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Little Disasters

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  331 ratings  ·  67 reviews
A gripping novel about two young married couples—expectant parents and new friends—whose lives collide in a pile-up of deceits and indiscretions

It was the exhilaration of new parenthood that first united Michael and Paul, outside the Brooklyn hospital where their wives, Rebecca and Jenny, had exiled them from the delivery room. For Paul, though, tragedy swiftly followed th
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Viking
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  331 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like a train’s hard to look away from “Little Disasters”.

Rather than share specific details about this crazy banana-split- bazooka- story with shady unethical characters ....(the blurb says enough)....
........and I, for one, was pulled into this drama - [I’m not proud] - found it fun entertainment.
I thought I’d offer a list of questions to think about if considering reading this book.

.....where there is a will there is a wa
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book was one crazy rollercoaster ride. What a talented, brilliant author!
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a spectacular debut that seems to be under the radar. An interesting mix of domestic drama, suspense, and straight-up entertaining literary fiction that has the added bonus of excellent writing, stellar insight, and the addition of enough unique elements to make the story feel fresh and unpredictable. There is a dual timeline/dual narrator thing going on that is no longer my favorite literary device, but it works here by unraveling the backstories necessary to understand what has happene ...more
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Ok, I'm giving this 3 stars for the story, however, I totally did not like Michael's character, Jenny's was sad at the beginning but she is horrible too. Fenn is a walking door mat and ended up rooting for Rebecca hoping she would stick to her guns. ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing

""Lies within lies - it's exhausting.""

Despite a slow and challenging start, Little Disasters wormed its way deep inside me. While walking on the beaches of southern Maine, strolling through the four floors of galleries at the Portland Museum of Art and trekking the numerous estuary trails of conservation land along the Atlantic, the story of Rebecca, Michael and Jackson Gould, Jennifer Sayles and Paul Fenniger nibbled and gnawed at the edges of my brain, seeped into my soul. It became
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was curious to know why other reviews weren't at 5 stars, and I've seen a trend... because they don't like the characters. I am here to tell you that I don't give a wit about "liking" the characters, this is some BOSS writing. It is brilliant. Risqué. Bold. And new. And the flawed characters are PERFECT!

BRAVO, @randall klein.
Bonnie Brody
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel explores the tragedy that connects two couples and the ultimate implosion of their relationship. Initially, two couples meet at the hospital where they are having their babies. One of them has a healthy little boy but the other baby is stillborn. Told in the voices of the husbands, this book explores the couples' relationships - to each other as couples, and individually.

Michael and Rebecca Gould appear to have a loving marriage. Michael is a fine cabinet maker and Rebecca sells cooki
Susie | Novel Visits
Original Source: Novel Visits -
{My Thoughts}
What Worked For Me
A Story Meeting in the Middle – Randall Klein’s debut novel tells the story of two men who first meet while their wives are in labor at the same hospital. Soon, the two families’ lives are hopelessly entangled and a year has passed. Michael is now deep into an affair with Paul’s wife, Jenny. The two are set to have a romantic rendezvous at the Cloisters, only something goes terribly wrong in mi
Jul 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Well written but I really didn’t like 3 of the main characters and I really hated Jennifer, hated everything about her.
Mary Lins
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
The first line of Randall Klein’s smashing debut novel, “Little Disasters”, is: “Jenny Sayles and I are a terrible idea.” So says Michael Gould, one of our first-person, alternating narrators. The other narrator, Paul Fenniger, is also connected to Jenny. We quickly learn that Michael and Paul also have something else in common, and that’s where I want to leave the plot notes. I intentionally avoided reviews of this novel before I purchased it. I only read enough to know that it was enthusiastic ...more
Kym White
Nov 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wish I could have the hours back that I put into this book. Both men are idiots. The woman they both want is selfish and has no redeeming qualities. It makes no sense that she even makes the move on the man with whom she starts the affair - or that he responds, other than for sex - nothing until that point has indicated any attraction building between the two of them. They also seem to meet for sex and exploration of all that Manhattan has to offer without his income - working to create things ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Little Disasters by Randall Klein is a recommended debut novel that follows two couples (via the narration of the men) during one disastrous year.

