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Instant Love: Fiction Hardcover – Jun 13 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books (June 13 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307337820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307337825
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 15 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,606,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
"There's too much agitation over words in our lives." June 13 2006
By Luan Gaines - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In edgy and insightful prose, Attenberg manages to be brutally honest and entertaining, her characters defined by the human imperfections that spring to life when dreams are thwarted, no matter how unrealistic those dreams may be. With persistent precision, the author pulls her protagonists' lives apart like fragile butterfly wings, exposing the soft underbellies of disappointed youth and the harsh reality of adulthood, the defense mechanisms that become more practiced with age and experience.

Maggie marries predictable Robert because he is thoughtful, or so she believes when first they meet. His more than adequate salary provides everything she needs; Maggie becomes adept at hiding her real self, tucking it deep inside while she smiles at her husband approvingly, sporting her massive diamond wedding set. When she finally shares some of her thoughts with Robert, he is appalled, unbelieving and judgmental, just as she has expected, but Maggie is coming of age. Holly, Maggie's older sister, is single more by accident than intent, spending hours perusing dating sites on the internet, enjoying the clever fictions of the posts, the small lies and ingenious remarks that turn frog into prince. These online Lotharios are always a disappointment in person, a cross between very lonely guys and emotional cripples. Holly's first boyfriend, her first love, seems so very long ago.

Sarah Lee has been waiting all her life, always on the outside looking in, hyper-aware that everyone has someone but her, ever since the one who got away. She savors the perfection of the moment, knowing that once the bite is taken from the apple, it will never be so sweet again. She prepares for that moment, waiting for her chance at love, her small but precious taste of the forbidden fruit.

The protagonists are further defined by the peripheral characters in their lives, the odd acquaintances and ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, girlfriends, Holly and Maggie's famous writer-father, grasping at youth and notoriety as the years encroach, his children as distant as the old photographs carefully placed on bedside tables in their unused rooms. Time passes inexorably by, lovers missing each other on the way to romantic trysts and one-night stands, anxious to seal the deal. With acute perception, Attenberg delves below the brittle surface of what looks like love, probing the deepest yearnings, hopes and doubts of her characters. Luan Gaines/ 2006.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Instantly loved it. June 29 2006
By Janice Erlbaum - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collection of interconnected stories about love and relationships is stunning in every way -- artful, honest, funny, terrible, and very real. From the etiquette of ordering sex buddies off the internet, to the compromise of loving a decent man who bores you, INSTANT LOVE explores facets of love both post-modern and eternal. Like Lorrie Moore or Curtis Sittenfeld, Attenberg has a knack for nailing a heretofore un-nailed emotional moment, gesture, or bit of dialogue, whether spoken or just thought; she shines a light on the smallest details so that every scene is a fresh revelation. This book made me smirk, it made me sad; it made me think about all my past relationships and made me grateful for my current one. Great job. Can't wait for the next one!
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
It's just like________when he was listening to _________ July 13 2007
By M. A. Rodriguez - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you are thinking of reading this book, I have some advice that could save you some time and money:
1. Drive to the affluent suburbs or a medium size midwestern city
2. Steal the diary of a 16 old girl who thinks of herself as "mature"
3. Omit the interesting parts
4. Insert references to indie-rock bands, subconsciously aligning the writing with "underground" music and culture, replacing the need to create a tome or voice of your own by leaning on the work and credibility of others (See also: High Fidelity) This is a great way to "cast" the feel of your book. Like instead of describing the appearance or mannerisms of a character just say "he looked like CELEBRITY NAME and was shouting like in POPULAR FILM. It removes the need for almost all prose.
5. Read the same week of the diary multiple times, changing the scenario ever so slightly.


It might be extra work, but it will at least be more fun and original.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Instantly... March 26 2007
By Christina Ramos - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I felt that someone has created "chick lit" that is meaty, it has heart, soul and tells it like it is, sister! So un chick lit like really. But it still "got me" how chick lit can do.

Jami so poignantly depicts the modern woman's cry: "where is he? I've been dating since I was sixteen!" Not to quote Charlotte from Sex and the City but I did, so there. What I love about this book is the normalcy of these girls that blossom into women. We all know them...we may be one and thus we can relate and cheer them on when they stab the prevert in the leg for being a typical man.

She captures my junior high moments so well in "The Perfect Triangle," in which we all feel incredibly akward because we like a boy and figure that make-up is the way to his heart just to have your friend take away his attention. I love how she weaves marriage into a cliche. She wanted a big ring. She got it. She regretted it later, like most women in San Francisco who were just after the Starbucks latte in one hand, Gap hat on, stroller in hand, decorated with the De Beers 3 karat or Tiffany's rock.

Thank you Jami for creating something that I've never read but is akin to Julie Orringer's collection of short stories.

I so enjoyed it!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Would give in no stars if I could. Jan. 8 2008
By B. Williamson - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read many books, and this was one of the few that I was unable to finish. The characters and story line did not flow well, and I could not make any sense of it. A waste of time and paper.

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