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The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

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3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,020 Ratings  ·  1,758 Reviews
Writer Nate Piven's star is rising. After several lean and striving years, he has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Juliet, the hotshot business reporter; Elisa, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, now friend; and Hannah, "almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice," who holds her own in conversation with his friends. When one relationship grow ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Picador (first published July 16th 2013)
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Elizabeth
Turns out Nathaniel P. is a self-absorbed rotter.
End of story.


Ron Charles
Nov 11, 2013 Ron Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-favorites
Bright young men, do you feel that chilly wind of exposure? Somehow, Adelle Waldman has stolen your passive-aggressive playbook and published it in her first novel, “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” You’ll want to tell your female friends that you’ve heard it’s not very good. Mutter something about how condescending it is to women. In the bookstore, reshelve copies back in the “Gardening” section. . . . .

An overreaction? I don’t think so. My daughter just graduated from college, but her educati
...more
Oriana
Jan 14, 2014 Oriana rated it it was ok
Recommended to Oriana by: Flavorwire + a million others
This is all Donna Tartt's fault.

I really, really wish I'd read this book a few months ago, when it came out, when I was really excited about it. Because it was pretty good! Really! I mean if it had just been a regular part of my reading life, I would have liked it fine. But—and I knew this before I was twenty pages in—Adelle Waldman is NO Donna Tartt. I'm actually afraid that anything I read for the next several months is going to wilt in comparison to even the vaguest whiff of The Goldfinch.

S
...more
Samuel
Oct 04, 2013 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fact that this book was written by a woman makes it sort of scary. At times, I was identifying with the thought processes of the protagonist so much that it creeped me out a little.

I found it a very accurate, detailed and realistic account of one man's struggle with love (or whatever he mistook for love). At times the prose was a bit dry and I missed the immediacy of the dialog whenever the protagonist got lost in memories and justifications.

Still, I noticed a lot of people complaining about
...more
Ayelet Waldman
Dec 14, 2013 Ayelet Waldman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went in prepared to hate this. I mean, hello? Another A. Waldman? But it was pretty fucking great. The insight into the way these literary boys think about women? Terrific.
Ken
Whew. It's tough to get into the love affairs of Nathaniel (call him "Nate") P. if you don't much care for Nathaniel (call him "Nate") P., and really, I didn't. At all. Not that it's deadly to dislike a protagonist. Poe pulled it off with aplomb. First-person creep POV, but the reader's still there. But Nate? He's just so much milquetoast angst. Shallow, despite his supposed Ivy League intelligence. And his biggest love affair is with himself. Yawn.

As for the girls, you can't help but wonder wha
...more
Courtney
Nov 10, 2013 Courtney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Loathsome. That is the best word to describe the pretentious, self-absorbed and self-congratulatory, emotionally stunted protagonist of this novel.

Smarmy. That is how I would describe the entire novel.

The entire thing left me feeling as if I needed a shower. My major complaints are listed below, in no particular order:

1. The main character is loathsome;
2. The author, though female, appeared to hate women;
3. If she used the word "gentrification" one more time, I may have smothered her in her ow
...more
Washington Post
Jul 18, 2013 Washington Post rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bright young men, do you feel that chilly wind of exposure? Somehow, Adelle Waldman has stolen your passive-aggressive playbook and published it in her first novel, “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” You’ll want to tell your female friends that you’ve heard it’s not very good. Mutter something about how condescending it is to women. In the bookstore, reshelve copies back in the “Gardening” section. . . . . An overreaction? I don’t think so. Read the review: http://wapo.st/16Miqoa
Hannah  Messler
God damn, why was this easy little book so rough. I ran through some of the reviews to get my bearings, and, by and large, and in some major organs, Waldman is being hailed as having delivered a masterpiece. Jane Austen/Edith Wharton comparisons. Uncomfortably incisive. Remarkably observant. You’ll feel she’s been peeking into your very brunches. Skewers a culture and roasts it to succulent perfection. A real make-you-thinker.

Which, all right. I can't say it wasn't a make-you-thinker. I certain
...more
Tamar
Aug 16, 2013 Tamar rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book for so many reasons. It's fake high brow trash for former ivy leaguers who live in Brooklyn. I won't even say it's a good beach read because nothing happens, there is no plot and the protagonist, a single guy in his 30s, is so boring. He's suppose to be an offensive character but he's just SO BLEH. I also don't think Waldman captured how a single man actually thinks--this book was CLEARLY written by a woman (what man spends so much time analyzing his romantic relationships? tha ...more
Alan Chen
Nov 18, 2014 Alan Chen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about this novel is its book jacket. I passionately, vehemently, and unapologetically hate this novel. I picked it up because many critics reviewed it favorably and it was on a few end of year best of lists. I also haven't read as many female authors as male and am always interested in adding to my list to look for in the future. The book, as in the title, is about the various love affairs of Nathaniel P. A fickle, lazy, narcissistic writer living in New York City. He floats from ...more
Kara
Mar 19, 2013 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review

