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The Other Shulman

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  184 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Shulman, a chubby, middle-aged stationery-store owner from New Jersey, has always claimed that he s been gaining and losing the same thirty-five pounds since junior high and that if you added all of that discarded weight together, he had lost an entire person. Another Shulman. A Shulman he never really cared for. A Shulman he d always tried to lose by dieting and exercisin ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Villard Books (first published 2005)
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Dec 15, 2014 Νατάσσα rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Από τα πιο διασκεδαστικά βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει - ήταν σημεία που γελούσα δυνατά. Καλογραμμένο, ενδιαφέρον μέχρι το τέλος, αξιοδιάβαστο. Το χάρηκα πολύ.
Mar 21, 2012 Norm rated it liked it
My mother's book:

I read The Other Shuman because I enjoyed Lunatics, a book Alan Zweibel co-wrote with Dave Barry (one of my personal favorite writer-gods). So I was curious about Zweibel.

The book centers around an overweight, nice-guy wimp named Shulman, who owns a stationary store in New York that is quietly fading as big box stores take over the Mom and Pops. Shulman, in an attempt to become a more assertive, aggressive Shulman who can save his store, his marriage and his way of life decides
Jun 06, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Shulman is a middle-aged stationary store owner who estimates that he has lost (and regained) enough weight over his lifetime to make a whole other person, another Shulman who he'd never really liked and had spent years trying to be rid of. Married to Paula, who now spends most of their time in bed together leafing through design catalogs, and running a business that's gradually becoming obsolete, Shulman at 248 pounds decides to run the New York City marathon in order to raise money for AIDS re ...more
Apr 03, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This was a hilarious, sentimental story of a middle-aged man whose life is in such complete disarray that he figures the only way to make sense of it is to run 26.2 Miles. Like every decision made to run long distances, this ends up being brilliant. As Shulman runs the marathon, and reminisces preparing for it, he undergoes an existential crisis and realizes his life is in shambles.

I've never run a marathon, but I have done distance running, and a lot of Shulman's experience rang true for me. Fu
Mar 12, 2009 Bettylou rated it it was amazing
Whether you're a marathoner or not, you'll love this book. But you might like it more if you've run a marathon
Jun 23, 2013 Harvey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- a light, humorous first novel by one of the original writers for 'Saturday Night Live'
- I thought that the story-line/plot was very creative and I really enjoyed the light surrealism - and how I was never really sure if 'the other Shulman' was a real person or not (or just a product of the original Shulman's mid-life crisis, or physical over-exertion, or the psychological stress of suppressing his suspicions regarding his wife's possible infidelity)
- I typed out the plot: Shulman, a chubby, mi
Dec 14, 2009 Janie rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, running
The last third of the book descended into a "comedy" of errors (please note the quotes of uncomfortable mockery). I am not a fan of everything in the protagonist's life going horribly wrong. I do not find that hilariously funny. Like, you know, I did not laugh when I read the Book of Job. Damn dirty trick that was for the devil and his brother to bet on poor Job like that.

Luckily it resolved well. Hooray!

It made me glad I visited New York. I enjoyed the running bits the best.

"But as much as he
Mar 19, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it
I heard Alan Zweibel do a reading from this book several months ago. The reading was funny, and I was intrigued. I wrote it on my "need to read someday" list, and promptly forgot about it. Recently I saw it on the list and requested it from the library.

Shulman is a man who feels much of his life is failing - his marriage, and business, to say the least. He decides to run the New York Marathon. The book is written in 26.2 chapters - one for each mile of the marathon. In the process of relating t
Mar 21, 2013 William rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book, but it took me forever to get through it.

What went wrong? I never liked the Shulman character very much, nor many of the other characters aside from his store assistant, Austin. I suppose I am bored with tales of suburban angst. This saga of an average guy with average troubles just doesn't rise to any level of significance as literature.

