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The Other Shulman: A Novel
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The Other Shulman: A Novel

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  153 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Shulman, a chubby, middle-aged stationery-store owner from New Jersey, has always claimed that he’s been gaining and losing the same thirty-five pounds since junior high–and that if you added all of that discarded weight together, he had lost an entire person. Another Shulman. A Shulman he never really cared for. A Shulman he’d always tried to lose by dieting and exercisin ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Villard (first published 2005)
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Norm
My mother's book:

I read The Other Shuman because I enjoyed Lunatics, a book Alan Zweibel co-wrote with Dave Barry (one of my personal favorite writer-gods). So I was curious about Zweibel.

The book centers around an overweight, nice-guy wimp named Shulman, who owns a stationary store in New York that is quietly fading as big box stores take over the Mom and Pops. Shulman, in an attempt to become a more assertive, aggressive Shulman who can save his store, his marriage and his way of life decides
...more
Rachel
Shulman is a middle-aged stationary store owner who estimates that he has lost (and regained) enough weight over his lifetime to make a whole other person, another Shulman who he'd never really liked and had spent years trying to be rid of. Married to Paula, who now spends most of their time in bed together leafing through design catalogs, and running a business that's gradually becoming obsolete, Shulman at 248 pounds decides to run the New York City marathon in order to raise money for AIDS re ...more
Diane
I heard Alan Zweibel do a reading from this book several months ago. The reading was funny, and I was intrigued. I wrote it on my "need to read someday" list, and promptly forgot about it. Recently I saw it on the list and requested it from the library.

Shulman is a man who feels much of his life is failing - his marriage, and business, to say the least. He decides to run the New York Marathon. The book is written in 26.2 chapters - one for each mile of the marathon. In the process of relating t
...more
Janie
The last third of the book descended into a "comedy" of errors (please note the quotes of uncomfortable mockery). I am not a fan of everything in the protagonist's life going horribly wrong. I do not find that hilariously funny. Like, you know, I did not laugh when I read the Book of Job. Damn dirty trick that was for the devil and his brother to bet on poor Job like that.

Luckily it resolved well. Hooray!

It made me glad I visited New York. I enjoyed the running bits the best.

"But as much as he
...more
William
I wanted to like this book, but it took me forever to get through it.

What went wrong? I never liked the Shulman character very much, nor many of the other characters aside from his store assistant, Austin. I suppose I am bored with tales of suburban angst. This saga of an average guy with average troubles just doesn't rise to any level of significance as literature.

One of the cover blurbs terms the book "hilarious," and were that true, the story might work as humor. Yes, a number of lines and di
...more
Paul O'Grady
The Other Shulman is a wonderfully creative novel. I picked it up because I had seen the author read a passage from the book on Letterman and it seemed amusing. Zweibel is one of the original SNL writers so I was sure he was talented and this might be amusing. That it was set in New York was certainly a plus for me. I never expected to be so captivated by this book. It had a depth and understanding of the human condition that spoke to my 45 year old soul. On one hand the book could not be more r ...more
Stephanie
I really, really liked this book even though I found the back cover annoying. I mean, if you're going to get your famous friends (Larry David and Billy Crystal) to offer quotes for your book ("hilarious" and "very funny"), you should probably get them to read the book first. The book is neither hilarious nor very funny but it is sweet, poignant, and very clever. The basic premise is that Schulman has gained and lost the same 30 pounds so many times he's lost a whole person...whom he meets...who' ...more
Melissa
I have run 16 marathons, but will probably never run the New York City Marathon. There are just too many people that really, really want to do it, and there are too many other marathons I'd rather run than NYC; I wouldn't want to take a space away from someone who has it on their must-do list. That being said, I loved this book. 26.2 chapters, one for each mile of the race, plus a .2 postscript. A lot of us midpackers can identify with what Shulman goes through training for his first race. It's ...more
Geoff
Apr 07, 2007 Geoff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mid Life Crisis
I've had a streak of 'OK to pretty good' books of late and The Other Shulman is smack in the middle. I loved the concept of someone losing so much weight over time that there would be enough for another person. It's interesting to have a split persona, and have to deal with the version of oneself that does everything that you may be afraid of doing. But this good book never breaks out into something great. It's funny, decently written, and has a good set of characters, but it just doesn't get to ...more
Sarah
Jul 11, 2008 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has ever thought of running a marathon
Recommended to Sarah by: Darryl Graden
My father-in-law sent me this book. The guy who wrote it also wrote some episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. It is about an older man who decides to run the New York Marathon for an HIV charity. His stationary store is becoming irrelevant due to super stores such as Target, and he also feels irrelevant to his grown children. So he runs a marathon. So far this book is a lot of fun! There 26.2 chapters and as I write this I am on chapter 15.
Amelia
This was such a creatively written book, especially if you're a runner or determined to get on an excersise program! There was a little bit of swearing, but I really enjoyed reading this book about a heavy set man determined to master himself and his weaknesses by training for and running a marathon. Each chapter of the book (26.2 in total) represents a mile of the New York city marathon--- So creative and so fun to read!
Andrew
This is a humorous book about a sad sack stationary store owner to battles his own lack of gumption. The quips and writing are funny and keep the story lively. Shulman vs The Other Shulman has enough tension to keep the story moving.

Very enjoyable.
Ashley
This is one of those books that I really enjoyed reading and then when I was finished, I just kept thinking about how much I loved it. It's a book about running and about life. And it's very funny! I recommend it to everyone.
Dave Mortensen
I loved this book. Alan Zweibel shares a tender and hilarious view into the life of a 248-pound New Yorker on his way to completing the marathon of his life. Beware, you may sign up for a marathon yourself (I did).
Tracy Dorsett
This book had me laughing out loud, especially in the first half of the book. I would definitely read other books by this author. In fact, I have read a book that he co-wrote with Dave Barry. It was also very funny.
Mary
A mid-life crisis finds an aging and out of shape stationery store owner training for the New York marathon. Funny, yet introspective. Each chapter is another mile along the way. Inspirational!
Paula
A kind of 'magical realism' hits New Jersey book. Shulman meets his other self who is hell bent on destroying him as his marriage and his business are both floundering. A charming story.
Bill
A funny book by one of the original writers of SNL about a middle aged overweight man running in the NYC marathon. During the course of the book, he reflects on past experiences in his life.
Mary
A marathon is not a competition between 2 people. It's proving something to yourself. Relate that to living and you've got the point of the book. Very enjoyable. (Watch out for f-bombs.)
Emilie
This book started of really funny, had almost a Nick Hornby feel to it, but the ending was so cliche. He literally beats a bad metaphor to death.
Jared
A fun, entertaining read especially if you've been through training for a marathon. this is very light and humorous, and worth a few minutes.
Rebekkila
Oct 05, 2012 Rebekkila marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11446764
Kristen
This wasn't the greatest piece of literature on the planet, but it kept me entertained and interested all the way through.
Judygr8
so bad i couldn't finish it. a waste of time & paper. and to think, trees died for this book! what a shanda!
Angel Goldberg
I don't relate well to the main character. Parts of it were funny but overall it was not worth my time.
Debi
Really funny book...includes bits about a fictional character's training for the NYC marathon..
Elizabethreiter03
This book is funny. It is the new me I am reading light-hearted funny books only!!
Crystal Carter
This story was good, but not great. Parts were incredibly funny!
Sarah
Falls short of humor or cleverness, settling in around lame.
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