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The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

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Overview

Hailed by critics as the debut of a major literary voice, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing has captivated readers and dominated bestseller lists. Generous-hearted and wickedly insightful, it maps the progress of Jane Rosenal as she sets out on a personal and spirited expedition through the perilous terrain of sex, love, relationships, and the treacherous waters of the workplace. With an unforgettable comic touch, Bank skillfully teases out universal issues, puts a clever, new spin on the mating dance, and ...

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Overview

Hailed by critics as the debut of a major literary voice, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing has captivated readers and dominated bestseller lists. Generous-hearted and wickedly insightful, it maps the progress of Jane Rosenal as she sets out on a personal and spirited expedition through the perilous terrain of sex, love, relationships, and the treacherous waters of the workplace. With an unforgettable comic touch, Bank skillfully teases out universal issues, puts a clever, new spin on the mating dance, and captures in perfect pitch what it's like to be a young woman coming of age in America today.

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Editorial Reviews

Bitch Magazine
Melissa Bank gets it exactly right: her Jane Rosenal is intelligent, witty, perspective, and moody—and has a lot more her mind than where her next boyfriend is coming from; you could have dinner with her, you could work with her, you could be her.
Jenny Turner
The nicest thing about this book is the epigraphs. There are lots, taken from the advice manuals on which the great American character was built....The stories, however, are less ironic than their epigraphs might suggest. They have a curiously sheltered and olde-world quality, charming in a way, but also odd.
London Review of Books
Cosmopolitan
The summer's best beach book.
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
...[A] charming, funny collection of seven linked fictions....[A]ll the considerable humor of these stories turns on Jane's wonderfully clear sense of the trickiness of language....The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing...[contains] amusing lessons in how to stalk and find...yourself.
The New York Times
Time Magazine
Truly poignant....There is an exquisite honesty to Jane's relationships.
Mademoiselle
Gorgeous and wise.
USA Today
Because Jane is funny and perceptive, the reader willingly goes places with her.
From The Critics
...[Jane] is consistently braving [dating] turmoil with perspective and a sardonic attitude....[W]ithin its final 45 pages...a successful balance of inventiveness, humanity and intelligence is created....[T]hese pages provide the book's most endearing moments.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Banks's debut short story collection about the mixed-up dating life of Jane Rosenal was a hit on the beach-reading circuit this summer. Hearing the author's conviction while she reads her work proves why: there is an uncanny likeness between the writer and her feisty-but-neurotic heroine. Banks plays up this mood by narrating in a quiet, seductive voice--one that nonetheless manages to convey a sense of sustained desperation. The episodes move chronologically, starting with Jane's girl's-eye view of her older brother, Henry, in bumbling action as he dates an older, more sophisticated woman. At age 16, Jane moves in with a great-aunt in her Manhattan apartment, then sees the world through her host's jaded eyes. Later, as a lowly assistant in publishing, she is seduced by an older editor, a super-macho alcoholic who suffers impotence. Banks's gifts of distanced objectivity--as author and reader--dovetail here with stylish panache. Based on the 1999 Viking hardcover. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Bank structures her tongue-in-cheek exploration of relationships by playing off the genre of self-help guides, even including a manual called "How To Meet and Marry Mr. Right" to set her novel's climax. The book is filled with some wonderfully humorous lines and insights as our young heroine, Jane, grows up in bewilderment, lurching from one disastrous affair to another. Yet it suffers terribly from an awkward handling of dialog from the Dick & Jane school of repartee--"he said, she said, I said" litter the conversations. Lorelei King's reading heightens the annoyance at the author's lack of skill. If this audio is meant as parody, Bank doesn't pull it off successfully. It might appeal mostly to female adolescents, but for others the attraction will quickly wear thin.--Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Self
Witty, sparkling.
People Magazine
Refreshingly down-to-earth....A funny fictional report on the dating wars.
The Missouri Review
