You or Someone Like You: Book summary and reviews of You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr

You or Someone Like You

by Chandler Burr

You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr X
You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2009
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Anne Rosenbaum leads a life of quiet Los Angeles privilege, the wife of Hollywood executive Howard Rosenbaum and mother of their seventeen-year-old son, Sam. Years ago Anne and Howard met studying literature at Columbia—she, the daughter of a British diplomat from London, he a boy from an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. Now on sleek blue California evenings, Anne attends halogen-lit movie premieres on the arm of her powerful husband. But her private life is lived in the world of her garden, reading books.

When one of Howard's friends, the head of a studio, asks Anne to make a reading list, she casually agrees—though, as a director reminds her, "no one reads in Hollywood." To her surprise, they begin calling: screen-writers; producers, from their bungalows; and agents, from their plush offices on Wilshire and Beverly. Soon Anne finds herself leading an exclusive book club for the industry elite. Emerging gradually from her seclusion, she guides her readers into the ideas and beauties of Donne, Yeats, Auden, and Mamet, with her brilliant and increasingly bold opinions. But when a crisis of identity unexpectedly turns an anguished Howard back toward the Orthodoxy he left behind as a young man, Anne must set out to save what she values above all else: her husband's love.

At once fiercely intelligent and emotionally gripping, You or Someone Like You confronts the fault lines between inherited faith and personal creed, and, through the surprising transformation of one exceptional, unforgettable woman, illuminates literature's power to change our lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A true celebration of intellect, Burr's tale does, occasionally, misstep into a pedantic bog, but ultimately examines the personal decision each of us must make to run from, or embrace, our identity." - Publishers Weekly

"If only for the lessons in linguistics and literature, this is recommended for all fiction collections." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. A savvy novel that deals with Hollywood from a cultural rather than a tabloid perspective." - Kirkus Reviews

Chronic name-dropping and copious details of the rich and vacuous distract from [this] otherwise substantive fiction debut." - Booklist

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Author Information

Chandler Burr

Chandler Burr was born in Chicago and raised in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Principia College. He began his journalism career in 1987 as a stringer in The Christian Science Monitor's Southeast Asia bureau and later became a Contributing Editor to U.S. News and World Report. He earned a Masters degree in international economics and Japan studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins.

Burr is a journalist, author, and curator of olfactory art. Burr created the New York Times perfume critic's position, which he occupied from 2006-2010. In 2010 he left the Times to establish the world's first department of olfactory art, at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. His first exhibition The Art of Scent 1889-2012 ran from Nov 22, 2012 to May 3, 2013.

Burr is also author of The Perfect Scent, The Emperor of Scent, and A Separate Creation, amongst other books. He has written for the Atlantic and The New Yorker, and currently lives in New York City.

Follow Chandler at http://chandlerburr.com/

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