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The Man of My Dreams: A Novel

3.19  ·  Rating Details ·  8,709 Ratings  ·  995 Reviews
“Being raised in an unstable household makes you understand that the world doesn’t exist to accommodate you, which, in Hannah’s observation, is something a lot of people struggle to understand well into adulthood.”–from The Man of My Dreams

In her acclaimed debut novel, Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld created a touchstone with her pitch-perfect portrayal of adolescence. Her prose i
Published May 16th 2006 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2006)
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Oct 01, 2011 Sita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. No one at all!
I have been asked by a few people who enjoyed this book, why I gave it 1 star. So this is it:

1. I disliked hated all the characters, they annoyed me, especially the main character's, being inside her head was a very, very painful experience.

2. The main character was also a friggn nympho. All she thought about was getting down and doing the nasty and the opposite sex of course.

3. The plot. Could someone please tell me what it was? Was it just this girls life, because all it seems like is a recap
For a moment I thought that Curtis Sittenfeld was going to give me what I wanted: a happy ending. No ambiguities and no doubts. Just happiness for our anxious protagonist Hannah: a shared apartment, evenings entangled on the couch in front of the television, Sunday morning brunches followed by Sunday afternoon antique shopping, an engagement, a wedding, a child—all with the man of her dreams.

Thank god I was wrong. Because what I want is not what I need. I want a book to delight, to entertain, t
Jonna Rubin
Hm. I liked it -- really, I did -- and I LOVED Prep. But what Prep was that this isn't was multi-layered. While it was Lee Fiora's journey, it was also a lot more than that, not to mention a thrilling roman a clef, though Sittenfeld denies this.

Here, we're presented with a rehash of Lee Fiora, and quite honestly, that's all we're presented with, only this time, she's less interesting and focused on one thing only: relationships with the opposite sex. I think that's what bothered me the most. Ha
Sep 12, 2007 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
knew as soon as I picked this up that I would fly through it, and not for any lack of weight on the part of the novel; it's just that I LOVE CURTIS SITTENFELD. Something about her clean, guileless style clicks with me and I hang on her every word, even when what she is saying makes me uncomfortable, which happens kind of a lot; what she writes about hits close to home with my own myriad issues. Sittenfeld's tell-it-like-it-is narrators, both here and in Prep, seem to find that secret place insid ...more
Sep 18, 2007 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know that a lot of people find Curtis Sittenfeld's characters too unlikable, but I think they are just so honest and real that they freak people out. I wasn't sure if I'd like this book as much as I loved Prep, but I think it's actually much more maturely written. I was sucked in immediately, as with Prep, and just find Hannah's insights to be, if frustrating or wrong sometimes, also quietly profound. I could barely put it down. It kept me up at night because I just couldn't stop reading it.

Apr 08, 2009 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really LOVED this book. It takes a lot to get a 5-star out of me, though...and I thought Prep still had it beat, so 4 stars it is.

Regardless, Sittenfeld is such an amazing author. Sometimes, when reading her books, I get distracted in thinking "she is SUCH a good writer" and I forget to follow the storyline and have to re-read. Few authors have this affect on me. I cherish the ones that do!

I love the flaws she gives her characters. They aren't the typical "boo-hoo i'm overweight and unattract
Megha Guruprasad
Mar 30, 2014 Megha Guruprasad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'the Man of my Dreams' is the kind of book title that would make it very easy for me to toss aside in a book sale or something. Or if a fellow passenger were ever reading it, I'd jump to the conclusion that either she or her life were very dull.

When I read Curtis Sittenfeld's first novel Prep in 2005, I was all of 14 and it was for me one of the more important coming-of-age novels. And then I came across this one recently, I knew I had to read it despite the irksome title. This is the quintesse
Mar 11, 2009 Erica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006
As soon as I finished Prep, I immediately put this book on hold. It's Curtis Sittenfeld's second book and it just came out in May. After I finished Matilda, I started this book. I went into it with high expectations and it didn't catch me quite as quickly as Prep but then again it isn't the same book and I wouldn't want it to be. Over the last few days this book has really caught me and I'm loving it. I find myself, once again, really identifying with the main character Hannah. She's making so m ...more
I read this book under protest, because I hated "Prep" (what a letdown after all the hype, especially since I've been obsessed with boarding school since reading "A Little Princess" at age six. Plus, I secretly resent people who are not much older than I am, yet manage to write bestsellers.) However, I can't get a library card until I can prove that I live in this godforsaken state, so I bought it for three bucks. Anyway, I thought it was lightyears better than "Prep," which sold way more copies ...more
Aug 13, 2009 M rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Prep, this was not. I held off reading this in part because people said it wasn't nearly as good as Prep and in part because of the stupid title - how could a book be? Anyway it was in the apt we were staying in in Paris and I ran out of library books so I took it for Shabbos and figured it would at least be readable.
My issues are as follows: It's hard not to compare with prep especially sicne the protagonists are very similar - however, where Lee was, I felt, refreshing and charming while disar
Mar 17, 2009 Nicola rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This novel covers similar ground to Sittenfeld’s Prep. In fact, it’s not hard to imagine it as the continued story of Prep’s insecure heroine, Lee, as she navigates college and post-college life. Unfortunately, though the writing style and themes are similar to Sittenfeld’s first novel, Man of My Dreams feels like the work of a far less mature author.

