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10 December 2015


I always get the same recommendations, and I always have the same reaction as you.

I think of Lipman the same way I think of John Updike: marvelous at the craft, able to effortlessly script elegant sentences, and occasionally make me laugh out loud; but oh my sweet Lord, the characters! Self-absorbed, entitled, and obsessed with picayune issues, who would undoubtedly crumple like a bad souffle if confronted with a genuine crisis.

Oh, Hapax,
All I can think whenever I read John Updike is, is anyone out there really enjoying Updike? And not just because they think they should?
You're right about the prose, though. I think you figured out why I was able to stick with the novels--the language is good.

I quite enjoyed the daily limericks she tweeted before the last election. Haven't read any of her other works.

By all accounts the political limericks were good (and I think have been gathered into a book, Tweet Land of Liberty). I'm not surprised, actually, I think she's actually quite witty and knows her way around a sentence (as Hapax points out). But I'm no longer interested in politics and so have little reason to check her collection out...

Perfectly, perfectly fair. I read The Family Man in a week where I was feeling utterly miserable, and it caught me at all the right angles and made an Elinor Lipman fan of me. None of her other books has been as good for me, but I do still go back to The Family Man when I am feeling blue. However, I think you have given it the old college try and concluded VERY REASONABLY that she's not the author for you.

Yes, I'll admit that mood/need has a lot to do with how much you like certain authors and books. I myself head for Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It whenever I need comfort, and a lot of people have told me they just can't get into that story. It's all about timing.

Thanks for taking the hit on this one. You're a great Citizen Reader!

Always glad to be of service! Although mostly I toss these out there to see what other people think, or even to encourage reading of such authors--so you could then come back and explain the appeal to me! :)

The first Lipman I read was The Inn at Lake Divine and I loved it. I read another (don't remember title) and only kind of liked it, and two more that I was pretty much bored by. So I feel like I have read her one and only good book.

You know, Thomas, I've heard that (about The Inn...). In all honesty I think I've started that book too, and never got it finished. Someone must be liking all her books, she seems to enjoy a good critical and popular reputation.

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