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Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  6,481 ratings  ·  920 reviews

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the story of James Sveck, a sophisticated, vulnerable young man with a deep appreciation for the world and no idea how to live in it. James is eighteen, the child of divorced parents living in Manhattan. Articulate, sensitive, and cynical, he rejects all of the assumptions that govern the adult world around him--including the ex

Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Picador (first published 2007)
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Best Gay Fiction
82nd out of 1,050 books — 1,270 voters
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Best Young Adult Realistic Novels
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike Puma

4-4.5 stars if reviewed as an adult title.

5 stars if considered a YA title.

I recently watched the film version of The City of Your Final Destination and liked it enough to pick up my copy of this book, by the same author, which has been gathering dust here for a couple months. For whatever reasons, the description on the cover just never seemed compelling enough to pursue the content, and while I could kick myself for putting it off, I find that I’ve now read it at the right time, and like so ma
Tutti possono partecipare al test qui proposto, anche chi non ha ancora letto il libro in questione. Si tenga bene in mente il fatto che esso non ha alcuna validità scientifica.


Domanda 1: Quante volte nella tua vita ti sei sentito/a dire: “Ma perché non esci a giocare coi tuoi amichetti?”, “Ma perché stai sempre solo/a?”, “Alla tua età bisogna uscire, farsi delle amicizie, godere della giovinezza?”? E quante vo
Everyone compares this one to Catcher in the Rye, which is interesting to me because I haven’t read Catcher, and I think I would hate it, and yet I completely see why the two books are compared, and I loved Someday This Pain…

James has too many advantages to have the problems that he has. His family has money, an apartment in Manhattan, a part time job at his mother’s gallery, and he’s been accepted to Brown for next year (though not Harvard, Yale, or Columbia). His parents are divorced (though w
Periodically, I read reviews from the New York Times book list and pick out likely candidates. The reviews are often the best thing about the book, though, so I'd recommend the review in this case. This is a well-written book - I finished it and I do not suffer through books that I find un-readable. But I felt it would have improved the book if the main character had killed himself or if I had been able to beat him up. I don't think wealthy kids are any less likable or have any fewer problems, b ...more
John Egbert
You know, this book is kind of one of the ones that you're more excited about reading than you are after actually having read it. James is one of the most frustrating protagonists ever. He hates everything. His peers, his parents, his life, college(he hates Stanford more than Brown, by the way), his life...did I already mention that? Well, he hates it double.

In fact, one of the only things he doesn't hate is his boss, John, who he has a crush on. Well, no, of course he doesn't say or even acknow
Titoli fuorvianti.

La prima cosa che mi colpì ai tempi - non ricordo nemmeno la prima volta che ho deciso di infilarlo nella mia wishlist, probabilmente dobbiamo andare indietro fino alla preistoria - era il titolo. E cavolo, scommetto che è stato così per tutti. Vaghi per siti, librerie e ti ritrovi davanti un Un giorno questo dolore ti sarà utile. E dici: oh porco spino, che titolo ispirante e intimo.
E già ti immagini uno di quei libri che sono un dramma alla Hesse, quei libri che ti fanno da s
Decir que ha sido una grata sorpresa es quedarse corto. Muy corto. El personaje de James es un gamberro sofisticado, un misántropo high level, un Holden Caulfield que sabe navegar por Internet y entender los entresijos de la familia disfuncional en la que le ha tocado vivir. Pero que, a diferencia de su homólogo salingeriano, no tiene la posibilidad de la huída.

A través de esos días muertos del verano neoyorquino vamos desgranando sus miedos, su identidad, su rechazo hacia un mundo del que teme
Stefania T.
Leggere "Un giorno questo dolore ti sarà utile" ed ascoltare la (breve) storia di James è stato come tuffarsi nel più recente passato e leggere le proprie memorie da principiante adolescente.
Nessuna rivelazione, nessuna originalità, ma se spesso tali mancanze confluiscono nella banalità, questa volta mi hanno fatto sentire a casa: Peter Cameron ha la capacità della semplicità e dell'essenzialità. Un fiume in piena di sfoghi e sensazioni che se non hanno il dono della genialità, hanno senz'altro
Maggie Stiefvater
My editor recommended this novel to me and I'm so glad he did.

Peter Cameron does an absolutely stunning job of portraying James' struggles as a too-clever-for-his-own-good teen, disillusioned, cynical, and socially paralyzed. While the plot occasionally wandered and the ending was . . . just where the book stopped, I can still give this book five stars with a clear conscious, for sheer lucidity of voice. I missed James after I was done reading - I felt like I'd met him.

