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Love Always

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  269 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A master chronicler of our life and times." —Newsday

"A very funny book. . . . If Jane Austen had been crossed with Oscar Wilde and re-crossed with the early Evelyn Waugh, and the result plonked down among the semi-beautiful people of late 20th-century media-fringe America . . . the outcome might have been something like this." —Margaret Atwood

"Ferociously funny." —The Los...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 12th 1986 by Vintage (first published May 12th 1985)
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Madeleine
Love Always did a lot of things well but it did a lot of things that annoyed me, too. And then sometimes it annoyed me because it did certain things too well, like perfectly capturing the zeitgeist of the 1980s. I bloody abhor the '80s, from its self-righteous excess to its synthesized music (which, blessedly, stayed far away from this novel) to its regrettable fashion choices to all of the other ways it was a reaction against the decade that preceded it, as is the nature of generational shifts,...more
Carol Storm
Lucy the heroine is supposed to "shimmer" but she comes across as cold and basically lifeless. Her inability to love is never really explained, but we're meant to understand it's not her fault because . . . well just because. On the other hand, boyfriend Hildon is ultimately dismissed as a "cad" but Beattie never really gives him a chance, or explains why the stunning Lucy can't do any better. People who are meant to be tragic come across as grotesque, and people meant to be funny come across as...more
Monica
I would like to be more driven to read fiction, I sure collect enough of it.

I'm not exactly bowled over by the first tweny pages, it seems kind of vacuous, but I'll keep with it.

I've finished and I still say reading this book was almost torture for me. Supposedly it was meant to be this way -full of vacuous charachters: a closeted bisexual wife abandoning magazine publisher, the abandoned wife advice columnist, her sister, her mother and assorted aquaintences I didn't care enough about to keep t...more
Michelle
“A master chronicler of our life and times." —Newsday

"A very funny book. . . . If Jane Austen had been crossed with Oscar Wilde and re-crossed with the early Evelyn Waugh, and the result plonked down among the semi-beautiful people of late 20th-century media-fringe America . . . the outcome might have been something like this." —Margaret Atwood

"Ferociously funny." —The Los Angeles Times

"Beattie's new novel, her third, is a gratifying surprise. Love Always will be welcomed by the large and loyal
...more
Aaron Marks
fun little book. was able to be 'straightforward and realist' [ie, didn't have any overt 'tricks'] while still keeping my attention, making me think / laugh consistently.

reminded me of lorie moore's novel 'who will run the frog hospital', in form more than theme.

for the most part, each chapter is from the viewpoint of a different character -- some characters get 2 or 3 chapters -- and i think this is why the book didn't ultimately do anything amazing for me. each character had an interesting sto...more
James
The more Ann Beattie I read the more I am intrigued by her writing style. This is much more satiric than the last two I read and I found a lot of it to be milk-through-the-nose funny (the submarine cake scene was one of the funniest things I've ever read). It reminded me quite a bit of Oscar Wilde and Evelyn Waugh in that the humor only accentuates the shallowness of the characters. Many people have complained that this book seems dated - but I don't mind that so much. Satire is written for a pa...more
Victoria Grusing
Jan 26, 2014 Victoria Grusing rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
I love books. I read every word. Rarely do I not finish a book as it makes me feel like the book has won. This was a book that I had to force myself to read and actually skimmed through pages. All the characters were shallow. There was no lesson to be learned from the book. It made me feel that I had wasted the part of my life spent reading the book. It is amazing that it was allowed to be published when there are probably many better writers. Sorry to Ms. Beattie; but I will probably not try an...more
Unbridled
First Beattie. Found her prose capable but less than stimulating and found many of her metaphoric efforts to be clumsy. She does have a storytelling talent. Her main characters are developed with skill and the story moves along at an easy clip. The book works when it combs through the textures of its main characters, but it also seems to throw away its gains for a compromised net effect. The humor was mild and tepid, consistently at play, and nothing to shake you out of the narrative. Overall I...more
David
There are some great moments in this one, but I got left a little cold in when they were put together. I either missed the totality, or it didn't do much for me. The book sprawled a bit for being short and I just wondered where we were going, because it seemed like it should be somewhere. It was probably just me, but it was disappointing since I liked it so much on a moment level.
Catherine
Well written and executed, very dated.
Scott E
Generally enjoy this kind of story, multiple interrelated characters with no real protagonist and many story lines. This is the first of Beattie's novels that I've read. I'm a big fan of her short stories, of which she is a master. Unfortunately, Love Always didn't last for me throughout. May give it another shot down the road. Rating: 3.4
Judith
Love Always by Ann Beattie is a very 1980's comic novel about lifestyles of the glitterati. New Yorkers seek peace and beauty in Vermont, and they do find the beauty, but growing up is not for everyone.
Spike
Silly. Trite. 80's references drove me crazy. Annoyingly clever, but then 2/3 of the way goes off course into a serious story. Too many problems to expound on here. Don't waste your time reading this one.
Sarah
Read this book and enjoyed it, though it was pretty melancholy. On the strength of this short little book, I picked up "My Life, Starring Dara Falcon." Be ye not so stupid. It was terrible.
Martha
This is one of my favorites. It reminds me of Vermont in the 80s. It's a light-hearted evocation of people who are trying to find themselves.
Brendan
I picked it up at the junk shop for a nickel, and I thought it was great. I think about it poignantly, as if I used to be its boyfriend.
Sue
Satirical, sometimes witty, at times clever yet dry, over the top. I'll read another Beattie for sure.
Margie
Couldn't get into it. Life is too short to waste on books that don't captivate you.
Cherie
A- Interesting story, though at times the characters got annoying
Colleen
ok. very post 60's idealism - a little esoteric
Miles Ross
i like everything i've read by this author.
sarah
My favorite of hers
Nranger7
Nranger7 marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2014
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Ann Beattie (born September 8, 1947) is an American short story writer and novelist. She has received an award for excellence from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a PEN/Bernard Malamud Award for excellence in the short story form. Her work has been compared to that of Alice Adams, J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, and John Updike. She holds an undergraduate degree from Americ...more
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