Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fleishman Is in Trouble” as Want to Read:
Fleishman Is in Trouble
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fleishman Is in Trouble

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  18,518 ratings  ·  2,398 reviews
If you could do it all over again, would you? Should you? One man finds out in this finely observed, compulsively readable, and occasionally raunchy novel of marriage, sex, and dating for readers of Jonathan Franzen, Lauren Groff, and Tom Perrotta.

Dr. Toby Fleishman wakes up each morning surrounded by women. Women who are self-actualized and independent and know what they
...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Random House
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 Fleishman Is in Trouble, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Danielle McClellan Hated them. As I said in my own review, every single character made my hair stand on end. Super one-dimensional. Only character I liked, that felt to…moreHated them. As I said in my own review, every single character made my hair stand on end. Super one-dimensional. Only character I liked, that felt to me like a real human being, was the nine-year-old son.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jean
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,518 ratings  ·  2,398 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Fleishman Is in Trouble
Roxane
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is indeed a very readable novel with really interesting characters. There are a lot of people in their early forties having mid-life crises in this novel. And I was really interested in those crises as they are very interesting. The prose is so dense, almost too dense at times. This is one of those novels where there is so much story to tell and I wanted to know all of that story but I question the structure. There is a narrative device of a third party narrator that honestly drove me to ...more
Ron Charles
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Believe the hype. “Fleishman Is in Trouble” is even better than we were promised. Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a New York Times Magazine writer, brings to her first novel the currency of a hot dating app and the wisdom of a Greek tragedy. The result is a feminist jeremiad nested inside a brilliant comic novel — a book that makes you laugh so hard you don’t notice till later that your eyebrows have been singed off.

As the story opens, life sounds like an erotic carnival for Toby Fleishman. A New York
...more
Matthew Budman
Damn, I wanted to like this novel. Brodesser-Akner is one of our greatest magazine feature writers, and the reviews—by people I trust—have been near-unanimous raves. But I kind of hated it.

There are many, many sharp observations here about men & women & marriage & divorce. The prose is extremely quotable though nowhere near as funny as some readers have suggested (the raunchy dating-app material is mostly just sad). But the problem for me isn’t that literally every adult character
...more
Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
This witty, crude, comic/tragic contemporary story ‘mostly’ worked for me.
A little shorter would have worked better -a little less repetitiveness even better...
BUT...
I LIKED IT!!! I REALLY LIKED IT!!

Truth was seeping through the seams.... while exploring marriage, divorce, friendships, dating, sexing, colleagues, children, siblings, money, narcissism, assholes, annoyances, anger, selfishness, entitlement, play dates, yoga clothes, beef lo mein, women of a certain age, ramblings, points of view
...more
Marchpane
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Fleishman is in Trouble is the kind of book that makes a mockery of the 5-star rating system. Here is a novel that is equal parts highly relatable and alienating; enjoyable and aggravating (and great bookclub fodder – discuss for hours!). This book wants you to sympathize with millionaire New Yorkers, people whose lifestyle is totally out of reach for most, and to see them as people with feelings and real struggles … but not with the even-wealthier New Yorkers who it casts as villains and ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

What makes a book literary fiction? Dense writing? Bogged down in unnecessary details? Filled with unlikeable people? Repetitive? Too many pages for the subject matter being tackled? Pretention? An author who has a day job at the New Yorker? Beat-you-over-the-head-super-preachy-but-trying-to-be-cleverly-hidden social commentary? A narrator who feels like an afterthought the majority of the time and who jumps the train off the track by
...more
Brandice
Dr. Toby Fleishman is separated from his wife, Rachel, a workaholic talent agent. They have 2 kids, an 11-year old, Hannah, and a 9-year old, Solly. In the midst of their divorce, Toby moves into a mediocre apartment while Rachel stays in their high-end one. In between working at the hospital, where he’s up for a promotion, and remaining a steady father to his kids, Toby ventures into the world of online dating. He’s shocked and intrigued by the forwardness of many women now, as he’s been out of ...more
Peter Boyle
Man there's a lot of sex in this book. It feels like it's on every page. I wasn't offended by it, it just bored me. If Toby Fleishman is not scrolling through revealing pics over horny older women on a dating app, he's thinking about the last time he banged his horrible ex-wife, or when he might bang her next. His friends are no different - Libby is supposed to be the sensible voice of reason but she's still thinking about the affair she had with her first editor. And Seth is a total ladies man, ...more
Perry
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-most-loved
Entertaining (almost existential) Exploration of Marriage at Midlife

This wonderful novel was written with keen powers of observation, mordant wit and subversive humor. It delightfully and incisively deconstructs marriage at middle age, showing the incompatibility of ye olde bride-and-groom institution with the egocentric, puerile, and device-driven lives of so many modern-day spouses in their late 30s, early 40s, especially those with kids.

