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Reviews of Let's Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder

Let's Not Do That Again

A Novel

by Grant Ginder

Let's Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder X
Let's Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2022, 352 pages

    Paperback:
    Apr 2023, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Ahima
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About this Book

Book Summary

From Grant Ginder, the author of The People We Hate at the Wedding, comes Let's Not Do That Again a poignant, funny, and slyly beguiling novel which proves that, like democracy, family is a messy and fragile thing - perfect for fans of Veep's biting humor, the family drama of Succession, and the joys of Kevin Wilson's Nothing to See Here.

Nancy Harrison is running for Senate, and she's going to win, goddamnit. Not that that's her slogan, although it could be. She's said all the right things. Passed all the right legislation. Chapped her lips kissing babies. There's just one problem: her grown children.

Greta and Nick Harrison are adrift. Nick is floundering in his attempts to write a musical about the life of Joan Didion (called Hello to All That!). And then there's his little sister Greta. Smart, pretty, and completely unmotivated, allowing her life to pass her by like the shoppers at the Apple store where she works.

One morning the world wakes up not to Nancy making headlines, but her daughter, Greta. She's in Paris. With extremist protestors. Throwing a bottle of champagne through a beloved bistro's front window. In order to save her campaign, not to mention her daughter, Nancy and Nick must find Greta before it's too late.

The champagne has gone to her head.

Also, there's the problem of the smoke. It's everywhere. The smell of burning wood and plastic assaulting her nostrils; the crisp static of smoldering embers. It's raining, but that hardly helps: fires spill from the storefronts along the avenue. Flames outside of Bulgari; singed mannequins at Hugo Boss and Lacoste. A bank with smashed windows, turned into an open-air theater. Shirts with their tags still on them strewn across the street.

She finds herself part of an organized and slow-moving chaos. Protesters creep up the Champs-Élysées, their jackets slick with rain, until the police, feeling as if they've been too generous, force them to relinquish ground. This is how it works, how it surges. Two steps forward, one step back. The sea as the tide rises, climbing over shells on a long stretch of beach. Some of them wear gas masks that make them appear alien, insectile, and those who do not wrap their faces with handkerchiefs and ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. Nancy is running for Senate, and will stop at almost nothing to win. Is the world of the book's politics and the campaign trail reflective of today's political landscape? Does Nancy remind you of any one politician, or a combination of a few?
  2. The book opens with Greta throwing a bottle of champagne through a French bistro's window, and it sets off a viral moment that Nancy and her campaign immediately have to grapple with. How does sexism play a role in the reception of Greta's actions? How does it color the public's view of Nancy?
  3. "A good politician and a bad mother," she says, straightening out her blouse. "One out of two ain't bad." This is Nancy's reaction shortly after requesting Nick go get Greta from Paris. How does this speak to...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

This is a tender novel at its core. In the midst of its horrors (which are sometimes inappropriately funny), there is fighting, which means there is hope. There is hope for love to prevail, for oneself and one's family. I was enraptured by how much these characters would fight to love, under any and all wild circumstances. Ginder's book is not only a love letter to dysfunctional families, or even that side of the family you only see over holidays — it is a love letter to all families, to our loved ones, and to ourselves. It is a reminder that we fight for love because we care and we hope...continued

Full Review (706 words)

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(Reviewed by Lisa Ahima).

Media Reviews

Esquire Magazine
Packed with keen insight about parents and siblings, Let's Not Do That Again is a triumphant tragicomedy about the politics of Washington and the politics of family.

The Boston Globe
Highly entertaining...Ginder is at his best when tossing all his plates in the air, introducing new characters and subplots, weaving everything together. Ginder deftly blends politics and family, humor and drama, and brings the three Harrisons vividly to life. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

The New York Times
In a world increasingly starved for good dialogue, Ginder's is bountiful and crackling, like the screwball comedies of yore. And sometimes even sincere. A charmingly subversive treat

Entertainment Weekly
Grant Ginder has whipped up an alluring romp about one such Upper East Side family... [with] characters we can root for even when they are behaving badly (they're wickedly funny). Let's Not Do That Again delivers just the spoonful of sugar you need it to.

Town & Country
In this smart, witty novel from the author of The People We Hate at the Wedding, no institution—from family to the U.S. government—is safe from skewering, and you're sure to enjoy every word.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
In this timely comic novel set in New York and Paris, a political family deals with drama past and present. A new book from Ginder beckons the reader like a hot bath and glass of something, a reliable and relaxing pleasure...Ooh la la. The Senate race may be tight, but this book is a shoo-in.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Ginder, a former congressional intern and speechwriter for White House chief of staff John Podesta, delivers an effervescent family drama about a man's attempts to salvage his mother's Senate run after a PR disaster...Politics and blood loyalty can become a slippery slope, but here they're a perfect combination. This smart and seamless comedy is nonstop fun.

Author Blurb Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of Good Company and The Nest
Nobody's better than Grant Ginder at creating characters who are deeply flawed, vividly human, and wholly recognizable. Let's Not Do That Again is not only perfectly tuned to this moment in time, but is hilarious, suspenseful, and whip smart. It's also wise—wise about the ways we sometimes fail to love and care for each other but choose to keep trying. Like the best stories (and in spite of the book's title) I can't wait to read it again.

Author Blurb Emily Gould, author of Friendship and Perfect Tunes
Let's Not Do That Again keeps readers flipping pages compulsively while pushing exciting boundaries. Grant Ginder is not afraid to ask what it means to fight for what's right—for the country you serve, the world at large, and the flawed and impossibly complicated people you are bound to love.

Author Blurb Rebecca Serle, New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years and The Dinner List
Let's Not Do That Again is a biting, hilarious, and endearing novel about family, politics, and the complicated (and simultaneously obvious) nature of love. Signature Ginder.

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Beyond the Book

Joan Didion's "On Self-Respect," and Social Media Culture

For a moment, I can pretend I am a professor, like Joan Didion-obsessed NYU English professor Nick Harrison in Grant Ginder's Let's Not Do That Again, as he discusses her 1961 essay "On Self-Respect" with his undergraduate class. For a moment, I can pretend that in the high evening before one of my part-time jobs, I am not 23, sitting in my parent's home, looking at teenage social media stars on Instagram buying a new mansion like it's a Barbie playhouse. I am not measuring my worth by who deems me worthy. I adopt Joan Didion's understanding of "self-respect," and by extension, confidence and self-ownership. With that being said, let's sit down and talk about what Didion meant in "On Self-Respect" and what it means in the context of modern ...

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