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The Opposite of Everything

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  30 reviews
When Brooklyn journalist Daniel Plotnick learns he has cancer, his fortunes fall faster than you can say Ten Plagues of Egypt. His wife can’t cope, his marriage ends in a showdown with police, and his father accidentally pushes him off the George Washington Bridge.

Daniel miraculously survives his terrifying plunge, and comes up with a zany plan to turn his life around: by
Paperback, 300 pages
Published March 2014 by WiDo Publishing (first published February 17th 2014)
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3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Vicki Smith
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, entertaining book!
Touching, brilliantly funny and witty, this book is a must read. From the very beginning, we meet Daniel Plotnick, who is diagnosed with cancer and decides to make some very unexpected and unlikely decisions that change his life forever. Along this journey, his marriage dismantles, father-son relationship gets intense and nearly destroyed, friendships change and are established in surprising ways. Each character is rich, complex and very unique. The dynamics of the
Joe Boudreault
The Opposite of Everything

When you read satire, you have to wonder if you are getting away from the reality of the world around you rather than delving into the materials of the main topic. With The Opposite of Everything, the reader is plunged into the awkward and controversial world of Daniel Plotnick, a New York City business reporter who has discovered he has terminal thyroid cancer. In the very first great-hook paragraph, David Kalish makes it plain to us that Plotnick is not going to take
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one book I wish I had more motivation to write a full review for, especially since the main character is a cancer patient and I am married to a cancer researcher. Lyrical and well-written, this is the story of journalist Daniel Plotnick, who receives a cancer diagnosis and resolves to do the opposite of what he normally would. This leads him to unwittingly jump off a bridge, marry a woman he has only recently met, and try to move to Mexico for his career. Though I enjoyed the story, I fo ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book on so many levels. The fact that the main character has cancer, which is the plot device that drives the entire story, is minor compared to everything else: his relationship with his father, how he handles his divorce and subsequent future relationship, commentary on Jewishness, immigration, infertility, family planning, Brooklyn.....I don't know, I could just go on and on with how much I adored the story, the writing, the characters, and oh, did I mention the dialogue?

Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Received an advance copy for review, available on Amazon March 14, 2014
Here's the gist: Four months after he gets married, a nice Jewish boy in New York receives a diagnosis of thyroid cancer -- medullary thyroid carcinoma --- but the GOOD kind, the kind that can be cured. Cancer has a good kind? Who knew. Oy vey. His new bride, doing the only thing she can think of to support him, tries to put him on a vegan diet and stocks up on alternative health supplements in a possibly misguided effort to
Margo Dill
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared in THE NEWS-GAZETTE (Champaign, IL):

Playwright and journalist David Kalish introduces his first novel, The Opposite of Everything, written while pursuing an MFA from Bennington College. The Opposite of Everything is a humorous novel about a man, Daniel, diagnosed with cancer who winds up getting a divorce and is soon after accidentally pushed off a bridge by his own father. As strange as this sounds, it really is funny.

Kalish’s writing is being compared to the co
Laura Fowler
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting twist to how a recently married young man deals with being told he has cancer....the good kind of thyroid if any cancer is the good kind. Unfortunately doctors were wrong and it was the incurable type. Everyone deals with bad news in their own way and I must say it took me a while to adjust my thinking to grasp this unique way of handling the news. His creative theory for dealing with it was to do the exact opposite of everything he would have done pre diagnosis. At fi ...more
Crystal Otto
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Book Review – The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish
Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

I remember my topsy-turvy life after my husband broke the news he didn’t love me anymore. I couldn’t remember exactly when things started going wrong and I was plagued with questions and an overwhelming sense of confusion and frustration. I started retracing my steps in hope of finding myself again. I felt like a fragile figurine from the gift shop and I kept thinking “why didn’t you just leave me where you
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
Originally posted here.

I think it is a book that many people would enjoy, women and men alike, and people of all ages. The main character, Daniel Plotnick, goes through struggles that many of us can relate to: relationship problems, trouble with parents, bad fortune in general.

I found the trials that Daniel went through to be incredibly real, which is probably what makes the book so likable. As a reader, the book makes you think about how you would handle some of the adversity Daniel faces. What
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Overall, an interesting idea for a story that is funny and relevant for many readers. The book is about a man who is diagnosed with cancer which seems like a heavy topic, and while it is, the story doesn't focus on the cancer. The focus is on the man's reaction to the diagnosis and his efforts to take control of his life. How can this be funny? I don't want to give that away - but it is the opposite of what you expect.

The book started out strong. I was hooked and engaged by Chapter 2. Then it so
Jada Ryker
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Don't Cross the Streams

It's 1996 and Daniel Plotnick has a good life. He's only been married for four months. He likes his job.

