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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Other Shulman: Book Review

This isn't the first time I've pimped this novel, as I noted its winning the Thurber Award for comedy writing. I got it yesterday morning, and read the whole thing before midnight.

I won't bother with much of a synopsis; Amazon has plenty. "Middle-aged schlimazel waddles through NYC marathon and self-discovery" does fine. If you're looking for the exploits of superstars, skip it. This is a great story of an ordinary person's struggles. My only complaint is the ending, which feels like it was thrown together in the final hour before a publishing deadline.

What I should add is that while this is billed as comedy, funniness is not the point of the book. It's much like Little Miss Sunshine or Dry: A Memoir in that the comedy complements the storyline, which otherwise would be too horribly, suicidally depressing to get through. Like these other stories, the suffering is both necessary and passing. Plus, it's the New York City marathon...

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