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Don't Make a Scene: A Novel
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Don't Make a Scene: A Novel

2.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  56 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
As Diane Kurasik nears the rapids of her fortieth birthday, it seems her world is taking on the bittersweet tones of a life-change comedy from the 1970s, something starring Glenda Jackson or Jill Clayburgh. The director of a Greenwich Village revival house cinema and a single woman who has watched everyone else move on, Diane is reminded daily of her status and her limitat ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 18th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published July 31st 2007)
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Jul 12, 2015 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Diane Kurasik, 40 years old, single, manager of the Beford Street cinema, finds herself in a summer of unexpected change. Evicted as her building is bought, romantically uninvolved but searching, searching, searching, expanding her theater… She continually compares her life to the movies and finds it lacking (who doesn’t, right?). And then the last third of the book unexpectedly (to me) turns into a May-September story (is that what you call it? a younger/ older romance?).

I really enjoyed this b
Jan 14, 2008 Bethany rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this more than I did, but it ultimately ended up rather cliched. The quick film descriptions were interesting, though, and made me want to see more movies! (is that good for a book, or should I be reading instead?)
Aug 13, 2008 Kat rated it liked it
The vivid characters in this book propelled me through the first fifty pages of doubt about reading yet another book about a "neurotic single woman lookin for love", and then I was hooked.

The scathing commentary on Fidel challenged my "but it could have been beautiful if it weren't for the embargo" liberal soul. Vladimir is kooky, magnetic, angry and stuck. His yearning for escape and recompense(from/for what???) is painful.

I am thankful that Block includes a character that answers Vladimir's
Melinda Seyler
Mar 08, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it did not like it
Recommended to Melinda by:

Story of Diane, who lives in NYC and runs an"art house" kind of a film theatre- lots of themes and movies from all eras and countries. Soon into the book, she loses her apartment and spends most of the book looking for a place to live. They keep falling through and she begins couch surfing. Meanwhile, she is dealing with being a 40 year old ,never married woman and the family and friends who keep trying to find someone for her. I found the continual titles and descriptions of movies quite intere
Darshan Elena
Nov 18, 2007 Darshan Elena rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks who love new york, cinema, and cuba of the past or present.
this book is a riot. amusing in its gusano politics, it also has some great zingers about dating and the oddities of urban romance. i'd give this book a 4.5 if i could; it is short of a 5 for its rendering of the youngest character, javier. at times he is one-dimensional in ways that youth never are. that said, i am so going to lift some of this novel's phrases. the author divides straight men into two categories: specialists and generalists. specialists have obsessions that make them difficult ...more
Nov 28, 2014 Marina rated it really liked it
Not what I expected - some turns along the way I didn't see coming which only added to my interest. Loved the movie references and factual bits and pieces about classic movie stars intertwined through the story. Very amusing in parts which had me laughing out loud - equally frustrating in other parts as the leading male character was a bit of shit. But a great story, enjoyed it.
Jul 01, 2008 Sue rated it did not like it
Disappointed reading this book--thought it might be a fun light read because I love movies and like reading New York stories. I did like the movies part, and I really liked learning about Cuba. Didn't really like the characters (am I too picky?), and the ending is almost creepy. (Clearly I'm not sophisticated enough, and/or haven't seen enough French films to appreciate the ending!) I liked the line that says something like "all New York romances are really about real estate"--I can appreciate t ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Christina rated it it was ok
Ok, so I know from reading the other reviews of Valerie Block books on Good Reads that I apparently am her only fan lol. But even this one wasn't that great as far as I'm concerned. The combination of classic movies and Cuba was interesting, but somehow it didn't really connect. And that whole almost statatory rape thing? Ew. Just because he turned 18 two days beforehand still doesn't make it cool.
Dec 10, 2007 Paul rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: yes
very witty...some great turns of phrases and ideas...way above chick lit and it's too bad it will probably fall into that category. if you love movies, you'll especially love this as the main character runs an indie movie theater and there are tons of references to films throughout the 20th century. also loved the cuban main character even though he's not meant to be likeable.
Oct 23, 2007 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about Cuba and 3rd world countries in general. Even though I learned a lot, that aspect of the novel was not overwhelming. I really enjoyed the story. Again, there's not really one character I'd relate to, but it was still interesting.
May 07, 2008 Nathaniel rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It has wonderful cinephile friendly anecdotes as well as absorbing surprising characterizations and humor and politics. I recommend for anyone who loves old movies or foreign movies or arthouse cinema. Lots of fun.
Mar 18, 2010 Jennifer rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
This book was chosen by my book club. Reading through the very beginning I was optimistic. It went downhill fast and I lost all interest in the characters. The movie references just seemed very out of place and obscure.
Jan 11, 2013 Rebecca rated it liked it
I could empathize with Diane, to a point. Despite being quite capable at her job, and personable & well liked she cannot make good decisions for herself. She turns down opportunities for new adventures too often.
Megan Shaughnessy
Apr 29, 2008 Megan Shaughnessy rated it liked it
This book has lots of fun movie descriptions as well as vivid scenes of life in Cuba. The characters are not all lovable. Set in NY, so of course I love that.
Interesting take on dating.
Tracy Crowe
Jul 14, 2008 Tracy Crowe rated it did not like it
I could not get started on this book - the characters are a bit scattered and I just didn't develop a love for any of them. Disappointed because I really liked her first novel.
Kia B
Apr 25, 2008 Kia B rated it liked it
Very cute,
This books reads like a woody Allen film. Very witty and 'new-yorkish'. A nice escape from the seriousness of life. Very funny. . .
May 03, 2010 Stephanie rated it liked it
Novel about a 49 year old independant movie theater manager with dating and apartment woes who meets a Cuban man and his teenage son.
Allison Schwartz
Mar 07, 2009 Allison Schwartz rated it it was ok
i loved the beginning of this book, love all the references to movies and of course the great city of new york. but then.....
JP Perelman
Nov 25, 2008 JP Perelman rated it liked it
I can't say I loved it but it was a nice break from school work. It was like starting vacation early. And yay for that.
Feb 11, 2008 Sara rated it liked it
A charming book combining a love of movies with the search for real estate and relationships in NY.
Sep 20, 2007 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves movies
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Please read the interview with Valerie Block at Chica Lit,
Aug 14, 2008 Dawn rated it liked it
What a fun NY book. Full of surprises. Read it in my hammock.
Jun 02, 2008 Susan added it
Forty year-old winds up with 18 year-old...aww yeah.
Julia Marinaro
Julia Marinaro marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2016
Jorge rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2015
Kellie Demarsh
Kellie Demarsh marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2015
Shauki Al-Gareeb
Shauki Al-Gareeb marked it as to-read
Feb 21, 2015
Pamela marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2015
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