Speed Shrinking

( 7 )

Overview

“Proust had a cookie. Susan Shapiro has a cupcake—and a really hilarious book.”

—Patricia Marx, author of Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him

In Susan Shapiro’s laugh-out-loud funny fictional debut Speed Shrinking, Manhattan self-help author Julia Goodman thinks she’s got her addictive personality under control. Then her beloved psychoanalyst moves away at the same time her husband takes off to L.A. and her best friend gets married and moves to...

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Speed Shrinking

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Overview

“Proust had a cookie. Susan Shapiro has a cupcake—and a really hilarious book.”

—Patricia Marx, author of Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him

In Susan Shapiro’s laugh-out-loud funny fictional debut Speed Shrinking, Manhattan self-help author Julia Goodman thinks she’s got her addictive personality under control. Then her beloved psychoanalyst moves away at the same time her husband takes off to L.A. and her best friend gets married and moves to Ohio.

Feeling lonely and left out, Julia fills in the void with food, becomes a cupcake addict, and blimps out. This is a huge problem—especially since she’s about to go on national television to plug her hot new self-help book about how she conquered her sugar addiction.

Navigating her insurance network, Julia desperately sees eight shrinks in eight days, speed-dating for Dr. Replacement—or any other new guru—to help shrink back her body and anxiety in time for her close-up.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Shapiro's bubbly latest, self-help guru Julia Goodman is fresh out of advice. Just as Julia is about to follow up her bestseller Up in Smoke with a book about controlling her food addiction, her shrink, Dr. Ness, and best friend, Sarah, both leave New York, sending her into a cupcake-scarfing tailspin. Soon she has packed on some extra pounds that she must lose before Food Crazy is published. To make matters worse, her director husband, Jake, has been called away to L.A., leaving no one to stop her late-night binges. Without Dr. Ness's tough talk, Sarah's help and Jake's love, Julia searches for a new support system, interviewing eight shrinks in eight days. Her selection, Dr. Cigar, only complicates her quest to return to her svelte weight in time for her Today show interview, leaving her to find her own answers to the weight question. Shapiro rescues a conventional plot with an original voice and an energy that will resonate with anyone who's ever stared down a Twinkie. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Chatterbox self-help whiz melts down when her shrink blows town. No stranger to confessional literature, memoirist Shapiro (Only As Good As Your Word, 2007, etc.) ventures into the world of fiction with predictably ostentatious results. The author's doppelganger is Julia Goodman, a wealthy Manhattan quasi-celebrity married to Jake, who's always jetting off to film TV pilots. Julia made herself famous with Up In Smoke, a tell-all about her addiction to booze and nicotine that revealed how her therapist, Dr. Michael Ness, helped her conquer her compulsions. (The book as described bears a striking resemblance to Shapiro's own Lighting Up, 2004.) On the eve of the publication of her sequel, Food Crazy, she finds herself abandoned by the people she relies on most. Jake is off to film in Hollywood; best friend Sarah is following a new husband to Cleveland; and Dr. Ness drops the bomb that he's moving to Arizona. "What a disaster-I'm an acclaimed self-help guru who suddenly can't help herself," Julia whimpers. Fretting over her abrupt loss of a counselor/father figure, she visits eight other analysts in eight days, finally settling on a cigar-smoking behavioral therapist who can't fill his predecessor's big shoes. For our addiction-prone heroine, nothing fills the void like cupcakes, and she packs on 35 pounds just in time to freak out over her upcoming slate of media appearances, including a shot at Oprah. Shapiro's prose has its attractions, among them a clean, easy-to-digest style and dialogue so hurried it reads like a spiritual cousin to Aaron Sorkin's walk-and-talks. What will spoil this light beach read for many readers is its whiny protagonist, a woman so self-centered that her biggestobstacle is getting over herself. The novel's appeal may well be limited to those who are really into drama queens. Disposable, ephemeral navel-gazing.
From the Publisher
Advance Praise for Speed Shrinking

“Proust had a cookie. Susan Shapiro has a cupcake—and a really hilarious book.”

—Patricia Marx, author of Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him

“Susan Shapiro does for therapy and food what Candace Bushnell did for sex and shoes.”

—Guy Nicolucci, writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien

“A powerful, soulful, laugh-out-loud delight.”

—Ian Frazier, author of Dating Your Mom

“A hilarious search for Dr. Right. Susan Shapiro makes neuroticism fun.”

—Amy Alkon, of AdviceGoddess.com

“A smart, fun, hyperactive page-turner that’ll keep you on your mental toes.”

—Valerie Frankel, author of Thin Is the New Happy

“Spills the secret of why women who have it all still overdose on cupcakes. Frothy, funny, sly, and street-smart.”

—Susan Jane Gilman, author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312644727
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 5.18 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Shapiro

Susan Shapiro has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, People, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, More, The Village Voice, The Forward, Salon.com, and Daily Beast. She’s a columnist for Writer’s Digest, coeditor of Food for the Soul, and the author of five works of nonfiction, including Five Men Who Broke My Heart, which was optioned for a feature film. She lives with her husband, a TV/film writer, in Manhattan, where she teaches her “instant gratification takes too long” method of journalism at the New School, NYU, Cooper Union, and Mediabistro.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    fun tale

    Speed Shrinking
    Susan Shapiro
    St. Martin's, Aug 2009, $23.99
    ISBN 9780312581565

    Bestselling self-help author Julia Goodman is almost finished with her latest book Food Crazy, which assists people in dealing with food addictions especially sugar. She knows once done, she will make the rounds of the talk show circuit selling her tome just like she did with successful Up in Smoke.

    However, her own support group vanishes at a critical moment. Her tough love psychiatrist Dr. Ness moves out of town; her beloved spouse Jake is in Hollywood working on a film project; and her BFF Sarah has married and moved to Ohio. Panicking that she is alone, she goes on a cupcake binge. Now with the Today Show coming soon, she needs to crash diet or be the laughing stock of self help. To return to slim, she needs a new doctor so she tests eight in eight days in a SPEED SHRINKING that leaves even Julia breathless and still feeling overweight.

    Although the plot device has been used more times in recent years than Julia weighs after her binge, she brings freshness to the charming story line with her panic to lose the belly in Guinness Book record time. Fans will enjoy Julia's frantic race as she runs through doctors and gurus while also boohooing her trio of support for deserting her just when sh needed them most. This is a winner as most readers can commiserate; including me who swears the cake hypnotically says "eat me" to the victim, moi.

    Harriet Klausner

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