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The Slippage

2.92  ·  Rating Details ·  193 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
What would happen if you invited Lorrie Moore, Mona Simpson, Tom Perrotta, and Steven Wright to a suburban barbecue? Something like this wry and wistful new novel of marriage, lust, and disconnection, from the author of What He's Poised to Do.

William and Louisa Day are a suburban husband and wife with no children confronting the question of what their relationship means to
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Harper Perennial
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Jun 18, 2013 Nicholas rated it it was ok
Think Tom Perrotta but with little of the humor. Or Meg Wolitzer or Julia Glass but more suburban and with a lot less depth, detail, and empathy. The premise is interesting -- suburban marital ennui, and a falling apart of otherwise stable lives that begins with "the slippage" of the title -- but the book is gimmicky enough that you don't ever really feel that you know these characters. It's more like they represent people who might be experiencing all of these things, but as a reader you never ...more
Larry Hoffer
Apr 28, 2013 Larry Hoffer rated it liked it
I'd rate this 3.5, maybe 3.75 stars.

"The slippage is a specific thing. It's the moment when you start to lose your footing."

It's hard to tell where William Day's slippage began. Was it at the party he and his wife, Louisa, threw, when she didn't come out of hiding until the very end? Was it the moment an emotionally distant Louisa revealed she had bought property with inherited money, and asked William to build her a house? Or was it the unexpected reappearance of a person with whom he had a bri
Lorri Steinbacher
Jun 15, 2013 Lorri Steinbacher rated it liked it
Greenman deftly writes about suburban marital ennui. The concept of slippage really interested me. At what point, once you lose your footing, can you right yourself. William seems to float through his life making daily bargains with himself just to get through. His marriage is stagnant, his wife trying to reinvigorate them by insisting on a new house. William takes comfort in the house that they live in, comfort if not joy. In fact, joy is conspicuously absent in this book. All the characters ar ...more
Joyland Magazine
Apr 14, 2013 Joyland Magazine is currently reading it
Listen to Ben's appearance on our podcast, Truth & Fiction, where he discusses suburbia and the origins of The Slippage.
Jul 18, 2013 Ti rated it liked it
Shelves: books-sent-to-me
The Short of It:

A fractured, splintered view of a marriage in decline.

The Rest of It:

When I first saw the title of this book I was immediately reminded of California earthquake faults and how they slip and slide every ten years to give us a good jolt of reality. Oddly enough, that’s kinda what this book is about. Marriage, on the brink of disaster and how the fissures eventually become full-on cracks if you let them run their course.

William and Louisa Day live in suburban bliss. Nice house, grea
Jun 21, 2013 Katherine rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
*Really 1.5 stars. I was surprsied. Neither very good, nor very interesting.
" 'I'm trying to figure out how to make things work now. If I do that, then the future's just the sound of that same note sustaining.'
" 'That's beautiful,' Karla said. The idea was something William had acquired from a magazine, which didn't make it less beautiful" (50).
" 'As Kepler said,' Tom said, "the untrained eye is an idiot" " (58).
"She forced capital letters onto the last few words" (71).
"…and he moved side to sid
Jul 23, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
The world seems to shrink when one wakes up and realizes that they are middle aged and have not accomplished all that they have set out to do. They feel suffocated by the stagnant repetition of everyday life and nothing seems to inspire them. The world seems to tip and their feet begin to slip as if they are losing their grip on reality. A quest is sought out to remedy this situation that often leads to misadventure and sadness. It takes a person to a place that they may have not wished they had ...more
Uwe Hook
Jul 27, 2013 Uwe Hook rated it really liked it
"The slippage is a specific thing. It's the moment when you start to lose your footing."

It's hard to tell where William Day's slippage began. Was it at the party he and his wife, Louisa, threw, when she didn't come out of hiding until the very end? Was it the moment an emotionally distant Louisa revealed she had bought property with inherited money, and asked William to build her a house? Or was it the unexpected reappearance of a person with whom he had a brief relationship some time ago?

May 23, 2013 Shani rated it it was ok
"William had been keeping two secrets..." I was intrigued by this story, and while the writing was very good, I just couldn't get into the characters enough to care about what happened to them. I was really intrigued by the title, and a piece of the book that talked about graphic representation. I wish the author used this more (though I found more used in the notes at the end of the book that I think should been included in the text itself).

"Lunch was the spine of the day. Everything else moved
Paolo Aceves
Oct 27, 2015 Paolo Aceves rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, adult
In order to enjoy a book, the reader has to somehow connect with the story in some level, and this is partly why I did not enjoy this book too much. There was a good story in there; just I did not associate with the material. I'm (I hope) far too young to relate with the main character of The Slippage; a middle age man going through (go figure) a mid-life crisis. William goes through most of the common clichés of the midlife crisis checkpoints: Anger expressed in outburst of violence (check) inf ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Lana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
**I received a copy of The Slippage as a Goodreads giveaway.**

Greenman has written a story that is centered on conflict. Professionally, the protagonist is dealing with the stress of the corporate world. Personally, he is caught in a stagnant, childless marriage where an affair becomes a natural consequence. It is not the storyline that captivated me as a reader, as it is a plot that repeats itself often in literature. It is the writing that kept me turning the page. Greenman takes single moment
Jul 26, 2015 L rated it liked it
Easy and gentle to read, this book seemed to pass through my mind like a pleasant dream. The writing lulled me into something akin to a trance, broken up only by the occasional, brilliant turn of phrase. And there were many of those.