This book y'all! Seriously! If you have ever just tried to date someone, you should probably read this

This book chronicles the dating life of Nate, who is, or so he claims, a nice guy. He's not the malicious sleezeball that we think of when we think of dating. He's not leading women on for no other reason than sex, he's not the kind of guy that cheats on his gf, or the kind of guy that has no empath
...more
David
Sep 14, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Debut novelist Adelle Waldman has an uncanny talent of describing women through the eyes of a man. The love Affairs of Nathaniel P is essentially, in the words of reviewer Sasha Weiss, "a mercilessly clear view into a man’s mind as he grows tired of a worthy woman."

Women readers must find the journey into the male mind infuriating. I found it to be fascinating, and slightly troubling. How is it that a woman can describe my subconscious behavior toward women better than myself? Who told her all
...more
Ami
Jan 06, 2014 Ami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This should really be a 3.5 star ranking. Or actually, possibly even a 4 or 5, but good lord, I could not deal with being in Nathaniel P.'s head for a minute longer.

The book is so smart about the ways ladies and dudes in their 20s sabotage relationships. I saw me and/or my friends in page after page, which YES, made me squirm uncomfortably and be extremely happy that I am a bit out of this phase of life.

The revelation Nate has at the end, (view spoiler)
...more
Stephen
Jan 27, 2015 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the best book on American culture I've read by a novelist in a long, long time. It was not only intellectually stimulating, psychologically penetrating and often very entertaining, it was a page-turner, one that honored the characters, articulated aspects of this rabble of citizens I needed to have articulated, all in all a novel that I will be thinking about for as long as I've been craving it - which has been a long fucking time.

It's her uses of irony that has stunned me the most. I d
...more
Lee
Sep 02, 2014 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really not a fan of the feeling this book gave me, its incessantly intellectualizing, grating, oft amusing but never LOL observations, its annoying new New York characters, all of them seeming more like snooty journalists than fiction writers/artists with screws joyously loose. I was thankful for the consistent physical description of characters, something so often missing in contemporary novels, but the book in general succeeded more as a collection of character sketches than a novel. Nothing r ...more
Jill
Jun 10, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jill by: Leanne
One of the greatest boons I discovered upon discovering dating was not the tenderness of someone’s arm around your waist or the security of always having Friday night plans but the ability to ask boys everything I ever wanted to know about them but wasn’t daring enough to ask. I have pestered every one of my boyfriends with the same questions: How do you talk about girls with your friends? What do you truly look for in a girl? Why did you really break up with your ex? Are you actually that obses ...more
Rand
A loving, lovely literary break-up letter for the Brooklyn literati, prefaced by a George Eliot quote ("To give a true account for what passes within us, something else is necessary besides sincerity.").

Nate P is in some ways a cross between Hal and Orin Incandenza. In the same vein, this novel could have been written by the female interviewer of Krasinki's adaptation of Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. But it's its own thing—it's not The End of the Story as the point of view differs and the n
...more
Lauren
Feb 10, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think we've all known a guy like Nate Piven: the self-proclaimed "nice guy", the kind of a guy who thinks of himself as a feminist, who understands women's struggles. Invariably this guy is always just as much of a callow jerk as your average frat boy, quickly growing impatient with women's feelings and foibles, and blaming them for any problems in the relationship. After all, he's a nice, understanding guy, it's not his fault the relationship is failing! Nate Piven is no exception, and what m ...more
Kris Patrick
Like high brow Tucker Max. Makes fun of pretension while being pretentious.
Larry Hoffer
Nathaniel Piven could be considered by some to be quite a catch. A well-read Harvard graduate, Nate is a good-looking writer who recently sold his first book, and thinks of himself as a bit of an intellectual. Raised by immigrant parents to respect intelligence and hard work, he wants to be seen as irresistible, but he struggles with his self esteem. Nate has had several long-term relationships with women, but ultimately he's grown bored, or wearies of his girlfriends' idiosyncrasies.

"Although i
...more
Greg Morrison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gaele
Jun 19, 2013 Gaele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, net-galley
Self-absorbed and believing his own press, Nate is that curious mix of insecure bravado and utter cluelessness that results in his lack of real connection to the opposite sex. Typical of the ‘tortured artist’ mode, Nate has a tendency to overthink everything. That in and of itself is not a bad characteristic, unless or until it stops forward progress, or the information that you are basing all decisions upon are flawed. And that is, as I see it, most of Nate’s problem. He has zero clue about the ...more
Leanne
Jan 28, 2015 Leanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I was pretty impressed that this was written by a woman, because it seemed scarily dead-on - and before I said that definitively, I had to look around and double check some reviews actually written by men, who seem to agree - whether or not they actually enjoyed the novel.

