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Stupid and Contagious

Stupid and Contagious

4.6 145
by Caprice Crane

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In this hilarious, romantic comedy, two twenty-something neighbors embark on a zany mission to meet the founder of Starbucks, and in doing so, find each other.


In this hilarious, romantic comedy, two twenty-something neighbors embark on a zany mission to meet the founder of Starbucks, and in doing so, find each other.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This funny duet pairs two New York City 20-something neighbors: Heaven Albright, whose reversal in fortunes transforms her from uber-PR exec to bumbling waitress, and Brady Gilbert, an aspiring music producer with problems navigating the bright lights of the big city. The story of their personal and professional travails unfolds in alternating chapters, appealingly narrated by zany Heaven and wry Brady. The two meet-cute downstairs at the deli, and even if the novel's arc is familiar (it's instantly obvious that Heaven and Brady's initial distaste for each other can never last), Crane's giddy, playful prose feels fresh. When Heaven inevitably gets fired from the restaurant, she joins Brady on a trip to Seattle, where he hopes for a face-to-face meeting with Starbucks founder Howard Schultz to pitch him an idea for Cinnamilk (the flavor left after you've eaten cinnamon cereal). The adventures that play out from New York to Seattle as the two pursue their idealistic dreams prove so much fun that a touch of predictability hardly matters. TV writer Crane heavily spices her debut with pop culture references from the '80s to the present day and keeps the story moving with snappy dialogue, a combo likely to entertain legions of (gum-popping) readers. (May 12) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Two 20-something New Yorkers squabble and flirt their way across the country. A laid back, music-obsessed dreamer in the Nick Hornby mold, struggling indie-rock producer Brady Gilbert is reasonably sure, after losing his rent-controlled apartment in a breakup, that a girlfriend is the last thing he needs. Still, he is intrigued when he moves in next door to Heaven Albright. Lissome, quirky and frequently obnoxious, Heaven pops into Brady's apartment unannounced, opens his mail and generally finds ways to both fascinate and annoy him. A former PR flack and woefully inept waitress, Heaven is tossed from the hipster Asian restaurant where she works after one of her jokes goes too far. With time on her hands, she cheerfully oversteps all of Brady's boundaries and insists on accompanying her new neighbor on a trip to Los Angeles, where he intends to check out and sign a talented high-school rock band. In L.A., Heaven crosses paths with her ex, a smarmy A&R rep for a big record company interested in the same band as Brady. After Heaven spends the night with his rival, Brady cannot decide what is worse, losing his band, or losing Heaven. The not-quite couple then stop in Seattle, where Brady hopes to present his improbable but inspired entrepreneurial idea-Cinnamilk-to Starbucks mastermind Howard Schultz. Good intentions, combined with poor judgment, result in the two getting arrested outside a vigil commemorating the death of Kurt Cobain. With a title taken from a Nirvana song and Brady's fixation with obscure bands and even more obscure snack foods, Crane's basic boy-meets-girl story is at times a bit too enamored of its own caffeine-fueled pop-culture cred. Crane's witty romantic comedy debutwill be best appreciated by those raised on a steady diet of MTV.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
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Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Stupid and Contagious

By Caprice Crane


Copyright © 2006 Caprice Crane
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-69572-6

Chapter One


My name is Heaven Albright and my husband of two years is cheating on me. I'm only twenty-five and you can argue that getting married at twenty-three is young, but I'll argue right back that people marry out of college and even high school, so considering that, it's not so young. Anyway, young or not ... the bastard is cheating on me. After I gave him the best years of my life.

He's cheating on me with someone he works with. A girl from his office who he didn't even think was cute at first, but after months of working long hours together and cultivating inside jokes, and commiserating over bad cafeteria food ... they're bumping uglies. It sickens me to even think about it. He'd always be so happy when he came home late from work, and you'd think I would have caught on because nobody's happy when they have to stay late at work. But I thought he just really enjoyed his job. Or maybe he was pissed off, but the minute he walked through the door and saw me, his bride of two years whom he loved and adored, all the day's annoyances would disappear. Poof.

But no. He would come home all smiles because he'd just gotten his rocks off with some little skank who probably wore twinsets and laughed like a hyena at their stupid inside jokes. I hate twinsets, with theirmatching fabric and color coordination and phony reserve. It's a known fact that twinsets are one of the most easily removed garments there is. Her name is probably Megan or Jessie, and she's probably a couple years younger than me. She's like me two years ago, but in a twinset. He's re-creating me even before I've had a chance to become the tired, old, sexually reluctant "ball and chain." I resent that. I'm not old.