I liked the main character, William. He came across as witty in a dry and slightly sarcastic kind of way. This said, I didn't understand him, whatsoever. Or Louisa, his wife. Or Tom, his brother-in-law. Or the neighbors across the street. Their actions weren't authen
Brian Grover
Sep 02, 2013 Brian Grover rated it liked it
Solid, if unspectacular. A quiet snapshot of a pair of quiet lives, it feels (mostly) real enough, and the dialogue has plenty of pop. However, I have some issues here. One, the two main female characters (the wife and the mistress) talk almost identically; I'd have appreciated a clearer division of major characters. Two, the guy (William) is just a little too glib. Greenman would have done well to make him a little less comfortable, a little less quick.

As an aside, it's patently ridiculous how
Nov 14, 2013 Corrin rated it liked it
Started our a 2-star book for me, and if I made a practice of abandoning books, I might have done so. I am, despite plenty of terrible books, still a literary optimist, I guess, and this book improved greatly in the second half. Not a light-hearted read, that's for sure. The characters all came across as slightly unformed, and in the first half seemed to act randomly, without motivation. Greenman does tackle some Big Ideas that are slightly depressibg, really, but interesting. No new ground, tho ...more
Oct 27, 2014 Michael rated it did not like it
I NEVER been the one that shared the majority opinion on life, in particular books. Rather I am the one that will disagree with the most popular vote,but in this case, this book was outnumbered by the ones that liked it. In the beginning of the book, it did not make a lick of sense, from the undefined plot to the poor characterization. It was crappy from the start, I should have trusted my instincts before I decided to give this book a shot.

Forgettable, trite, and a sloppy mess.

Tiffin-Seneca Public Library
Feb 14, 2013 Tiffin-Seneca Public Library rated it really liked it
Shelves: cm
The story centers on William Day, who seems like your typical suburban professional. He lives with his wife, Louisa, and pretty much makes it through life one day at a time. But he must deal with a loss of control in his life once his wife shows him the plot of land where she wants to build a home. One by one, things start happening that threaten to unravel his life. This is a very well done novel about a dysfunctional marriage.
Jan 06, 2014 Joanne rated it did not like it
Another one for the started did not finish shelf. It was a present and not one I would have chosen, clearly the author was having some kind of mid life crisis. the main male character was such a sad sack who had a rather un-original affair, lost his job, he and his wife don't communicate anymore yada yada yada. BORING!
Aug 11, 2013 Seth rated it liked it
I really like Ben Greenman's sense of humor (at least as it presents itself within his writing) as combines cleverness, sharpness, and yet also a senes of warm-heartedness. The Slippage had those qualities but the overall plot arc didn't have quite enough oomph for me. But it worked as a nice, fast cloudy day read.
Jan 02, 2014 Erik rated it liked it
This book was pretty good - it had passages that were extremely well written, but in the end was a long description of relationship ennui. About halfway through I was really into it, but by the end didn't feel the same way, although the interview and author comments afterwards did lend it some increased gravity, so there was that.
Oct 08, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
It was ok. I was shocked at how upset William got at the end of the book when Louisa made her big announcement, considering what he'd been up to. Overall I didn't really like the characters. I just wanted to reach into the book and slap them and yell, wake up. Louisa's brother Tom was a comical addition to the book. I liked his graphs.
Aug 18, 2014 Laurie rated it it was ok
There wasn't anybody likable (or all that believable) in the whole book. Of course I didn't realize that until about halfway through, so I finished it. It wasn't the WORST waste of time, but not too far off!
Oct 21, 2014 Julie rated it it was ok
2.5 William and Louisa are a young married couple with no children, living in the suburbs. The "slippage" begins when William has a one night stand, and continues when he loses his job and doesn't tell Louisa. I found the concept interesting, but the characters were not interesting, nor likable.
Jul 06, 2013 Donna rated it did not like it
Got this as a giveaway from GR and brought it to read on vacation. Couldn't make it past the first chapter. Everything about it seemed so cliche and over-written. I hate to abandon books but I just couldn't finish.
Jeri Mihm

Boring. I could not connect with any of the characters in this story. Everyone in this book is unhappy and I did not like any of them. The dialog and behaviors were not believable. Two stars only because I did finish the book.
Jul 19, 2013 Angeles rated it liked it
Marriage: Love + lust + infidelity?

This seems to be a somewhat honest look at the dishonesty within a marriage. Nothing spectacular or moving, nothing thrilling or particularly poignant.
Jonathan Horowitz
Jun 22, 2013 Jonathan Horowitz rated it it was ok
Meh, nothing new, vaguely intriguing at times, but not as much as you could feel the author wanting it to be...
Sep 12, 2013 Jonathan rated it it was ok
The writing was good in this book. The tone was a bit creepy and trapped. Characters just didn't leave me with anything.....
Devan Owens
Jan 28, 2016 Devan Owens rated it liked it
I can't decide if this was a book about unhappy people who don't want to admit they're unhappy, or happy people who don't want to admit that they aren't destined for more.
Pei rated it liked it
May 28, 2016
Mary Berner
Mary Berner rated it liked it
Jul 21, 2013
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Ben Greenman is an editor at The New Yorker whose short fiction, journalism, and essays have appeared there, The New York Times, McSweeneys, The Paris Review, and Zoetrope: All Story. He is the author of several acclaimed books of fiction, including Superbad, Superworse, A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both, Correspondences, and the novel Please Step Back. HIs new book of stories What He's Poise ...more
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