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More Than It Hurts You

2.91 of 5 stars 2.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,196 ratings  ·  270 reviews
The acclaimed author of Chang and Eng
returns with a literary showstopper --
a beautifully realized novel that at its heart is the story of a woman
who will
risk everything to feel something; a doctor whose diagnosis brings
her entire
life into question; and a man who suddenly realizes that being a good
husband
and a good father can no longer comfortably coexist.




Josh Goldin w
...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 19th 2008 by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated (first published June 17th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,226)
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Kris
Jul 12, 2008 Kris rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: your better class of beach-readers and airport-browsers
A comment below hints at some of my concerns as I got underway, and the book never really broke from its initial, out-of-the-gate stride. A fast read, and casually engaging, but its ambitious ingredients (the sweep of a social-issues canvas, the page-turner, the incisive character satire) never synthesized into a satisfying meal.

Besides its indebtedness to Franzen and Wolfe, there were explicit head-nods to Amis and to Bellow, hints of Atwood at her sliest and sharpest. All great people to stea
...more
Esther
This book was so painful to go through. I just couldn't get hooked on this book no matter how hard I tried. It's very slow-paced and not eventful enough for me; the author, Darin Strauss, focused too much on developing characters and describing settings rather than the actual story plot. Unfortunately, the topic this story revolves around is very interesting.
The story starts off with a new mother, Dori, who rushes her baby to a hospital after he is injured. An African-American doctor, Darlene,
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Jackie
This is an absorbing psychological study of what people do to motivate themselves and others as well as what secrets and lies they tell themselves to do so. At one point a main character asks himself "How much blindness does a happy life require?" On the surface, this is a story about a family dealing with allegations of Munchausen by Proxy (where a parent makes a child ill or hurts it to get the attention for themselves). But that is only one layer of the deep and varied textures of this story. ...more
gwen
This book is trying to take on so many Big Topics -- race, gender, class, etc., etc. -- all under the umbrella of Munchausen's by proxy, which is one of those car-wreck-curious sorts of topoics. I want to say it half-succeeds, because the book is immensely readable and the characters very believable -- especially the mother, Dori, who I imagine would have been the most difficult character to write.

But maybe it's a classic situation of Strauss biting off more than he could chew, because somehow
...more
Laura
Munchausen by proxy is obviously a super creepy interesting topic, but this book has too many characters, none of them really likable, and too much going on, like a character named Intelligent Muhammad, and this fake Jon Stewart monologue, ugh:

"So, I misunderstood," Jon Stewart was saying. "I thought you guys were offering me the Nightline job. Are you not ABC?"

Stewart enjoyed this joke, and to show this he turned from the microphone and covered his own laugh by moving a fist over his mouth, as
...more
Ron Charles
If you don't belong to a book club, Darin Strauss's bitter and brilliant new novel is reason enough to start one. You can always disband afterward, and in any case your discussion of More Than It Hurts You may be so heated that you'll never talk to those people again. Strauss has packed this gripping story with the whole radio dial of divisive, hot-button issues, chief among them a form of child abuse labeled Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP). Identified 30 years ago by a controversial British ...more
Julie
There were elements of this book I appreciated, and others that just seemed superfluous. For example, the author goes into great detail about the appearance of a tertiary character, in a very verbose manner than doesn't really work to add to the story or move the plot along. In fact, I'm not sure that that character himself was all that necessary. In this way, I feel that there were about 50-100 extra pages that likely could have been eliminated without shortchanging the story.

On the other hand,
...more
Christina Marie Rau
Real life is complicated. I'm sure that any life involving Munchausen is uber complicated. I'm sure that any life involving medical maladies is complicated. I'm sure that racial stereotypes and trying to break racial tension is complicated. I'm sure that class on the North Shore of Long Island is complicated. I'm sure bi-racial marriages, bad marriages, fatherless families, and fathers in jail are all complicated. After reading More Than It Hurts You, a culmination of all these issues balled up ...more
Sammantha
I gave this book only two stars. I was really excited to get my hands on this book and couldn't wait to get into it. Needless to say, after dragging myself to finish this book I wasn't very pleased with it. Many times I put the book down and didn't want to finish. But its hard for me to give up on any book, I try to give everyone a fair chance.
I found that the author developed too many nonessential characters. I found even the essential characters to be so unlikeable that the book didn't keep my
...more
Sarah
This is the first novel by Darin Strauss that I have read and I was quite impressed with the way he captured issues of race and gender in a subtle and sensitive way. The story could have easily turned into something 'obvious' and 'in your face' like the screenplay for 'Crash' or even certain moments in 'Babel' but Strauss used pacing and tone and honesty to create a novel that is both upsetting, scary, but in the end, absolutely right on the mark. And issues of race, gender and religion are only ...more
Carol
Listened to this over several weeks, was curious where it would end. But not so involved I sat in the driveway waiting for a chapter to end.

