows Imogene and Wally through the ups and downs and ins and outs of modern love. Are they meant for each other? (They both use mechanical pencils! Neither has had the mumps! They are so alike!) Do they marry? (Wally is a yes, Imogene a no.) If they start from happy, where will they end up? With its hundreds of chaplettes and darkly funny commentary on getting together and even staying the course, Starting from Happy is a classic novel for the Twitter age.
Entertaining and addictive, this zany send-up of couplehood showcases one of the finest comic writers of our time.
About the Author
Patricia Marx is a former writer for Saturday Night Live whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Time magazine, and The New York Times, among other publications. The first woman elected to the Harvard Lampoon, she is the author of humor books (such as How to Regain Your Virginity and You Can Never Go Wrong by Lying) and children's books (such as Now Everybody Really Hates Me and Meet My Staƒƒ). She lives in New York City and can take a baked potato out of the oven with her bare hand.
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