Most of the stories in The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing revolve around Jane Rosenal and detail her progress in relationships, from her vicarious participation, as an adolescent, in her older brother's love life, through several bittersweet affairs of her own, to a romantic finale when Jane finds her perfect counterpart. One particularly impressive feature of this book is Bank's skill with dialogue. Rather than relying on firstperson musings to push the stories forward, Bank uses lively, often absurd, surprisingly resonant conversations between her characters to keep things moving.
Yahlin Chang
...[C]aptivating...fast and funny with real moments of poignancy....Bank draws exquisite protraits of loneliness, and she can do it in a sentence.
Newsweek
Jenny Turner
The nicest thing about this book is the epigraphs. There are lots, taken from the advice manuals on which the great American character was built....The stories, however, are less ironic than their epigraphs might suggest. They have a curiously sheltered and olde-world quality, charming in a way, but also odd.
London Review of Books
Lisa Schwarzbaum
...[I]rresistible...swinging, funny, and tender...[T]he pre-publication excitement about Girls' Guide is warranted....Bank...fishes deep in her literary debut and hooks a winner.
Entertainment Weekly
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
...[A] charming, funny collection of seven linked fictions....[A]ll the considerable humor of these stories turns on Jane's wonderfully clear sense of the trickiness of language....The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing...[contains] amusing lessons in how to stalk and find...yourself.
The New York Times
USA Today
Because Jane is funny and perceptive, the reader willingly goes places with her.
Time Magazine
Truly poignant....There is an exquisite honesty to Jane's relationships.
Cosmopolitan
The summer's best beach book.
Mademoiselle
Gorgeous and wise.
Elaine Szewczyk
...[Jane] is consistently braving [dating] turmoil with perspective and a sardonic attitude....[W]ithin is final 45 pages...a successful blanace of inventiveness,human and intelligence is created....[T]hese pages provide the book's most endearing moments.
Book
Janet Steen
If you're a female New Yorker in your thirties with a few romantic blowouts under your belt, you might feel obligated to love Bank's much-buzzed-about, gal-friendly collection of stories: It's the easiest, breeziest summer read to wash up on Manhattan's littered shore in a long time...Bank's strengths lie in her lively pacing and crackling dialogue.
Time Out New York
Kirkus Reviews
A smart, ruefully funny chronicle of a modern young woman's search for love. When we meet Jane Rosenal, she's a wisecracking 14-year-old whose sassy wit keeps the world at bay but also gets the attention of her affectionate yet slightly distant parents. First-novelist Bank creates a dead-on teenage voice from her opening lines, making protagonist Jane both mildly obnoxious and appealingly vulnerable as she relates her efforts to decipher what went wrong between her older brother, Henry, and his upper-crust girlfriend, Julia. In subsequent chapters, the author skillfully allows Jane's narration to evolve as the young girl struggles toward maturity and Mr. Right. When she gets an entry-level job in publishing and becomes involved with a much older editor, Archie Knox, Bank's insightfully nuanced portrait shows Archie helping Jane grow professionally — particularly by guiding her through the treacherous office currents created by a boss subtly determined to keep her down — while keeping a firm upper hand emotionally. When her father reveals he has leukemia, the reserve between parent and child is breached, and the support Jane finds enables her to leave Archie. The final segment wickedly spoofs The Rules and other manipulative man-hunting guides as Jane nearly scares off her Prince Charming by behaving in ways completely alien to her open, candid nature; the satire wears thin after a time, but the finale's warmth all but makes up for it. The novel takes the currently fashionable form of freestanding chapters that read like short stories that just happen to be about the same character. Two of them — a first-person vignette by someone other than Jane; an odd second-personaccount of breast cancer and an excessively devoted boyfriend — don't really fit in, but otherwise Bank's debut is a model of well-crafted narrative building to a thoughtful, hopeful conclusion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140293241
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 228,558
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Melissa Bank, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing,   won the 1993 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. She has published stories in the Chicago Tribune, Zoetrope, The North American Review, Other Voices, and Ascent. Her work has also been heard on "Selected Shorts" on National Public Radio. She holds an MFA from Cornell University and divides her time between New York City and East Hampton.

Biography

"When I sit down to write," Melissa Bank has said, "I don't have any real goals except to follow one good sentence with another... I'm not the kind of writer who has a map." The author offers a fair impression of her work: It does not hinge on intricate plots or artistic conceits. Rather, it's founded on her female protagonists and their ability to distill emotional truths into spare, dryly witty comments.

