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The Object of My Affection

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,538 ratings  ·  97 reviews
George and Nina seem like the perfect couple. They share a cozy, cluttered Brooklyn apartment, a taste for impromptu tuna casserole dinners, and a devotion to ballroom dancing lessons at Arthur Murray. They love each other. There's only one hitch: George is gay. And when Nina announces she's pregnant, things get especially complicated. Howard -- Nina's overbearing ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 15th 1991 by Simon Schuster (first published 1987)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,538 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Ian "Marvin" Graye
Friday Afternoon:

Ian: Dont worry about cooking Saturday night, dumpling, Ill take care of it.

F.M. Sushi: What have you got planned, love?

Ian: I was thinking of inviting George and Nina over for drinks and then going out for dinner.

F.M. Sushi: Who the fuck are George and Nina?

Ian: I met them on GoodReads.

F.M. Sushi: More of your pretend friends?

Ian: No. Theyre real characters.

F.M. Sushi: Yes???

Ian: Theyre pretend friends of Stephen McCauley.

F.M. Sushi: Yes???

Ian: Theyre in The Object of My
da AL
Apr 05, 2017 added it
Such a perfect book - one of my total faves! Movie does it slim justice.
Lisa Vegan
May 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a touching & funny novel
This book is a delight. One of those books where I smiled most of the way through it. Great depiction of complex relationships. Even the serious parts are told with some humor and the author has a very engaging writing style.
Susan B.
Nov 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Stephen MacCauley writes novels that are largely about relationships and the family in the context of the changing parameters of gay - straight relations. Like Elinor Lipman, his work is laugh out loud funny, laced with interesting and wry observations about the charming stupidities that humans - straight and gay - engage in over and over again, finally stumbling to something that looks like it might be a happy ending. I met him at a bookstore in Provincetown last year and he is very much like ...more
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, lgtbq
I love this author. His books are pretty light but he has an interesting insight into interpersonal dynamics. I have read all his books, which are center around gay male characters. And even though they pretty much all have the same plot, I still keep my eye out for him, though he hasn't come out with anything forever.
Jul 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
Fiction. George is gay. Nina's pregnant. They fight crime! No, excuse me; I meant to say they're roommates. They share an apartment in Brooklyn and if Nina gets her way, once the baby comes they'll be sharing the parenting too. The first time I read this book, I didn't like it much. Now, ten years later, I thought I'd give it another try, but apparently neither of us has changed in the intervening years because I still find it dull and frustrating. It does have occasional flashes of playful ...more
I really enjoyed this. I was in a similar, really strange, overly intimate relationship in my early 20s and appreciate the way the author explored how this kind of thing can devolve into an emotional crutch. Written with humor and compassion and filled with some really lived-in characters.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Comical, yet sensitive look into the complexity of love and blurred lines between love and friendship. If you've seen the movie, read it. It's so much better and very different.
Tim Evanson
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a major fan of Stephen McCauley's first two books, The Object of My Affection and The Easy Way Out. The former was made into a really awful motion picture with Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, John Pankow, and Tim Daly. The motivations of the characters were completely changed, and a major sub-plot inserted that made no sense.

The novel is vastly superior. Like much of LGBTQ writing, it is full of witty, wry, cynical, thrust-and-parry writing that tries to speak to the bitchy drag queen in all of
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't recall ever experiencing a book so viscerally as this one. I wanted to shake George (and I'm nonviolent) when I could tell he was noncommitting and about to leave someone hanging. He does finally figure out what he wants and the reader won't be disappointed with the ending.
This was an early book by a Vermont 2018 Booktopia author. I am eager to get to his most recent. I love his writing.
Carlos Mock
Aug 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
The Object of My Affection by Stephen McCauley

Nina and George have been living in an apartment in Brooklyn for over a year when Nina announces she's pregnant. The father is none other than her boyfriend, Howard.

George Mullen came from Boston. He's currently a kindergarten teacher at St. Mikael's school and has broken up with his faculty adviser at Columbia, Robert Joley, with whom he lived for several months. George has a problem with any emotional involvement.

