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Walks with Men

2.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,334 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
Ann Beattie arrived in New York young, observant and celebrated (as The New Yorker’s young fiction star) in one of the most compelling and creative eras of recent times. So does the protagonist of her intense new novella, Walks with Men.

It is 1980 in New York City, and Jane, a valedictorian fresh out of Harvard, strikes a deal with Neil, an intoxicating writer twenty year
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Scribner (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jul 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
I added this to a Book Outlet order to get to $35 for free shipping; they were smartly selling them at less than $1 a piece. This is a book where nothing happens and it happens twice. Inexplicably some of the telling starts over halfway and it's already short. The female lets an older academic man treat her badly for no benefit and it's not even scintillating, it's somehow boring. Should have bailed.
May 11, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is 102 pages long, and I thought it would never end. The main character is a pretty, Harvard-educated wunderkind who falls for a rich, manipulative man who speaks entirely in one-liners. Every plot twist is either ridiculously cliché ((view spoiler)) or totally bizarre ((view spoiler)). To distract you from the ...more
Feb 04, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
what was meant to be profound. insightful. and romantic. turned out to be trite. infantile. and somber.

i am not fond of books that romanticize abusive relationships and abusive people.
Francisco H. González
Espeluzna más que asusta que novelas como esta lleguen a publicarse. Ann demuestra un talento indudable para escribir paridas y memeces. Trabaja en la universidad de Virginia en el departamento de escritura creativa. No es coña, CREATIVA, que es más recreativa, donde Ann ofrece un ocio ramplón que supone un ataque frontal a lo que yo entiendo por literatura. Es de la misma cuerda, e igual de infumable que Departamento de especulaciones. Cuando tenga un rato y ganas pondré un par de párrafos para ...more
Jul 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a total waste of my time. This book was so random and all over the place. There wasn't a storyline. Her "walks with men" were very dysfunctional and weird. I have so many unanswered questions. Where did her husband disappear to? The ashes? Ben and the train incident?? Her mother? Her relationship with her friends? I'm so confused. I'm just glad it's over and super glad it was only 102 pages long.
Elizabeth Ruth
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever slept with or loved an asshole in spite of yourself, then this book is for you.

Many critics didn't like the narrator's detachment, or accused this book as romanticizing abuse. What they're missing is that when you are in your early twenties, detachment and romanticizing abuse (which pretty much go together) and being swept up and easily impressed by worldliness and style and bohemianism are often what it's all about, red flags be dammed. All of which frequently lead to sleeping wi
Aug 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone has had a mentor-as-lover at some point. If not, one should. Ideally the mentor-as-lover should appear before one turns thirty, when neural pathways are more like rambling and rather wistful dirt roads than the intricate super highways that deliver us to our doom, more or less, as older adults. (This is a Life Tip that could have been delivered by the protagonist's mentor-as-lover. At first I nod. Hmmmm: it seems wise. And then I want to punch whomever said it for his/her arrogance, fo ...more
Jun 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
7/9/2010: This is a mystifying story...either I'm too old for its charms or require too much explanation in my fiction, but when I finished it I was so busy scratching my head trying to figure out what happened that I might have missed the point. Anyway, the writing is wonderful, and the tone is perfect. Many images will stick in my mind for a long time: the white robe pooling on the floor; the impossibility of sliding out of a diner banquette after a piece of bad news has been delivered; the ex ...more
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Beattie is such a fine writer. I enjoyed this for her voice and her wit. The central relationship in the novella is an exaggerated version of one that's familiar to me. I think some women willingly stay in relationships where they're just being led around by the nose (even if they're terribly intelligent and sophisticated women who can argue to themselves and everyone else that it's not like that). I can see how the novella seems pretentious to some readers, but I feel like that's intentiona ...more
Bianca Sarah
Sep 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Despite its critical acclaim, I found this novel--if you can even call it that--to be disappointing on all fronts. It is choppy and seems hacked together. The characters are vague sketches of people who the author seems incapable of making seem realistic or engaging, the relationship dynamics are insulting (Women have to watch their man's every move! Older men only date younger women to manipulate and ruin them!),and ultimately it reads like the scrap notes of a book that hasn't reached its seco ...more
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leo-autoras
Nueva York en los años ochenta. Jane es una chica que se acaba de licenciar en Harvard, y conoce a un escritor veinte años mayor que ella, Neil. Neil le propone un juego: él le cambiará la vida si ella le deja, le contará todos los secretos de los hombres pero ella no puede decirle a nadie que se conocen.

