The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.: Book summary and reviews of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

By Adelle Waldman

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2013,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

Bold, touching, and funny - a debut novel by a brilliant young woman about the coming-of-age of a brilliant young literary man.

"He was not the kind of guy who disappeared after sleeping with a woman - and certainly not after the condom broke. On the contrary: Nathaniel Piven was a product of a postfeminist 1980s childhood and politically correct, 1990s college education. He had learned all about male privilege. Moreover, he was in possession of a functional and frankly rather clamorous conscience." – From The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

Nate Piven is a rising star in Brooklyn's literary scene. After several lean and striving years, he has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Juliet, the hotshot business reporter; Elisa, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, now friend; and Hannah, "almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice," who is lively fun and holds her own in conversation with his friends.

In this 21st-century literary world, wit and conversation are not at all dead. Is romance? Novelist Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a modern man - who thinks of himself as beyond superficial judgment, yet constantly struggles with his own status anxiety, who is drawn to women, yet has a habit of letting them down. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is an absorbing tale of one young man's search for happiness - and an inside look at how he really thinks about women, sex and love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[Waldman] navigates the male psyche and a highly entertaining hipster mindset, and sneaks in an unexpected, understated ending that brings this pulpy read a satisfying poignancy." - Publishers Weekly

"The novel is most likely to appeal to twentysomethings, who will no doubt recognize the preening male so thoroughly skewered here, but older readers may be put off by such an unlikable lead character." - Booklist

"The characters that populate Waldman's world are artistic, creative, funny and intelligent [but] are constitutionally incapable of making long-term commitments. It would be refreshing to find one mature adult." - Kirkus

"For fans of relationship literature and those who prefer their summer reading sour instead of sweet." - Library Journal

"Wow. What a psychologically astute, and very, very witty novel - about a young male you would think you might hate (but you don't; or, at least, I didn't), by a young female writer you can't help but love." - Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances

"I can't remember the last novel this good about being young and smart and looking for love in the big city. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. as if one of the top tier 19th-century novelists zeroed her social x-ray eyes onto present-moment Brooklyn. Up-and-coming writers and artists everywhere will be squirming with uncomfortable recognition of themselves, their friends, and their psyches; far more readers will be thanking Adelle Waldman for this hilarious, big-hearted, ruthlessly intelligent, and ridiculously well-written novel." - Charles Bock, author of Beautiful Children

"A hysterically honest ethnographic study of the male hipster in his natural habitat (Brooklyn), The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is the sympathetic portrait of a terminally-adolescent, over-educated, indecisive and slightly scruffy thirty-something. Nate is so convincingly drawn you'll want to hug him, lecture him and shake some sense into him simultaneously. Waldman has deftly written a laugh-out-loud treatise on why he didn't call." - Allison Amend, author of A Nearly Perfect Copy

"This sharp, unsentimental debut novel is as fiercely intelligent as it is deliciously cheeky and well-observed. Literary Brooklyn and its striving inhabitants may never again be so unsparingly - and so winningly - portrayed. I can't wait to read more from Adelle Waldman." - Joanna Hershon, author of The German Bride and A Dual Inheritance 

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Adelle Waldman is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University's journalism school. She worked as a reporter at the New Haven Register and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal's website. Her articles also have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and other national publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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