Bank writes about women growing up and figuring it all out, and she writes it with humor and a wide lens. Her 1999 debut, a collection of linked short stories entitled The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing,, follows single New Yorker Jane Rosenal in her discoveries about love and dating. Structured as snapshots in Jane's life, the chapters follow her as she evolves from a teen studying her brother and his girlfriend to a young woman sifting through various relationships of her own.

There are lots of men in Bank's writing, and even more quips. At one point, Jane's older boyfriend tells her, ‘You're just like Nora, and I'm like Nick [Charles, of The Thin Man]. We're like Bogart and Bacall. Like Hepburn and Tracy.' Jane shoots back, ‘More like Mr. Wilson and Dennis the Menace.' Bank's main characters represent the funny girl's view of life, with all the attendant insecurity and puzzlement, making them notably different from those of a straightforwardly romantic or sentimental writer.

The author could easily train her eye on romantic travails and leave it at that; she is sensitive and clever enough for the job. But what's nice about Melissa Bank's books is how she includes the ways other people in women's lives teach them about themselves: brothers, fathers, girlfriends. In between the Sex and the City-style episodes, there are family complications and work challenges.

Those who found something to like in The Girls' Guide found more of it in her followup novel The Wonder Spot, published six years later. Like its predecessor, this book featured a young woman who moves to New York and works in publishing while navigating the intricacies of men, family and career. However, Bank seemed to develop her passages more substantially. "Pound for pound, line for line, story for story, The Wonder Spot is a better-honed and steadier volume," Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times.

Because of Bank's loose structural style, you won't likely find consensus on whether her books are novels or story collections -- they've been called both. Each chapter reads like a short story, and each chapter contains frequent breaks in the prose to capture a detail or a new moment. Bank doesn't offer a beginning-to-end account of each relationship she introduces; but even though it would probably be interesting if she did, she doesn't leave the reader unsatisfied. Instead, she relays the salient details and gives just enough information to set the stage for the next scene. It's a formula that more than satisfies her many fans.

Good To Know

"Basically, all anyone has to do is ask me for fun details or tell me to be creative and my mind turns to mud. I am instantly the most boring person you've ever met."

"For example, what springs to mind is my love for public radio. I know this makes me sound like I belong in the 1940s (and maybe I do), but I think radio is truly a writer's medium."

"On the other hand, I don't have a TV; or, that is, I don't have cable. It's not because I'm high-minded or think I'm above TV -- the opposite. When I was writing ad copy during the day and fiction at night, I realized that I hadn't turned on the TV in over a year and, as I lived (and live) in a small apartment, decided the ugly box didn't deserve the space it took up. I live by Edith Wharton's rule to get rid of anything neither useful nor beautiful. So I put the TV out on the street."

"Now I'm like a girl from Mars. I'm mesmerized by TV. I can't tear myself away from it. I actually go to the gym to watch TV. I can stay on the treadmill or Stairmaster for an hour if there's a good program on.."

"I grew up in the suburbs, and when I was little I told my mother I'd seen rats in the woods behind our house and in the creek behind school and in the parking lot where the garbage trucks were parked. I'd never seen a rat -- I was naming the places where I was afraid rats might be. While I begged her to call the exterminator, she infuriated me with an irrelevant lecture about honesty. Is this a story about my early career as a liar foreshadowing my later career as a fiction writer? No. It's a story about rats -- which both terrify and fascinate me. When I see one, I'm as thrilled as I am scared."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 11, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A., Hobart William Smith, 1982; M.F.A., Cornell University, 1987

Read an Excerpt

My brother's first serious girlfriend was eight years older—twenty-eight to his twenty. Her name was Julia Cathcart, and Henry introduced her to us in early June. They drove from Manhattan down to our cottage in Loveladies, on the New Jersey shore. When his little convertible, his pet, pulled into the driveway, she was behind the wheel. My mother and I were watching from the kitchen window. I said, "He lets her drive his car."

My brother and his girlfriend were dressed alike, baggy white shirts tucked into jeans, except she had a black cashmere sweater over her shoulders.

She had dark eyes, high cheekbones, and beautiful skin, pale, with high coloring in her cheeks like a child with a fever. Her hair was back in a loose ponytail, tied with a piece of lace, and she wore tiny pearl earrings.