To put it bluntly, it’s a boring book. Boring and depressing. Sittenfeld’s previously-displayed flair for turning the banal into something wonderfu
Jan 21, 2009 Charity rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what it is I don't like about Sittenfeld's novels. I didn't like Prep all that much, but others seem to enjoy her work, so I thought I'd give The Man of My Dreams a try. It was OK. Quick read. Could be nice on an airplane or as a book to keep in your bag to read while you wait in line or at the doctor's office. It just didn't really grab me. I didn't like really any of the characters, didn't empathize with them. At best, I felt sorry for them. Mostly I just wanted them to stop their ...more
Jan 07, 2008 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: girlie-books
The main character like in the authors first book,"Prep", is a self-involved, miserable, jealous, personification of every negative stereotype that men say about women. This book sends an awful message to women. You are not incomplete without men. There is no perfect man and you do not have to pretend to be something you are not to get one and keep one. The only character in the book that likes herself and has any fun is painted throughout the novel to be an awful, selfish person. I will not rea ...more
Dec 31, 2008 Ciara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the perpetually dateless, independent women, people who make poor relationship choices
this was curtis sittenfeld's second novel, the follow-up to prep. weirdly, her publishing house decided to market her books like chick lit, which they are totally not, so i think a lot of people picked this book up off a barnes & noble shelf labeled "beach reads" & felt really confused as they read. the protaganist is a young woman who isn't just unlucky in love. it's like she is missing whatever genetic component enables people to communicate with other people. while all of her friends ...more
Feb 19, 2010 Lila rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook at the gym. Initially I grabbed it off the free table at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint, BK when I saw that Anne Heche narrated it, and I'm sort of sickly drawn to her. Plus, people love Prep, which i still haven't read. Turns out, Anne Heche's not so good at New Zealand accents. Also, at making protagonists or any other characters even remotely sympathetic - her voice is so scratchy and sharp, and she makes all the women either sound pathetic, mean, or Valley. Heche si ...more
Apr 21, 2009 PopShocker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again Curtis Sittenfeld has reached down into my pool of former insecurities and returned them right back to the surface. The strangest thing about reading Sittenfeld for me so far (I've only read Prep and now Man of My Dreams) is that it's fleetingly awful and wickedly wonderful all at the same time. For those of us who can identify with her neurotic main characters, in this case the main character of Hannah, there are moments where you want to shut the book because the author is hitting s ...more
Jennifer Johnson
Curtis Sittenfeld's The Man of My Dreams is another coming of age piece however this time written while the character ages to be much older than the last book. The main character, Hannah comes from a fairly disfunctional family, and as she experiences and is faced with different relationships, she's not quite sure how to navigate the complex feelings involved. I couldn't decide whether Hannah suffered from a low self esteem or if she was just horribly uneducated about how to feel, but the charac ...more
Apr 12, 2010 Christi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
I think the author does a great job of finding an authentic voice for her main characters. Hannah is so stuck in her own head and so worried about what everyone else must think about her that she sits on the sidelines through most of college. Opting to go to bed at 7:30 on a Friday night rather than go out and risk making a fool of herself or doubting that she's pretty enough or skinny enough or confident enough. I get that. I think we all have those kinds of doubts now and then.

