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Kissing in Manhattan Kissing in Manhattan Kissing in Manhattan

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  2,728 Ratings  ·  318 Reviews
Hilarious, sexy, and deeply tender, Kissing in Manhattan was one of the most celebrated debuts in recent years. Acclaimed author David Schickler's collection of linked stories followsa troupe of love-hungry urbanites through a charmed metropolis and into the Preemption--a mythic Manhattan apartment building. The Preemption sets the stage for a romantic fantasy as exuberant ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Delta (first published January 1st 2001)
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While it is obviously unfair to blame a writer for his overzealous marketing team, it’s still worth pointing out that the back cover of this book states: “Kissing In Manhattan is the reason you learned to read.”


I thought I learned to read so that I could catch the right bus or take the right motorway turning and not accidentally end up in John O’Groats. I thought I learned to read so that I could decipher the menu in restaurants and not randomly order chopped liver. Even if my mad reading sk
Totally misogynistic! I can’t even get into how awful the women characters are in this book.

Also, this book felt just slightly off in its grasp of people and emotions – almost like it was written by a very precocious and introspective high schooler who just hasn’t had enough real life experience or something. There was this oddly false sense of isolation around all the characters. It was also full of bad, eye-rollable writing like this: “For James was a lover of simple detail, a fan of wrought-i
Aug 08, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've used this book for monologues for class, have transformed one of the stories into a reader's theatre piece and saw it performed, have cried, laughed out loud, read it out loud in the bath to my love, read it in a hammock to myself, re-read and re-read this and filled it with notes and dog ears and it is still new every time. The characters are reflections, magnified to become borderline supernatural of everyone we see and love and walk by and ignore and argue with and are afraid of everyday ...more
Jul 15, 2007 Jacquie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like Meg Ryan movies
I was tempted to give this book one star, but that just felt mean. The characters felt mainly one-dimensional, with a forced quirkiness that felt born of the sort of exercise you’d be assigned in a beginning creative writing class (Patrick drinking only Old Fashioneds, etc.) These characters’ eccentricities induced a lot of eye-rolling, particularly given that there wasn’t much to them beyond their tics. The story arc was pure Hollywood, riddled with saccharin New York clichés about love and lon ...more
Jun 20, 2007 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: read-in-2007
Second time I've read this unbearably charming book and I might have liked it more than when I first read it in 2002. I've bought this for at least 4 friends and they also really, really liked it.

The book is comprised of linked stories set around a particular mysterious old apartment building. It's just romantic and enchanting in an edgy, non chick lit way. Wonderful.
J.C. Lillis
Dec 18, 2013 J.C. Lillis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Interconnected short stories; emotional but never maudlin, quirky without being insufferable about it. The writing's uniformly awesome, though some stories leave more of an impact than others.
Jul 20, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristopher Jansma
Apr 06, 2008 Kristopher Jansma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookblog
by David Schickler

My general process of reading short story collections is: read the first story, hopefully the second, then skip ahead to the story I've seen already published that made me buy the book, then skip to a random story, then eventually leave the book on the shelf in the bathroom where I'll pretend that someday I'll finish it while I've got nothing better to be reading. Usually I really love one short story (usually the one I read somewhere else already) and I wind up wishing it was
Jul 22, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This was definitely a .. different set of stories. The setting is Manhattan, but it's almost an alternate Manhattan, so different and otherworldly are the characters.

All of the characters, in one way or another, are tied to the Preemption apartment building. I like this as a focus to tie the stories together, but I think I would have liked a smaller cast of characters. I really liked the Patrick Rigg character, and his conflict with James Branch and Rally. I wanted a little more of that. I
Apr 09, 2009 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
Very well written but very, very odd.


More now that I've thought it over some more. 'Kissing in Manhattan' is undeniably well written, poignant, funny and disturbing. Each story is a slice of life that is tied so intimately with its neighbor that it flows as if truly one larger story. Only a handful of those shorts really, truly belong to the whole but there are bits and pieces of the larger picture in even the weirdest of stories.

It is provoking, both in thought and not.

But I can't honestly sa
Mar 19, 2007 Marylynn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Read this for a book club and did not like it. I'm very glad I didn't spend any money on it. Thank you to the Minutemen Library Network in general and the lovely Cambridge Public Library in particular (incidentally, the Cambridge Library was named the “Single Most Beautiful Building” built in the metropolitan Boston area in the past 10 years by the Boston Society of Architects)!

I liked the idea of stringing together vignettes of interconnected lives. But all the characters were so awful, startin
Diana Egielski
Sep 22, 2014 Diana Egielski rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around why this book is so highly rated. The old-world misogyny starts right off the bat, with a woman being told that "[she] belongs to a man". I let that slide in hopes that it was maybe just her, but pretty much every female in this book exists to submit to a man. What tries to be exciting and edgy winds up leaving me with those uncomfortable "rapey" vibes that leave me eager to leave the world of the book behind. And also, as a native New Yorker, I fo ...more
Mar 07, 2008 craige rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookmooched, fiction
My perception of this book changed considerably from beginning to end. I was initially swept into the book because the first couple of stories are so charming. The one about the bath almost had me in tear at the end of it.

But then it veered off into the territory of Patrick the stockbroker and that was not nearly as interesting. It felt as if the author really wanted to write a novel about Patrick, but instead wrote a couple short stories about him or about the people in his life and then publi
Kurt Sevits
Mar 29, 2011 Kurt Sevits rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First stumbled on this book when a friend told me I had to read "The Smoker." I loved the story, so I read the rest of the book, and loved it as well. The last two stories, and therefore the ending, I could probably live without, but overall I really enjoy the book. I just finished reading it for the second time, and I think I enjoyed it more.