For this story take one physician, a black female, brilliant diagnostician, difficult personality, just not overly likable. Add one family - beautiful loving mom, handsome salesman dad, adorable little boy. Mix together at the ER, add some strange behavior and medical expertise when the child codes and is resuscitated. When it happens again, toss with CPS. T
...more
Mia
I found this book on a clearance shelf years ago and picked it up thinking it was a biography of Chang and Eng, which it isn't. It's a novel loosely based on their life - or as much as we can know of their life, since a good deal of it wasn't recorded - including their dealings with royalty, the circuses, and the women they eventually married and had families with. It was interesting and well-researched. Just be sure not to quote any of the stories as fact. :)
Evie Rabeck
Great idea for a plot: involving family dynamics, racism, the LI Jewish experience, Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, and more. Straus is a good writer because he makes a page turner involving characters who are all, in different ways, unlikeable. I would have scored this higher but I did feel some elements were a little farfetched and precious. However, this book will probably make a good book club read -- lots to discuss.
Greg
What a novel this is. One of those semi-sweeping books that's unafraid to confront head-on modern American issues of race, prejudice, marriage, parenting, and how slippery the achievement of happiness can be. Strauss's pitch-perfect portrayal of the blissfully ignorant ad salesman Josh Goldin and the descent of his apparently perfect life into chaos is nothing short of incredible.
Stephanie
Too much long-winded prose by the author, not enough action. I struggled to finish this one- the author just kept going on and on and on and on about stuff that had very little or no bearing on the story whatsoever. It's a compelling topic- a mother accused of Munchausen by Proxy- but the author really frustrated me with his long-winded details about non-important things.
Nancy
An absorbing story of flawed human beings trying to do what they feel to right. This was an audio book that I had to force myself to pause so as not to stay up all night listening to the story unfold.
Margaret
Sep 02, 2008 Margaret rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Margaret by: read a review
Shelves: reading-list-08
The topic, Munchhausen's by Proxy was of interest to me, however I couldn't really realate to any of the characters. Even the doctor was a different breed. The dreamy way some of it was written didn't hold me either so I found myself glossing over some sections.
Stefanie
this is a very good read. this book raises questions about race, social castes, morality, ethics, and america's media driven pop-culture. Through the MSBP issue and character development, the novel challenges your stance on good/evil and right/wrong
Mary
This book had potential, but I agree with a previous review: the author tried to cover too many Big Topics - mainly racial, gender, & religious discrimination, with a couple sidebars into socioeconomic disparity thrown in.

However, while the other reader still found the book engaging and readable, I found myself first slogging through and then skimming over numerous sections of background material. I just couldn't summon the interest to learn that much more about the characters. The lengthy
...more
Catherine
Follows young parents & a doctor from very different backgrounds & how their lives cross when the parents are accused of an unthinkable act. Takes place on LI near where I grew up so it was fun to see some of the places I knew in print.
Laura
Intriguing and heartbreaking story, especially if you have children. A little verbose in places, but overall well writing and engaging.
Jessica AKA Riley
Interesting read. Review on my blog--

http://allrileyedup.wordpress.com/200...
more-than-it-hurts-you-by-darin-strauss/
Virginia
A real page turner, one that you just hate to put down. I read this book in two days flat.
Kaeli
A haunting book about the effect of Munchausen's Syndrome on a family.
Barbara
Loving it so far. Darin is on my show in a couple of weeks....
Gabby
More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss is the story of Josh and Dori Goldin, their son Zack, and Dr Darlene Stokes. When Zack Goldin becomes ill, he is taken to the hospital by his mother, and he is treated there by Dr Stokes. Until Zack was born, Dori Goldin worked as a phlebotomist in a hospital, so she was familiar with various procedures and tests and knew exactly what questions to ask the doctors with respect to Zack's treatment. By the time Josh reached the hospital to find out what had h ...more
Denise
3.0 out of 5 stars Sociological study of a family in crisis..., June 21, 2009

This review is from: More Than It Hurts You (Hardcover)
This is a somewhat confusing and convoluted story of a couple who are accused of Munchausen by proxy when their infant son has two suspicious trips to the Emergency Room. Josh and Dori Goldin, a young and happily married couple, are pitted against Child Protective Services and Dr. Darlene Stokes, a zealous African American pediatric physician who is intent on expos
...more
Cheryl Klein
Darin Strauss' prose has the same clairvoyant quality I love in Michael Cunningham and Richard Yates (though I don't remember it as much from Chang and Eng, which I read years ago). Here he turns his powers on various characters pulled into the investigation of a possible case of Munchausen by proxy (you know, that syndrome where mothers hurt their babies for medical attention? In the early nineties it was one of those diseases that 20/20-type shows sensationalized). Seeing the baby's dad, Josh, ...more
Tracy
I'm not sure how I feel about this book just yet. First, it's a tough topic (muchausen by proxy) and deals with an 8-month old baby who is gravely ill. Not easy to read about when you have a little one at home. Second, the writing is a bit choppy at times. I have issues with reading things that don't flow. Third, I don't know how I feel about the main characters. The father is not all that sympathetic. In fact, he lets his wife make all the decisions...and she's more concerned about what the doc ...more
Nicole
I wish that I would have liked this book - it was recommended to me by a certain author that I met at our local Komen Lunch for the Cure. But gads! SO MANY WORDS (and I realize it's a book and it's supposed to have words, but seriously). I have a friend that's going through a nasty divorce, and she likes to hash, re-hash and hypothesize about all things ex-husband. This book is like that.

The premise is a Munchausen by proxy case, and the way that it affects both the family undergoing the charges
...more
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A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and a winner of the American Library Association's Alix Award and The National Book Critics Circle Award, the internationally-bestselling writer Darin Strauss is the author of the novels Chang & Eng, The Real McCoy, and More Than It Hurts You, and the NBCC-winning memoir Half a Life. These have been New York Times Notable Books, Newsweek, Los Angeles Ti ...more
More about Darin Strauss...
Half a Life Chang and Eng The Real McCoy Long Island Shaolin Chang y Eng

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“Love wasn't a thing you fell in, but rose to. It was what stopped you from falling.” 6 likes
“What's impossible to communicate, what you can't experience unless you're part of it, is the sensation of being in a real-life marriage. Even little chats seem to be floating in some kind of really ast liquid, and that vast liquid is the ocean of shared feelings and memories and shorthands, of understanding and misunderstandings between the couple-- their history ocean. More and more of their business tends to go underwater, and so even the important words feel only like individual waves popping up from that ocean. All that context, that history, and those impressions from real life that the couple logs and drowns in, it all washes over everything” 3 likes
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