Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Is This Thing Called Love?” as Want to Read:
What Is This Thing Called Love?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Is This Thing Called Love?

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The actor and novelist answers this eternal question twelve ways, in stories that explore our most complicated emotion

This is a winning collection from an author writing on his favorite topic: love. Each emotionally involving story illuminates a different kind of love: star-crossed, intense, needy, eternal, unrequited, even comical. Wilder’s protagonists will be instant
...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What Is This Thing Called Love?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What Is This Thing Called Love?

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 311)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Isaac Miller
More likely than not you know him as Willy Wonka (hopefully better than that Johnny Depp/Michael Jackson abomination). You might also know him as the Waco Kid or Young Frankenstein (Fronk-en-steen!). Whatever the case, chances are you know Gene Wilder. What you might not know is he has retired from acting he has turned his attentions to painting and writing. In 2005 he published his memoir Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art. He followed that up with two novels, My French Whore, ...more
Raivn
Well, it's written by Gene Wilder, who has a beautiful and simple writers voice, so of course I like it. Short stories are not my favorite format, though. And these all seem a bit abrupt. I feel like Mr. Wilder writes a better story when he has more time and space to elaborate on it. I love his novels. His short stories are just okay to me.
T.R.
A fun collection of short stories with a romantic theme. Not as awesome as Wilder's more famous work, 'My French Whore,' but enjoyable nonetheless.
Benjamin
Gene Wilder introduces these stories by admitting that they're more or less schmaltzy and contrived, but if you like them even a little bit he'll be satisfied. So in that regard the book is successful. The stories are all about love (and most are about sex.) It's not the sort of book you want to pick up just because you love Willy Wonka. Overall they're cute, breezy and fun, at times somewhat poignant. The biggest problem I had was that too many of them were wrapped up too neatly in a way that f ...more
Jess
I found this collection of short stories incredibly charming. Short, sweet, and simple to read, Wilder’s collection was very relaxing. His stories weren’t frantic or formulaic. They were a breath of fresh air in the world of melodramatic dramas and fluff-tastic chick lit.

They deal with the idiosyncrasies of love and the various forms it comes in. Humans are flawed and so is the way we love. Wilder dealt with that better than many other writers I’ve read. Definitely worth a try.
Kevin
Interesting collection of stories from Wilder surrounding the idiosyncrasies of love. Wilder paints men as desperate for love and companionship but often to dumb and selfish to see it for what it is. But he is also a romantic and understands that love breaks through and strikes when we often least expect it.

The stories are not particularly deep or literary but they have a lightness and a tragi-comic sense that comes from Wilder and makes them worth reading.
Karenshaff
Some great short stories...my sweet husband gave me this book for Valentine's Day. I finally read it in April. Gave me nice sweet loving thoughts and enjoyed all of the stories. Wished it had gone on longer! But then it wouldn't have been SHORT stories! Great to have along to read while waiting for an appointment or such things where it's nice to get a good story while waiting!
T. Thomas
I have always enjoyed Gene Wilder movies. This book definitely was written by him. A collection of short stories. The stories deal with two types of men: One type is stupid and doesn't realize when he has a good thing. The other type isn't quite so stupid and eventually realizes that he has a good thing and holds on to it. Women who like to laugh at male stupidity should like the book.
Carole
Gene hit it out of the park with this one. Perfect reading for someone needing a short story to fall relax prior to sleep at night. The stories were captivating and revealed just how romantic this man can be. Gene, when are we going out for that wine?
Katjusa
I read better stories in my Intro to Nonfiction class in college. There are fleeting, fleeting moments of promise, but mostly these short stories are dull to the point of insult.
Greg Converse
I like the stories. I think they are well-written without being lofty, and they hold a simple charm and humor.
Abigail
I really enjoyed this book. Gene Wilder is an excellent writer and has written some excellent short stories here.
Irene
My first gene wilder. Not really in love with it. Not even in like with it. Very average storytelling.
Sukanya
Every time I make a bad book choice I feel like shooting myself in the cranium. Yeah, that bad.
Emily
Such a bittersweet book filled with vignette of the many forms of falling in love.
Holly
This is probably more of a 4.5 but I love Gene Wilder so I rounded up!
Jeana
Surprisingly sweet/sad/funny little short stories.
David
David marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2015
Jane Mooney
Jane Mooney marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2015
Lucy
Lucy marked it as to-read
Feb 17, 2015
Rigby SixtyFour
Rigby SixtyFour marked it as to-read
Feb 10, 2015
Paige
Paige marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2015
Lisa
Lisa marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2015
Hannah Ziegler
Hannah Ziegler marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
Andrea
Andrea marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Invisible: A Memoir
  • Sexually, I'm More of a Switzerland: More Personal Ads from the London Review of Books
  • Menaechmi; Or, the Twin-Brothers
  • Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated
  • Damn Love
  • The Zygote Chronicles
  • The Way the World Works
  • The Hard Life
  • Bicycles
  • The Women Who Got Away
  • Dispatch from the Future: Poems
  • Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop
  • Thanksgiving
  • Bridge to the Soul: Journeys Into the Music and Silence of the Heart
  • Tremor of Intent
  • It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single
  • Bronte: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)
  • Zelda's Cut
6618
Gene Wilder is an American Emmy Award-winning and twice Academy Award-nominated stage and screen actor, director and screenwriter.

Wilder began his career on stage, making his screen debut in the film Bonnie and Clyde in 1967. His first major role was as Leo Bloom in the 1968 film, The Producers. This was the first in a series of prolific collaborations with writer/director Mel Brooks, including 19
...more
More about Gene Wilder...
Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art My French Whore The Woman Who Wouldn't Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance Of Magic and Mangers: Christmas Stories about The Story

Share This Book