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Mimi

3.09  ·  Rating Details ·  239 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
It's Christmas Eve in Manhattan. An eminent plastic surgeon slips on the ice, lands on his butt, and sprains his ankle. So far, so good. A woman such as he's never known yanks him to his feet and conjures the miracle of a taxi. Harrison recuperates with Franz Schubert, Bette Davis, and a foundling cat. Then it's back to rhinoplasties, liposuction, and the peccadilloes of h ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published February 14th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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MJ Nicholls
For a while there, Ellmann was the best womanist word-wielder I had ever read. I was tied to a patriarchal literary agenda that barely encompassed a non-comedic novel by a single woman. I liked Ellmann the most because she wrote unlike a woman—all righteous undainty bile-stirring and alarmist CAPS—and in her sixth novel she writes a man flawlessly like a woman. The title, and titular character, is an allusion to Puccini’s La Bohème, mentioned frequently and exhaustively throughout, and the novel ...more
Maine Colonial
Jan 05, 2013 Maine Colonial rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harrison Hanafan is not having a merry Christmas Eve. He hasn't come up with a good excuse to skip out on his rich, self-absorbed girlfriend Gertrude's holiday party yet and now, out on Manhattan's Madison and 34th, he takes a spectacular fall on the icy sidewalk, sprains his ankle and is helpless. Busy New Yorkers just walk past his prostrate form until a woman appears, pulls him up and bundles him into a taxi that she seems to have summoned by sheer force of will.

The sprained ankle is a blessi
...more
Nicole
I was intrigued when I read the description of this book, and excited when Bloomsbury USA allowed me access to it via Netgalley, but I'm sad to say that Mimi never lived up to my hopes. I can't say expectations, because I'd never before read anything by Ms. Ellmann, so I didn't know what I'd get in this book. I did think this was an interesting little story about two strange people, but to call this the feminist novel of the century so far? I think not.

It took me a while to get into the book, be
...more
Sue
Feb 26, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a wild combination of a Preston Sturges comedy--maybe starring Cary Grant and Melissa McCarthy, the "Ant and Bee" series of kid's books by Angela Banner, a satire, a romance, the joys of sex and art and music, a feminist manifesto, and an appreciation of cats as pets. Its a collage, a crazy quilt, a montage, a collection, an assemblage. And its put together with lists. The story is told by one narrator, Harrison Hanafan, and how much you enjoy the book probably hinges on how much yo ...more
Sam Still Reading
Jun 08, 2013 Sam Still Reading rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy strong emotions in their books
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: sent by publisher - thank you!
I’ve never read a book by Lucy Ellmann prior to Mimi, and man, do I feel bad about it! If Mimi is anything to go by, Ellmann writes with so much emotion that I’m sure copies dance around the shelves on their own! This book is chock-a-block bursting with feelings – all feelings ranging from ecstatically, insanely happy to the shattered emptiness of loss. Mimi moved me to the point where I was starting to reflect the protagonist (Harrison Hanafan) in his feelings.

Harrison is a plastic surgeon, but
...more
a_tiffyfit
Received this via the publishers in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

I had a hard time getting into this book at first. It seemed like I was in for a book full of rambling rants from this plastic surgeon. Harrison is so melancholic that I wanted to smack him. He seriously needs a dose of sunshine.

And he gets it with Mimi. Mimi is a bright, vibrant spot in this man's bleak, unhappy life. He is so disenchanted with life and routine, he needs the chaos of Mimi. And she is the catalyst that
...more
Rebecca
Apr 02, 2013 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended in the Psychologies Magazine as a good read. I read the reviews on Amazon (hadn't used this app before) and apart from one, it sounded rather promising. So I purchased it and was quite excited about reading it. BIG MISTAKE!!! I tried really hard to get through this book, managed a third and it beat me. The main character Harrison was too manic for me, I couldn't relate to his upbringing, his emotions and his choice in a previous relationship. Gertrude, who on earth is called ...more
Kate
Feb 15, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
See my full review here - http://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wor...

Mimi by Lucy Ellman had me laughing from the first page. Not just little smiles, but snort-laughs. I’m all for Ellman’s brand of sarcastic humour. But it’s not all laughs. There’s a serious, thoughtful side to this book and whilst the feminist theme weaves through much of the story, Ellmann delivers a shocking plot twist midway through the book that reminds the reader this is no fluff.

