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The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  108,448 Ratings  ·  2,601 Reviews
Hailed by critics as the debut of a major literary voice, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing dazzled and delighted readers and topped bestseller lists nationwide. Now, in anticipation of her upcoming new work of fiction, The Wonder Spot, Penguin is publishing Melissa Bank's bestseller in a mass-market format to reach an even wider audience.

Generous-hearted and wickedl
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published December 29th 1998)
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Coquille Fleur I thought it was foreshadowing some future for Jane, but this thread was just left hanging. If only Robert lived in that building or something, it…moreI thought it was foreshadowing some future for Jane, but this thread was just left hanging. If only Robert lived in that building or something, it would have made sense. I totally agree with you on this one.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 28, 2008 Kate rated it did not like it
This book sucked some major balls.
Jun 29, 2007 Blanca rated it it was amazing
It is a shame that Bank's prose is categorized as chick lit, because there is real weight and substance in her writing style. Perhaps she gets lumped into that fluffy genre because of her age and her contemporaries are cranking out pop fiction instead of literary fiction.

Her characters proceed with humor, but it is not cheeky or plucky. If her characters were brought to life on tv, it would be a drama, not a comedy.

Like my favorite short story collection of all time, The Nick Adams Stories, the
Jul 09, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
I couldn't believe the disconnect between the reviews of this book and its content. The New Yorker actually compares it to Bridget Jones, because, you know, all books written by women with a female protagonist in her 20s are the same. I thought this read like serious literary fiction. If a guy had written this book, he'd be called the next Salinger. If an older woman had written this book her name would be Abigail Thomas and it would be a memoir titled Safekeeping .

To be fair, I picked this
carey lina
Feb 04, 2009 carey lina rated it did not like it
0 stars. if i wanted to spend hours hearing another female continually question her own abilities and judge herself mediocre, I could just hang out with myself.

Found in Last Word trash. A good place

Also someone edited in an extra, unrelated chapter
Jul 08, 2008 Martha rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Not many people. Read it or don't. You have been warned.
Shelves: chick-lit
This book was supposed to be what started the "chick lit" genre...and I don't get it. I thought it bordered on depressing. Now in all fairness, I read it between Jen Lancaster books so....but really, it had a bleak, Russian winter feel to it. Jane's relationship with Archie, the alcoholic older man, was just so sad that I wanted to beat her for even entertaining the notion of such a self-indulgent ass in her life. There was nothing fun or uplifting or even redeeming about this story line. Based ...more
Aug 24, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lost and incurable
“It occurred to me that the quiet in the suburbs had nothing to do with peace.”

I believe it is time for another identity crisis. It has been a few years. My neurosis is making farm animals out of dust clusters in this particular corner and screaming to be taken for a walk. It’s time to lube up and face the fact that I might just be becoming one of those women that I want to kick in the shins with my doc martens and spit and spew snarky, inappropriate, gen x’er, manifesto-esque, Jenny Holzer Trui
Jun 19, 2008 Staci rated it did not like it
This book drove me crazy. So many of my friends loved it and insisted I read it. I hated it. I thought I was missing something, so I read it again. Still hated it. Ugh.
Karen Dmytrasz
Feb 29, 2008 Karen Dmytrasz rated it did not like it
Based on the title, I thought that this novel would have some feminist themes, encouraging women to do things that normally men do, but instead this was a book about a series of romantic affairs, none of which were particularly engaging, memorable or unique.

After realizing that the book was about relationships, at a minimum, I had hoped Ms. Bank would shed some new light on the woman's struggle to find a male partner in modern America...Instead, I found her writing to be caddy and her plot to b
Feb 14, 2009 Miriam rated it liked it
One of my roommate's boyfriends told me that I needed to learn something about feminine mystique. He was probably right because I have never understood many things about why some take so long in the bathroom, and why every time a driver is repeatedly running into the garage wall while backing out, it turns out to be a woman (why?). Sometimes I read books such as this in an effort to find feminine mystique.

