Farewell, Dorothy Parker
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Farewell, Dorothy Parker (Dorothy Parker #1)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  937 ratings  ·  284 reviews
"What if inspiration came to visit...and wouldn't leave?"
When it comes to movie reviews, critic Violet Epps is a powerhouse voice. But that's only because she's learned to channel her literary hero, Dorothy Parker, the most celebrated and scathing wit of the 20th century.
If only Violet could summon that kind of courage in her personal life.
Determined to defeat her socia...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Putnam Adult
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Sarah H
The premise is promising: Bring back Dorothy Parker as a ghost and have her channel her wisdom into a timid writer. But in order to make this work, the writing needs to be as clever as Parker herself, and that just doesn’t happen in this book. When the mechanism for bringing the ghost into the story becomes one of the more plausible things in the story, you’ve got a problem on your hands.

Meister, unfortunately, seems not to have learned one of the most basic lessons of writing: Show, don’t tell...more
Saralee Rosenberg
Whether you are already a devoted fan of Dorothy Parker or are just being introduced to her iconic wit and wisdom, you will adore FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER by Ellen Meister. The story is as original and clever as Dorothy herself and the heart and humor as endearing.

It begins with Violett Epps, a movie critic who wishes that she could be as daring in real life as she comes off in her reviews. For inspiration she visits the famed Algonquin Hotel in New York, the chic meeting place for the irrevere...more
Disclaimer: Every time I saw or thought of this book, Just One of those Things began running through my head. And now it's in your head, too. Just one of those things, I guess.

On to my thoughts of this book. I'm a Dorothy Parker fan. I think we're a dying breed. So when I read that Ellen Meister, who is also a Dorothy Parker Fan, upon seeing all the Jane Austen spin-offs, had written a book around one of her literary favorites, I was in.

The premise of the story is clever. Movie critic Violet Ep...more
I fell in love with Dorothy Parker when I was sixteen. I was immediately enticed by her searing quick wit, found a friend in her use of sarcasm and a kindred soulmate in deep cynicism.

I was delighted when I found Farewell, Dorothy Parker. And by 'delighted' I spazzed in a most unflattering fangirl fashion. It kind of looked like this:

Awkward, I know. That just goes to show my fierce love of Ms. Parker, despite the fact that such displays of over-emotion would grant me a rather stinging verbal ba...more
I was recently given the honor of receiving an advance copy of Ellen Meister's book Farewell, Dorothy Parker. I must confess that, although the name Dorothy Parker was familiar to me, I didn't know much of anything at all about the woman.

Therefore, when it came time to read the book, I waited for about a week. During this week, I vacillated, trying to decide if I should read up on the late Mrs. Parker before I read a fictional novel that included her. In the end, I decided that since this was s...more
Allison Campbell
FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER by Ellen Meister turns out to be chick lit. I'm starting this review with a disclaimer that chick lit is not normally what I read. It is possible that this is wonderful for chick lit. I was drawn to this title by the promise of Dorothy Parker's influence on a modern movie critic, Violet Epps, who is witty and confident in print, but a disaster in real life. Doesn't that sound fun? The book promises that the spirit of Dorothy Parker will help Violet find her voice and bla...more
If you’ve read Ellen Meister’s previous novels, then you know she is an incredibly talented and thoughtful writer. You know she is funny, sincere, and empathetic. Most of all, you know that she has a lot of heart. As such, my friends, you will find everything you’ve loved about Ellen’s previous books within her new one (humor, intrigue, family conflict, love, lust, anger, fear) but Ellen has upped the ante this time because she’s also included one more fascinating element… and that element is Do...more
Holly Weiss

Oh, My Gosh, I’ve Brought Her Home With Me

If you are not already a Dorothy Parker fan, Ellen Meister will make you one. Farewell, Dorothy Parker is clever and witty. Thanks to this author for shedding new light on a feisty literary icon and bringing us a fun read in the process.