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. (or Nate) is a fascinating look into a hipster writer's Brooklyn, with plenty of social commentary - on upbringing, American cities, the college experience, and most of all, love. Some of t
...more
Julie Ehlers
May 14, 2014 Julie Ehlers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
Before I say anything about this book itself, I want to address how it has been portrayed in the media. When this novel first came out, I seem to recall that a lot of the coverage proclaimed that its title character, Nate, was some kind of representative of straight males as a group. Even the back cover of my paperback maintains that Nate is "an emblem of our time." This is a terrible, terrible thing to saddle a novel with. It can't lead to anything but women reading the book and being horrified ...more
David
Jan 01, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are not many times that I've had an emotional reaction to a book like this one. I kept changing sides on just how I felt about it, one minute getting very upset at what felt like cheap shots at my gender, the next admiring a portrayal of the simple deception of a male mind at work, the next peevishly setting my nook down and muttering "Dammit, that's low. But, true." While there is no way for me to really connect completely with this novel (You'd have to be a writer and/or live in New York ...more
Rhoda
Oct 13, 2013 Rhoda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Comparison of this book with The Marriage Plot by Eugenides is inevitable and works entirely in the latter's favor (indeed, Waldman's novel comes off as an inferior imitation of something by Eugenides). Eugenides inhabiting Madeline's mind is much more convincing than Adelle-as-Nate. Much better dialogue is to be found in Eugenides's book as well as much more probing insight. This book was unsatisfying in many ways (writing lacked propulsive energy, got repetitive in certain parts, material felt ...more
Justin Evans
Apr 08, 2015 Justin Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Well, that was unexpected. Despite numerous trustworthy people spruiking this book to me, I was unpersuaded. And then I started reading. And the first chapter was cringe inducing. "Justin, why do novelists insist," Justin asked himself, "on pretending that people call each other by their name every time they address a statement to someone?"

That was the last negative thought I had about the book. And I had to throw that one out the window, too, because the next time someone unnecessarily used a
...more
Gail Cooke
Jul 12, 2013 Gail Cooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adelle Waldman’s debut The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. Has been called “the best debut novel of the summer.” Now, whether it is or not I cannot say as I’ve not read all the debuts, but it certainly is first-rate. Simply couldn’t put the book down. Part social commentary and part character study it is an astute, witty, elegant look at modern day romance.

Seems Brooklynite Nate Piven would be a catch for any woman - he’s smart, an on-the-way-up author, and he really likes women. Problem is he al
...more
christa
Nathaniel P., part of Brooklyn’s young literati complete with a decent book deal, is on his way to a dinner party at his ex-girlfriend-turned-just-friend’s apartment when he runs into a different ex who, in their brief exchange, shames him for his past bad behavior. His social crime: Getting her pregnant, playing the role of a supportive boyfriend through the trip to the abortion clinic and a day of recovery, calling to check in with her -- then never talking to her ever again.

He can justify th
...more
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  • Fun Camp
  • Necessary Errors
  • My Education
  • The Collective
  • Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City
  • The Unknowns
  • Love All
  • The Virgins
  • The UnAmericans: Stories
  • The Wallcreeper
  • Dept. of Speculation
  • How Should a Person Be?
  • The Engagements
  • 10:04
  • & Sons
  • The Flamethrowers
  • The Isle of Youth: Stories
  • Odds Against Tomorrow
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Adelle Waldman’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and other publications. A graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, Waldman worked as a reporter at the New Haven Register and theCleveland Plain Dealer, and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal’s Web site before turning to fiction. This is her first novel.
More about Adelle Waldman...

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“Dating is probably the most fraught human interaction there is. You're sizing people up to see if they're worth your time and attention, and they're doing the same to you. It's meritocracy applied to personal life, but there's no accountability. We submit ourselves to these intimate inspections and simultaneously inflict them on others and try to keep our psyches intact - to keep from becoming cold and callous - and we hope that at the end of it we wind up happier than our grandparents, who didn't spend this vast period of their lives, these prime years, so thoroughly alone, coldly and explicitly anatomized again and again.” 29 likes
“I feel like you want to think what you're feeling is really deep, like some seriously profound existential shit. But to me, it looks like the most tired, the most average thing in the world, the guy who is all interested in a woman until the very moment when it dawns on him that he has her. Wanting only what you can't have. The affliction of shallow morons everywhere.” 20 likes
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