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Good in Bed [Paperback]

Jennifer Weiner
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (540 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 2 2002
For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She's even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.
But the day she opens up a national women's magazine and sees the words "Loving a Larger Woman" above her ex-boyfriend's byline, Cannie is plunged into misery...and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

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Good in Bed + Certain Girls: A Novel + Goodnight Nobody: A Novel
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Product Description

From Amazon

Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed is the story of a year in the life of a late-twentysomething American woman: Cannie, a journalist on the Philadelphia Examiner, who has recently broken up with her boyfriend of three years (cue endless similarities with countless other books aimed at young Western women). Fortunately, Weiner's book has enough originality to break out from the mould, with an overweight heroine and a mother who has recently moved in with her lesbian lover. Good in Bed has its funny moments, dealing with humour and sensitivity with Cannie's status as a "larger woman", her bizarre family and her regrets at splitting up with Bruce, but there is often more a feeling of pathos than laughter. Cannie is not a tragic figure through her dress size--Weiner successfully side-steps any attempt to pity her or her fellow larger women at a weight-loss clinic, taking the humorous path instead--but through her relationship and career predicaments. It is therefore not clear why Weiner cast Cannie as a plus-size, unless to drive home the eternal fact that whatever their size, all women have the same neuroses inside. Cannie's year offers more lows than highs--with a particularly heart-breaking low towards the end of the novel, which is unlikely to be read by anyone with even a wry smile--and it therefore is not a "feel good to be a woman" novel. For laugh-out-loud writing with a dash of pathos try Shannon Olson's Welcome to My Planet, but for sensitive and ultimately tear-inducing touching narration try Good in Bed. --Olivia Dickinson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

It is temping at first but unwise to assume Candace Shapiro is yet another Bridget Jones. Feisty, funny and less self-hating than her predecessor, Cannie is a 28-year-old Philadelphia Examiner reporter preoccupied with her weight and men, but able to see the humor in even the most unpleasant of life's broadsides. Even she is floored, however, when she reads "Good in Bed," a new women's magazine column penned by her ex-boyfriend, pothead grad student Bruce Guberman. Three months earlier, Cannie suggested they take a break apparently, Bruce thought they were through and set about making such proclamations as, "Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world." Devastated by this public humiliation, Cannie takes comfort in tequila and her beloved dog, Nifkin. Bruce has let her down like another man in her life: Cannie's sadistic, plastic surgeon father emotionally abused her as a young girl, and eventually abandoned his wife and family, leaving no forwarding address. Cannie's siblings suffer, especially the youngest, Lucy, who has tried everything from phone sex to striptease. Their tough-as-nails mother managed to find love again with a woman, Tanya, the gravel-voiced owner of a two-ton loom. Somehow, Cannie stays strong for family and friends, joining a weight-loss group, selling her screenplay and gaining the maturity to ask for help when she faces something bigger than her fears. Weiner's witty, original, fast-moving debut features a lovable heroine, a solid cast, snappy dialogue and a poignant take on life's priorities. This is a must-read for any woman who struggles with body image, or for anyone who cares about someone who does.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Plus Size Women Rule . . . Except This One Oct. 4 2003
By A Customer
Like others who hated this book, I really wanted to enjoy it. Like the main character, I'm a fat word-lover, often too smart and sarcastic for my own good, who considered the Pink Rose Bakery in Philadelphia a second home. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time screaming at this book, and when I was finally finished I threw it against my wall. On the one hand, I admire the author for presenting a full-figured, flawed character. However, Cannie, the heroine, remains self-centered, self-pitying, immature, judgmental, condesceding, elitist, and cruel throughout the whole book, and is repeatedly indulged by friends, loved ones, and worst of all the author, Jennifer Weiner. Weiner allows Cannie to dance through life without having to take responsibility for herself, and the "redemption" she experiences rings false. Worse, the book is littered with cliches, including, most offensively, a lesbian with two cats named Gertrude and Alice, who is reviled by Cannie and her siblings even though it may be the closest her mother has come to a partner in her life. I pity the lesbian reader who reads this book and encounters such a one-dimensional, snide rendering of a stereotype.
A thing that aggravates me about reviews of this book is that many claim it's better than Bridget Jones because the character is heavier, a "real fat woman." I found Bridget a lot more likeable, regardless of her weight, because you got to see her standing by her friends. Cannie seems to have friends who treat her a lot better than she treats them, or herself. While I'm sure that the author saw Cannie as very kind, the glimpses of a loving Cannie are few and far between her monologues of self-loathing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you're looking for the next great novel, this probably isn't it. But if you're looking for a book that's not too heavy, funny, and extremely entertaining, then this is the book for you!
Because I hate people who ruin books before you can read them, I will try not to delve into too many details. This is a great women's book (definitely not a guy book) that deals with many of the issues that we go through on a daily basis. The central issue is self-esteem which even though not all would admit, most people have issues with. It's plot is constantly moving and changing which instead of making it hard to follow only makes it hard to put down.
Your attention is immediately grabbed in the first chapter when Cannie (the main character) finds that her ex-boyfriend has written about their relationship in a popular Cosmo-like magazine. Without revealing too much, I will say that it deals with her size and mainly her weight. After that, you find out about her journey on dealing with self-acceptance and discovering who she really is.
I will admit that I am a bit biased about this book because I related to Cannie more than most people might. When she describes her height (exactly the same) and size (also too close for comfort), I immediately bonded with the character. Although I've never had the experiences she has, I can relate to the way people respond to some of our stature. Don't think that just because you've never struggled with weight problems, you won't related to this book. It's written well enough that anyone can related to Cannie's experiences.

