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Isn't it Romantic?

2.85  ·  Rating Details ·  219 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Touring America was Natalie's idea. But she had not planned on being accompanied on a cross-country bus by her playboy fiance, Pierre. Nor had they anticipated being stranded in Seldom, Nebraska, population 395.

But that is exactly what happens to this French couple, and they quickly find themselves beings taken in by the obliging citizens of Seldom: Natalie by Mrs. Christi
Published January 1st 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published January 7th 2003)
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Teji Reve
Dec 24, 2011 Teji Reve rated it did not like it
This is one of the most dreadful books I've ever read. There are far too many characters and not a single one is properly developed. I struggled to remember who was who and to understand their reactions to each other, as well as their interactions. Hansen attempted to make this a romantic comedy, but I had trouble seeing the romantic part, while I was hit over the head by the comedy.

I think the absolute biggest fault of this story is that it's evident that the author envisioned it as a movie (wh
Jul 26, 2007 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful, lightweight read. Requires no thought which, after Deathly Hallows, was quite refreshing. A French woman who loves all things American gets stranded in a small town in Nebraska, along with her estranged fiance. The townspeople are extremely quirky & eccentric, with a knack for speaking their minds. Their simplistic dialogue leads to many misunderstandings, especially for the Frenchman, whose English is definitely lacking. I laughed out loud at times, especially during the wine- ...more
Nov 30, 2009 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Not Hansen's best work. This little novella is a "screwball" romantic comedy that just didn't work. It read more like a script for a hollywood chick flick than a novel, complete with small town antics, sit-com style confusion, and used jokes. DIsappointing product from an otherwise outstanding author.
Oct 29, 2010 Charlaralotte rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
I'm glad Hansen didn't let this book get blown out of proportion. It is exactly what it says it is on the cover: "an entertainment." Rather like watching a production of "Noises Off," though not quite as uproariously funny.

The characters are well-drawn, the action fast-paced. The dialogue and descriptions are pithy and succinct. It might do very well as a light-hearted play. Entertaining, momentarily diverting, but nothing to sink your teeth into. Unless one has done cross-country drives and dec
JG (The Introverted Reader)
This was another fun romantic comedy. It's the story of a French couple who are stranded in Nebraska of all places. The local people basically adopt them and, of course, a "comedy of errors" follows.

I would probably have enjoyed this more if I hadn't just finished another lightweight chick-lit book. But it was an entertaining and easy read.
May 06, 2008 Liesel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very fast read and at times had me almost laughing out loud. (I would have, but I was proctoring a test at the time and trying to keep it a quiet environment). It's a great light summertime read.
Feb 05, 2012 Christine rated it did not like it
on mom's travel fiction list -- wasn't compelling; didn't finish it.

Isn't It Romantic?
By Hansen, Ron

Mistaken identity, botched schemes, and hilarious misunderstandings all play a part when Nebraskan common sense and Parisian sophistication collide in this romantic comedy by National Book Award Finalist Ron Hansen.

Publisher Comments

Touring America was Natalie's idea. But she had not planned on being accompanied on a cross-country bus by her playboy fiance, Pierre. Nor had they anticipated being
Mar 13, 2010 Princess rated it it was ok
Meh. It was okay. I just finished The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and needed something light and fluffy and this fit the bill. I guess I still wanted more substance though. The characters weren't substantial enough for me and there were too many stereotypical small-town life type moments. Natalie is a French woman obsessed with America and Americana who decides for her annual vacation to take a bus tour of the states. Her fiance tries to dissuade her and ends up following her. They are mo ...more
Mark Valentine
Mar 13, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it really liked it
Romantic comedies combine fun plot reversals with endearing characters. Hansen has a hit with this 'Entertainment.' In fact, I expect it to be scooped up by a film-maker any minutes now.

Hansen must have had fun writing this! His lead female character--Natalie Clairvaux shares her last name with the man who preached the 2nd Crusade against Jerusalem in the 12th Century, Bernard Clairvaux. And her estranged fiancee (no spoilers here), Pierre...Pierre...what's his last name? Smith?! Oh, right. Pie
Oct 18, 2009 Sherri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, quirky
This novel is highly entertaining; readable, laugh-out-loud funny, and sweet. The jacket description of this books says it is "a screwball comeday in the tradition of filmmaker Preston Sturges." Just so.