Violet Epps, a sharp-tongued movie reviewer, needs some help in her personal life. Whether it’s breaking up with her boyfriend or bettering her family relationships, she just doesn’t have the oomph she needs. She summons...more
so i am about 2/3's of the way through this book which i would call an entertaining distraction from what i am 'suppose to be' reading which is the Rachel Carson bio, On a Farther Shore.

i think there are a couple of things that your enjoyment of this book will depend upon:
1. at least some familiarity with Dorothy Parker.
2. the ability to take a leap of faith with the author
3. reasonable expectations - this is not Dickens

so Violet -the main character- does movie reviews and at one point -as sh...more
Violet Epps is a movie critic who is sharp-tongued in writing, but timid in real life. She's struggling to break up with her boyfriend who keeps steamrolling her, talking over her, and trying to convince her that she's really in love with him. On top of that toxic relationship, Violet is battling for custody of her recently-orphaned niece, Delaney. The girl's grandparents also want to raise her, and they hired a ferocious lawyer to fight dirty. Enter Dorothy Parker, Violet's idol, the one who in...more
Oh, dear...it is so hard not to quote Miss Parker herself when commenting on this book. "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." Okay, perhaps not great force, but certainly in the direction of a good editor. Farewell, Dorothy Parker has the bones of a good story with a fun premise and a strong central character, Miss Parker. The other characters are so poorly drawn that it's hard to embrace the book. I so wish that someone had taken the author in h...more
I was super disappointed with this book. I so loved the idea of Dorothy Parker's ghost helping a mousy woman find her voice. But the writing let me down. The characters were super one-note, the plot was predictable and there was just nothing new here. The only good thing about it was that it was a super quick read....I finished it in just two sittings. So at least I didn't waste a bunch of my time reading it. The whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking about the scathing review the main cha...more
Viviane Crystal
Violet Epps is a scathing movie critic who is called some not-so-nice names on internet blogs by those who follow her reviews. In person, however, she is a meek person who stifled her opinions after a childhood scene with her sister that resulted in the family shunning her with silence for being so embarrassingly outspoken. Now, however, Violet needs to get some guts in order to dump her needy, self-centered boyfriend and to speak up at work where her job is threatened by a newbie trying to impr...more
I had to toss in the towel on this one, and that was tough to do becuase I am a big Dorothy Parker fan. I was listening to it on CD and the thought of 6 more disks like the first two was exhausting; maybe if I was reading it on paper I would have skimmed to the end, slowing down when Mrs. Parker appears, but as I had no option to do so with the CDs, I ditched it.

From my limited experience with the book, I would say it comes alive when Mrs. Parker is present but otherwise, it is akin to a Hallmar...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin W
*Heaves enormous sigh* I don’t really know what to do here. I got an ARC of this book free from the publisher in exchange for writing a review. And now I have to write a review for a book that I hated.

I signed up for the ARC based on my love of Dorothy Parker. I discovered one of her stories in an anthology my freshman year of college, sought out more, finally put my hands on The Portable Dorothy Parker, and then basically became obsessed with her. I wrote my senior thesis on her. I wrote anothe...more
Denise Brennan
Being a Dorothy Parker fan, I so looked forward to reading this novel, but was greatly disappointed by its lack of depth. The storyline was appealing and an interesting way to show tribute to Ms. Parker. I just wish that the author would have shared more of Ms. Parker than what most fans already know. I didn't learn anything that I hadn't already discovered on my own, which really was quite basic information. As far as the writing style, the text is too "prescribed". Ms. Meister doesn't allow th...more
Diane S.
Sometimes it is just a welcome relief to read a humorous and less serious, just plain old fun novel. That is exactly what this book delivered.I remember my mother shooting off many of Dorothy Parker's one liners in answer to some of mine and my sister's constant questions. Violet Epps is a snarky movie critic, so one would expect her to be bold in life as well, but not true, in life she has the personality of a marshmallow. So Dorothy Parker comes to her rescue, summoned in a very strange way, a...more
Kristen McDermott
I really wanted to like this book, but had to give up a quarter of the way in. Cute premise, but the author badly needs to follow the old "show, don't tell" strategy. If you're going to channel Dorothy Parker, your readers will expect her level of wit and sharpness, not to mention a plot that makes logical sense, as this one, unfortunately, doesn't.
What elevates this fun, sweet novel to the sublime is Ellen Meister's command of Dorothy Parker's voice - she captured her exactly! I have always been a huge Dorothy Parker buff, and reading this felt like meeting an old friend. A wonderful read for anyone, whether they are familiar with Miss Parker or not!
Craig Masten
Let me preface this review by saying I reserve five stars to a review for books or movies that make a memorable changing effect on my life. They don't have to be serious or Shakespearean to qualify, only be able move me in a memorably profound way. I put them aside on a special shelf, which isn't a long one, where they stay to remind me of their impact, and perhaps be found and read with similar meaningfulness by someone else.
This novel, "Dorothy Parker, " has earned a place on that shelf. I st...more
I read this on a recommendation from someone who knows how fond I am of Dorothy Parker. This fact made the book so much worse. To be fair, the author all but apologizes for her sad little trick in an afterword, but it would have been better placed as a caveat at the front.