The novel is most profound on the constant need,
...more
PamG
Jun 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
I won a kindle e-book edition of this novel in a Goodreads Giveaway. Unfortunately, it was not the book for me.

The main character, Toby Fleishman, is 41 years old, a doctor, short, going through a divorce, and learning about internet dating sites. It covers marriage, children, divorce, internet dating, the affects of divorce on children and much more. Unfortunately, the pacing was slow and I did not care for the characters.

This novel was not poignant, memorable, or even thought-provoking to me.
...more
Claire Reads Books
I’m not saying stories about the marital and financial angst of people who make well over six figures and choose (voluntarily!) to live in New York are by nature dull and exhausting, but wow, this one was. In this novel, it seems every unhappy family is, in fact, unhappy in the exact same way, and nothing about Taffy Akner’s storytelling (which is far more suited to the exposition-friendly profiles that made her famous) offers enough insight to make it worth suffering through these characters’ ...more
Pedro
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m exhausted!
This book was a pain to read and also a pain to rate and review. Unexpectedly dense. Layers and layers. Different points of view. Different time lines. Flashbacks. Dreams. Even different narrators, if you’d believe it!

Personally, I found this constant change of narrators completely annoying and distracting and because of that I feel I didn’t get to know the characters well enough. Every time I came back to this book I had to read a few of the pages I had already read. Also I was
...more
Diane
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredible novel about a marriage in crisis. I've been following Taffy's writing in The New York Times and was thrilled to hear she published her first book.

I didn't know much about the story before I picked it up, and I'm not sure if that helped or hurt my reading enjoyment. The book starts from the perspective of Toby Fleishman, who is separated from his wife, Rachel, and is navigating life as a single parent. At first I thought the entire story would be told from Toby's point of
...more
Antoinette
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I started this book, I immediately thought this book wasn’t going to be for me. I was reading it for a book club event, so I knew I had to finish it.
Well, this book got under my skin and totally grew on me and by the final page, I thought, Wow, this book was so phenomenal!.

This book is about marriage and divorce and parenting and about finding one’s self.

We meet the wronged husband , Toby, firstly. Now that he’s going to get divorced, he’s decided he should indulge his libido to the max.
...more
Tucker
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s debut novel, “Fleishman is in Trouble” has been advertised as a perfect beach read. I’m not entirely sure how marketers determine what qualifies as a beach read, but this is no light, frothy, confection of a book and not much time is spent at the beach. In fact, Brodesser-Akner recently questioned why her book was being marketed as a beach read. “I am confused as to why our taste for what we like would change in the location we read it, or the season.” So if the book is ...more
Bonnie Brody
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Toby Fleishman is a 41 year old jewish doctor, 5'5" tall, and sort of a shlemiel. He is soon to be divorced from Rachel, the wife of his nightmares. Despite earning close to $300,000 annually, he wears frayed shirts and feels like he's poor compared to his neighbors on the Upper East Side. He has two children and is trying to have a productive social life (sex and more sex) but Rachel doesn't adhere to the separation agreement and drops the kids off at any old time, even the middle of the might. ...more
Daniela
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Guys, if you want to write a book ask yourselves first: Does the world really need another novel about marriage? Let's face it: probably not.

Fleishman Is In Trouble is a response to the kind of Rothian book about marriage where the anxiety and pain of the men are always prioritized while women are reduced to sex dolls or goddamn awful mother figures with domineering streaks. What this novel intends to do is subvert this narrative by giving us a recently divorced man who appears to be cast into
...more
Vanessa
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I needed some time to digest before writing this review. This book is punchy the writing tight. It’s vibrant and energetic but at times I felt like I needed a break to catch my breath. It’s super cynical, this book so encapsulates New York City life. I mostly loved the intricate detailing and deconstruction of a marriage and the deep analysis of divorce. It really digs into the complexities of modern life. Marriage, careers, friendships, children and divorce. The pressure of life striving for ...more
Jaclyn Crupi
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think I have ever said this but this book is completely UNDER hyped. I want to tell you all about it and share all the ways it’s fiery, profound, funny, smart and so brilliantly hefty. I want to explain how it gave me Fates and Furies and The Wife vibes crossed with The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. I want to talk about THE VOICE and PERSPECTIVE because hotdamn! I want to read the draft of this book that I’m sure exists where that voice and perspective are different. But at some point ...more
Claire McNeill
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last 15 pages made me feel like I was watching an Olympic gymnastics finale while on some kind of insane upper & Taffy stuck the landing.
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Great book! This explores so many topics - money, ambition, marriage, divorce, gender norms, etc. But ultimately I think this is about women. Despite the title character being male, this book has a lot to say about feminism, the promise of “having it all”, and what marriage and having children does to/for women. The ending seemed to get a little preachy to me, but otherwise this would be a 5 book. With the ending, 4.5 ...more
Karen Flatley
A sharp and sardonic novel in which the only nice person is the 9 year old son.
Betsy Robinson
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this Philip Roth-like tale with a number of twists. It started as the story of poor Dr. Toby Fleishman in a crummy marriage that he wishes were normal. And then changes into something else entirely. But I’ll get to that after my one beef:

Halfway through, I got thrown into editor-head by the structural problems of reiterating history in Parts One and Two. The writing has so much energy that I could see how an editor might let this slide: it’s not dull, there’s humor, and a
...more
Renee
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The writing was pretty good, but the characters were all so annoying and unsympathetic. There were a few parts that lulled me into believing something worthwhile might be right around the corner. It never came.
Jennifer Blankfein
Very enjoyable and a lot to think about. Taffy Brodesser-Akner provides a window into the realities of midlife, child-rearing, career building, family and relationship challenges and dating over forty. Loved the NYC references...Toby Fleishman is a short, Jewish liver doctor with a few hangups, but a seemingly sincere family man. Newly separated from his wife of 15 years, TO READ MORE GO TO https://booknationbyjen.com/2019/09/2...
Tyler Goodson
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
“I would write my book, and it would have something in it that Archer was incapable of, which is all the sides of the story, even the ones that hurt to look at directly—even the ones that made us too angry to want to hear them.”


Toby Fleishman is in trouble. Rachel Fleishman is in trouble. This is a story about that trouble: their marriage and divorce and life (and sex) after marriage, their kids and their nervous breakdowns. It’s a novel so specific and funny and playful that it at first belies
...more
Linda Hutchinson
Jun 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll keep this short. This will be a DNF for me and will be in my five worst books of 2019. I’m not sure where the tons of rave reviews are coming from but I gave up after 100 pages. This novel was a load of crap. The story surrounds a New York Doctor getting a divorce and all the messy complications that go with same. Throw in sex partners found online (who knew?) and you get a schlocky mess of a book that is repetitive and dull as dirt. Oy vey...a waste of time and the book cover is fugly. ...more
John Purcell
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Exhausting. True. I couldn't put it down.
Katie Long
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went from liking it, to being bored, but I ended up coming back around to like not love. I think this book suffered from the hype and high expectations. I didn’t find much special about it, but it does have some interesting things say about the way perspective can completely change a story. Of course that isn’t new, but it did make me see it in a different way.

Alright, my book club discussion last night made me appreciate this novel more than I did initially, so I'm adding a star.
Alex
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is pure fire, maybe the best novel I have ever read about marriage and divorce. I'll write up a more in depth review later, but yeah go read it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Three Women
  • The Dutch House
  • The Most Fun We Ever Had
  • Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
  • Ask Again, Yes
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over
  • The Gifted School
  • The Nickel Boys
  • Trust Exercise
  • Red at the Bone
  • How Could She
  • Olive, Again
  • Normal People
  • On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
  • Very Nice
  • Lady in the Lake
  • She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
  • Mrs. Everything
See similar books…
Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine. Prior to that, her work appeared in GQ, ESPN the Magazine, Matter, Details, Texas Monthly, Outside, Self, Cosmopolitan and many other publications. Fleishman Is In Trouble is her first novel.
“Rachel and I, we’d been raised to do what we wanted to do, and we had; we’d been successful, and we’d shown everyone. We didn’t need to wear apocryphal T-shirts because we already knew the secret, which was this: that when you did succeed, when you did outearn and outpace, when you did exceed all expectations, nothing around you really shifted. You still had to tiptoe around the fragility of a man, which was okay for the women who got to shop and drink martinis all day—this was their compensation; they had done their own negotiations—but was absolutely intolerable for anyone who was out there working and getting respect and becoming the person that others had to tiptoe around. That these men could be so delicate, that they could lack any inkling of self-examination when it came time to try to figure out why their women didn’t seem to be batshit enthusiastic over another night of bolstering and patting and fellating every insecurity out of them—this was the thing we’d find intolerable.” 12 likes
“A wife isn’t like an ultra-girlfriend or a permanent girlfriend. She’s an entirely new thing. She’s something you made together, with you as an ingredient. She couldn’t be the wife without you.” 10 likes
More quotes…