Nina Borowski is the daughter of
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
I loved this book! I read it several times and it never gets old. The movie was just not the book. Jennifer Aniston was no Nina and Paul Rudd was certainly no George.I admit II went to see it and dragged a friend and felt like the wind was knocked out of me the way Hollywood hacked up my favorite book.Oh well, let's get to the book.This story takes place in New York ( Brooklyn to be precise) and we meet Nina & George, roommates, best friends, and confidants.George ended up living with Nina ...more
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funny, read-in-2018
I re-read this one from time to time. The characters are so well-rounded and real, they feel like old friends. Whenever I start it again and find myself in George and Ninas cluttered apartment with their old records playing, I feel like Im somewhere familiar and pleasant. The movie adaptation missed everything that was good about this book, in my opinion. (And I couldnt ever forgive it for demonizing Howard, a character I love.) ...more
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I got this from a friend in the '90s. I remember liking it a good deal. I like the movie too, though in a different way. Good casting, etc. Though, they are a bit more attractive. I still have it, though I have moved twice. Which says something. I never read anything else by the author. I imagine I will sometime.
Karla Huebner
Nov 27, 2010 added it
Shelves: fiction
I first read this sometime in the (presumably early) 90s, and found it captivating. Thus, when reunited with my books recently, it was one (of many) that I looked forward to rereading. While I was not quite as enamored of it the second time around, by the end I was nonetheless hooked again--it's sweet, charming, funny.
Andi (A Literal Hottie)
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
This book has a great significance in my life as it was the first book I read for pleasure, I wasn't a big reader before I picked up this book. There isn't anything special about it but I figured out that I like real life drama, not sc-fi, fantasy or romance, mystery,suspense or crime novels. It was reading this book when the lightbulb turned on....oh I do like reading.
Linda Underwood
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Gay guy lives with pregnant roomate in NYC. Quirky, warm but just so-so.
Jan 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love Stephen McCauley. A good light read that isn't that light.
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I loved this movie, which led me to the book. The book is a bit different, but I really liked both. McCauley is such a fun author to read.
Amalia Silverheart
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My only regret is that I will never again read it for the first time.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very much loved this!
Catherine Siemann
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Years ago, when I first moved to New York City, my closest friend here was a gay man from my hometown. I remember him telling me about a novel he was reading which centered on the fraught relationship between a gay man and his straight female roommate, and it sounded like a good read, but I didn't borrow it. Years later it became a movie with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, and years after that, someone in my building left a paperback with the unfortunate movie cover on the trade table in our ...more
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book definitely hit a note with me. I've been an organizer of things most of my life and at times really into de-cluttering, so this story turned out to be something I could identify with. I'm thinking maybe at age 66 I could start a new career - or not. I liked the back and forth between Lucy and Marva and how they finally came to tolerate and then care for one another based on different ways of life. I got quite frustrated with Lucy's parenting skills with her addict son though - drove me ...more
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it

i loved this book when i read it in the early '90's - as gay literature was just emerging in its own right, it SO reflected my and my peer group's longings for real relationships, both romantic and non, i.e., how we can fit into this world, told through the story of a very non-"scene" oriented, human gay man.

(then hollywood botched it up by hiring wendy wasserstein to write the screenplay, completely changing it to make it the best girlfriend's story from her point of view -
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this because I found it at a used book store and I remembered seeing the movie (with Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) on TV once a million years ago. I like the movie and I like the book, but it was odd because though the central premise and all the characters were the same they had been reshuffled into a completely different plot, which in some ways was frustrating because I like a couple parts of the movie better, but in other ways was really cool. It was like reading about an alternate ...more
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Having not seen the movie (but harboring strong doubts about Jennifer Aniston's ability to pull off Nina), I'd advise people to not hold the book against the movie. I really enjoyed this novel and thought McCauley did an excellent job at creating three-dimensional characters, even ones I didn't particularly care for.

The ending, though, was a bit weak and happened all of a sudden--I think better closure would have been possible.
Oct 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Books About Apartment Dwellers
I read this in 1989 or so. My memory is that the chief relationship, that of two roommates, one a gay man and the other a straight woman, is handled realistically. The movie, which was glossy, does not capture it.
There is a certain comic sensibility in this novel. It is not slapstick. It is not particularly funny. But it offers exactly the right contrast to the more serious parts of the book.
This is about good people. That is always a novelty.
Sep 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book was made into a bad movie. Disregard the movie. This is one of my all-time favorite books. The story of the friendship b/w a straight girl and a gay guy is amazing. Their stories and feelings are so raw and their friendship so powerful. Both in their 20s, living in Brooklyn, NY. This story is so beautiful.
Jan 20, 2011 rated it liked it
I always liked this movie, and I wanted to read the book. It was good -- although the movie characters (Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd) were in the mind the whole time I read it! I like this author and would read something else by him.... his characters are very realistic. Enjoyed!
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
I guess I read this one a long time ago and forgot I had read it! About a third of the way through I was like "This is weirdly familiar..." Definitely a great one, and although the ending isn't what I would have hoped for it was nevertheless perfectly fitting for the characters and story.
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