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The Here and Now

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Hailed as the heir to such great comic writers as Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, Robert Cohen makes good on the comparisons with this richly satiric and exuberant portrait of millennial America -- its believers, hustlers, prospering careerists, and its shadow population of lost, sleepless souls.Bonnie Saks of Cambridge, Massachusetts, needs help. Her unfinished dissertation ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 2nd 1997 by Scribner (first published January 31st 1996)
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Oct 03, 2011 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sam Karnish, the first-person narrator of Robert Cohen's gripping The Here and Now is a man going through a variety of changes, and most of them happening simultaneously. Paramount among these is his halting and reluctant reclamation of his Jewish faith, prompted by an encounter with a Hasidic couple while en route to his friend's (third) wedding. Sam's life, like any good fiction character's ought to be, is riddled with mistakes and disappointments: his long-term girlfriend leaves him after hav ...more
Aug 15, 2012 Judi rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-1998
Samuel Karnish's life is a mess and reeling out of control. By chance he meets an Hasidic couple, the Brenner's, while flying to Houston for his best friend's third wedding. Sam who is a "half Jew" ("What is this mathematics?" asks Brenner) is confronted with his own belief system as this unlikely encounter turns into a friendship, of sorts. OK, he is attracted to Aaron Brenner's very shy, but enigmatic wife. But he really does like Aaron for his intelligence and certainty. So there lies some of ...more
Mar 21, 2010 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite being reviewed in the New York Times (and elsewhere too, I imagine) this book seems to have fallen between the cracks. There are no reviews of it here or on Librarything, and I only discovered it by chance.

I liked it a lot. Cohen's writing style grew on me as the book progressed, and the story was good enough to keep me reading even if the writing had not been as good as it was. Best of all, the Hasidic characters in the book are not merely 'spiritual counterweights' to the secular prota
Jessica gray
Jul 07, 2011 Jessica gray rated it really liked it
picked it up in a used book far, so was really great. Forced me to think about my life, my prejudices, and routines. Reminds me of the Niki Manage/ Kanye song "all of the lights"..."living doesn't mean your alive"
Louise Bodack
thought provoking. Memorable characters.

a quote: " There are three things to be learned from children.They're often happy for no particular reason, they're never idle,and when they want something they demand it vigorously." So true.
Feb 28, 2008 Liz rated it it was amazing
This was such a wonderful, painful novel...I wish Cohen got a louder reception.
This is one of the books I love to loan out to friends looking for a good read.
Dec 27, 2013 Rick rated it really liked it
I was about to "Here and Now" declare Mr. Cohen as amongst my top ten favorite living authors,
but, upon recount, he came up eleventh! It'll happen... in the There and Then.
Reza rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2016
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Sep 17, 2010
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Charlene Younkin rated it liked it
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Pam Zhang rated it it was ok
May 05, 2016
Tensy MB
Tensy MB rated it liked it
Jul 04, 2009
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Oct 14, 2012
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Oct 12, 2009 caitlin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Marylou, Tad, Codfish, Charis
Wonderful characters. A rich and exuberant book.
Michael rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2014
Megan rated it it was ok
Oct 23, 2015
Oliver rated it did not like it
Oct 01, 2014
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Feb 16, 2010
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Jun 30, 2011
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Jan 25, 2008
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Aug 02, 2013
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Robert Cohen, Professor of English and American Literatures, is a novelist who teaches both literature and creative writing courses. His books include Amateur Barbarians, Inspired Sleep, The Here and Now, The Organ Builder, and a collection of short stories, The Varieties of Romantic Experience. Prior to teaching at Middlebury he taught at Harvard, Rice, the University of Houston, and the Iowa ...more
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