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Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals
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Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  125 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
“A treat for any book lover, happily mated or cheerfully single” (USA TODAY)—two popular journalists give hilarious relationship advice borrowed from the most famous characters in literature.

Finding love should be easier than ever before, given all the freedoms we enjoy. But as it turns out, the more options we have, the more difficult attaining romantic bliss becomes. We
ebook, 224 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Free Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Milanie Howard
Mar 10, 2014 Milanie Howard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is seriously mislabeled as Literary Criticism. If I had found it in the dating section or maybe the humor section, I wouldn't have been so horribly disappointed. When the dating column writer wrote, the chapters were more like the stories girls share with each other about dates gone very wrong; mildly funny, but what does that have to do with literature? Well, she could find a classic novel in which the characters vaguely resembled the "types" she encountered in the world of dating. An ...more
Feb 18, 2012 Rebeccahowden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s kind of like He’s Just Not That Into You or The Rules, except for lit nerds. In an entertaining hybrid of literary criticism and dating advice, Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan weave together stories of their own mistakes and bad dates and romantic disasters, alongside the gems of wisdom they’ve gleaned from the nights spent in wallowing in their loneliness and a good book. Remembrance of Things Past, for example, tells us why you shouldn’t get back with your ex. Bright Lights, Big City provi ...more
Shay Leszinske
A fascinating comparison of classic literature to the modern world . A must read if you are in the fast paced dating race.
Jun 07, 2013 Rand rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring execution of a dumb idea.
This is the kind of crap that should stay in a glossy magazine.
May 29, 2017 Vashti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book ended up being completely different from what I expected - it is more of an "advice-column, self-help book" than an analysis of our "favorite novels". However, I enjoyed the writing style and found both authors to be pretty funny. I have a few friends I'll be recommending this one to.
Cheers for the discussion and the help in rounding out my tbr shelf. Some chapters were more successful than others, and I'm not at all sold on Jack's take on Pride and Prejudice in particular, but it's an interesting thought and I'll consider it in my next reading.

Can I point out that all the section titles are riffs on Shakespeare's romances (makes sense in a book titled Much Ado About Loving, right?) but there's no discussion of those great stories and their driving relationships, even as a b
I won this book on goodreads giveaway and I enjoyed reading it. Although I'm skipping the chapters about books I haven't read yet. I don't want them ruining the books for me before I read them. But the ones that I did read have some funny advice and look a little deeper at the characters of the books.

This book goes further into the main character of a book to try and teach the reader about love. And how either under different circumstances or in reality most love stories wouldn't work out. And
Tan Clare
Jun 17, 2016 Tan Clare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seeing some of the very negative reviews of this book here, I'd mentally braced myself before starting, in case I found this book "trashy" so as to speak. Turns out, just as the authors have subtly hinted about relationships, sometimes it is about the balancing act of expectations, though this time it is on the part of the reader. Some chapters I resonated with deeply, some chapters I vehemently oppose (I am sticking to Jane Eyre for her decision though I stress I'm no prude), some chapters simp ...more
Dec 09, 2012 Sharla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an interesting way to explore advice on relationships and dating -- via the characters and authors of classic literature. It was a refreshing read, and I found myself agreeing with many of the perspectives of the authors. Also, it was an interesting flow of the book to have alternating essays from the male and female authors.

I marked several sections discussing characters and their choices and flaws or nuances, but this section especially struck with me:

"And there are people
Jan 05, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is there anything that great literature can't do?

According to Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan* it can teach us some very important lessons about love. I tend to agree.

Kelly and Murnighan take turns writing the chapters and telling us about their hits and misses in the dating world. They share the triumphs and the failures. All along they tie their romantic adventures to the stories and lessons in classic literature.

The chapter names made me chuckle and inspired me to keep reading:

Love in the T
Aug 20, 2012 Kunal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is an ok book. Gives a lot of good advice about dating, relationships, different signs you see in both men and women that tell you whether or not you should be exiting or staying in a relationship. It is written in a interesting way as each chapter rotates between a male and female author so can see how people think about different scenarios and situations from both the female and male perspective. Overall, had some useful information, but is not a page turner by any means and I personally ...more
Dec 26, 2013 Mel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Written by two authors that take turns discussing dating and relationships through novels such as The Bell Jar, Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, Anna Karenina, etc.
While reading the book it gave me a desire to read the books they mentioned that I haven't yet read. What I didn't like about the book was the snide political comments of the female author that irked me, but the final straw was the one about the right to kill babies that ruined the book for me. The book would have been so much b
Melissa Fox
Dec 29, 2011 Melissa Fox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this book that I won in a giveaway. I was pleasantly surprised at how funny this book was. I absolutely hate literature and would never ever read a long boring Jane Eyre book, so I would like to thank the Authors for kinda summarizing these types of stories. I appreciate you putting these novels into words that someone like me actually understands. LOL