One of the cover blurbs terms the book "hilarious," and were that true, the story might work as humor. Yes, a number of lines and di
Paul O'Grady
Jan 18, 2013 Paul O'Grady rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, fiction
The Other Shulman is a wonderfully creative novel. I picked it up because I had seen the author read a passage from the book on Letterman and it seemed amusing. Zweibel is one of the original SNL writers so I was sure he was talented and this might be amusing. That it was set in New York was certainly a plus for me. I never expected to be so captivated by this book. It had a depth and understanding of the human condition that spoke to my 45 year old soul. On one hand the book could not be more r ...more
Jan 28, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this book even though I found the back cover annoying. I mean, if you're going to get your famous friends (Larry David and Billy Crystal) to offer quotes for your book ("hilarious" and "very funny"), you should probably get them to read the book first. The book is neither hilarious nor very funny but it is sweet, poignant, and very clever. The basic premise is that Schulman has gained and lost the same 30 pounds so many times he's lost a whole person...whom he meets...who' ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
I have run 16 marathons, but will probably never run the New York City Marathon. There are just too many people that really, really want to do it, and there are too many other marathons I'd rather run than NYC; I wouldn't want to take a space away from someone who has it on their must-do list. That being said, I loved this book. 26.2 chapters, one for each mile of the race, plus a .2 postscript. A lot of us midpackers can identify with what Shulman goes through training for his first race. It's ...more
Geoffrey Kleinman
Apr 07, 2007 Geoffrey Kleinman rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mid Life Crisis
I've had a streak of 'OK to pretty good' books of late and The Other Shulman is smack in the middle. I loved the concept of someone losing so much weight over time that there would be enough for another person. It's interesting to have a split persona, and have to deal with the version of oneself that does everything that you may be afraid of doing. But this good book never breaks out into something great. It's funny, decently written, and has a good set of characters, but it just doesn't get to ...more
Jan 29, 2009 Amelia rated it really liked it
This was such a creatively written book, especially if you're a runner or determined to get on an excersise program! There was a little bit of swearing, but I really enjoyed reading this book about a heavy set man determined to master himself and his weaknesses by training for and running a marathon. Each chapter of the book (26.2 in total) represents a mile of the New York city marathon--- So creative and so fun to read!
Jan 03, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who has ever thought of running a marathon
Recommended to Sarah by: Darryl Graden
My father-in-law sent me this book. The guy who wrote it also wrote some episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. It is about an older man who decides to run the New York Marathon for an HIV charity. His stationary store is becoming irrelevant due to super stores such as Target, and he also feels irrelevant to his grown children. So he runs a marathon. So far this book is a lot of fun! There 26.2 chapters and as I write this I am on chapter 15.
Sep 21, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
This is a humorous book about a sad sack stationary store owner to battles his own lack of gumption. The quips and writing are funny and keep the story lively. Shulman vs The Other Shulman has enough tension to keep the story moving.

Very enjoyable.
May 07, 2008 Ashley rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that I really enjoyed reading and then when I was finished, I just kept thinking about how much I loved it. It's a book about running and about life. And it's very funny! I recommend it to everyone.
Tracy Dorsett
Jun 12, 2012 Tracy Dorsett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: enjoyed
This book had me laughing out loud, especially in the first half of the book. I would definitely read other books by this author. In fact, I have read a book that he co-wrote with Dave Barry. It was also very funny.
Dave Mortensen
Apr 11, 2011 Dave Mortensen rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Alan Zweibel shares a tender and hilarious view into the life of a 248-pound New Yorker on his way to completing the marathon of his life. Beware, you may sign up for a marathon yourself (I did).
Jul 08, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
This wasn't the greatest piece of literature on the planet, but it kept me entertained and interested all the way through.
Aug 01, 2013 Mary rated it liked it
A mid-life crisis finds an aging and out of shape stationery store owner training for the New York marathon. Funny, yet introspective. Each chapter is another mile along the way. Inspirational!
Crystal Carter
May 12, 2013 Crystal Carter rated it liked it
This story was good, but not great. Parts were incredibly funny!
Sep 05, 2007 Wally rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every fat middle age guy
Aug 27, 2009 Judygr8 rated it did not like it
so bad i couldn't finish it. a waste of time & paper. and to think, trees died for this book! what a shanda!
Mar 30, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it
A funny book by one of the original writers of SNL about a middle aged overweight man running in the NYC marathon. During the course of the book, he reflects on past experiences in his life.
Dec 03, 2007 Gwen rated it it was ok
cute book about a overweight man training to run the NYC marathon. Nothing dramatic - cute. Very easy read.
Jun 02, 2008 Jared rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A fun, entertaining read especially if you've been through training for a marathon. this is very light and humorous, and worth a few minutes.
May 04, 2008 Emilie rated it it was ok
This book started of really funny, had almost a Nick Hornby feel to it, but the ending was so cliche. He literally beats a bad metaphor to death.
Dec 10, 2011 Paula rated it really liked it
A kind of 'magical realism' hits New Jersey book. Shulman meets his other self who is hell bent on destroying him as his marriage and his business are both floundering. A charming story.
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