I thought maybe she'd look older than Henry, but it was Henry who looked older than Henry. Standing there, he looked like a man. He'd grown a beard, for starters, and had on new wire-rim sunglasses that made him appear more like a bon vivant than a philosophy major between colleges. His hair was longer, and, not yet lightened by the sun, it was the reddish-brown color of an Irish setter.

He gave me a kiss on the cheek, as though he always had.

Then he roughed around with our Airedale, Atlas, while his girlfriend and mother shook hands. They were clasping fingertips, ladylike, smiling as though they were already fond of each other and just waiting for details to fill in why.

Julia turned to me and said, "You must be Janie."

"Most people call me Jane now," I said, making myself sound even younger.

"Jane," she said, possibly in the manner of an adult trying to take a child seriously.

Henry unpacked the car and loaded himself up with everything they'd brought, little bags and big ones, a string tote, and a knapsack.

As he started up the driveway, his girlfriend said, "Do you have the wine, Hank?"

Whoever Hank was, he had it.

Except for bedrooms and the screened-in porch, our house was just one big all-purpose room, and Henry was giving her a jokey tour of it: "This is the living room," he said, gesturing to the sofa; he paused, gestured to it again and said, "This is the den."

Out on the porch, she stretched her legs in front of her—Audrey Hepburn relaxing after dance class. She wore navy espadrilles. I noticed that Henry had on penny Loafers without socks, and he'd inserted a subway token in the slot where the penny belonged.

Julia sipped her ice tea and asked how Loveladies got its name. We didn't know, but Henry said, "It was derived from the Indian name of the founder."

Julia smiled, and asked my mother how long we'd been coming here.

"This is our first year," my mother said.

My father was out playing tennis, and without him present, I felt free to add a subversive, "We used to go to Nantucket."

"Nantucket is lovely," Julia said.

"It is lovely," my mother conceded, but went on to cite drab points in New Jersey's favor, based on its proximity to our house in Philadelphia.

In the last of our New Jersey versus Nantucket debates, I'd argued, forcefully I'd thought, that Camden was even closer. I'd almost added that the trash dump was practically in walking distance, but my father had interrupted.

I could tell he was angry, but he kept his voice even: we could go to the shore all year round, he said, and that would help us to be a closer family.

"Not so far," I said, meaning to add levity.

But my father looked at me with his eyes narrowed, like he wasn't sure I was his daughter after all.

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Interviews & Essays

On Thursday, June 10th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Melissa Bank to discuss THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING.

Moderator: Welcome, Melissa Bank! Thank you for joining us online this evening to chat about your new book, THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING. How are you doing tonight?

Melissa Bank: Great!


Charisma from Woodstock, VT: Hey, Melissa! I just wanted to tell you how much I connected with the book. Did you keep a journal growing up?

Melissa Bank: Not really, or not consistently. I think I was more a visual person, or more visual then verbal. I drew a lot and didn't write that much.


pac87@aol.com from xx: I hear you hit the New York Times bestseller list. Congratulations! How does it feel to be a New York Times bestseller?

Melissa Bank: Thrilling!


M. Reed from Carlisle, PA: A friend has read portions of your book aloud to me, and it is wonderful. I am interested to know whether you studied writing formally in college or grad school, and what writers, short stories, and novels you admire?

Melissa Bank: I am so glad you like my book. I took some courses at Columbia, after college, although I wish I went to college at Columbia. And they inspired me to go to Cornell for an MFA. Classic writers and books? ANNA KARENINA by Tolstoy. I also learned a lot from Hemingway's THE SUN ALSO RISES and Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY. Contemporary authors that I admire: Nick Hornby; I like Pam Houston; Elizabeth McCracken; and I love Tobias Wolfe's work, though it is a kind of writing that for some reason makes me feel like I am not a very good writer. And also I love Richard Ford's book ROCK SPRINGS -- I know he is better known for THE SPORTSWRITER and INDEPENDENCE DAY, which are also great books, but the one I love is ROCK SPRINGS.


Sarah from Santa Monica, CA: Can you please tell me the story of how you got this book published? This is your first book, isn't it?