Natalie Clairvaux, a young French librarian with an Americana fixation, is on a cross-country sight-seeing trip via tour bus. Her high-living fiance, Pierre Smith (English on his grandfather's side), tracks her down just before a bus breakdown strands them in the small town of Seldom, Nebraska. H
Eirene Ritznore
Jun 22, 2013 Eirene Ritznore rated it liked it
This was not one of my favorite books. Although I did enjoy the secondary characters, I didn't particularly care for the main characters. Ron Hansen did an excellent job of capturing the colloquial feel of a small town in Nebraska. Since my parents went to college in Nebraska many moons ago, I did find some of the sideline stories of the minor characters to be completely endearing. However, the love stories were a little too simplistic for my taste. Yet, there was a total charm to elements of a ...more
Bryn Clegg
Jun 10, 2015 Bryn Clegg rated it it was ok
Felt like I was reading a script idea for a movie--not a book. The author was overly interested in blocking, allowing us to see where the characters were physically but not emotionally. There were far too many characters for a sub-200 page book, which was usually confusing. The comedy was overdone (almost slapstick throughout) and the romance underdone (I didn't really care who ended up with whom).
Nov 06, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I headed to my mother's house on Friday evening only to discover I'd left Hansen's"Hitler's Niece" at home but this one was in my tote bag. It is the polar opposite of "Hitler's Niece" in topic and tone. I read it in 2 days and chuckled all the way through it. I was charmed by the two marooned French tourists and by the quirky townspeople on the Seldom, Nebraska, who take them in. It is a light but charming story and another example of Hansen's range as a writer.
Jan 15, 2014 Heather rated it it was ok
I liked this book because it was really light and fun. I could see this book being a movie or a play - it was full of funny, timeless confusion, love interests, and likeable characters. I could imagine each of the characters easily, down to how they spoke and what facial expressions they might be wearing. I wouldn't say this was the greatest, most entertaining book I've ever read, but if you are looking for a light, enjoyable read, you should check this one out.
Sep 24, 2012 Kristina rated it it was ok
Thank goodness this was a short read...the characters were thoroughly underdeveloped. I felt no kinship with anyone of them. The chemistry in the strange triangle was too much and then too slow. It seemed the ending just came to an abrupt end. Pass this book... I hate to say it, but I can tell a guy wrote it.
Sandra Eggers
Right under the title, the book calls itself "an entertainment" and that is what it is, entertaining and light. What is a bit distracting is that the whole book reads like a movie; as if it is already in screenplay format, especially the end. It will make a great romantic comedy but the madcap adventures make it a little difficult to read in places.
Janet Leszl
Aug 13, 2008 Janet Leszl rated it it was ok
Even though the "comedy of errors" was somewhat predictable this was a quick light read. On the cover of the copy I had below the title was the phrase "an entertainment" and that is exactly what this was.
Katie Shreve
Aug 20, 2010 Katie Shreve rated it did not like it
Entirely predictable, this book is written in the manner of big budget romantic comedies. It might be okay to watch on screen, if your intent is to avoid intelligent thought altogether; this book is not fit to be called literature, though.
Rose Ann
Jan 31, 2008 Rose Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-books
This basically a door-slamming French farce that takes place in a small Nebraska town. A French girl breaks up with her snooty French boyfriend. She comes to the US for a vacation, takes a bus across the country, and it breaks down in central Nebraska. Charming hilarity ensues.
Chris Gager
Looks like I'm not the only one to be disappointed in this commercial effort. Looks like RH may have written this with a movie adaptation/deal in mind. He's a talented writer but this one is just... too... precious... And not entertaining!
Oct 09, 2008 Liz rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
For such a slim book, this took a long time for me to finish. Mostly due to lack of time on my part. However, every time I picked it up, I did chuckle at the goings on. All Nebraskans should read this. You'll laugh and we all need a good laugh.
A very quick read, and somewhat predictable later on. Fun story though, albeit a strange one. I read this after enjoying "Mariette in Ecstasy," by the same author, though this book is quite different. I may read more by him in the future.
Feb 07, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
It was good. Very quick read...short chapters. Storyline is kind of cheesy in a fun way. If only Jack Lemmon, Walter Mathau, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe were alive...they would have a movie here.
Aug 21, 2008 Linda rated it liked it
Hansen digs into his Nebraska roots to find the fun in putting two high-maintenance Parisians into small town America. A lovely piece of fluff that will be most enjoyed if you're a Nebraskan--come on, we all know someone who has a Husker room....
Margaret M.
May 15, 2016 Margaret M. added it
Shelves: fiction
I love this author, because his stories are diverse in subject matter. I started becoming a fan with his collection "Nebraska Stories" and decided to read other novels he wrote after that. I am not a fan of historical fiction, but if the subject matter is interesting, I will give it a read.
Corinthia Ellis
Jul 08, 2011 Corinthia Ellis rated it did not like it
Honestly one of the most confusing, mind-numbing stupid books I've read. I really should have dumped this one.
Andy Ford
Jun 09, 2008 Andy Ford rated it really liked it
Something light and a bit fun; probably make a good chick flick. Missed communication with a French couple in the middle of Nebraska
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it
Maybe I'm partial to this one because I lived in Nebraska for a year![return][return]Stranded in Seldom, Nebraska, with her ex-fianc
Christine Luong
Apr 11, 2011 Christine Luong rated it liked it
Really easy, entertaining light read. Finished this book in under 2 hours. It's rather predictable, but it's fine for light beach reading.
Aug 17, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
like one of those vaudeville plays full of mistaken identities and elaborate plans. Fun, quick easy read, even if absolutely ridiculous.
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Hansen was born in Omaha, Nebraska, attended a Jesuit high school, Creighton Preparatory School and earned a Bachelor's degree in English from Creighton University in Omaha in 1970. Following military service, he earned an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974 and held a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship at Stanford University. He later earned an M.A. in Spirituality from Santa ...more
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