"Incredibly charming… Suzanne Davis Gets a Life has an emotional honesty and moments of real wisdom." Philadelphia Inquirer
Cohen "portrays timeless and universal challenges through a buoyant combination of humor, pathos, and gumption." Booklist
"Suzanne Davis Gets a Life isn't just seriously entertaining, it's entertainingly serious…I want my romantic comedy heroines to have wit, but I want them to have character too, and be as interested in the world as in themselves. Paula Marantz Cohen has given me all of that."Margo Jefferson
A "witty commentary on contemporary life, enriched by a funny, flawed, and likable heroine." Kirkus
"Ms. Cohen is a perceptive, comic writer." Wall Street Journal
Suzanne Davis lounges around her tiny New York City apartment in her pajamas, writing press releases for the International Association of Air-Conditioning Engineers, listening to the ticking of her biological clock, and wondering where life is taking her. As her 35th birthday looms, Suzanne embarks on a wrong-headed, but very funny, questto find Mr. Right and start the family she hopes will give meaning to her life.
Her quest plunges us into the world of her Upper West Side apartment building, a world of overly invested mothers, fanatical dog-owners, curmudgeonly longtime residents, and young (and not so young) professionals. All are keenly observed by Suzanne, whose witty self-deprecation endears her to us even as it makes us want to shake some sense into her.
Light in its tone but incisive in its social satire, Suzanne Davis Gets a Life balances its wit with true concern for its protagonist. We can't help but wish Suzanne success in "getting a life." But can such a search possibly yield the meaning she craves? When her extremely annoying mother arrives on the scene, it appears that her plan has been hijacked. But serious illness opens her to new people and a new perspective. She ends by getting a lifeeven as she may lose one.
Paula Marantz Cohen 's novels include Jane Austen in Scarsdale or Love, Death and the SATs ; Jane Austen in Boca ; and the recent What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper. Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English at Drexel University, and is host of the weekly public television program The Drexel Interview.
Praise for Paula Marantz Cohen
"Cohen's wit is sharp, smart, and satirical, and her characterizations are vividly on target." San Francisco Chronicle
Praise for Jane Austen in Boca
"Utterly charming." Vanity Fair
"Page turner of the week." People Magazine
Praise for Much Ado about Jesse Kaplan
"A brightly comic book." Times Literary Supplement
"Kept me laughing from beginning to end…a comic tour-de-force." The Hudson Review
Praise for Jane Austen in Scarsdale
"Paula Marantz Cohen has done it again! Jane Austen in Scarsdale is laugh-out-loud funny, literate, wiseand best of all, a satirical mirror of our times. She has become our own Jane Austen."Diane Ravitch, author of The Language Police
Praise for What Alice Knew
"A marvelously rich and intelligent read."John Banville
|Publisher:||Dry, Paul Books, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Paula Marantz Cohen: Paula Marantz Cohen is a distinguished professor of English at Drexel University and the author of the novels Jane Austen in Scarsdale or Love, Death and the SATs and the recent What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In spite of my being an early thirtysomething, female NYC-dweller, pretty much the target demographic for these books, I’m not at all what one would call a “chick lit” person. I have absolutely no interest in the <i>Bridget Jones’s Diaries of the literary world or any of those other books you’ll find with jackets splashily showing cartoonishly thin renderings of trendy cosmopolitan young women clutching oversize designer purses and tiny dogs on leashes. No, thanks. So I was a little skeptical when I picked up <i>Suzanne Davis Gets a Life on a friend’s recommendation. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself really enjoying this book. There’s too much plot to discuss in a short online review, but I’ll mention just a few parts that I loved. First, the basic plot is intriguing for a literary-nerd lady like myself and the book is genuinely funny. Suzanne is on a quest for her own Mr. Darcy, but she realizes that Elizabeth Bennet found hers among just the few inhabitants of a tiny 19th-century English village, whereas Suzanne lives in the immensely populated New York City of today. So she decides to scale down her search for Mr. Darcy to just the contacts she has within her own Upper West Side apartment building. I found this conceit truly inventive and a fun framework for a novel. And throughout, there is so much well-executed comedy, I found myself chuckling aloud as I read it. Second, I thought it was great that I started out the novel kind of loathing Suzanne, but by the end of it I came to admire her and to wish I had some of her brassiness. Her character progression is realistic, well done, and praiseworthy. I also appreciated reading from the viewpoint (and this is not a spoiler because it’s mentioned on the book cover) of a person dealing with serious illness with humor and self-deprecation. I think in real life a lot of people deal with illness that way, but we so rarely get to see or read about it in popular culture. I’d compare this novel’s treatment of it with that of the excellent film <i>50/50</i> or with David Rakoff’s wonderful essays about his own disease, which he ultimately succumbed to. Suzanne is not a character you’re going to immediately get behind. She’s selfish, diet-obsessed, cynical, lazy, oblivious, and a bit overly conscious of her biological clock. But as the book progresses and you spend more time with her, you quickly begin to realize that she is also curious, intelligent, funny, self-aware, generous, and willing to grow and learn from her mistakes—attributes we all should strive for. I delighted in following Suzanne on her journey to find her Mr. Darcy, and really, herself.</i></i>
I thoroughly enjoyed Suzanne Davis Gets a Life. I thought it was good-humored and well thought out. The reader is immediately drawn in by Suzanne's witty and cynical narration, and Cohen masterfully balances the sarcasm with a blunt honesty. We as readers find Suzanne hilarious, and maybe we pity her a bit, but Cohen makes her an incredibly real and flawed character. There is the perfect balance of humor and poignancy, and the book deals with serious life issues in a way that isn't at all preach-y. The author never talks down to the reader. All of the characters are well thought out and balanced, each with their own distinctive voice and personality. Needless to say, Suzanne Davis has found a permanent home on my bookshelf.
I was into this book until there was an extremely inappropriate reference to the Holocaust. That was over the line and has caused me to delete this title.