The Little Book of Heartbreak: Love Gone Wrong Through the Ages

The Little Book of Heartbreak: Love Gone Wrong Through the Ages

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by Meghan Laslocky
     
 

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The perfect anti-valentine: a whirlwind tour through love’s most crushing moments

What’s the best way to mend a broken heart? Forget ice cream, wine, and sappy movies. Journalist Meghan Laslocky advises: Read through the pain. From forbidden love in 12th century Paris to the art of crafting the perfect “I’m over you” mix CD,

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Overview

The perfect anti-valentine: a whirlwind tour through love’s most crushing moments

What’s the best way to mend a broken heart? Forget ice cream, wine, and sappy movies. Journalist Meghan Laslocky advises: Read through the pain. From forbidden love in 12th century Paris to the art of crafting the perfect “I’m over you” mix CD, The Little Book of Heartbreak is a quirky exploration of all things lovelorn, including:
• How serial cheater Ernest Hemingway stole his wife’s job just as their marriage was collapsing
• Kinky spells cast by lovesick men in ancient Greece
• Painter Oscar Kokoschka’s attempt to get over an ex by creating (and having liaisons with!) her life-size replica
• Brooding crooner Morrissey’s personal creed about how romantic love is useless
• The surprising science behind heartbreak and love addiction
• The connection between World War II and what you talk about with your therapist
• Insights into the tricky chemistry of monogamy and infidelity, courtesy of tiny rodents

• And other lessons learned from ill-fated romances, lovers’ quarrels, and hell-hath-no-fury spats throughout the ages

Featuring anecdotes from history, literature, culture, art and music, The Little Book of Heartbreak shares the entertaining, empowering and occasionally absurd things that happen when love is on its last legs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this breezy book, Laslocky collects tales of history’s greatest love affairs gone awry, and offers advice from music, science, and personal experience (according to her bio, she’s “been dumped at least a dozen times, including on my birthday”) on how to get over the end of an affair. After a quick gloss over the history of romantic love, Laslocky showcases just how tough some loves can be, from Héloïse and Abelard’s forbidden romance in 12th-century Paris, to relationships so dysfunctional—like Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb’s—that their dissolution is worthy of applause. Though practical advice on how to cope with heartbreak comprises little more than books, movies, and music suggestions, there’s plenty of warmth and humor. If nothing else, the long list of folks who survived love lends credit to Laslocky’s view of heartbreak as “transformative,” and reminds readers that though they are lonely, they are certainly not alone. Agent: Lindsay Edgecombe, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"A hilarious salve for the lovesick." -O Magazine

"Informative, funny, and comforting...a highbrow take on broken hearts that inadvertently goes a long way to curing [one.]" -The Toronto Star

"Lively with a sassy, wry style...a fun, engaging, comprehensive romp through heartache and heartbreak." -Julia Alvarez, author of A Wedding in Haiti and How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents

“Meghan Laslocky has written a terrifically entertaining compendium of lost love, romantic revenge, and the uniquely excruciating experience that is heartbreak.” -Suzanne Morrison, author of Yoga Bitch

"Fascinating and revelatory delvings into love and loss... The Little Book of Heartbreak is not only a book for the heartbroken or heartbreakers, it's for anyone who has a heart and is in any way curious about the transformative forces of love, hate, anger, and lust." -Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, author of Suffering Succotash

Kirkus Reviews
Fun but uneven collection of essays on the love troubles of historical and cultural figures. TV producer Laslocky emphasizes that though these dramatic breakups may have happened centuries ago and on different continents, "the lives of others…illustrate the universal ways in which we cope with love gone wrong." She examines heartbreak from a variety of perspectives, dividing the book into sections: History, Culture, Music and Art, Film and Literature, Conclusion and Practical Advice. Many of the stories may not be well-known to readers--e.g., the courtroom drama of Renaissance Italian lovers Giovanni della Casa and Lusanna Nucci or Austrian painter Oskar Kokoschka's decision to create a life-sized puppet version of his ex-lover, Alma Mahler. Though the bulk of the book is made up of essays focusing on a particular person, movie or song, the "Culture" section includes essays on psychology, history and cultural practices such as arranged marriages. The most compelling essays are lengthy enough to be satisfying but short enough to be easily digestible. However, the end of the book, particularly the section on music, is uneven--e.g., two-page throwaways on Morrissey and Carly Simon follow a 12-page chapter on Franz Liszt. These drastic shifts in length and level of detail and research frustrate the expectations of readers hoping to learn more about subjects she only briefly mentions. It is easy to imagine a reader wanting more information about the "quintessential breakup album," Joni Mitchell's Blue, to which the author devotes only one page. Most of the essays are intriguing and detailed, but others will leave readers wanting more.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452298323
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/31/2012
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,364,869
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Fascinating and revelatory delvings into love and loss... The Little Book of Heartbreak is not only a book for the heartbroken or heartbreakers, it's for anyone who has a heart and is in any way curious about the transformative forces of love, hate, anger, and lust." -Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, author of Suffering Succotash

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