This is a chick-lit novel with a twist: Dorothy Parker's spirit is trapped in the Algonquin Room's guest book, and leaving the book open to her signature allows her to materialize and take over the body of mousy film critic Vio...more
Movie critic Violet Epps is outspoken ... on paper. In person, she suffers from crippling social anxiety. She's afraid to break up with her loser/user boyfriend. She's afraid to speak up to her niece's grandparents ... the ones whom she is battling for custody of the teenaged girl after Violet's sister and husband die in a car accident. She's afraid to talk to her kung fu instructor, Michael, because she has a crush on him.

In other words, she's kind of a mess.

Until the day she decides to go to t...more
Linda Robinson
For a debut novel this would have been okay. For a writer with other books out in the world, not so much. A triathlon of Dorothy Parker, a ghost story, and a teenage grief novel all at once is daunting, and Meister missed two of the events. Ghosts can't move stuff, so choosing randomly what can be picked up, toted, or touched is problematic - especially when it's a major premise of the story. Parker doesn't have to eat but she has to drink. These paradoxes pulled my brain right out of the story...more
How ironic: one of the Key Events in this book is a review that movie critic Violet Epps (aka "our heroine") writes about a movie that doesn't live up to it's promise. She repeats a prayer while watching, "please surprise me". Couldn't have said it better about this book myself. Of course, the chances of this review going viral are far slimmer than hers...

Violet was essentially bullied by her sister Ivy into changing from a smartmouthed kid to one who is afraid to say anything in public (at one...more
By making Dorothy Parker a character in this novel, author Ellen Meister implicitly promises the reader she'll be able to replicate Parker's caustic wit. Not surprisingly, Meister fails. Parker was one of a kind and, while Meister compensates by quoting some of Parker's more memorable statements, the character never speaks as sharply and cleverly as the reader would expect. The story itself is not riveting enough to distract from this failing - Violet Epps, a sharp-penned movie critic who is pai...more
Pam Gardow
Violet Epps loves to chanel the "voice" of Dorothy Parker when she writes her movie reviews. Unfortunately, her real life voice lacks the gumption and wit she so reveres in her literary mentor. If she cannot find more assertiveness and inner strength, she is likely to keep her clingy, loser boyfriend, and more importantly, lose the custody battle for her recently orphaned, teenaged niece.

When Violet inadvertently sets free the ghost of Dorothy Parker, however, her life is turned upside down as t...more
Ian Baaske
I love Dorothy Parker and found this story of her ghost appearing to a timid movie critic and helping her with her life extremely readable and quite enjoyable. I wish it had expected a little more of its audience. Every reference is explained explicitly to the reader. When Mrs. Parker, for example, chose "Daisy Buchanan" as her alias, sure enough, we get an explanation of exactly who that is. Even character actions are spelled out where they don't need to be: the emotions related to a closing of...more
There were maudlin moments when this book made me cringe but Meister's Dorothy Parker character felt real and true to her character. Plus, the main character's struggles with social anxiety are very relatable. I liked the Dorothy Parker scenes the best along with her (the character's) message of saying what's on your mind and not worrying about what others think. Finally, I didn't find the book to be particularly well-written but I think it's usually a good sign (either of a book's enjoyability...more
Charming, light, the reading equivalent of watching a classic movie (like one of the Topper films from the 1930s). The ghost of Dorothy Parker has been trapped in the guest book of the Algonquin hotel. When Violet takes the guest book, Mrs. Parker follows her home and becomes her bossy best friend. Violet has to win custody of her teenage niece, start a relationship with the gorgeous kung-fu instructor, and mentor a snotty young co-worker. The story moves along fast, and the Dorothy Parker quips...more
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I'm the author of four traditionally-published novels, FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, THE OTHER LIFE, SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA and THE SMART ONE. I've also published numerous short stories and essays, do public speaking about writing-related topics, and teach creative writing at Hofstra University Continuing Ed. If you want to know more about me or my books check out my website, ellenme...more
More about Ellen Meister...
The Other Life Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA The Smart One The Wishing Cake Dorothy Parker Drank Here

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