He's told he has thyroid cancer. Daniel's doctor happily informs him there's a 90% success rate.

Unfortunately, the 10% bites Daniel in the butt…or neck.

Daniel doesn't think it can get any worse. He's horrified when his wife turns her childhood and early adult mistakes into an act of cosmic karma. She believes her hurtful actions led to Daniel's death sentence.

"It was bo
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books-read
Plotnick's Complaint, you might say.

Yet another author from my hometown makes good and gets a novel out. This one begins with several chapters of serious depressing news: before page 100, Plotnick (Daniel by name but rarely by reference) gets a nasty cancer diagnosis and reacts to his newlywed bride's reaction to said diagnosis by deciding to divorce her. How he survives those bumps and bruises is what makes this a story of redemption rather than depression.

I almost turned back more than once- P
Deborah Blanchard
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review, fiction
This is an exquisitely written book about the choices we might make in the face of a life altering illness like cancer. David Kalish found a way through it by using humor. What would it be like to do the opposite of everything you had done before. Would it change anything, or simply give us to do besides worry about things we can't control? I loved this book! The characters are well developed and the story flows smoothly from beginning to end. I would love to do the opposite of some things in my ...more
Joy D. Fanning
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
* I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

This book was quirky yet easy to relate too. I feel it would be most enjoyed by adults since it deals with marriage, cancer and work- things that happen more in adult life. I like how it went through Daniel's divorce and illness.

This books follows Daniel's journey from coping with his situation and viewing life in a whole new way. I found myself cheering for him and glad he was making changes, though at some points he takes it
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
All in all not terrible, but sounds like something from a high school english class, not a gripping novel. This book was an easy read in that it flowed well. But difficult in that the main character wasn't particularly likeable. In fact in the middle of the book the author goes out of his way to illustrate his whiny self centered attitude. Additionally the book couldn't decide what time it takes place in. They go on dates to see Terminator 2 and Free Willy, but meet through online dating sites a ...more
Bob Pierce
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite read. The premise of the book is established when the unlikeable main character, who mishandles virtually every aspect of his life, decides to change his "unlucky" outcomes by doing the exact opposite of what he had done in the past. Of course, the reader realizes early on that changing actions for the sake of change does not alter one's character or the consequences of that character. Superficially, the character experiences better results from his change of actions, but in real ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I could not get into this book. The symbolism was dry, bland, and beaten over the head. The characters, to me, were one dimensional and story progression made little sense. I was expecting great things by the synopsis but Daniel was not a good guy. I had a hard time feeling bad for him and he was dying through the whole book. I also have father issues and it just made me feel uncomfortable. I finished the book just to finish. I hope others will connect better to the story.
Maddie Dreimiller
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. It was different than I expected. It really showed the struggle of someone trying to figure out how to live his life when he was presented with devastating news. In some parts I was annoyed by his personality and decisions, but I think it was a good look into how someone struggles. The opposite of everything is an interesting concept, and I think it takes a brave person to throw away everything they have known to live that way.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Fantastic book! The author uses those type of bizarre and novel imagery in his writing that I love to read. The characters are all real. The book addresses huge themes addressing the human condition and somehow pulls off the dark humor involved.
Joey Gremillion
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
EXQUISITE!! How do you write a humorous story about someone having cancer? Kalish has done it successfully. More than a story of his battle with cancer, this is a story of personal growth. KUDOS!! LOVED IT.
dianna k johnson
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I found it odd, but well written. Kept me involved and interested. Was an enjoyable story. Easy to read .
Zoe Jussel
Nov 28, 2014 rated it liked it
A fun read.
Arlene Krassner

I stuck with it because I was curious. Do I recommend it? Not really. There's lots better material to read.
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting because I have the same type of thyroid cancer - Medullary Thyroid Cancer but it wasn't really the sort of book that I love.
Kim Territo
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting take on someone with cancer.
Karen Keffer
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different than what I usually read

I was a bit unsure of this book at first....but as I got into it, I did not put it down until the end....and wanted it to keep going.
Jeri Bitney

I read it through to the very end, but could not find any characters who were either likable or believeable. Sorry.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Heartwarming, ironic and nice story.
rated it liked it
Apr 16, 2015
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David Kalish is a fiction writer and playwright whose debut novel, The Opposite of Everything, will be published March 11 by WiDo Publishing. In this quirky romantic comedy, an ailing angst-ridden journalist finds love in a fiery Colombian doctor who helps him to beat his fear of life — before his illness beats him.

The Opposite of Everything, was inspired by his own struggle with cancer and divorc