Mimi has been hailed the ‘feminist novel of th
...more
Kathryn
Jul 27, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, a big shout out and thank you to the Reading Room for my free review copy of Mimi. And now that the disclosure and a very sincere thank you are out of the way, I'll start by saying that when I first picked up Mimi and read the first ten or so pages, I found myself wondering what the hell is this book? Once I had read the first thirty pages, I was absolutely hooked by Lucy Ellman's eccentric prose and her massively self-centred lead character, Harrison Hanafan.

The novel opens on Christmas
...more
Diane
Nov 30, 2012 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
This is a somewhat eccentric book about an eccentric plastic surgeon who falls for a most definitely eccentric middle aged woman called Mimi. Mimi is brash, colourful, confident, outspoken. She's not afraid to tell it like it is and she shakes up the world of Dr. Harrison Hanafan. I like her a lot. He's a plastic surgeon who started off trying to help people but is now disillusioned with all the nipping, tucking and botoxing he's required to do these days.

He meets Mimi when he falls on Christmas
...more
Karla
Feb 06, 2016 Karla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Mimi" by Lucy Ellmann has some good points. Ellmann is certainly an enthusiastic writer with a quirky, unique style. I've never read a book with so many exclamation points (!), capital letters (FOR EMPHASIS), and silly lists with lots of commas (usually inserted for humor, sentimentality, emotional impact, and the like).

The story is told from the view of Dr. Harrison Hanafan, a middle-aged plastic surgeon living in New York City. He has a wonderful sister, Bee, who is an artist living in Canter
...more
Ida Ottesen
Jun 12, 2014 Ida Ottesen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminist-writing
Full of lots of feminism, love and humor! Although it's not perfect in all of its ideas on feminism, for me it was great just being able to read a book that actually spotlighted the way women are treated and did so in a fun (but without taking the piss) and enlightening way, not just for the reader but for the characters in it as well.

The character of Mimi was an absolute joy, full of rage, love and great ideas of how the world should be. Favorite bit? This:

Mimi on the moon landing: "Women were
...more
lisa
Mar 16, 2014 lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book free from Good reads first read.
I had not read any books by this author Lucy Ellmann, however it sounded interesting and I looked forwarded to receiving and reading it. This book is centered around a plastic surgeon called Harrison living in New York. There are only a few other characters, his sister Bea who is voiced on the telephone, his horrid nutty ex girlfriend Gertrude, friend and colleague Henry, and delinquent school "friend" Gus, and finally his new cat Bubbles and
...more
Jane
Jan 02, 2016 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
By chance I think I've found an angrier, female version of John Irving. I should pick up random library book more often!
Vanessa
Mar 16, 2016 Vanessa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I'm never keen on men writing as women or women writing as men. Very occasionally, it works but in this instance - it didn't.

Female characters written by women often feel lesbianish and feminist - and often eerily have too much insider female knowledge to be convincing males. Knowing this was a woman writing as a man, the sex bits made me squirm.

I felt that the storyline has legs, but Harrison Hanafan's manic personality, coupled with Mimi's equally manic feminist ardour was too much.

To be trut
...more
Lorri Steinbacher
A good, but flawed book. I admit I often found myself laughing out loud. Harrison's relationships with the women in his life--with Bee, with Mimi, even with Gertrude--were the strongest part of the book. Harrison's conversion to a radical sort of feminism, as embodied by his manifesto, was distracting, almost beside the point, which is where the "flawed' part comes in, since the development of the manifesto is the skeleton upon which the rest of the book hangs. Which is not to say that the manif ...more
Bree T
May 06, 2013 Bree T rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Harrison Hanafan is an esteemed plastic surgeon in New York. On Christmas Eve he slips on a patch of ice and is helped up by a strange woman who then hails him a cab – a seemingly impossible feat at such a time. Having injured his ankle, Harrison takes some time off work and spends his days getting to know a stray cat – they have adopted each other and the cat becomes a core part of Harrison’s life.

Harrison’s high school asks him, as an esteemed allumni, to make a speech at their graduation cere
...more
Damaskcat
Jan 31, 2013 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a marvellously entertaining novel with sad, happy and poignant moments. It has a lot to say about the position of women in society today but it does it in such an amusing way and through some fantastic characters. The book is narrated by Harrison Hanafan, a New York cosmetic surgeon who is starting to be disillusioned by his work. On Christmas Eve when he is not looking forward to the holiday he falls on an icy sidewalk and sprains an ankle. He is rescued by Mimi, a middle-aged woman. Th ...more
Naoms
Originally Posted on Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

My low rating of “Mimi” doesn’t necessarily mean it is a bad book. It just is not my particular cup of tea. I opened the book with a feeling of dread. Why did I request this ARC? What was I thinking? I’m going to hate it! To my surprise I did not hate this book. The authors writing style completely snared my attention. It’s quirky, introspective and hilarious. Harrison’s mind is fast paced, reflective and all over the place. His list of
...more
Meigan
Jan 11, 2013 Meigan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
MIMI

Read 2/3, skimmed the last third.