Ths book is about a woman and the men she dates. The woman is on a postmodern
Feb 22, 2008 Bets rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok... I read this book a while ago. I saw it on our bookshelf and realized I had completely forgotten what it was about. I decided to re-read it... and guess what? I cannot remember what it is about. I don't think I can go for a third time. I have to say that the cover and title seduced me. Apparently, the story didn't.
My favorite story is “Advanced Beginners.” I could read a whole novel about Jane at 14. Melissa Bank really has a flair for one-liners. I love when her brother asks if she read the Norwegian philosophy book he gave her, and she says, “I spent about a month reading it one afternoon.” I love all the little details in her stories because she doesn’t beat you over the head with them. They’re sparse and significant. You don’t have to skip over long descriptions of trees and wallpaper and shit. It’s a ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2008 Wendi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sarah, Tina, Beth
This is one of those books that you fall in love with immediately. From sentence one to the very last, it's a book that sticks with you.

It's made up of short stories, snapshots of main character's life. Even though the stories were quick I felt like I got this wonderful portrait of the character Jane.

We watch her grow up and coming into herself. She reminds me of a combination of my girl friends - from junior high right on up to my current gal pals - including my female friends that are my seni
Jan 03, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing is a compilation of short stories, mostly revolving around the character Jane Rosenal, a sarcastic yet unquestionably endearing New Yorker whose growth we see marked by different events and stages of her life. Each chapter/story leaves Jane with ideas and revelations to ponder about herself, life, relationships, and love, and how all of these things relate to each other. Bank uses the cute analogy of "hunting and fishing" to relate to the process of findi ...more
Jul 26, 2007 Bridget rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: I don't know I would recommend it!
I just finished this book and I've got to tell you I was utterly disappointed. I remember this book was out around the time that Bridget Jones' Diary was out and they were comparing the two as "great novels for single females". While Bridget Jones did the trick, this book did not satisfy me what-so-ever. I didn't really feel any connection or feel like I bonded with the main character Jane. I can't imagine dating someone 28 years older than me who also is an alcoholic no matter what people say a ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sometimes you read the right book at the right time in your life and it just clicks. As a single, independent woman living in the big city, I can relate with Jane's journey to find out who she is and what she wants her life to be. Some reviews I've seen call this novel the first "chick lit" of the new millennium, which is both demeaning and misogynistic, putting a book written by a woman about women in a second-class category. Sure there are stories about dating, but the men are used more to ill ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like Amy Bloom, Simona Vinci, or Margaret Atwood's short stories
Shelves: 2009, favourites, 2012
I love this book, but gosh, do I hate the packaging. My copy is lemon yellow and girly pink and it looks like rubbish chick lit.

I would just like to clarify that this book is not chick lit. It's strong and truthful and real and and and... well. It makes me bristle and want to defend its honour. It's written as a series of short stories about the men in the life of a woman called Jane. (I suppose you could call them chapters, but I think of it more like Amy Bloom's short stories than a tradition
Jan 30, 2008 MJ rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked Bridgey Jones' Diary
Recommended to MJ by: Ultimate reading List
This is a series of short stories about Jane. (Well one story is about her neighbors.) We first meet her at 14 during summer vacation when her older brother brings home a girl for the weekend. From there we see her grow as she searches for her place in the world and looking for love. As we read her story we relate to her frustration at work, her choices in men and her grief when her father is dies. Jane is witty and at times a bit dark. My favorite story is when she meets a man at a friends wedd ...more
Jan 29, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny. Witty. Quirky. Entertaining. A joy to read. Good stuff!