Tenéis disponible mi opinión en el blog:
Aug 05, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I really could not get into this book at all. I completely could not sympathize with, or relate to, the characters. I didn't enjoy the plot. I didn't really understand the purpose of the book. The writing style was distracting--lots of parantheses, changes in point of view, flashbacks all over the place, words that appeared to be used just to show off, and brief little paragraphs that didn't really fit in anywhere. Not my style at all.
Alyssa Knickerbocker
I felt like I shouldn't like this book but I did. I love novellas--this one's like a long and luxurious short story, and the ending did just what a good ending should: it felt both inevitable and surprising. (I think that's a Margaret Atwood rule for short story endings.)
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing character study. Very very true to the time. Ann Beattie is an artist who continues to grow in very interesting directions.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2016
No sé a qué se debe exactamente, pero lo cierto es que la lectura de Paseando con hombres me ha dejado muy descolocado. Igual me han traicionado las expectativas... o igual es que no estoy acostumbrado a este tipo de narrativa deshilachada e irreflexiva. Sea como sea, el contenido de este libro que apenas sobrepasa el centenar de páginas no se corresponde en absoluto con el que esperaba encontrar y, por desgracia, he salido perdiendo al cambio. Estamos en el Nueva York de 1980 y Ann Beattie nos ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Pret-ty great. Moves along swiftly (I read it in an afternoon (and a night)), engaging all the way through, great characters. A really interesting relationship, where the guy's an asshole, but she knows it, and calls him on it, and yet they're still together. Seemed symbolic/metaphoric, yet this was pure realism. At first Beattie seemed to do a lot of work to explain why/how they were together, and I paid super close attention to all this, read lines over, etc., but in the end that didn't really ...more
Ket Lamb
Walks With Men is a wisp of a book about a famous-for-fifteen-minutes, young, female, who has a relationship with a manipulative older man in New York. "The deal was this: he'd tell me anything, anything, as long as the information went unattributed, as long as no one knew he and I had any real relationship." With an agreement like that, one expects to learn something remarkable about men. Instead, we whip through a novella about a self-absorbed guy who barely tells us anything, and what he does ...more
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was a weird little book. It's noticeable: hot pink piping on the covers, really small size. It sounds like a secret autobio, but I didn't really care enough to dig around and find out who the famous man "Jane" lived with really was. It started seeming like a story about a friend who's fashionable and popular but makes really bad choices so knowing her is like getting to watch a train wreck, again and again, but it wasn't really that interesting and the narrative structure got weird so ...more
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I heard this is THE local author to know, so I was excited to get my hands on this one. Short and sweet? A woman tells about her many varied relationships with men: her drunk step-father, her gay downstairs neighbor, her lover-turned-husband-turned-missing-person, her Buddhist ex-boyfriend who changed his name to "Goodness". The overall effect is a little amusing and a lotta annoying. It's as if the narrator's speaking through a scratchy, distant PA system so you can't really understand what's g ...more
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Beattie’s new novella starts with a little idea: Jane Jay Costner, who recently dropped out of college as a radical gesture and now lives on a farm in Vermont with a hippie boyfriend, joins up with an older man who promises to teach her how to live. Even after certain illusions about him are shattered, Jane stays with Neil. She makes fun of her devotion, but never disowns it. I really enjoyed this short and seductively superficial story about a woman who doesn’t come to any final conclusions ...more
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I often caught myself wondering aloud, "WTF?" Beattie lost me more than a few times with her sprinkling of random events and sudden voice changes. I hoped for more character development and growth. This novella lacks more than it offers.
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This genre (we could call it "published in the New Yorker, or may as well have been") makes me depressed.
Catherine Corman
He gave me an ice pick, one time, and put an ice cube on the breadboard and set in front of me a photograph of Bernini's Daphne and Apollo.

-Ann Beattie, Walks with Men
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Horrible, don't waste your time.
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually the first Beattie book I've read. Maybe I should have started with something stronger (suggestions?). Some nice breezy prose but I'll admit that I wanted it to be sexier.
An ok narrative, left me empty. wanted more depth.
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Choppy, overwritten, and underwhelming.
Michele Brack
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Okay, I know that I am not keeping up with any of this and I am ready WAY slower than I did last year, but... *sigh* yeah, I have no excuse. I'm just lazy.

Let's try to catch up.

This book had NO PLOT WHATSOEVER... Like, at all.

There's a chick who has an affair with a dude, breaks up with him, marries him, and then he leaves (disappears actually) and gives her everything. The End.

Melissa McGuire
Aug 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don't even know what to say about this novella. It was all over the place the only part I enjoyed was near the end
Jun 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A waste of time. Basically this is a jumble of sentences that don't form a storyline.
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Ann Beattie (born September 8, 1947) is an American short story writer and novelist. She has received an award for excellence from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a PEN/Bernard Malamud Award for excellence in the short story form. Her work has been compared to that of Alice Adams, J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, and John Updike. She holds an undergraduate degree from Americ ...more
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“Clichés so often befall vain people.” 730 likes
“It's not about having things figured out, or about communicating with other people, trying to make them understand what you understand. It's about a chicken dinner at a drive-in. A soft pillow. Things that don't need explaining.” 28 likes
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