Customer Reviews for

The Middlesteins: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

A Good Read

An excellent read because of the way the author developed the characters and told their stories in and out of the present tense. Each one was a real person, with good, bad, weak, and strong traits that wove a family tale. The eating disorder of Edie, the central chara...
An excellent read because of the way the author developed the characters and told their stories in and out of the present tense. Each one was a real person, with good, bad, weak, and strong traits that wove a family tale. The eating disorder of Edie, the central character, was facintating to read about, and i loved the Chinese chef.

posted by Anonymous on November 1, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Annonymous

Was kind of confusing! The book is onlyv 201 pages not worth the 12.99 you pay! I wish I had known this before I purchased it!

posted by 9779613 on October 28, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Annonymous

    Was kind of confusing! The book is onlyv 201 pages not worth the 12.99 you pay! I wish I had known this before I purchased it!

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    A Good Read

    An excellent read because of the way the author developed the characters and told their stories in and out of the present tense. Each one was a real person, with good, bad, weak, and strong traits that wove a family tale. The eating disorder of Edie, the central character, was facintating to read about, and i loved the Chinese chef.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 27, 2012

    Middlesteins

    It really didn't do it for me. The characters were not very well developed even though they were interesting and in the hands of someone else, they could have become compelling. It really annoyed me that the author would mention things that were going to happen later in the book (the death of a major character) but instead of a subtle foreshadowing, it pretty much just made the event fall flat when it did happen. Not a fan.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Interesting charachters.....

    With a unique storyline. Also loved reading about a non-Newyork middle aged Jewish community. Addresses the toll morbid obesity can take on a marriage and whether the pursuit of happiness is worth the cost.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    so so

    modestly entertaining. Classic ethnic angst and neuroses

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I'm a sucker for books about families with all their layers of l

    I'm a sucker for books about families with all their layers of love, regret, loss, angst. I always hope for forgiveness and redemption to be part of the equation.
    I wasn't disappointed when I chose THE MIDDLESTEINS by Jami Attenberg.

    Richard Middlestein has fallen out of love with his wife, Edie. Largely, he thinks, because of her steady weight gain and her obsession with food. So, he leaves her.

    Their two children and two grandchildren seem to understand the split from Edie's viewpoint. His daughter-in-law, Rachelle, forbids Richard from seeing his grandchildren.

    As the grandchildren prepare for their b'nai mitzvah, Richard negotiates with his son to allow him back into the lives of the children.
    Rachelle's preparation for the extravagant party after the ritual includes some worries about having Richard and Edie in the same place, at the same time.

    Was the marriage over long before Richard left Edie?

    Do the two of them get back together or go on with new people in their lives?

    Does the family ever completely embrace Richard again? All these questions are waiting for your discovery.

    The Jewish life is so rich in its customs, traditions, and celebrations that it always makes a good story.

    I loved this book and gave it four stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Amazing

    This was a wonderful read! I enjoyed every minute of it!

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Womp womp.  This book fell right in the middle for me, no pun in

    Womp womp.  This book fell right in the middle for me, no pun intended.

    The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg is a story about a woman, Edie Middlestein, who is killing herself through the process of overeating.  Her husband, Richard, decides to leave her.  The responsibilities of Edie now fall onto the kids (who are not so perfect), and all the blame onto Richard.

    I liked the concept of the story, but it really was just a dysfunctional family story.  I expected too much from the obesity angle, thinking it would provide a little more depth to the novel.

    I wasn't a huge fan of this book, but Jonathan Franzen was.  He said, "The Mdidlesteins has me from its very first pages, but it wasn't until its final pages that I fully appreciated the range of Attenberg's sympathy and the artistry of her storytelling." 

    Do you enjoy reading dysfunctional family stories?

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    Horrible.

    I cannot imagine why their was so much buzz about this book. I didn't find it funny AT ALL. It was horrible, and horribly depressing. An obese woman eating herself to death? Unhappy, hateful people who constantly complain about everything? Not funny. Read Carl Hiassen if you want funny. This was not, and by the ratings, I see I'm not alone in my opinions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Short, easy read

    Short book with great characters. Enjoyable vacation read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Interesting dysfunctional family. Timely topic...obesity, famil

    Interesting dysfunctional family. Timely topic...obesity, family relations, contemporary lifestyles. A quick read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Horrible

    Boring

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    An interesting book as far as family dynamics are concerned. Well written.

    I found this book interesting, especially in developing the characters and actions of the main characters, EXCEPT for the main character, Edie. There are alot of observations from others expressed, but very little on what motivates Edie to behave how she does, especially with her food addiction and lack of concern with her medical problems. Her relationship with her husband left many unanswered questions for me as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    Meh.

    Really Jewish, but surprisingly really dull.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    The characters did not resonate with me and I kept feeling that

    The characters did not resonate with me and I kept feeling that it was antisemitic to portray so many ugly stereotypes. Very disappointing and lacking in nuance or dimension. Edie met us as an obese child and nothing changed.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    OK

    Not as good as I expected it to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Depressing characters, non-existent plot

    From the start I didn't care for this author's style of writing. It reminded me of someone giving a long lecture in a monotone voice. Characters are unpleasant and poorly developed. Once I've started a book it's rare that I don't finish it. I stopped reading this one just over halfway through.

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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I expected something different from this book. From all the bits

    I expected something different from this book. From all the bits and pieces I read on various sites I thought this would be more of a humorous book. I found it quite depressing. The hardest part for me is that the author didn’t make me understand why Edie had an eating disorder in the first place. Given that she had this before she married, it couldn’t be blamed on her husband or her kids. I did like where she went with how her eating had such an effect on her husband, children, and grandchildren over the years. Overall I thought it a decent enough read, I just lacked connection to any of the characters.

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Recommend

    Good read. Typical family drama with real-life issues. Would recommend this highly for book club discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    Terrible book

    This book was terrible. Couldn't get in to the characters at all. There were no connections to these people. Scattered and annoying. I wish i hadn't wasted my time.

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