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There Will Never Be Another You: A Novel

2.98  ·  Rating Details ·  230 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
“Carolyn See has written a novel alive with wit and love and energy–a book about things falling apart that turns out to be a day at the beach. . . . Pure joy.”–Joan Didion

Accomplished author Carolyn See triumphantly returns to fiction–seven years after her last novel was published–with this provocative, vibrantly written new novel. Set in a security-obsessed world that eer
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published May 16th 2006)
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Jun 26, 2009 Rashaan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As a student of Carolyn See, and an admirer who has followed her stories since first meeting her in a dilapidated UCLA classroom in 1996, its incredibly difficult to separate this novel from her life. Readers are not supposed to judge a piece of art based on the author's life. We should be able to look solely at the work itself to form astute criticisms, but there are just some creations that allude too much to what could be autobiographical, and the writer's personal stories can't be overlooked ...more
Jul 02, 2007 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of See's novels have this not-quite-right-anymore, quasi-apocalyptic tinge to them, as if society (esp. California society) is past some golden age. This one feels that way, even more so; it's set slightly ahead of our time and post 9/11. Everyone -- grandmother, her doctor son and his wife, a problematic grandson -- is jaded, and that *sharpens* them as actors here. I love See's economy with dialogue and scenes: she develops just enough, and moves on. Her earlier novel, The Handyman, is on ...more
Ricky Penick
Feb 04, 2013 Ricky Penick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, upon finishing the book, I looked at the reviews and, I find that I am disappointed by the reviews. Listening to this book reminded me of Farthing, by Jo Walton. While Farthing is set in an alternative reality where the second world war turned out differently, this reality is only a little different with a little more paranoia, just a hint more fascism. In both books, the focus is on families that seem, for the most part, to be oblivious to the world at large. The characters are not partic ...more
Aug 04, 2008 Elysabeth rated it liked it
I really enjoyed The Handyman by Carolyn See, which I read MANNNNNY years ago. This book was different, and I didn't hate it, but I didn't really love it either.

Set after 9/11, There Will Never Be Another You has a definite post-catastrophe feel. Far removed from the scene of New York, the book explores a family of characters, whose lives are affected by the aftermath of detruction, loss and death. Phil deals with his crumbling marriage and the scary potential of his rising career, Edith lo
Sep 01, 2008 Alfonso rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The book was an okay read. It is the story of a family that copes to life after the attacks of 9/11. The family lives in Los Angeles and jumps between a couple of characters. At the end of the book you don't care what happens to any of the characters. Phil is a doctor at UCLA medical hospital and gets recruited to be a part of a secret group of doctors that will work for the government in case of a terrorist attack. His mother Edith is a widow and volunteers at the hospital were her son works. Y ...more
C.G. Garcia
Nov 06, 2015 C.G. Garcia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
This is a semi-post-apocalyptic, post 9-11 type of drama, with chapters written from different characters' points of view. It was fun, and my first experiment with Carolyn See's fiction. I think I read it in less than one day. What does all this add up to? A solid 3 rating, no more, no less.
Jo Sandgren
Aug 26, 2008 NYLSpublishing rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: would not recommend
Recommended to NYLSpublishing by: NYLS Book Review
An ex-girlfriend, a woman who has dedicated her life to the study of human communication, once told me after she had grown weary of my reticent ways, “Joel, if you have nothing to say on the topic, just nod.” I suppose the literary equivalent of the nod would be the ellipsis – an extremely valuable tool.

See’s, There Will Never Be Another You, opens with Edith, the mother of Doctor Phillip Fuchs (snickering here is permissible), clearing her home of her late husband’s various medical apparatus a
Jun 03, 2007 Trin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always eager to read books about L.A., but they almost always disappoint me. (None of them really capture my L.A.—though oddly, I feel that Raymond Chandler's world occasionally intersects with mine. Also, the movie Blade Runner.) See's latest novel unfortunately continued the trend. It takes place is a universe that's supposed to be only slightly different from ours, in which national security after 9/11 has been amped up even more than it really was. Unfortunately, the difference feels if ...more
Jul 01, 2008 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel started out with a bang- the first couple of chapters features a woman musing on the loss of her second(and most beloved)husband who has just died, while recounting in brutal detail the mundane clean-up of his sick room that follows. I know this does not sound appealing!
However, the scene was riveting, partly because the narrator's personality was so completely lacking in self-pity.
I was looking forward to finding out how she would emerge from the depths of her jaundiced outlook on t
Jul 31, 2008 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We're never told what happened between 2001 and the 2007 this book is set in, but it must have been something slightly different than what happened in the real world. The 2007 America in Another You seems to have fully given into its post-nine-eleven fears and made them part of its daily life. A little more security, a little less trust, and a growing number of not-quite-right events - but people have adapted and life keeps rolling along.

