Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” as Want to Read:
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  15,726 ratings  ·  1,980 reviews
Writer Nate Piven's star is rising. After several lean and striving years, he has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Juliet, the hotshot business reporter; Elisa, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, now friend; and Hannah, "almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice," who holds her own in conversation with his friends. When one relationship grow ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 16th 2013 by Henry Holt & Company
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Alex Clermont There's nothing inappropriate about sex. Though this book deals with adult themes so it's not meant for YA readers or younger.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,726 ratings  ·  1,980 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, underwhelmed
Turns out Nathaniel P. is a self-absorbed rotter.
End of story.

Ron Charles
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-favorites
Bright young men, do you feel that chilly wind of exposure? Somehow, Adelle Waldman has stolen your passive-aggressive playbook and published it in her first novel, “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” You’ll want to tell your female friends that you’ve heard it’s not very good. Mutter something about how condescending it is to women. In the bookstore, reshelve copies back in the “Gardening” section. . . . .

An overreaction? I don’t think so. My daughter just graduated from college, but her educati
May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Oriana by: Flavorwire + a million others
This is all Donna Tartt's fault.

I really, really wish I'd read this book a few months ago, when it came out, when I was really excited about it. Because it was pretty good! Really! I mean if it had just been a regular part of my reading life, I would have liked it fine. But—and I knew this before I was twenty pages in—Adelle Waldman is NO Donna Tartt. I'm actually afraid that anything I read for the next several months is going to wilt in comparison to even the vaguest whiff of The Goldfinch.

Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
The fact that this book was written by a woman makes it sort of scary. At times, I was identifying with the thought processes of the protagonist so much that it creeped me out a little.

I found it a very accurate, detailed and realistic account of one man's struggle with love (or whatever he mistook for love). At times the prose was a bit dry and I missed the immediacy of the dialog whenever the protagonist got lost in memories and justifications.

Still, I noticed a lot of people complaining about
Ayelet Waldman
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I went in prepared to hate this. I mean, hello? Another A. Waldman? But it was pretty fucking great. The insight into the way these literary boys think about women? Terrific.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Whew. It's tough to get into the love affairs of Nathaniel (call him "Nate") P. if you don't much care for Nathaniel (call him "Nate") P., and really, I didn't. At all. Not that it's deadly to dislike a protagonist. Poe pulled it off with aplomb. First-person creep POV, but the reader's still there. But Nate? He's just so much milquetoast angst. Shallow, despite his supposed Ivy League intelligence. And his biggest love affair is with himself. Yawn.

As for the girls, you can't help but wonder wha
Jun 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: general-fiction
Loathsome. That is the best word to describe the pretentious, self-absorbed and self-congratulatory, emotionally stunted protagonist of this novel.

Smarmy. That is how I would describe the entire novel.

The entire thing left me feeling as if I needed a shower. My major complaints are listed below, in no particular order:

1. The main character is loathsome;
2. The author, though female, appeared to hate women;
3. If she used the word "gentrification" one more time, I may have smothered her in her ow
Hannah Garden
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
God damn, why was this easy little book so rough. I ran through some of the reviews to get my bearings, and, by and large, and in some major organs, Waldman is being hailed as having delivered a masterpiece. Jane Austen/Edith Wharton comparisons. Uncomfortably incisive. Remarkably observant. You’ll feel she’s been peeking into your very brunches. Skewers a culture and roasts it to succulent perfection. A real make-you-thinker.

Which, all right. I can't say it wasn't a make-you-thinker. I certain
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I hated this book for so many reasons. It's fake high brow trash for former ivy leaguers who live in Brooklyn. I won't even say it's a good beach read because nothing happens, there is no plot and the protagonist, a single guy in his 30s, is so boring. He's suppose to be an offensive character but he's just SO BLEH. I also don't think Waldman captured how a single man actually thinks--this book was CLEARLY written by a woman (what man spends so much time analyzing his romantic relationships? tha ...more
Washington Post
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bright young men, do you feel that chilly wind of exposure? Somehow, Adelle Waldman has stolen your passive-aggressive playbook and published it in her first novel, “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” You’ll want to tell your female friends that you’ve heard it’s not very good. Mutter something about how condescending it is to women. In the bookstore, reshelve copies back in the “Gardening” section. . . . . An overreaction? I don’t think so. Read the review:
David Sasaki
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Debut novelist Adelle Waldman has an uncanny talent of describing women through the eyes of a man. The love Affairs of Nathaniel P is essentially, in the words of reviewer Sasha Weiss, "a mercilessly clear view into a man’s mind as he grows tired of a worthy woman."