Just what I needed to pass the silent moments swaddled in covers attempting to get over whatever bug seems to have broken through my vitamin C barrier and given me some type of cold or flu. I hate being sick but I'm glad this was the book I happened to start before I went down for the count. It wasn't hard. I didn't have to think. Just read. Be entertained and chuckle a little. This was a short read and considering, this is going to b
Dec 02, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: chicklit, 2002
I found this somewhat disappointing. Not that it was a bad book - but it really meandered and it wasn't as enthralling as I had hoped. It had moments but over all not what I thought I was getting into.
May 17, 2009 Eve rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2009
"After a while, though, it occurs to you that even a perfect understanding of failed love is the booby prize."
Jul 24, 2011 Tiffeny rated it it was ok
I kind of don't get this book, and I'm not sure how to rate it. Some of it I liked, some I didn't. The biggest thing I don't get is that I thought it was a novel. Like all the way through about the same character. And it is - it's her coming of age story, from the time she was 14 (my favorite part of the book), up until probably her 30's. And it's broken up into sections of her life and told by her. But then, just kind of randomly, there are two sections that aren't told by her and aren't about ...more
Dec 01, 2013 Anna rated it did not like it
This book was lent to me against my will. A dear friend said it was good and I should read it; I asked whether it was just about romantic relationships, as the blurb suggested it was, and would thus not be to my taste. She said maybe, but that I should read it anyway. So I have done so, as fast as I could in order to be able to give it back. I was correct in my initial assessment. [EDITED TO ADD: My dear friend has since admitted that she lent me the book because she didn't want it! A book-based ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Rachael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fic
I had heard this book was a novel satirizing novels about women fixated on catching a man and the Finding and Keeping Mr. Right type self-help books. The last chapter came the closest to fitting this description and even that was predictable and poorly done. Perhaps I had wrong information and am judging this book too harshly because it wasn't what I was expecting when it was never intended to be that. All I know is that it was a struggle for me to finish this.

Overall, this read more like a coll
Christine Roberts
Nov 11, 2015 Christine Roberts rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own-it, 2015-read
Ugh. In the annals of great Chick Lit (Bridget Jones' Diary, Sex and the City, et al.) this book wouldn't even be a footnote. Sporadic, pathetic, and droll- steer clear fellow readers! The only reason I gave it two stars is that the main character references some good literature- although she fails to emulate the strong female ideals she professes to enjoy. Bleh.
Jan 14, 2013 Ani rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ladies
I adored this. I read myself and every female friend I've ever had in this book. It bordered on cliche at times, but missed it. And from a writer's perspective, this is a sneaky and awesome way to write a novel if you don't know how to write a novel. I think it turned out considerably better than it would have if she'd tried to connect every dot and make it a real "book". Short stories were beautiful.

I particularly ended up pointing out the last story to my boyfriend, when he mentioned that he
Feb 01, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it isn't what I thought it would be I enjoyed it. The hunting and fishing part doesn't really come in until the end and *spoiler alert* it's about hunting and fishing for men! That part of the book really changed in tone and the way it was written, but as I've ready where it was first a collection of short stories not previously intended to go together as one novel -- it makes sense.

While I like it fine, the shift was just . . . big from first person language to second person towards the e
Allison Lee
Jan 12, 2016 Allison Lee rated it it was ok
While I thought the stories included were very interesting and entertaining I did not like the layout of the book. It jumped from different times which can be refreshing when done properly. The way the author skipped to and from left me a little confused. Furthermore, there was a random perspective thrown in of a woman whose identity I could not figure out for a while and it seemed a little irrelevant. In addition I thought this was going to be more of a women empowerment story than it ended up ...more
Oct 08, 2012 Jillian rated it really liked it
Like a lot of people I thought this was a chick-lit book and it is definitely women's fiction, or just, a really freaking great collection of stories. I can't believe this made a worst book of all time list. I was so touched by so many of these characters.

Here is my favorite quote from the book:

"You can feel that he wants to own you--not like an object but like a good dream he wants to keep having. He lets you know that you already own him."

My two favorite stories were You Could Be Anyone and
May 16, 2007 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hate the term "chick lit," but I guess that's what this book falls under. It's a collection of short stories, mainly centering around a woman named Jane.

My favorite story is the last one, from which the title of the book comes. In this story, Jane is reading one of those hideous rules-of-dating books, but the rules actually work for a little while.

One of my favorite things about this story in particular is the humor. Jane pictures two girls she went to high school with--you know the kind: pret
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Insight into chapter "The Best Possible Light" ?!?! 9 151 Dec 15, 2014 07:17PM  
The chapter "You Could Be Anyone" *Possible Spoilers* 2 36 Mar 07, 2014 12:50PM  
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"Melissa Bank (born in 1961 in Philadelphia) is an American author. She has published two books, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, a volume of short stories, and The Wonder Spot," a novel, which have been translated into over thirty languages. Bank was the winner of the 1993 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. She currently teaches in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

Bank was b
More about Melissa Bank...

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“I felt I couldn't lose anything else, but just then I realized I already had: I'd lost the hope that I would ever be loved in just that way again.” 73 likes
“We are all children until our fathers die.” 48 likes
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