Melissa Bank: Yes. This is a Cinderella story. I watched while all of my friends in graduate school got their books published -- book after book after book. And I did feel like the loser in the class, or the loser in the group. But at a certain point I decided not to send out stories any more and just concentrate on the writing itself. So I devoted myself just to this as a book and thought less of it as individual stories. I sent a few stories to Zoetrope, and the editor in chief, Adrienne Brodeur, commissioned a story for me, and I decided that would be the story that completed the book. For some reason, that story -- which turned out to be the title story -- got a lot of buzz, even before it was published. Agents started coming to me, and I wasn't sure it was a book yet and didn't want to be rushed. After all, I had waited a long time, and I really wanted it to be the best it could be. By a long time, I mean ten years. I decided to give it to an agent, Molly Friedrich, whom I had worked with after college. She was a friend, and I really trusted her. I wrote her a note that said, "I wish this were a finished book. I also wish I were 5 feet 11 and had the love of a good man." She called me a few days later, told me she loved the book and wanted to represent me, and that afternoon sent the book to a dozen publishers. The next day, most of them wanted to buy the book. So she held an auction, and I got really, really lucky.


Josh from Nashua, NH: Hello. Wondering how you came up with the catchy title. Great jacket as well....

Melissa Bank: The title I came up with when Zoetrope didn't like my first title, and they were trying to come up with one themselves. It sent me into a panic, and a few minutes later the title just came to me. As far as the jacket goes, others came before it, and it was hard to turn them down, even though I didn't think they were right, because Viking wanted so much to please me and I wanted to please them, but in the end, I think we are all thrilled with the cover. I think it really captures the spirit of the book.


Matthew from San Francisco: The one rule I learned from publishing in the very beginning is that short stories don't sell. What made you decide to write THE GIRLS' GUIDE using the short story format? Naïveté or pure rebellion?

Melissa Bank: Neither. I would say the overall story I was trying to tell dictated the form. I was after a kind of realism, and I think I wanted it to be like the stories we tell each other, which are more episodic. We talk about the critical moments in our lives, but I would be lying if I said I planned anything or had anything in mind. I am one of those writers whose subconscious does the work, and I try to get out of the way.


Crystal from Bryn Mawr, PA: So are you the new voice of feminism?

Melissa Bank: It is hard to think of myself as the new voice of anything. But I consider myself a feminist as it used to be understood as a humanitarian.


Sharon from Oyster Bay, NY: I am sure you get asked this question all the time, but I am curious to know: How autobiographical do you consider Jane? Did you date an older editor gentleman?

Melissa Bank: I never dated an older editor, but every emotion in the book is true. I'm really happy that people seem to believe it is autobiographical. I want it to read that way, though it is Jane's autobiography and not mine.


Jossie from Cobb County, GA: Are you going on tour for this book? Will you be coming to Atlanta?

Melissa Bank: I am on tour right now. Atlanta? Not that I know of....


Paula from Los Angeles, CA: Hi, Melissa. Congratulations on all your literary success! My question is this: Before your book was accepted for publication, did you ever deal with rejection (from literary journals or other publishers, etc.)? And if so, how did you cope with it and not feel discouraged? What kept you going? Thank you for answering my question and good luck with everything!

Melissa Bank: Thanks, Paula! I was rejected everywhere, everywhere. I kept myself going by teaching myself to enjoy writing -- the process of it -- and not hope for what it might bring. Generally when I would get a rejection, or an armful of rejections, I would head straight to the work table; writing was the only thing that made me feel better.


Sheri from Newton, PA: I really enjoyed the unique voice Jane carried throughout the book. I also enjoyed the trueness of the character. Will you ever bring her back in any of your future writing?

Melissa Bank: I may have to. I miss her.


Lois from Michigan: Do you like or appreciate the comparisons to BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY?

Melissa Bank: I think BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY is a really good book, but I don't think our books have much in common. If someone is after another BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY, they will probably get it from Helen Fielding. I would rather have readers come to my book with an open mind.


Moderator: What would you consider the ideal summer vacation?

Melissa Bank: I have to say I would probably consider it renting a house with a wraparound porch in Nantucket.


Dusty from Waterville, Maine: Good evening, Melissa Bank. What is your personal situation like these days? Do you have a boyfriend? Is that too personal a question?

Melissa Bank: Yes, it is too personal a question. No, I don't have a boyfriend.