Other than the super-secret paramilitary-ish program that
Feb 27, 2014 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks

I have long loved the novels and non-fiction of Lisa See, and almost equally as long have been promising myself to read something by her mom—novelist, memoirist, and UCLA English professor—Carolyn See. Her novel, THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU, was a good place to start.

Enjoyed the story—lots of familiar 'insider' references, loved the writing, and loved the characters. Especially the matriarch of the tale, Edith, who can only be seen as an 'adorable, grit
Dec 27, 2007 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The style of writing in this book reminded me of Days of Awe (which I didn't like at all) but was a more enjoyable reading experience for me. It also reminded me of Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking" because it was about what happens to the living spouse after their spouse dies... but again, I liked this one much better because it was more hopeful and the woman winds up finding more reasons to live eventually. Of course, this was fiction and that was a memoir so I guess the moral of the story i ...more
As someone else said, this tried to capture LA, and God knows she should be able to do it, being a prof at UCLA and all, but maybe it would have been more to my liking if it had been EITHER a sort-of-political post-9/11 scary family tale OR a family-drama-after-one-dies tale, OR a world weary rich white guy dumps the responsibilities fantasy story.

Perhaps I read it too quickly - it just didn't do it for me. Nothing captures LA like Didion or Boyle's Tortilla Curtain - at least the LA I knew some
Bobbi Woods
This book had a much different style than what I am used to. It's the story of Phil--a Southern California dermatologist who is having marital problems, kid problems, etc. He is recruited to be part of a special group at UCLA who is preparing for some sort of bio-terror attack. I have no idea why the book is titled this way--I had a tough time figuring it out. I read it fairly quickly while on vacation and understood the book a little more after reading the interview with the author at the end.
Julie M
I like her writing style and this story has quirky but believable characters, and no plot. See's dysfunctional family vignettes are well wrought, and she says a lot with a few words. (I especially enjoyed reading Edith's chapters, the 70-something mother of Phil, another 1st person storyteller in this novel.) Entertaining reading for the plane ride from VA to MN last week. I picked this up at the Green Valley Book Fair near Harrisonburg for $3.50 because I had bought, read and remembered that I ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Roberta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book because it looked like a quick read, which it was. I also chose it because it was written by Carolyn See, Lisa See's mother, and I wanted to compare their styles. I like Lisa See's writing better. I have to say that I don't really get the connection between the title and the story. It was an interesting story about what might be. A little futuristic, but not in a sci-fi kind of way.
Jul 30, 2013 Karen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book evoked very strong feelings in me: I hated it. I hated all of the characters, hated the stereotypical (and often offensive) portrayal of minorities, and hated the book's cynical world view. Additionally, I could find no coherent narrative or story line. I'm sure I was missing something, but I thought this book lacked a heart and a soul, and I regret having taken the time to finish it.
This is my second Carolyn See novel after the classic California post-apocalyptic Golden Days. She is a fantastically gifted writer. To me she captures the Southern California lifestyle to a T and as always she captures a point in time--this time right after 9/11 and the ensuing hysteria over anthrax. And yet--you are still there in Southern California with people playing out their family dramas and living life.

I still prefer Golden Days--this one was softer.
Nov 02, 2014 Cheery rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Writing style exemplifies character-based stories. See tells the sordid details of educated Los Angeles people (Doctors, retirees, and others) that are dissatisfied and unwilling to leverage their abundant resources to discover their own happiness. Reading left me disheartened and I did not care to finish reading the story.
Unusual and strange. Set in a security obsessed LA, the book explres the complexities of Phil the dermatologist's life - his recruitment to a top secret team at the hospital. his demanding wife, his grieving mother, his problematic children and a menacing future. Pretty good.
Patty Welsh
Quick read; interesting. I liked the way it dealt with finding purpose in your life, especially after a death.
Sue Davis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2016 Duncan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The end of this book was absolutely beautiful, like a sunset in didn't expect to see.
Feb 15, 2016 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Father saves himself and his pre-teen son by seeking the exclusive company of men.
Jan 08, 2009 Mara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't really like this one.
Jul 06, 2008 Cat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Neither real nor surreal enough to resonate with either heart or imagination. And the tidy closure was just, well, too tidy.
Jamshid Faryar
Aug 26, 2009 Jamshid Faryar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As in the movie "American Beauty," and the book "Film Club," I was encouraged by the optimism for the outcome of the survivors, in "There Will Never Be Another You".
Christoper Johnsen
I picked this up because Joan Didion gave it a thumbs up; while i love semi-nilistic California fiction (Play It As It Lays), this one really didn't do it for me.
Jan 28, 2008 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This book is set in Los Angeles around 9/11/2001. I thought the characters lacked depth and the plot was not terribly interesting. A bunch of self-absorbed characters that I had trouble caring about.
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Carolyn See was the author of ten books, including the memoir, Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America, an advice book on writing, Making a Literary Life, and the novels There Will Never Be Another You and The Handyman.

She was the Friday-morning reviewer for The Washington Post, and she has been on the boards of the National Book Critics Circle and PENWest International. She won both the Gug
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