Kelly's Reviews > The Man of My Dreams

The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld
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's review
May 17, 09

bookshelves: fiction

** spoiler alert ** Even though Curtis Sittenfield’s writing is actually pretty good, I often find myself not liking her books because the characters are so damned annoying. The Man of my Dreams is one of those books that follows a woman (Hannah) through the series of bad relationships and romantic misfortunes compromise her life. It’s pretty much exactly the same book as Melissa Banks’s A Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing, except not as good. Much like the protagonist of Prep, Hannah is whiny and depressive and often makes me think of characteristics that I loathe about myself. But the perpetual pity party is more tolerable in Prep because the main character is a teenager.

Honestly, I think the most irritating thing about the book is that we follow Hannah from 1991 to 2005, learning very little about her other than her romantic life, and we never get to see her have a satisfying relationship. I think there are people out there who have no interest in romantic relationships and are completely happy being alone, but Hannah is clearly not one of those people and I didn’t buy for a minute that she is truly happy living with a roommate and working with handicapped kids at the end of the novel. After 272 pages of morose torment, was a happy ending really to much to ask for? I wonder if Sittenfield’s American Wife is any better because the main characters in the first two books seem to be thinly veiled representations of the author.
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