Plain and simple, this book is fun and easy too read. It's not so dumbed down that it's on a child's level, nor is the content appropriate for children! After I'd borrowed this twice, I decided to buy this one to have my own copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I expected this book to be just horrid. Sept. 27 2007
By Nikki
I just got done reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, and thought Good in Bed would be just the same old vapid chick-lit. Yeah, an overweight woman insecure about her weight. Wow, that's reinventing the wheel. Yet Cannie was different. She wasn't middle aged, like most protagonists in such works, she was in her late twenties. She wasn't an unattractive recluse who did nothing but eat all day. She was actual cultured, articulate and intelligent with an active social life. The book tended to be a bit topical at times, like Cannie's mother announcing at 56 years old she's a lesbian. But Cannie is uncomfortable with this, like most people would be. Despite being a Princeton graduate, living in Philadelphia, working for a newspaper their (a recipe for being a liberal if I ever heard one) Cannie cannot bring herself to put on a happy face about this development. Even the more farfetched events that take place don't seem so farfetched when written in Cannie's glib, self-deprecating voice. While not much on plot (an aspect that doesn't bother me as characters should dictate your plot not the other way around) the characters and stories are more than engaging. If you missed Tino Georgiou's novel--The Fates, I'd recommend reading that instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, fun read -- worth buying! Aug. 3 2005
It can be difficult to read books that are as painfully truthful as Jennifer Weiner's first novel. However, "Good In Bed", while painful at times, is also fun and touching.
In the book, we meet Cannie (a thouroughly modern woman struggling with life's complexities). Cannie's biggest problem is a BIG problem, she is overweight. The book is Cannie's journey to come to terms with how others see her and more importantly how she sees herself. There are definatley road bumps along the way. Large road bumps along the way. Cannie's ex writes a tell all article for a rival magazine about "loving a larger woman".
Any woman will appreciate Cannie's sense of humor as she deals with all of the implications of Bruce's betrayal and as she struggles to make the right choices.
In the end, the reader will appreciate the ending as much as they appreciate the path to get there. I purchased this book through right after another great purchase, THE LOSERS' CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez, about a writer addicted to the personals. Both are fun, recommended books. Enjoy!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars She's a favorite writer - I sent this to a friend as a gift after I...
A great book, a talented author. Read everything she writes - funny, well paced, poignant without being a weepy lifetime movie
Published 10 months ago by Donna
5.0 out of 5 stars A favourite!
If you are new to Jennifer Weiner, start with this book! I could not put it down! When I finally did finish, I had to visit amazon again and buy a few more Jennifer Weiner books.
Published 14 months ago by htsandors
4.0 out of 5 stars Good But Not In Bed
Reading Jenifer Weiner presented some strange "synchronicities" for me. Only two of them included: She went to Princeton where I grew up and also took some courses. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2008 by Douglas P. Murphy
3.0 out of 5 stars not at all like "In her Shoes"
I read "In her Shoes" and absolutely fell in love with it. So I thought "Good in Bed" will be good as well, but I was mistaken. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2006 by Momus
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book...
I really enjoyed this book. It was very, very good! I laughed, I cried. It was very hard to put it down, especially once I got into it. Can't wait to read more of her books.
Published on Feb. 20 2006
2.0 out of 5 stars Another one of those!
Is it just me, or are there too many novels about whiny plus-sized women? Not every overweight woman is bitter, troubled, and whiny. Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Marvelous
A simply marvelous novel with hints of laughter and passion sprinkled throughout. I highly recommend this one. Also read Fire In The Ice/Katlyn Stewart if you have the chance.
Published on Aug. 30 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars -----------------> You can stop your browsing right here!
If you're looking for the next great novel, this probably isn't it. But if you're looking for a book that's not too heavy, funny, and extremely entertaining, then this is the book... Read more
Published on July 13 2005 by Allison Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, fun read -- worth buying!
It can be difficult to read books that are as painfully truthful as Jennifer Weiner's first novel. However, "Good In Bed", while painful at times, is also fun and... Read more
Published on May 5 2005 by Karen Thompason
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll giggle and even tear up (in a good way...)
Cannie Shapiro is a likeable character with universal emotions. She was easy to relate to, and more than that, like any great fiction she can bring you to laughter and tears at... Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2005 by Isadore Ann
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