The beginning of the book is more funny and quirky, and it gets a little more dark and serious toward the end. Some of the aspects that other reviewers hat
Feb 13, 2007 Kitty-Wu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El Preemption se alza en Manhattan. Es un edificio de apartamentos que se ve convertido en un territorio entre cuento de hadas y afilada realidad. Personajes extravagantes pero increíblemente reales se van perfilando y entremezclando a lo largo de toda la novela. No he podido parar de leerlo desde que lo he empezado: me parece un retrato inteligentísimo sobre la soledad en una gran ciudad, sobre los aspectos más íntimos de los personajes, sobre búsquedas personales. Es triste, absurdo, bello... ...more
David Schickler does not get women and his female characters made no sense to me at all. Granted, I'm not your typical female. But I don't know any woman that would behave like these female characters, except maybe Nicole, but her parents? No way! Then there's Donna who really pissed me off.

The format threw me at first. A series of short stories, some of them stand completely on their own just fine which I kinda like, but I wasn't prepared for it. In the end they all link together, some a lot, s
Jun 20, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-hated
Hated it. To the point where I'm repulsed by it. All the women characters are completely absurd and one-dimensional - clearly, the author doesn't understand women in the least and has some weird idea that we're all just begging to be dominated by some rude, disgusting man. Are you kidding me? I suppose a few of the stories had mildly interesting bits, but most of the book was overwritten, ridiculous, pretentious bullshit. It tries so hard to be profound and urban, and the result is just pathetic ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Andi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love David Schickler's New York and want to live in the fictional building around which these stories take place. It's a story collection disguised as a novel, and it contains "The Smoker", which is one of my all-time favorites (read it via The New Yorker here: If you like Wes Anderson and/or Woody Allen peppered with magical realism and urban ennui, then you'll love this book. If not, I think you'll enjoy it anyway.
Mar 31, 2009 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really liked this weird little collection of short stories. I love the way they all twist together at the end, and I was genuinely intrigued and interested in all of the characters, from the woman who bathes her husband to the twisted relationship between Patrick and Rally (and the man who has that special connection to the elevator. I can't remember his name though.) One of the weirdest books I've read, but also one of the most interesting.
May 14, 2009 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This book is a collection of intertwined short stories revolving around people who live in the same building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Some characters are more interesting than others and some seemed a little too quirky, but most were great and memorable. I particularly enjoyed the story entitled "Duty" which is at once dark, sad and funny. This is a good collection of contemporary short fiction.
Jan 02, 2008 Starr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Kissing in Manhattan contains an intriguing cast of quirky characters, which Schickler weaves together through a collection of short stories. Some of the stories are really amazing pieces of work ("Jacob's Bath" and "The Smoker" are the best of the bunch), but unfortunately, his writing is a bit uneven and the great qualities don't carry through the entire book. There were some points where I couldn't put down the book, but by the end I was ready for it to be done.
Mar 15, 2007 Rivka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"the smoker" is the best short story of all time. no joke. read it immediately. schickler is totally kerchek. i went to a reading of his in the city and this girl stood in front of me on line to get our books signed. she had been a student of his, when he taught high school, and they briefly reminised about how she taught him some rudimentary spanish. he said to her: "I still remember the spanish word for platypus." i thought it was pretty magical.
May 24, 2007 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who live in NYC, people who like quirky stories
This book, from what I remember of it, was quite surreal. I liked the edge it gave to a lot of characters who would be laughable in real life, if you seperated them out of this novel. "The Smoker" is the best, of course. People who are young in the city and still feeling their way around- this book is for you.
Suanne Laqueur
Feb 09, 2016 Suanne Laqueur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious? Not really.
Sexy? Not much.
Deeply tender? ....Yeah. In a weird, odd, haunting way... Yeah. These stories of flawed, unsavory people were tender. And weird. And...tender.

May 23, 2013 Meggie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most horrible and horribly written books I've ever read. It's not even a good beach read. The characters are poorly developed cliches and the writing leaves much to be desired. Hardly what I had expected given the praise it apparently garnered according to the cover.
Jul 01, 2015 Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting collection of short stories that all managed to come together and connect to each other. I liked this book and thought it was pretty good, but seemed a little bland.
Heather Klabough
Jul 15, 2012 Heather Klabough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tickled me...buying it to read again. Cracked and loveable.
Kissing in Manhattan was billed as a charming book that captured the romance and magic of New York City, but instead it just made me angry. Despite being set in New York City at the turn of the millennium, it propounds the most antiquated ideas about gender roles. It's a collection of male sexual fantasies disguised as middlebrow literary fiction, and that's not what I bargained for.

In David Schickler's Manhattan, men are either aggressive and horny alpha males or shy nice-guy beta males. The fe
Dec 31, 2007 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of interrelated short stories, this book is an appropriate selection on account of its title, if for no other reason. But it’s got some terrific stuff, too, especially the stories “Jacob’s Bath” and “The Smoker,” the latter of which is quoted below. Although the book is at times a bit too forced in its fancifulness, it also manages to encapsulate very precisely a specific kind of urban disaffection and loneliness. David Schickler captures the isolation and disjointedness felt by a g ...more
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David Schickler (born July 30, 1969 in Rochester, New York) is an American author and screenwriter. He is the co-creator and an executive producer of the new Cinemax television series Banshee, premiering in 2013.

David Schickler is a graduate of the Columbia M.F.A. program. He lives in New York. His stories have appeared in "The New Yorker," "Tin House" and "Zoetrope." "From the Hardcover edition."
More about David Schickler...

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