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Speed Shrinking

3.04  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  40 reviews

"Proust had a cookie. Susan Shapiro has a cupcake--and a really hilarious book."

--Patricia Marx, author of "Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him"

In Susan Shapiro's laugh-out-loud funny fictional debut "Speed Shrinking," Manhattan self-help author Julia Goodman thinks she's got her addictive personality under control. Then her beloved psychoanalyst moves away at the same t
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  230 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Becca Adler
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun quick read. I would recommend this book to anyone who has been to a therapist and/or has body image issues. Perhaps it's because I firmly identified with the protagonist (to like a book I always have to relate to the characters in some way) but I thoroughly enjoyed Speed Shrinking. While I didn't necessarily agree with some of the choices the protagonist makes the author writes in such a thoughtful and astute way that I couldn't help but really like the character. ...more
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Speed Shrinking is a fun, cupcake-filled, search-for-a-shrink romp by noted memoirist Susan Shapiro, which also provides some sly looks at the business of book promotion, weight issues, father figures and very Manhattan mania. Self-help guru Julia Goodman should be at the top of her game, having conquered her many addictions through the help of Dr. Ness, her beloved therapist, found a hot husband, and written a bestselling book, Up in Smoke. But when her pregnant best friend leaves town, her hus ...more
Lawrence Everett
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you've ever had a therapist, been in therapy, known people who've become addicted to therapy, or ever needed therapy, you have to check out Susan Shapiro's new novel, Speed Shrinking.

Speed Shrinking follows self-help expert Julia Goodman, whose books on quitting booze, pot, cigarettes, and diet soda have made her something of a household name. Goodman credits her success to her no-bullshit therapist Dr. Ness. But when the good doctor moves to the other side of the country at the same time her
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Susan Shapiro brings us self-help "guru" Julia Goodman, who seems to have lost all she holds as stable and steady in her life when both her best friend and her psychoanalyst/editor/sounding board/obsession move away from her. Although Julia at times comes off as self-centered and myopic, I found myself rooting for her to "speed shrink" her way to a thin physique and a healthier outlook on life. Any woman who has ever felt conflicted about food will identify with Julia's tendencies towards the oc ...more
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book - this is chick lit for the intellectual. Plot centers on a neurotic, eating-obsessed, addictive, loveable character who self analyzes alone and with numerous therapists as she balances career, marriage, the decision to not have children, and the role of deception in getting what we want and need. It does not preach, but comes in the side door to discuss women's issues such as self medicating with food and dealing with loss. This is a cute way to analyze Freud, understand psychot ...more
Nov 11, 2010 rated it did not like it

This book set a new record for me. Usually, I try to give a book about 100 pages before I decide not to finish it, but I could only tolerate 22 pages of this banal drivel before I could not tolerate any more. We chose this book for our book club based on the idea we could eat cupcakes at our meeting to go along with the book. Never again should we chose a book based on what we can eat during book club!
Pat Hill
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shapiro's frenetic style drew me in immediately to the personality of Julia Goodman, a successful writer with a deep need to both meet and defy the expectations of others. Speed Shrinking shows how the pursuit of fame and skinniness can drive a sane person to distraction. But through it all, I was chuckling as I identified with things I did before I learned to slow down. It was an eye opening read. ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
The title "Speed Shrinking" caught my eye at the library bookshelves. I was curious about the different ways that the author would portray therapists of different persuasions and how it would interpret Julia's angst and ruminations about her own life. I got some laughs and enjoyed the sprinkling of Yiddish words throughout this book. ...more
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Susan takes getting her head straight - life and directions - to a new level with Speed Shrinking. If you haven't read it, or any of Susan's other books, get to them fast. This is one fine writer with a wicked wit and delightful self-deprecating humor! ...more
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
cute, fun, fast read
the main character stayed endearing when she easily could have come off as too neurotic, too intense, too self-absorbed
but the balance between her "guru" personality and her "real" self kept her likable and interesting
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
A hilarious tale about a NYC authoress who's both obsessed with food and therapy and can't seem to do without either. ...more
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books read this year
Elizabeth Good
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The title itself points to some of the cleverness of this book (the main character is urgently consulting shrinks, to shrink her body). It’s fun but also “real” in some of the issues if one has dealt with food, diet and body image issues. Not my absolute favorite in this genre, but the genre addressing these issues in a light, engaging manner is a very specific, small pool to choose from so ultimately I loved this book for even being written and published.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not a personality I could deal with even as an acquaintance.
Maybe some psychological insights
are explored?
Not laugh out loud funny to me.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy, quick read; got me laughing out loud at times. A little slow in the middle, but it was fun and unusual--an entertaining idea for a book!
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction, 2012
Speed Shrinking is the story of self-help author Julia Goodman. Julia's addictive personality is under control until her best friend gets married and moves away, her therapist also moves away, and her husband goes out of town for an extended period for work. Julia falls apart and goes on several cupcake binges. Now she might look fat when she goes on tour for her latest book, which is about overcoming food addiction. Julia decides she needs a new therapist to fix her up.