I enjoyed hearing your points of view about dating, and now understand that I am among the many whom have had not so good
Oct 01, 2016 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun and easy read that combines love of classic literature with modern relationship advice. What would Elizabeth Bennett do in a world of instant messaging? Which couple would live happily-ever-after in Once Upon a Time for Dickens? The paired authors Jack and Maura write in response to these sort of questions, and along the way dish out some sound dating advice in case the reader finds themselves pretty clueless in love. The chapter titles alone in the book are delightful, and the writing keeps ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
I won this book in a giveaway. I had a real tough time with it. I liked the writing style of the co-authors and found parts of it humorous but I could not get into the content. I think it is because it is so far from where I am in my life. I have been with my husband for 17 years (I was 19 and he was 20 when we began dating) so I could not identify with much of what was written. I think some would find this book very appealing but it just wasn't for me.
Richard Martin
Designed to be a women's guide to "dating expectations," the "gander" can find much in common. Surprisingly, thirty-one "favorite novels" act as the teachers. Authors Kelly and Murnighan take a light-hearted view as shown by chapter titles such as "Jane Erred," ""Farewell to Charms," and "Madam Ho-Vary." Mostly written as banter makes for easy reading. Haven't read the novel? No problem. Each chapter provides a brief plot synopsis.
Nov 07, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an alright book due to the references to "traditional" books dealing with relationships and love. Such books as "Pride and Prejudice" and many others. This book would be better read by a person who is not in a relationship and who is looking for ways to deal with/change that. I found that being in a relationship already, I could not relate to some of the topics/discussions of the authors. It was a good read for the references or if you aren't in a relationship.
Well, I probably would have liked it better from the outset had I NOT started it around Valentine's Day. Because it was too much advice for someone with a rather pathetic dating life. Coming back to it in September was much better.

I like Murnighan's chapters more than Kelly's - probably because I LOVED Beowulf on the Beach and was looking for more of that.

So a good book, decent read, but not as good as I expected.
Feb 18, 2012 Mollie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually a fan of any sort of self-help/advice book, but this one was pretty awesome. I liked the premise of using characters in classic novels to show the difficulties of finding and keeping love. I also enjoyed the personal stories that the authors used. Overall, very enjoyable.
Jul 01, 2012 Kyanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always annoyed by people analyzing literary characters as if they are real people--or even worse, telling them what to do. Of course I know that Gatsby had messed up relationships. I don't need someone to tell me that, or to tell me not to fall for a guy like Gatsby. Duh.
May 13, 2012 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A single's guide to how literature has influenced our collective views on relationships. Found some comparisons lacking such as the possibilty that Great Expectations makes us all want something that is not only impossible but when we have it we realize we don't really feel we deserve it.
May 04, 2012 Liisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a fun light read. It gave dating and relationship advice culled from the pages of several great novels. It's made me want to go back and read some of the books they commented on.
Feb 13, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really creative idea. I loved the comparison between literary romance issues with current ones. I enjoyed reading it and the different perspectives on the literature
Lisa Mcbroom
Why visit dating sights or read those relationship books? Maura Kelly and Jack Murningham(both relation experts) take on their favorite novels for attributes of a mate.
It was a good book that flows well. Perfect for a summer beach day read.
Amanda Nan Dillon
This book was okay. They read a lot of the classics to write this book, which is impressive to me, but it seemed a little empty.
May 03, 2013 Yj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lot of fun.
May 06, 2013 Autumn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh god, what if reading is actually to blame for not only my neuroticism, but my crap love life too?
May 04, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012, nonfiction
This was a fun book. A combination of literary analysis and relationship advice. Most of the advice was good, even if told in an amusing way, and I have some classics that I want to read now.
Jennifer Ware
Oct 19, 2011 Jennifer Ware rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads, self-help
I received this book from for free. Good facts that I can share with my teenagers and entertaining.
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Smalltown Hoosier by birth, central-Illinoisan till college, then some semiotics at Brown, an Orwellian stint in Paris, a Ph.D. in Medieval Lit from Duke, and finally New York's Chinatown. And now that i've hauled all my books to my 6th-floor walk-up, i'm staying put.
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