From book synopsis: It's Christmas Eve in Manhattan. An eminent plastic surgeon slips on the ice, lands on his butt, and sprains his ankle. So far, so good. A woman such as he's never known yanks him to his feet and conjures the miracle of a taxi. Harrison recuperates with Franz Schubert, Bette Davis, and a foundling cat. Then it's back to rhinoplasties, liposuction, and the peccadilloes of his obnoxious colleagues. It is only when he collides again with tha
...more
Andrienne
Hmm, feminist book. I can see that, sort of. The book was funny at first. Harrison's observations were hilarious and then he meets Mimi. I had a hard time figuring out which voice it was that was narrating the book because even though it was supposed to be Harrison, it didn't seem like a manly man. Maybe a metrosexual middle-aged guy or something? So from the beginning, the author set out to assert the feminist angle to this book by making the guy care so much about trivial things when really, h ...more
Judith Yeabsley
This started as a quirky book with interesting passages and some humour interspersed with pockets of waffle and parts that were irritating. Unfortunately the further you get into the book the more this balance is reversed. By the end I was struggling to finish and was skim reading huge swathes. The author is female but it features a male main character and is narrated in his voice. Not at all believable that the thoughts are those of a male.
Fiona
Feb 19, 2014 Fiona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Quite hard to know what to make of this one. I loved its politics and agenda, and its unusual writing style - unique and very funny at times. But the plot, such as it was, was bizarre at times, and the characters, though lots of fun, were completely unrealistic. Lots of situations and the characters' responses to them were odd and unconvincing. But some great ideas and fun to read.
Sara Reis Sullivan
I won this book here in goodreads in exchange for a honest review.
Mimi is a vibrant, passionate feminist book, original at its core with exquisite writing. I have never read anything like it.
The reason I'm only giving three stars is due to the fact I'm not much of feminist myself, so I could not relate with this book. But I recognize a good book when I read one.
Rebecca Ellison
I'm sorry to say I agree with reviews. It was a lovely tale which just got stranger and stranger until you were rolling your eyes at the fact that everytime an important woman in his life was in a relationship she was subject to domestic abuse or the patient he sees are abused in some way. A feminist bovelwhich perhaps takes the feminist a little too far? Her main charactar,Harrison, appears a little bit of a sap, which, I know the female characters are supposed to be stronger, but doesn't lend ...more
Johanna Craven
I absolutely loved the prose of this book- so fresh and original. The characters were very real and complex. Sadly, though, I felt the story moved too slowly and didn't hold my interest. While I loved the quirkiness of the tangents the narrator went off on, I felt they often dragged. Still, I'd like to check out some more of Lucy Ellmann's work, purely because I love her writer's voice.
Leona
Apr 15, 2014 Leona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just don't know... I skipped most of it - too many words and digressions and trickery. But I like the sentiments that she felt she had to soften with humour and play: that women are constantly under threat, that the world is at war with us.
Renee Gough
Jul 25, 2013 Renee Gough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! A beautiful examination of gender studies crafted by a word warrior with a critical mind that translates into social commentary with a twist of the absurd, all played to the soundtrack of Bach that clearly courses through the author's blood. I may have to add Lucy Ellman to my "ideal dinner party" along with Virginia Woolf and Leonardo DaVinci. And Bubbles the cat--stole my heart! I'm a Chicago native who spent a decade living in England so I loved the British notes from Cante ...more
Kate Taylor
May 25, 2016 Kate Taylor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Got half way through, then gave up. Even reading as much as I had, I barely had any interest in the characters and no real idea what was going on or where the story was going. So many better books out there to read to bother with this one.
Anita Jefferies
Somehow despite a touch of John Irving in the writing style (that's a good thing!), a strong feminist character and some serious subject matter, it just didn't engage me. The character I got most attached to was the cat!
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Lucy Ellmann was born in Evanston, Illinois, the daughter of biographer Richard Ellmann and writer Mary Ellmann (née Donahue). She moved to England at the age of 13 and was educated at Falmouth School of Art (Foundation degree, 1975), Essex University (BA, 1980), and the Courtauld Institute of Art (MA, 1981).

Her highly-praised autobiographical first novel, Sweet Desserts, was awarded the Guardian
...more
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