Women readers must find the journey into the male mind infuriating. I found it to be fascinating, and slightly troubling. How is it that a woman can describe my subconscious behavior toward women better than myself? Who told her all
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review

This book y'all! Seriously! If you have ever just tried to date someone, you should probably read this

This book chronicles the dating life of Nate, who is, or so he claims, a nice guy. He's not the malicious sleezeball that we think of when we think of dating. He's not leading women on for no other reason than sex, he's not the kind of guy that cheats on his gf, or the kind of guy that has no empath
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This should really be a 3.5 star ranking. Or actually, possibly even a 4 or 5, but good lord, I could not deal with being in Nathaniel P.'s head for a minute longer.

The book is so smart about the ways ladies and dudes in their 20s sabotage relationships. I saw me and/or my friends in page after page, which YES, made me squirm uncomfortably and be extremely happy that I am a bit out of this phase of life.

The revelation Nate has at the end, (view spoiler)
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jill by: Leanne
One of the greatest boons I discovered upon discovering dating was not the tenderness of someone’s arm around your waist or the security of always having Friday night plans but the ability to ask boys everything I ever wanted to know about them but wasn’t daring enough to ask. I have pestered every one of my boyfriends with the same questions: How do you talk about girls with your friends? What do you truly look for in a girl? Why did you really break up with your ex? Are you actually that obses ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is the best book on American culture I've read by a novelist in a long, long time. It was not only intellectually stimulating, psychologically penetrating and often very entertaining, it was a page-turner, one that honored the characters, articulated aspects of this rabble of citizens I needed to have articulated, all in all a novel that I will be thinking about for as long as I've been craving it - which has been a long fucking time.

It's her uses of irony that has stunned me the most. I d
Kris Patrick
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Like high brow Tucker Max. Makes fun of pretension while being pretentious.
Lee Klein
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Really not a fan of the feeling this book gave me, its incessantly intellectualizing, grating, oft amusing but never LOL observations, its annoying new New York characters, all of them seeming more like snooty journalists than fiction writers/artists with screws joyously loose. I was thankful for the consistent physical description of characters, something so often missing in contemporary novels, but the book in general succeeded more as a collection of character sketches than a novel. Nothing r ...more
Larry H
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Nathaniel Piven could be considered by some to be quite a catch. A well-read Harvard graduate, Nate is a good-looking writer who recently sold his first book, and thinks of himself as a bit of an intellectual. Raised by immigrant parents to respect intelligence and hard work, he wants to be seen as irresistible, but he struggles with his self esteem. Nate has had several long-term relationships with women, but ultimately he's grown bored, or wearies of his girlfriends' idiosyncrasies.

"Although i
A loving, lovely literary break-up letter for the Brooklyn literati, prefaced by a George Eliot quote ("To give a true account for what passes within us, something else is necessary besides sincerity.").

Nate P is in some ways a cross between Hal and Orin Incandenza. In the same vein, this novel could have been written by the female interviewer of Krasinki's adaptation of Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. But it's its own thing—it's not The End of the Story as the point of view differs and the n
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think we've all known a guy like Nate Piven: the self-proclaimed "nice guy", the kind of a guy who thinks of himself as a feminist, who understands women's struggles. Invariably this guy is always just as much of a callow jerk as your average frat boy, quickly growing impatient with women's feelings and foibles, and blaming them for any problems in the relationship. After all, he's a nice, understanding guy, it's not his fault the relationship is failing! Nate Piven is no exception, and what m ...more
Greg Morrison
Aug 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-titles
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, I was pretty impressed that this was written by a woman, because it seemed scarily dead-on - and before I said that definitively, I had to look around and double check some reviews actually written by men, who seem to agree - whether or not they actually enjoyed the novel.

