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There Will Never Be Another You: A Novel

2.92 of 5 stars 2.92  ·  rating details  ·  197 ratings  ·  33 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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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
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
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

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
Aug 26, 2008 NYLSpublishing rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
Ricky Penick
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Did not finish. The characters were grumpy and depressed and I couldn't take their negativity.
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
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.
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.
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.
Jan 28, 2008 Sara rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Jamshid Faryar
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.
Lynn Freeborn
Or not read ... I could see by the first couple of pages that this is not my type of book ... as much as I love Carolyn See's writing. Reviews anyway.
I wish I'd read this when it came out--the SARS and anthrax element feels a little dated--but really, I love everything this woman writes.
Sue Davis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neither real nor surreal enough to resonate with either heart or imagination. And the tidy closure was just, well, too tidy.
A quirky novel by Carolyn See about tangled lives in the context of a potential national catastrophe. Good conclusion.
Patty Welsh
Quick read; interesting. I liked the way it dealt with finding purpose in your life, especially after a death.
so far I don't really get it, and her dialogue is appalling. People don't talk like this. Or act like this, really...
Loved the part of Phil and his son. It really showed the depth a father's love can reach.
Didn't really care about any of the characters...
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Carolyn See is the author of nine 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 is 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 has won both the
More about Carolyn See...
Making a Literary Life The Handyman Golden Days Dreaming: Hard Luck And Good Times In America Making History

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