Marriage sucks. People who tell you that you stop having sex after you get married are right. You just don't have it anymore. It's not like you say your I-dos and immediately stop. It takes a little time. Of course there's the honeymoon, and the first few months of playing horny housewife and helpful handyman, or slave girl and surprisingly warmhearted barbarian, or Winnie the Pooh and the Magical Honeypot. But after a while you stop shaving your legs, and he stops noticing, and it seems more practical to try to get a good night's sleep.


My name is Brady Gilbert, and I hate the window seat. Airplanes in general are a pain in the ass, and when I clearly stipulate that I want to sit on the aisle, a window seat is a personal affront that my secretary will be hearing about. If I had a secretary.

I'll just sit here and will nobody to sit in the aisle seat. That way I'll not only have the aisle seat, but I'll be able to achieve that almost-but-not-quite-comfortable sleeping position that inevitably ends up with a dead arm, stiff legs, and dried drool at the outer corner of my mouth. In front of complete strangers, no less.

Don't get me wrong ... sure, it's nice to look out a window. But at what price? Do I want to have to ask permission every time I need to take a piss? It's like needing a hall pass in school, but worse. These are strangers. And when I got a hall pass, I didn't inconvenience anyone. But to go to the bathroom on an airplane, I have to make awkward small talk and offer the obligatory apologetic shrug to a guy who's been hogging my armrest. Then he gets up just enough to let me squeeze by. He'll sigh as he gets up, not trying to make me feel guilty per se, but more like "Oh, these old bones of mine," which is crap unless he's over eighty. And he's not, he's just annoyed.

Then to add insult to injury, as I maneuver out of the "now more room than ever before" four inches of space, I hold on to the tacky fabric headrest of the seat in front of me and get a glance from that person, too. I'm making enemies left and right. Flight attendants hate me, too. Me and my devil-maycare bladder. Then when I come back, I have to do the dance all over again. Heaven help me if it's a three-seater with a middle seat. Not to mention the etiquette question of which way to pass my neighbors-crotch first or ass first?

I hate the window seat. So I wait, and I will. People are still boarding, but so far, so good. I've spotted the token hot chick that's way out of my league anywhere but in my overactive imagination. This is going to be a long flight. There is always that one hot chick, no matter where you're going, domestic or international, and never in the seat next to you. Or me.

Well, this flight's no different. In walks our token goddess of flight, and I shift all my willpower to connect her ass with the seat next to mine. Nothin'. But she smiled at me, or at least I think she did. Maybe she was smiling at the flight attendant who'd just given her an extra blanket. Just because.


Excerpted from Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane Copyright © 2006 by Caprice Crane. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Stupid and Contagious 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
risuena More than 1 year ago
It had its funny moments, but I wasn't laughing my head off. The style of the book was what I liked the best. The alternating view points and inner monolongues were great, interesting, and different. But the story itself was not that romantic, not that hilarious, nor not that thrilling.
Taberculosis More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It had me laughing out loud and cracking up the whole time. I loved the characters and their thoughts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If stupid and contagious is this book's master thesis, then trite, banal, and cliched are the likely descriptors. How many times have we seen (and be forced to see) these types of characters? A standard trope of pretentious, soul-dead manhattan socialite wannabes cut from the same cardboard that made Carrie Bradshaw a feminist icon (and an icon for reasons closer to the idea of empowerment than actual brevity). Those kinds of qualities can work well in a drama, as exampled in Neil Labute's film, 'Your Friends and Neighbors,' but given its burnt out retread in quirky chick-lit, any attempt by the less skilled normally adds up to riding on treacherous ground. Stupid and contagious tries WAY too hard to be funny, and in the process only serves to stoke the reader's awareness of it, thereby irritating us with how little it knows how to get laughs. In addition, the dripping references to pop culture will undoubtedly doom it to a dated existence within ten year's time--you get the feeling it was a novel written specifically for the latest MTV slave generation and it's avid holdovers from the 90's. You know, people influenced by bud lite commericials and tampax ads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read this book more times than I can count and it still cracks me up.  The characters are deliciously entertaining and feel fresh amongst the current sea of damaged tycoons and their attractive employees.
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babsped More than 1 year ago
This book had some funny moments and it was cute. There were some great references to pop culture and music. Not a book that I will remember nor are the characters that memorable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is honestly one of the best books I've ever read. And I've read a lot of books. It's funny, charming, sarcastic, and an all around good read. Trust me when I say you will not regret buying/reading this book.
Awesome514 More than 1 year ago
I picked this up because I liked the title, but I couldn't have anticipated that I would find a new favorite! Unique, imaginative, quirky, and hilarious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a blast reading about the craziness this two kept getting into! I have told all my friends to check this out.
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