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You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married): Looking for Love in the Age of Divorce
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You Can Be Right (or You Can Be Married): Looking for Love in the Age of Divorce

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Fast approaching the age when bachelors go from seeming curious to seeming weird, Oscar-nominated documentarian Dana Adam Shapiro set out across the country with a tape recorder in search of modern answers to an age-old question:

Why does love die—and what can we do to prevent it from happening?

It all began as a self-help journey in the purest sense. A serial monogamist
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Scribner (first published 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Geoff Little
Sep 11, 2012 Geoff Little rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Shapiro writes a book on his favorite subject (one also explored in his recent film Monogamy): the shit love puts us through. The book is one story after another (is literally him interviewing scores of folks, some he barely knows) of divorce. But in each story, the take-aways are many, and the meta is: you survive. And in some cases, you thrive knowing now what you did not know then. Shapiro lets the storytellers reveal how they could not have *not* had the life they had. Their personalitie ...more
Aug 21, 2012 sash. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. It's definitely one of the best books I've read all year. If you're recovering from a brutal break-up, divorce or any kind of cruel instance love has dealt in your life -no matter the stage you might be in- this is a perfect pick-up.

It's a self-help book in a lot of ways, entirely insightful and thought-provoking and at its thoroughly healing.

tT made me laugh a lot (surprisingly!). A friend of mine commented that she would be a wreck if she read it and I told her I fo
Feb 18, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so interesting and unique! The author, Dana Shapiro, has recently ended his 5th 3-year-long-term relationship and he was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with him - why didn't his relationships ever make it past 3 years? So, with the mindset that you learn more from failure than from success, he spent 4 years interviewing hundreds of divorced people to see what they learned about what went wrong and what to do or not do again. He divides the book into 3 sections - Ac ...more
Tian Xie
Sep 12, 2014 Tian Xie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A worthwhile read if only to hear the stories that so many ordinary people have, but nobody talks about. Some stories being quite extraordinary, like the woman whose husband turned out to be an international arms dealer. I would not necessarily consider this to be a self-help book, but at least it provides some confirmation that many ordinary people walk into marriages with the best intentions only to find themselves divorced much later.
Jan 13, 2013 Larry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Catchy title, but not really what I was looking for. A few of these stories are amusing, like the
woman who realized she was married to an international arms and drug smuggler. Mostly though just
depressingly similar stories about people who had affairs and got divorced.
Nov 15, 2012 Arlie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting look at love in a time where only half of all marriages survive, Shapiro has interviewed a large variety of people on the demise of their relationships. However, there was not as much takeaway from this book as I anticipated. I guess I thought it would be more like an extended version of this blog (, a blog that challenged me to really make sure I'm evaluating my own actions and honouring my spouse. But it wasn'tIt was more depressing in th ...more
Jan 20, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The author interviewed many people as to the demise of their relationships and what went wrong. I enjoyed the honesty of the stories and the humor in some of them. As much as I enjoyed the book there is not much take-a-way from it to apply to your own relationships. As enjoyable as it was, if your looking for something to apply to your situation this is not the book for you. You might find that you are able to relate to some of the situations but that is about as ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not learn anything from this book. There were two main themes: 1. you will have a better relationship if you wait until you are in your 30s to settle down, and 2. The only way to make it work is to respect the other person. I agree with both of these ideas. Before my 30s I didn't know what I wanted in a partner, or my life, and now I have a better grasp on that. Additionally, I recognize that if I don't respect someone, it will never work. Although I didn't learn anything new from the book ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a book. Shapiro filled his book with interviews that are heart felt and honest from divorced folks from all walks of life. This book is not just for the divorced. It is for anyone who is interesting in fostering an honest and productive relationship with their partner. Some of the comments made were brutally honest and enlightening. Some comments made me cringe as well and were not for the squeamish. But let’s be real, marriage isn’t for the faint of heart anyway is it? I didn’t just r ...more
Dec 07, 2014 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rather enjoyed this book. The format of short stories intertwined with one-on-one interviews make it a fast read and because every 3-4 pages we encounter a different character and a new story it's hard to get bored with the book. It has a feeling of eavesdropping on real life conversations between ordinary people who could be your neighbors or friends. A lot of this book is common sense and it has some pretty good advice for those of us who have been, are or never been in a marriage.
Yulia Ivashkova
Jan 19, 2014 Yulia Ivashkova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
38 year old man, incapable of taking his relationships any further than 3 year romantic love phase, looks for an explanation why so many people - including himself - fail to develop mature love and stable relationship. He interviews divorcees who are not scared of dipping into their past and talking about lessons learned.
Great insight into love and relationships. I would love to share the book with my SO - wish he would agree to read it...
Do Shim
Aug 01, 2013 Do Shim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not preachy. Just a collection of personal experiences and what they got out of it. Then, you do the math. Analyze your personal relationship and see how you can salvage, maintain, or better yours. Like it because no judgement on what each person went through, acceptance of journey, and no one claims to have THE answer.
Sep 12, 2012 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
There's nothing I enjoy more than hearing the grimy details of someone else's breakup. I would recommend this book for the interview with the 94 year old woman alone.

The advice is pretty solid, too, but like most good advice, is easier said than done.
Sep 14, 2012 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. From the collective knowledge here I feel like I actually learned through the experiences of others. As someone who has recently gone through a divorce it helped me not feel so alone anymore. Thanks Shapiro.
To say one really likes reading over 25 interviews of people telling about how they came to be divorced doesn't seem to fit. And yet, I read them all in the course a few days, which says something, considering how many books I start but don't finish.....
Jun 17, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of interviews and stories about love, marriage, divorce, and sometimes remarriage. It tries to answer the question of why some marriages end. It doesn't have any amazing conclusions, but interesting ideas to ponder.
Mar 18, 2016 Vsam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I really enjoyed this book. It was a collection of different people's story of married life after divorce, what they learned, what went wrong. It offered tons of advice, each story had at least one take-away to carry into you life. I may re-read and go on a highlighting spree.
Sep 16, 2012 Jallis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't what I thought it was going to be and it's so much more than a "self help book". The individual stories are well written and surprisingly funny. Shapiro writing style is witty, down to earth, and he really captured the people he interviewed. "John" was my fave!
Sep 13, 2012 Shelby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish
Jan 25, 2013 Tammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was so interesting. Loved getting some insight into other people's marriages. There is so much to be learned from others mistakes.
Jules Barnett
Oct 23, 2013 Jules Barnett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was insightful, funny and a little melancholy.
Feb 08, 2013 Janell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard an interview of the author on NPR and thought it sounded like an interesting book. That's pretty much what it was- interesting to read people's stories. I enjoyed it.
Oct 12, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scared the heck out of me, mostly, but it definitely had some good advice that I will take back to my marriage.
Jan 04, 2013 Schuisano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very interesting and exciting to read. I literally could not put it down and read it in one day. I highly recommend it.
Oct 30, 2012 Nancy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
In the book, the author noted he wanted to write a book like Studs Terkel, sadly, it didn't work. I like Studs Terkel's books, this one just seemed very lifeless.
Elizabeth Reed
Elizabeth Reed rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2016
Denise Romero
Denise Romero rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2013
Paula rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2015
Sarah rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2012
Matt rated it liked it
Dec 25, 2013
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