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The Red Book

A Novel

By Deborah Copaken Kogan

The Red Book
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2012,
    368 pages.

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There are currently 26 reader reviews for The Red Book
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Marsha S. (Nags Head, NC) (02/26/12)

The Red Book
When I first started reading this book, I was sure I would not enjoy it. Oh boy, I thought, another reunion story about a bunch of privilege, self-centered yuppies who wasted all the gifts they were given. But for some reason, I couldn't stop reading it and soon found some sympathetic characters with whom I could identify on some level. It is a well-written book and the author did a great job of making the characters come to life in a way that kept me engaged and eventually even caring about what became of them! I would recommend it to anyone as an entertaining and fairly quick read.
Robin W. (Marinette, WI) (02/23/12)

I really couldn't relate....
I really couldn't related to these characters even though I only graduated from college 4 years earlier but I did want to hear more about their lives. My favorite part of the book is the jail scene - I loved that! Parking tickets - who would have thought....
Barb W. (Mechanicsburg, PA) (02/18/12)

The Red Book
I usually really enjoy books about women's friendships and relationships, so I was really looking forward to reading this book. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations, as I had a hard time caring much about any of the four major characters. Maybe it was because most of them were very "privileged" women, and I found it hard to identify with their lifestyles, attitudes and even some of their morals (for lack of a better word), or maybe there were too many other characters in the story to focus on the four women. I'm glad I finished the book, but I doubt I'll be recommending it to anyone.
Debra L. (Deerfield, IL) (02/17/12)

The Red Book
This was an average chicklit book. The characters were interesting, but their stories not so much. I liked the idea of Harvard college friends going to their reunion, but the story never went anywhere.This would be a vacation read!
Susan S. (Lafayette, CA) (02/15/12)

An intelligent page-turner
I loved this book. It's witty, intelligent, insightful, and a page-turner. The transformations the various characters had gone through and were continuing to go through were believable, and so were the characters themselves. And though there were a lot of happy endings, not everything was tied up with a neat little bow at the end (just like real life). I highly recommend this book.
Sarah H. (Belford, NJ) (02/14/12)

You can't turn back time...
But you can indulge yourself with this book! An interesting story following the lives of four former Harvard roomates leading up to and including their 20th anniversary. The characters have so much depth. I saw a part of myself in each character. It's a story to make you realize that you can't go back to life as it was in college but you can learn from life's mistakes for a better future. Highly enjoyable and addictive read!
Laura P. (Atlanta, GA) (02/14/12)

The Red Book
This 20th college reunion story (Harvard '89) uses the practice of publishing a reunion book ("THe Red Book") as a foil for the story of 4 college roommates whose lives are very different from the images they choose to project. The characters cover the spectrum of racial, sexual, and national categories, and touch on pretty much every controversial social issue out there - same sex marraige, abortion, pre- and extra-marital sex, sex change surgery, May-December relationships are all there. WIth a boatload of characters, Kogan is able to do very little actual character development, and few of the characters she focuses most on are sympathetic. (It's hard to feel too sorry for the producer's wife who might have to sell her second home in Antibes.) On the plus side, though, the writing is more than competent and it's really hard to put the book down. I would take it to the beach in a heartbeat, but I will not be recommending it to my rather serious book group.
Kathryn K. (Oceanside, CA) (02/13/12)

I loved this book!
The Red Book, by Deborah Copaken Kogan is not the typical story about the reunion of best friends from college. Thankfully, neither is it “chick lit” -- a phenomenon that according the San Diego UT (2/12/12) is dying. The characters have depth and are well developed. I liked the fact that they are not cookie cut – all the same. The diversity of persons and the varied life styles, raises the quality of the read and enriches the novel. The plot is refreshingly realistic and interesting. Structured around entries found in Harvard’s, The Red Book, one is drawn into the lives of four friends, 20 years after a 1989 graduation. Like life, the book is at times very poignant -- full of how life just happens and also how we impact what happens. It is wise – and even funny! It will be on my short list for the book discussion groups I lead. I loved this book!

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