Hannah would ha
Oct 19, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I just finished this book and am dumbfounded by how emotional of a read this was. It actually made me uncomfortable at times. I don't think this is the book I would highly recommend to any of my friends to read. It would have to be their own find and I think that says something about me (for those of you who have read this book). I gave this book four stars because it is a wonderful story and well written and the ending was perfection. I have not read any of Sittenfeld's books before and am ...more
Jul 17, 2007 Sherrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cry as* white people.
Shelves: 2006booklist
This is a book that suffers from what I like to call “Cry Ass White People” syndrome. We follow the main character, Hannah, as she grows from a dysfunctional young girl to a dysfunctional young adult. Hannah had "been raised... not to be accommodated but to accommodate," Welcome self-esteem problems! Hannah seeks professional help while attending college (see cry-ass white people) and feels better about herself. Hannah finds thrills by being a *third wheel* tagging along with her fun-loving cous ...more
Dec 29, 2008 Yasmin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i don't know if i missed something while reading this, but it def wasn't worth the read. i read some other reviews and didn't particulary agree with them. it was an easy read, but there are plenty of others out there that aren't so self defecating.
Aug 27, 2008 Brittany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Curtis Sittenfeld, Megan McCafferty, Emily Giffin
Recommended to Brittany by: Myself
How I Came To Read This Book: I believe Robyn keyed me into the release of this book, but I was the one to go out and buy it, having LOVED Prep.

The Plot: The book spans about 10-15 years in the main character, Hannah's life, touching on key moments in her development that shaped her attitudes toward society, more specifically - romance and men. Things start to crumble in Hannah's somewhat idealized world at a young age when her parents split up (and also, the engagement and subsequent split betw
May 17, 2009 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 05, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 18, 2009 liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted (and, I admit, still do) to read Sittenfeld's latest novel based on the life of Laura Bush. Unsurprisingly, it was checked out of the library, so when I saw this there instead, I figured, good enough. It's Sittenfeld doing Jennifer Warner - should be fine by me. I picked the novel up, read the first few sentences. I liked them. Figured the first-person narrator was telling us about her friend. Well, you know what they say about assumptions...

Fifty pages in, I had given up on hopi
Jul 31, 2010 Sariah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got this book because I was actually looking for something else by the same author, but everything else was checked out. This wasn't a bad book... it just wasn't great. It was simply okay. We are supposedly following the journey of a woman (who happens to be MY AGE... weird, really. Don't know why.) as she figures out relationships, love, and sex. The problem I had with it is that she doesn't ever really grow. The first little bit of the book is her at 14, then we jump to freshman year of coll ...more
Nov 24, 2008 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
I feel somewhat divided on this book. I loved "Prep," and was very excited to read this. In some respects, I liked it; I don't believe I've read an author who can capture the angst and feelings of a young woman like Sittenfeld can. I felt everything she felt. On the other hand, I don't know if I can say I liked the main character, Hannah. She frustrated me, her low self esteem, constantly questioning herself. Maybe because I'm reading this as someone older, I certainly could identify with her fe ...more
Lynne Adams
I didn't love, but didn't hate the first part of the book. Hannah, the main character, was frustrating, but I nonetheless found most of her musings somewhat interesting. However, the wheels really fell off when Curtis Sittenfeld used the "letter to my former therapist" device (and it was a writing device, in the worst sense of the term) to complete the book. It was a downright lazy, and not particularly successful, method of completing the narrative. And as bad as the letter sounds in the abstra ...more
May 30, 2009 Shannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
I loved Prep a lot, so maybe my expectations were set too high. This book just didn't do it for me the way Prep did. Hannah was unrelentingly annoying to me. Some of her inner dialogue rang incredibly true, but most of the time I just kind of wanted to shake her and scream, "What the hell is wrong with you? Why are you so damned miserable all the time?" She never really lets up and it was difficult to read about someone so amazingly socially awkward. No matter what situation she finds herself in ...more
Jo Lin
Dec 02, 2008 Jo Lin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this as much as Prep, for several reasons
- the pacing of the book seemed a little off; Sittenfeld's gift is in presenting the minutiae of character development, but this novel seemed to go through great swathes of time with a little too much economy
- an angst-ridden main character is probably more 'empathisable' as a teenager than as a 20-something
- aside from the main character, the others didn't seem terribly rounded. This was not so much of an issue in Prep, where the main chara
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Curtis 1 31 Jun 25, 2008 10:20AM  
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Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the new novel Eligible, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice (due out April 2016) as well as the bestselling novels Sisterland, American Wife, Prep, and The Man of My Dreams, which have been translated into twenty-five languages. Curtis's writing has appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, Vanity Fair,Time, Slate, Glamour, ...more
More about Curtis Sittenfeld...

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“Perhaps this is how you know you're doing the thing you're intended to: No matter how slow or how slight your progress, you never feel that it's a waste of time.” 53 likes
“I wanted to hold happiness in reserve, like a bottle of champagne. I postponed it because I was afraid, because I overvalued it, and then I didn't want to use it up, because what do you wish for then?” 37 likes
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