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. (or Nate) is a fascinating look into a hipster writer's Brooklyn, with plenty of social commentary - on upbringing, American cities, the college experience, and most of all, love. Some of t
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, net-galley
Self-absorbed and believing his own press, Nate is that curious mix of insecure bravado and utter cluelessness that results in his lack of real connection to the opposite sex. Typical of the ‘tortured artist’ mode, Nate has a tendency to overthink everything. That in and of itself is not a bad characteristic, unless or until it stops forward progress, or the information that you are basing all decisions upon are flawed. And that is, as I see it, most of Nate’s problem. He has zero clue about the ...more
Julie Ehlers
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Before I say anything about this book itself, I want to address how it has been portrayed in the media. When this novel first came out, I seem to recall that a lot of the coverage proclaimed that its title character, Nate, was some kind of representative of straight males as a group. Even the back cover of my paperback maintains that Nate is "an emblem of our time." This is a terrible, terrible thing to saddle a novel with. It can't lead to anything but women reading the book and being horrified ...more
Aug 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Nathaniel P., part of Brooklyn’s young literati complete with a decent book deal, is on his way to a dinner party at his ex-girlfriend-turned-just-friend’s apartment when he runs into a different ex who, in their brief exchange, shames him for his past bad behavior. His social crime: Getting her pregnant, playing the role of a supportive boyfriend through the trip to the abortion clinic and a day of recovery, calling to check in with her -- then never talking to her ever again.

He can justify th
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are not many times that I've had an emotional reaction to a book like this one. I kept changing sides on just how I felt about it, one minute getting very upset at what felt like cheap shots at my gender, the next admiring a portrayal of the simple deception of a male mind at work, the next peevishly setting my nook down and muttering "Dammit, that's low. But, true." While there is no way for me to really connect completely with this novel (You'd have to be a writer and/or live in New York ...more
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Comparison of this book with The Marriage Plot by Eugenides is inevitable and works entirely in the latter's favor (indeed, Waldman's novel comes off as an inferior imitation of something by Eugenides). Eugenides inhabiting Madeline's mind is much more convincing than Adelle-as-Nate. Much better dialogue is to be found in Eugenides's book as well as much more probing insight. This book was unsatisfying in many ways (writing lacked propulsive energy, got repetitive in certain parts, material felt ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Nate is the kind of Nice Guy asshole who hides behind a carefully cultivated veneer of intellectualism to disguise how vile he actually is. He has a lot of thoughts about the women in his and relationships and some career stuff and that's basically what happens in this book.

The examination of his character and the social circles he inhabits was vaguely interesting but not enough to sustain a whole book.

The writing was OK,I guess, but pretty clinical. So many times I found myself thinking, oh I
Aug 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is a piece of garbage masquerading as literature. I honestly don't understand the positive press it received. The writing is incredibly juvenile and all of the characters seem like caricatures drawn up in a freshman creative writing class. Setting aside the fact that not a single character in the book is likable (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, and can sometimes be quite interesting), the book seems like it was written by an author who was trying to "understand" a recent breakup that s ...more
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A debate recently raged across the pages of Slate and the New Yorker: is likability a sin among fictional characters? If you’ve lived your life blissfully unaware of this tempest, take heart – for most readers it’d likely prove a bore. For the vast majority, such writerly squabbles are beside the point – either you enjoy a book and so – bless you! – you keep turning the page or you find it not to your taste and – god willing! – pick up another book instead of flipping on netflix. Yet I could not ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • My Education
  • Necessary Errors
  • Love All
  • The Unknowns
  • Fun Camp
  • The Adventuress
  • Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City
  • The Hypothetical Girl
  • Night Terrors: Sex, Dating, Puberty, and Other Alarming Things
  • A Dual Inheritance
  • Baygirl
  • Want Not
  • Little Known Facts
  • The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
  • American Dream Machine
  • Odds Against Tomorrow
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  • This Close
See similar books…
Adelle Waldman’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and other publications. A graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, Waldman worked as a reporter at the New Haven Register and theCleveland Plain Dealer, and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal’s Web site before turning to fiction. This is her first novel.
“Dating is probably the most fraught human interaction there is. You're sizing people up to see if they're worth your time and attention, and they're doing the same to you. It's meritocracy applied to personal life, but there's no accountability. We submit ourselves to these intimate inspections and simultaneously inflict them on others and try to keep our psyches intact - to keep from becoming cold and callous - and we hope that at the end of it we wind up happier than our grandparents, who didn't spend this vast period of their lives, these prime years, so thoroughly alone, coldly and explicitly anatomized again and again.” 30 likes
“I feel like you want to think what you're feeling is really deep, like some seriously profound existential shit. But to me, it looks like the most tired, the most average thing in the world, the guy who is all interested in a woman until the very moment when it dawns on him that he has her. Wanting only what you can't have. The affliction of shallow morons everywhere.” 24 likes
More quotes…