Two men, Michael and Paul meet in 2009 at the Brooklyn hospital where their partners, Rebecca and Jenny, are in the delivery room. Michael is an artist and furniture maker and his wife Rebecca is a cookie entrepreneur. Paul is an actor and paralegal and his partner Jenny is a writer. Michael and Rebecca take home their son while Paul and Jenny mourn th
Petra Willemse
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It's hard to think highly of a book when none of the characters seem particularly likeable. It's sad how pathetic these men are and the wives that are with them. I just wanted to slap them all and tell them how good their lives were! Maybe that was the author's point, but it can be frustrating for the reader when the whole book unfolds that way. ...more
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I really dig the writing, but to me, the book could have ended sooner. Towards the end it dragged.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna Hines
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Two men meet in an unlikely place -the hospital waiting room- while their partners are in delivery.
One brings their newborn home the other is not so lucky.
What follows is an amazing adventure ripe with emotion.
An affair, a natural disaster in NYC, and a keen eye on the need to simply get home and away from the impending storm...
It's quite interesting, the characters on the male side are good, the females are weak.
Hopefully you'll read this and let me know what you think.
Tina Rae
Jul 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one.
*screeches to the heavens* I'M.... FINALLY... FREE!!!!! I THOUGHT IT WOULD NEVER END.

Okay. So. Backing up here. I have trouble with books where I don't like any characters. And that was ESPECIALLY true for this book. I didn't like a single character. And honestly that's usually the case, for me, in books about affairs. So I guess I did it to myself with this one. I shouldn't have read it. But it sounded so interesting??

So it ended up taking me several weeks to read this (which is definitely not
Bonnie Dykhouse
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was a disappointment to me. Wife jumping into bed with man she did not really know and a torrid affair at expense of both of their spouses. He gets dumped in the end and surprised that his wife doesn't jump at the chance to have him back!! ...more
Rachel Welch
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
All of the characters were awful. The book was very slow as well and hard to get into.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Library Request on Audio.

I have to say the writing was flawless, however I really hated the premise and the characters. What is there to say about Jenny, I felt sorry for Paul and Jenny to go through the unimaginable situation, but Jenny used it as an excuse to do whatever she wants. She not only explodes her relationship with Paul, but Rebecca’s as well.

Please explain what is wrong with Paul Fenn, he’s a human doormat, it’s obvious that he loves Jenny more than she feels for him, and that does
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2018
Probably more of a 4.5 although I can't say why. I just liked it and liked that it wasn't predictable. I will probably try to keep up with other stuff he writes, especially since this is his first. I think I liked the story more than the writing itself, but I did really appreciate how well they dealt with the time-shifts. ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Ann
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This engrossing novel is set in Brooklyn. It was interesting to read of young-marrieds, new baby, adultery, homemaking - told from the male point of view.
Michelle Beginandendwithbooks
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely worthy of the summer-reading list
I appreciated the two male characters’ perspectives along with the NYC element and didn’t want to put it down during the last quarter.
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
New Yorkers LOVE New York. They love it as the backdrop for stories about cheating spouses and subway disasters and restaurant tours. They love it as a place where actor-law assistants and artist-carpenters can live out their fantasies of being bohemians *and* family men. The plot device—going back and forth in time as these two men move inexorably toward some sort of disaster—keeps this novel chugging forward, allowing you to forget whether you even like any of these four characters or care abo ...more
Emily Attaway
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m so surprised that I liked this book full of unlikable characters, but I did. The pacing and lack of chapter breaks made it hard to put down. The content is pretty intense so I can definitely see it’s not for everyone.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm beginning to think that my liking a book has to do with the mood I'm in. This book shouldn't have been called Little Disasters, it should have been called Terrible People.

I'll start out by saying that the writing itself is lovely. I felt fully immersed in the plot and the setting. You're transported to New York City and taken through the course of a few years in the life of the main four characters. The author has created full and vibrant characters for you to latch onto and relate to.

He did
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh man oh man. This was a RIDE. This was GOOD. So good that when I was only a couple of chapters in I spent a good fifteen minutes debating over bring it with me for the long weekend because I wanted to keep reading it so badly but I knew I'd finish it and have to end up lugging it around Vermont--it was a library book, or I'd have forced upon an unsuspecting stranger. So good that even though I decided not to bring it, the characters continued to weigh on my mind.

The alternating times were a co
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Randall Klein is an editor and author living in Charlottesville, Virginia. Little Disasters is his first novel.

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