Sabra Embury's Reviews > Walks With Men: Fiction

Walks With Men by Ann Beattie
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Jan 06, 11

bookshelves: quick-read
Read in January, 2011

Only 102 pages, Walks With Men was a quick read, also in part to the fact that the story was presented in a standard, straight-forward way. It read like an extended memoir entry with names changed, a glimpse into the yesteryear of one relationship between a woman and a man, overlapping a new relationship with a different type of man. A young yogi dreamer, for an older, wiser writer. All in the perspective of a young woman fresh from Harvard, moving to Manhattan from a stint in Vermont, finding success young and getting side-tracked by the comfort and chaos of co-dependent stability.

Outside of that, a few eccentric tenants from their building in Chelsea are introduced, as well as a farm lady with a gun and knowledge of a time capsule buried under a tree somewhere, and in the end a step-dad buffers the spotlight along with his outspoken roommate.

For sake of the small spell that I was a resident in New York, I can appreciate this book, recognizing the streets, bodegas and diners, like the Empire, which are neatly described. I also admire the push and pull opinions which form identities within the two main characters, contracting and expanding the course of their relationship without too much emotion involved, or described, to overpower the case-study type, human relations conundrum at hand.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kenneth P. I'm half way through the book and I'm reading it carefully because I'm convinced that Ms. Beattie has something to say here. I like your review up until here:

"I also admire the push and pull opinions which form identities within the two main characters, contracting and expanding the course of their relationship without too much emotion involved, or described, to overpower the case-study type, human relations conundrum at hand."

Could you explain that sentence please? You liked the book and I'd like to know more of why you liked it.


Sabra Embury It feels like eons since my reading the book, but I definitely see where you're coming from. That last bit in the review is vague, even to me, now. I think I was trying to make a positive comment about the no nonsense realism made clear by the attitude that follows the story's characters who see coupling as a stark necessity outside of romantic ideals. It mirrors the idea that practicality is pervasive when it comes to coupling in real life though most people would never admit that.


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