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Much Ado about Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You about Date Expectations, Not So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internetby Jack Murnighan
Synopses & Reviews
Ah, romantic happiness.You’d think finding it would be easier now than ever before, given all the options modern life allows us. Instead, it’s much harder—because there’s so much to figure out. And we feel such pressure to find someone perfect: soul mate, sexual dynamo, emotional stalwart, and best buddy all in one. And if we do beat the odds and manage to get into something steady, then a new batch of concerns arises—like how to go from a friendship-with-benefits to a full-fledged commitment, how to deal with his overbearing mother, or how to overcome problems in the sack.
In our quest to reach romantic nirvana, we turn to self-help manuals, daytime TV, magazines, talk shows, friends, relatives, and shrinks. But we’ve forgotten a far better source of wisdom: the timeless stories written by the great novelists. Jane Austen was around long before Oprah—and though ladies in tight-laced corsets didn’t have to deal with Internet profiles or speed dating, they can help us better understand why first impressions shouldn’t necessarily be lasting (Sense and Sensibility) and why sometimes it’s okay to date bad boys ( Jane Eyre).
Daunted by how hard it would be to mine books like those for the best nuggets? Don’t be. The authors of Much Ado About Loving have done it for you, combining expert dating advice with lit crit as they discuss classics of literature. Avid readers and relationship gurus, Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan have gone through as many romantic highs and lows as Bridget Jones and Don Juan combined. They’ve also stayed in plenty of nights, comforting themselves with great novels and learning a few lifetimes’ worth of lessons in the bargain. Trading off narration chapter by chapter, they explain the key romantic eurekas that more than thirty books have given them. Whether they’re talking about Moby-Dicks or why brides are prejudiced, each chapter will get you thinking—and keep you laughing all the way to a great relationship.
You don’t have to be a bookworm to learn about love from great novels. Jack Murnighan and Maura Kelly have done the reading for you. Their take on life’s greatest love lessons from literature’s most memorable characters will enlighten you about all sorts of questions, like:
* Why shouldn’t a relationship develop too much online before it enters the realm of reality? Love in the Time of Cholera was published long before Match.com went online, but it demonstrates the dangers of getting your hopes too high before you meet.
* Are you more excited about having a wedding than being married? Pride and Prejudice can help you take off those “champagne goggles” and get real.
* Is hanging out at bars your go-to move for meeting dates? Bright Lights, Big City shows why that’s no way to find a new relationship.
* Should you marry a man with a past? There are times when it’s the most principled thing you could do—and Jane Eyre can help you see why.
* Do you have a TMI problem? You should rein it in if you want romance to bloom—as Brothers Karamazov shows.
* Should you cross the political aisle for love? Howards End has the answer.
* Nobody who’s interested in you is ever good enough? Get over your intimacy issues with a look at The Bell Jar.
* Why do men talk so much, and why do women put up with it? Infinite Jest will tell you everything you need to know.
"Murnighan (Beowulf on the Beach) and freelancer Kelly share tales about their own romantic messes alongside wisdom they've gleaned from favorite classics. The Bell Jar teaches us to own up to our intimacy issues before seeking love; Madame Bovary shows that cheating isn't justified when it's the easy way out of an unsatisfactory relationship. Although the essays ramble and Kelly's voice grows irritating, this is a clever, amusing hybrid of lit crit and relationship advice." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This smart and charming hybrid of lit and love is filled with hilarious relationship advice borrowed from the most famous characters in literature.
From Dido to Jane Eyre, the characters of great literature are trying to figure out how to have healthy, happy relationships—with varying degrees of success—just like the rest of us. But the world’s best-known heroes and heroines didn’t go through all their trials and tribulations for naught—and now, thanks to Much Ado About Loving, we can learn from their foibles, misadventures, and eventual triumphs.
Much as things have changed since the days when Jane Austen was writing, a lot about love has stayed the same. And so timeless literary classics contain many great lessons about romance that are as relevant today as they ever were. In this unique relationship guide full of humor and pathos, Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan reflect on the renowned novels that have given them the most insight into their romantic lives. In chapters like Lightbulb in August: How to Have a Clue When He’s Just Not That Into You, they use Faulkner to discuss early warning signs a relationship isn’t going to work out. In Infinite Gesticulating: Why Do Men Talk So Much? they cite David Foster Wallace as an example of the male propensity to bloviate, but also have some suggestions for how to deal with it.
Witty, wise and well-read in equal measures, Kelly and Murnighan will appeal to lovers of Candace Bushnell as much as to hard-core literary types with their entertaining, erudite, and engaging style.
Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan give funny, honest relationship advice based on literature's most famous (and infamous) couples.
About the Author
Jack Murnighan has a Ph.D. in medieval and renaissance literature from Duke University. His book, Beowulf on the Beach helped tens of thousands of readers rediscover their love of the classics. His two previous books, The Naughty Bits and Classic Nasty, were critically acclaimed tours of sexuality in the history of literature. He lives in New York City. Maura Kelly has been a staff writer for Glamour, a daily dating blogger for Marie Claire, and a relationships columnist for amNew York. Her work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, More, The Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone. She received her BA in psychology from Dartmouth College and her MFA in creative writing. She lives in New York City.
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