mark's Reviews > Sex, Love, and Money: Revenge and Ruin in the World of High-Stakes Divorce

Sex, Love, and Money by Gerald Nissenbaum
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's review
Mar 02, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, relationships, mental-health
Read in March, 2010

I gave this book four stars because of the ending: Part five, Chapter Twelve, "A PIECE OF ADVICE." Here, the author Nissenbaum shines. His advice is wise and well worth listening to. Although it probably won't do anyone any good because as he states fairly early: "All marriages start with sex ... " and in " ... the full range of divorce cases ... everything comes back to money." His advice--marry well and "avoid a bad marriage." Basically, it is his opinion that people don't change. He counsels--look to their previous behavior because that is how they will behave with you. Well, as I said, who's going to listen to that? Not when there's is sex and money to be had.

Now what I don't like (albeit there may be truth here.) He writes: "At the risk of cultural stereotyping, I'll say that I've generally found Germans to be precise, logical, orderly people." (p.216) On the previous page, with no qualification, he wrote: "She was a Rhode Islander by birth, a child of Spanish immigrants, and she had the wild emotional intensity that I associate with Spaniards." Well, Mr. Nissenbaum, what does that make you, a New England Jewish high-stakes divorce lawyer?

Here is another thing I don't like--the title. There is no love here, not in the section headings (The Scene; Sex; The Money; The Kids; A Piece of Advice) or in the discussion. A word search would not find the word "Love" often--if at all. The stories he tells (all true) are ugly and disheartening. Nissenbaum doesn't discuss love, except love of money. A better title-- "DIVORCE: A story of sex and money." Always, always, the ugliness rains down on the kids, the consequence of the sex, and who are then used as a way to manipulate the money and hurt the former sex buddy. The children are used as a weapon.

Who is complicit in this travesty? The lawyers, judges, P.I.s, and expert witnesses. They are all in for the money.I would not do this work for any amount of money. The lawyers are, in my opinion, part of problem. This book makes that clear.

The last section should be a mandatory assignment for examination in all high school classes.

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