I read this book for my b
Nov 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
The main character has an addictive personality. She's already overcome some of her addictions and is a self-help guru. The problem is, she can't help herself. How original is that? Now that her best friend and shrink have moved away and her husband is filming a TV show across the country, she can't control her junk food binges and is obsessed with finding a new shrink and getting her ballooning weight down before her next book about conquering her food addiction comes out. Because, of course, s ...more
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people with addictions esp food
I started reading this, and i liked it. I looked up the author, and found out that the book is sort of autobiographical, as it seems to mirror the description of the story of her memoirs. Her best friend since they were little kids ups and moves away with only a few days notice, and then proceeds to ignore her, even through a pregnancy and having a baby. Her therapist, who she's addicted to, leaves too. And for a few months, her husband has to go to LA for a job, but he comes back. This makes he ...more
Aug 23, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was interesting. It's about a girl obsessed with losing weight while gorging herself on cupcakes, and obsessed with seeing Shrinks. A lot of it seemed repetetive, but parts were funny. It did have some language, which it could have done without.

The main character gains some weight at the beginning of the book, and losing weight basically takes over her life.. Not one of those, "be happy with who you are" kind of books. I think by the end, that is what the author wants you to feel, but
Emma  Kaufmann
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
A totally neurotic new yorker defines herself as a workaholic even though she writes one pseudobabble book every two years and on top of that has a dietician, publicist, personal trainer, someone to tweeze her pubic hairs etc. So basically a really unlikeable neurotic and then we are meant to be fascinated by her jumping from shrink to shrink, sort of speed dating shrinks, looking for someone who will fill the deep gaping hole within. Well the writing wasn't interesting enough and going from shr ...more
James Henry
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not gonna lie, the first fifty or so pages are rough. It reads like typical surface-level "chick lit." You think you know where it's going, and it's nowhere interesting. But, eventually, "Speed Shrinking" reveals that there is a lot more going on under the surface than you initially thought. This is the story of a Complicated Woman who revels in how complicated she is. She's a walking contradiction, a self-help guru who can't help herself. She spends her life analyzing every thought, impulse, an ...more
May 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bait and switch title and I can see why: The idea of speed shrinking - seeing many shrinks for the same problem (or in this case non-problem) in a short time is a great idea and plot device, but it's not actually much of what happens in this book. The main character and her adventures and her internal dialog are all awesome, but after a while I just want to say "You are fine! Shut up!" ...more
Aug 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
The neurotic lead character is stressing me out. I've read 168 pages and that's enough to know I need to read something more relaxing. I can't relate to this character at all. Well, maybe not at all since the descriptions of her many shrinks was funny as I've done something similar before. ...more
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it
February - book #15

(i read one of Shapiro's other books - 5 men who broke my heart - a while back and was happy to stumble across this one. funny, lots of psych talk, and friendship talk. another good, quick read.)
Anita Smith
This might possibly be the worst book I have ever read. I feel like I need therapy after this book. I'm still not even sure what it was about. This book made my head hurt. ...more
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Too neurotic to really enjoy, but funny.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Pretty funny fictional account of a self help book author breaking up with her shrink while trying to overcome residual addiction issues. Sharp, witty writing.
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
I tried a shrink once. Not into that. Really tried to get into this book, but I guess I'm not East Coast enough to get all the emphasis on shrinks. I think that's what BFF's should be! ...more
Read the first couple chapters and couldn't stand it. Nope. Not for me. ...more
Tricha Leary
I was not able to keep interest while I was reading the book. I have some of the same problems as the main character but for some reason had trouble keeping interest,
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