Tournament of Books 2015

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    The Powell's Playlist | January 5, 2015

    Tim Johnston: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Songs for Not Sleeping by Tim Johnston

    I once told a medical-profession-type lady that I didn't sleep well, that I awoke all through the night and was awake for hours. "What do you do... Continue »


The Scenic Route (P.S.)


The Scenic Route (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060784744
ISBN10: 0060784741
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $5.95!


What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

bbrrtt1, July 30, 2010 (view all comments by bbrrtt1)
Also recently read, "The scenic route", this book I liked a little less than Molly Marx mainly due to the acerbic humor and dispassionate references. I did enjoy the method of storytelling that Kirshenbaum weaves, a tale of family, best friend, love and loss. The protagonist in Kirshenbaums story, Sylvia Landsman, is less likable than Molly Marx and I couldn't imaging her being my friend but the story is engaging and if you can get past her biting tongue it's a fairly good read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
OneMansView, July 21, 2009 (view all comments by OneMansView)
Thought-provoking (4.5*s)

What an interesting, complex character has the author created in the person of Sylvia Landsman. At age forty-two, life to this point has been disappointing for Sylvia. Having previously initiated a split in a pleasant-enough marriage, she heads to Europe for an extended vacation after being laid off with severance pay.

Embarking on an almost random journey around Europe, stopping at out-of-the-way places, with Henry, an American southerner who she meets early on, in his Peugeot gives Sylvia a chance to reflect on her life and perhaps satisfy vague yearnings. Henry, a well-to-do man now living in Paris, with wide latitude in an undemanding marriage, accustomed to a leisurely life of fine wine and food, is the perfect sort to listen to Sylvia as she roams back through her life, especially generations of her family. Invariably, subtle insights about life flow from her stories and memories.

In some ways, Sylvia is an elusive individual. It would be hard to describe her physical being. We know her though her contemplations of life. Henry is there to offer the encouraging word at appropriate intervals, pick good restaurants, and represent faint possibilities. One could complain that keeping track of the many relatives gets a bit burdensome. Overall the book flows pretty well and, most importantly, is definitely thought-provoking – worth a reread.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
easyreeder, May 26, 2009 (view all comments by easyreeder)
Kirshenbaum, in The Scenic Route, suspends thought with a jagged yet metronomic prose. The meditation is all at once sage and naive, cynical and hopeful, transformative and regressive--a difficult polyphony. And Kirshenbaum: the maestro.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(15 of 21 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

A Novel
Kirshenbaum, Binnie
Harper Perennial
Psychological fiction
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
11 x 9 in 13.76 oz

Other books you might like

  1. I Stink! Used Trade Paper $4.95
  2. Motherless Brooklyn
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  3. Niagara Falls All Over Again Used Trade Paper $4.50
  4. The House at Riverton
    Used Trade Paper $3.95
  5. The Giant's House: A Romance
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  6. The Housekeeper and the Professor
    Used Trade Paper $7.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Scenic Route (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060784744 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The Scenic Route is a witty and poignant, and also an extremely interesting and acute, novel. Ms. Kirshenbaum mines a very rich seam that's entirely her own. This is first-rate writing by a novelist who gracefully defies classification."
"Review" by , "I'm much impressed with Binnie Kirshenbaum's The Scenic Route, an idiosyncratic and totally winning 'romance,' in which sentiment and cynicism are poised in a most virtuoso performance."
"Review" by , "Kirshenbaum's distinctive voice transforms a lightly plotted novel into an enchanting, tangent-strewn meditation on memory, love and luck... Lovely prose and quirky observations carry Kirshenbaum's seventh novel."
"Review" by , "Absurdly underrated Kirshenbaum is at her darkly comic and boldly encompassing best here, diverting us with hairpin-turn humor while slipping us hard truths about memory and inheritance, betrayal and guilt, and the inevitable end of the road."
"Synopsis" by , Divorced, alone, and unexpectedly unemployed, Sylvia Landsman flees to Italy, where she meets Henry, a wistful, married, middle-aged expatriate. Taking off on a grand tour of Europe bankrolled with his wife's money, Henry and Sylvia follow a circuitous route around the continent—as Sylvia entertains Henry with stories of her peculiar family and her damaged friends, of dead ducks and Alma Mahler. Her narrative is a tapestry of remembrances and regrets...and her secret shame: a small, cowardly sin of omission. Yet when the opportunity arises for Sylvia and Henry to do something small but brave, the refrain "if only" returns to haunt her, leaving Sylvia with one more story of love lived and lost.
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at