***wondering why all my r
Dec 02, 2009 jo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all my peeps on GR
such a lovely book, and such a quirky and interesting look at the pain of adolescence, which is the same as the pain of being human except less covered by layers of fake adaptation (as the book itself points out at some point). james, the protagonist narrator, is barely more adjusted to living in the-world-as-is than christopher of the curious incident of the dog in the night-time , but the novel deftly and lovingly avoids pathologizing his difference. in fact, the only thing we know for sure ab ...more
This is a lovely book. The only thing that bothers me is that James is not concerned about money beyond how he would afford a house in the Midwest; it's hard for me to relate to someone so well set up.

But that allows us to focus on what makes him an interesting character (in my opinion, at least). He's so self-aware that he's naive at times--his internal life rich, his external life vacant. I adore him, want to talk him through some of his problems, realizing that I wouldn't get along with him
Mi piacciono i diciottenni "disturbati".
Fa un po' sorridere James, il simpatico diciottenne protagonista, gli si muove attorno una sorta di famiglia allargata, che si potrebbe eufemisticamente descrivere come "una gabbia di matti". Muoversi nelle maglie di questi rapporti così bizzarri, sembra essere la cosa più naturale del mondo e James lo fa con una massiccia dose di ironia inquieta e malinconica e con tanta delicatezza, tanta quanta ne sa esprimere il suo personaggio.
Insomma mi sembra che
El protagonista, adolescente inteligente, solitario y sensible, tiene algo de Holden Caulfield. También me recordó un poco a "Tan fuerte, tan cerca" de Safran Foer. Una novela entretenida y emotiva, nada densa, con momentos divertidos. Creo que, si yo fuera Peter Cameron, estaría contento.
"A un certo punto mi ricordo di essermi chiesto (sul serio) se non fossi geneticamente modificato, se non avessi una minuscola alterazione del DNA che mi separava appena appena ma in modo fondamentale dalla mia specie, un po' come i muli che possono accoppiarsi con gli asini, ma non con i cavalli (mi pare). Sembrava che tutti fossero in grado di accoppiarsi, di unire le proprie parti in modi piacevoli e fecondi, ma nella mia anatomia e nella mia psiche c'era qualcosa di impercettibilmente divers ...more
Conosciamo James, il protagonista del romanzo Un giorno questo dolore ti sarà utile, nel passaggio tra l'adolescenza e la fase adulta della vita.
E questo è doloroso.
Mi chiedo davvero chi abbia stabilito queste fasi, che sono davvero una delle tante componenti che straziano l'uomo e offrono uno stipendio fisso agli psicologi (oltre all'industria di divani, come notava Woody Allen).
Sì, perchè? Per quale ragione si deve subire il senso della perdita, il lutto per la fine di una parte di noi? Dic
Aug 25, 2014 TL rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: Christmas present from Shaun couple years ago
Shelves: favorites
I was surprised I ended up finishing this book... the first part of it is slow, but still interesting. Around the middle of the book, something 'clicked' and I read a little faster, eager to see what happened with James.

James is a loner/anti-social... I could relate to this, I kept to myself alot (not the way James does, but I didn't care for the company of most of my peers) and agreed with some of his thinking. I don't know if we would've been friends or not, but we have gotten along fairly wel
I had to think about this one for a while, because it is not the kind of book you close and go, ‘woohoo, that was so awesome!’. It is however, thought provoking, superbly written, and an intelligent take on the what it might be like for an smart and sensitive kid in the modern world. James is the main character, he is almost painfully self-aware and so intelligent it sets him apart form others and essentially prohibits him from having normal relationships with people. Initially, I got a strong ‘ ...more
Feb 19, 2008 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: precocious disaffected teenagers; immature disaffected adults
Recommended to Jessica by: ginnie
So far -- a few pages in -- I am not really enjoying this, however (a) it's got a great title; (b) Ginnie praised it highly; (c) I waited forever to get it from the library and (d) it's not difficult reading, so I'll persevere a bit longer, and see....


HAH! This got really good: my first laugh-out-loud laugh was on page 33, and from there on out I was pretty much delighted with this quick YA read, though the ending didn't feel satisfying, and just in general I felt the last quarter-or-so of
Manel Ortiz
¿Novela sobre el 11-s? No, lo siento, pero no. ¿Novela sobre Nueva York?, sí, es muy neoyorkina. De ese Nueva York intelectual, a lo Woody Allen, con museos, galerias de arte y referencias culturales. Con toques divertidos, es un libro entretenido, del verano de un adolescente que busca su camino en la vida. Para ser el nuevo Holden Caulfield le falta rebeldía (la familia dentro de lo que cabe es de lo más permisiva) y profundidad psicológica. Lectura agradable, para pasar un buen rato.
J. C.
Quickly came to realize the main character just needed to get over himself, which made reading the rest of the book tiresome. He's clearly a good writer so I finished it, but can't say the book lived up to the hype it's been getting.
Un telefilm para adolescentes. Un personaje demasiado dramático, demasiado arrogante, demasiado todo.
"La mayoría de la gente cree que las cosas no son reales si no se expresan verbalmente, y que es el acto de expresarlas y no el de pensarlas es lo que las legitima. Supongo que por ese motivo uno siempre quiere que otro le diga “te quiero”. Yo pienso lo contrario, que los pensamientos son más reales cuando se piensan, que expresarlos los distorsiona o diluye, que es mejor que permanezcan en la oscura capilla de aeropuerto de tu mente, donde el clima está controlado, que si los sueltas y les da e ...more

This won’t be going in the favorite pile. It seemed to lead nowhere. The ending was unsatisfying and I was left feeling as if the narrator just stopped narrating. I don’t regret reading it, I just feel like I missed something.