Michael Little from Honolulu: Melissa, are you working on your next book? Can you tell us something about the structure of THE GIRLS' GUIDE, and will you use that kind of structure again?

Melissa Bank: I am working on surviving this book tour. I don't know what the next structure for the next book will be. Any ideas?


Michael from Dixfield, Maine: When do you write, and how do you come upon your material?

Melissa Bank: I generally wrote this book after work and on weekends. I generally come up with my material as I am sitting at the computer.


Paula from Los Angeles, CA: Hi. Another question -- how do you feel about being included in the 30-something single-gal genre that seems to be the trend in publishing? Are you afraid it will typecast you? Or has it helped you?

Melissa Bank: I wonder about it -- when Nick Hornby wrote HIGH FIDELITY, nobody said this is a "single guy in his 30s for readers who are single guys in their 30s." I am not sure why people are classifying me that way. I think all writers -- black, gay, straight, men, et cetera -- want to believe their books come upon universal truths. I am glad that my readers seem to include all age groups and both sexes.


Belou from Atlanta: Hello, Melissa Bank. Just wondering how difficult it was to change Jane's voice throughout the different chapters as she aged. Was it a conscious mind frame of writing, like a 14-year-old, et cetera?

Melissa Bank: Absolutely! I had to become 14 again, which is no picnic. And I wanted Jane's voice to reflect her growing up.


Laurie from Towson, MD: What was the last good book you read?

Melissa Bank: Edmund White's A BOY'S OWN STORY, and it was great.


Ann from Roseville, California: I want to be an author someday, but I feel like I don't have the talent to write a book. Were you always just a good writer or did you have to work on it?

Melissa Bank: I was not a good writer. I am amazed that I was accepted to Cornell's MFA program. I had to work my butt off.


Niki from Niki_palek@yahoo.com: Do you think they are going to make a movie out of this book?

Melissa Bank: I wrote the screenplay for the last story for Francis Ford Coppola, and it seems that story at least will become a movie.


Moderator: Thanks for spending some time with us this evening, Melissa Bank, and congratulations on the brilliant success of THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING. Any final comments for your online fans?

Melissa Bank: I am teaching at Coppola's retreat in Belize, and I just found out that one of the writers dropped out. It is at the end of June, and Terry McMillan will also be there, and if anyone is interested, they should call Zoetrope -- 212-696-5720.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 125 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 125 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    This book started out ok but just got more disconnected and unin

    This book started out ok but just got more disconnected and uninteresting as it went. it jumps from different stages in the character's life. i did not like how it was not in chronological order. overall, i would not recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2000

    Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

    I loved the main character and found the humor fresh and interesting. The short story format did enhance the originality of the piece and I look forward to Ms. Bank's next novel with glee. I hear they are making a film out of the final short story. It will doubtless be interesting to see how they handle the inner dialogue..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    One of my favorites

    Have read this book so many times.... still a favorite many years later

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    How i felt about the book

    After a few pages i got bored of it. Just to say dont read the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Longtime favs!

    One of my longtime favorites!

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Don't let Bank's spare style fool you. This book is full of deep

    Don't let Bank's spare style fool you. This book is full of deep truths about being young, growing up, falling in and out of love, and all the stupid mistakes we make along the way. I have read Girls' Guide three times now and each time was like coming home to visit your funniest and wisest college friend. If you're a novel lover who don't thinks you don't like short stories, this is really a novel in stories. If you like Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women or Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge, you'll love this book. If you like good writing and characters you wish you could meet for drinks, you'll love this book. Her second book was nowhere near as good as this one--but then if I could write one book like this, I'd be eternally proud and never pick up a pen again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Best book

    This is the one of the best books i have read!! One of my Good friends gave me the book and i told her " you know i dont like to read" and she told me "trust me you will like it!" And she was right this book was so good that it changed my mind about reading, anyone can read ,you just need to find a book that is good for you!! <3

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Melissa's A Genius

    This book was great. I have to admit, i did get a bit confused. Did she end up with robert, ben or archie. The story went back and fourth, so i got lost. I hope jane comes back in a new book. (:

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  • Posted September 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The mother of chick-lit?