Did I miss something? Was this book really about…nothing?

I was able to take something away from it though.

I learned that I am not the only one that thinks something but can't articulate it.

James, the protagonist in this book very often answers every question with "I don
"La mayoría de la gente cree que las cosas no son reales si no se expresan verbalmente, y que es el acto de expresarlas y no el de pensarlas lo que las legitima. Supongo que por ese motivo uno siempre quiere que otro le diga “te quiero”. Yo pienso lo contrario, que los pensamientos son más reales cuando se piensan, que expresarlos los distorsiona o diluye, que es mejor que permanezcan en la oscura capilla de aeropuerto de tu mente, donde el clima está controlado, que si los sueltas y les da el a ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Edward rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Really Smart and Moody Teens and the Adults who wish they were teens like James.
Shelves: teen-town
Peter Cameron’s Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You is being touted by some critics as a modern Catcher In The Rye, which in, and of itself, is heady praise, but sells the book short. This book is a pitch perfect literary gem, with a comic precocious hero, James Sveck who is better read than most adults twice his age (this one included). The story spans the James’s summer before admission to Brown University, an event which he is loath to contemplate, and is distracting himself from by house ...more
"Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You" is about James Sveck, an eighteen year old guy who lives in New York City. He is disturbed, possibly gay, and somewhat cynical, just to list a few things. James interests are looking at real estate for places in the west, working at his mom's art gallery, and talking to his grandmother. In this book he creates a fake dating profile to meet up with an older coworker, as well as recounts his traumatic past with his snide therapist.

I heard so many good thin
Nov 08, 2007 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked "speak," "hard love," "mike harte was here," and "animal dreams"
Shelves: queerlyphrased
I just finished this book and I'm still worried about James. I want to put my arms around him. This book is alternately hilarious and haunting. Peter Cameron does an excellent job of conveying the agony and mundaneness of loneliness and unnamed depression. That said, this is not a depressing book; I don't read depressing books. I had to stop reading it while my students did independent work because I would repeatedly burst out laughing. This book is poignant, and it makes you want to read it aga ...more
Jen Knox
I loved the title, but the story was disappointing. Or maybe it was the writing style I didn't like. Cameron's novel feels like a long, drawn-out short story. There are a few insightful moments, but not enough. What bothers me most are the wasted words, which, if pulled out and transfered to a blank document, would probably fill about twenty needless pages.
Le sobra más de lo que le falta, y tiene el beneficio de una lectura fresca y entretenida.

Cuando hace unos meses empecé la lectura de Coral Glynn, supe lo que era el amor a primera vista. La magnífica historia de Peter Cameron no solo se hizo un hueco entre lo más granado del 2013 sino que me motivó a seguir buscando otras obras del autor. Sin embargo, lo que nunca pude imaginar es que esas espectaculares impresiones iniciales se verían cómodamente superadas por el desgarrador viaje emocional al que nos somete el escritor norteamericano en Algún día este dolor te será útil, una no
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Schumpp, EII Hono...: Someday this Pain Will Be Useful to You 1 1 Apr 29, 2014 08:32AM  
Chosen as the first book in our Carpool Book Club 2 44 Jul 07, 2012 08:52AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Peter Cameron (b. 1959) is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Born in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, he moved to New York City after graduating college in 1982. Cameron began publishing stories in the New Yorker one year later. His numerous award-winning storie
More about Peter Cameron...
Coral Glynn City of Your Final Destination The Weekend Andorra Leap Year

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“What if she was meant to be, or could have been, someone important in my life? I think that's what scares me: the randomness of everything. That the people who could be important to you might just pass you by. Or you pass them by. How do you know...I felt that by walking away I was abandoning [them], that I spent my entire life, day after day, abandoning people.” 202 likes
“People who have only good experiences aren't very interesting. They may be content, and happy after a fashion, but they aren't very deep. It may seem a misfortune now, and it makes things difficult, but well--it's easy to feel all the happy, simple stuff. Not that happiness is necessarily simple. But I don't think you're going to have a life like that, and I think you'll be the better for it. The difficult thing is to not be overwhelmed by the bad patches. You must not let them defeat you. You must see them as a gift--a cruel gift, but a gift nonetheless.” 133 likes
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