    I doubt that I would have ever picked up this book if it wasn't for my Women's Popular Genres class. According to my professor, this novel was one of the first that was labeled as "chick-lit," a term used to describe postfeminist fiction. Or in other words, modern fiction that is written by women for women. I guess I can understand why Bank's witty novel falls under this category (it traces the adult life of Jane, the female protagonist), but I definitely wouldn't call it superficial. On the contrary, Jane deals with issues that go way beyond gaining a few pounds and being dumped by a boyfriend. She is also delightfully humorous, easy to relate to, and worth reading about, if you ask me. But one must take into consideration that I am, in fact, a chick-lit fan. Even so, I must ask myself, was it a story worth remembering? And, unfortunately, the answer is no.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    A wonderful story

    I loved this book so much, that I do not know how many times I have read it. The series of stories are very touching, regarding different stages of life: from childhood memories to grown-up relationships, looking and finding love, stuggling to make relationships work and sometimes having to let them go. What makes us adults, the road that takes us into adulthood and learning from our mistakes....without a manual. I sometimes read specific chapters instead of the whole book, and always find it moving and true to feelings, hopes and dreams.... that we must never give up even if "reality bites"....

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    Pretty good-

    I didn't like this book as much as my friends did but it was pretty good and it makes you think. A girl trying to figure out life, ends up dating an older man, going through life, men, etc.

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  • Posted April 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    ....

    I must admit that this was light and forgettable.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A guide to life

    I found this book lying in the back of my shelf. My mother had given it to me a long time ago and told me to read it. I never did and completely forgot about it. I guess I was waiting for the perfect rainy day. This book is well written and it keeps you turning page after page. It feels real and there's a lot of love and discovery in the story. It's easy to identify with the protagonist, if you are a girl. The relationships are complicated and sometimes dysfunctional but always loving and caring. I recommend watching the movie adaptation after you've read the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    Bonjour.

    So, my sister handed me this book when I was twelve, she thought thatif I ever wanted to be a writer [in which I have wanted to become since I was seven] that I should read this book. The first time I read this, it was confusing, and rigid. But after the fifth or sixth time it began to click. This book has twist and turns and through out the story, those knicks that seem out of place overlap other knicks so it's like putting a puzzle together. I'll admit the breast cancer part threw me and left question marks hanging above my head, but then I thought that maybe Banks decided to say in a sad way that sometimes people overthink that they need someone as a crutch through hard times, but all you need is yourself and near death experience to realize that you don't. I absolutely love this book. I'm on my 56th time reading this book. And I don't plan on stopping.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2009

    Boring. Mediocre. Poorly written. Should I say more?

    Seriously, don't bother. We loved it at my book club because it gave us plenty of time to have drinks and talk about EVERYTHING else but the book. It is awful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2009

    Ehh

    The book was decent, but not one of the best I have read. There are random chapters that seem out of place throughout the book. It is more a collection of short stories than a novel. I was a pretty disappointed in the book. You are left wondering how many things turned out, or why things happened the way they did. I don't like to leave bad reviews, but I would warn against buying the book. Perhaps rent it, but I wouldn't spend the money on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    Cute. Quirky. Witty.

    A friend of mine was getting rid of some old books and not knowing anything about it, I picked up the novel and asked her if I could take it. She said sure. I read the book in less than a day and loved it. The book is very differnt in it's style and I loved that the book is written in a series of vignettes. It's cute, it's quirky, and very witty. What's not to like?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2007

    Pointless & Confusing

    The cover of this book went on and on about how funny it was and that it was about dating. This book started out slightly interesting and went downhill from there. It was less about the main character's experiences in dating and more about one long boring relationship that didn't involve sex. The book was also jumpy from one chapter to the next so it was hard to tell who was narrating or at what point in time that chapter took place. And finally the book was sad at several points. I don't find disease and death to be 'hilarious.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2007

    Why??

    I'm not sure why this book was recommended to me. The plot was disappointing and the story poorly written (why is there one chapter on some neighbors--never referred to before or after?). If this is a generalization of single American women...we need to change our image and gain some morals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2006

    Very good read

    I thought the book was great however, I'm still confused about several parts. I didn't understand why we needed the chapter where the story revolved around the neighbors' lives. I also didn't get the entire chapter where she developed breast cancer. Maybe I needed the book 'dumbed down' for me.

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