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The Family Man

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  3,168 Ratings  ·  634 Reviews
A hysterical phone call from Henry Archer's ex-wife and a familiar face in a photograph upend his well-ordered life and bring him back into contact with the child he adored, a short-term stepdaughter from a misbegotten marriage long ago. Henry is a lawyer, an old-fashioned man, gay, successful, lonely. Thalia is now twenty-nine, an actress-hopeful, estranged from her newly ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Right before listening to this, I finished Elinor Lipman's latest, On Turpentine Lane and knew that I needed to read more books by her. Thanks to a recommendation by my GR friend Debbie, I immediately found The Family Man on audio, and I think it's even better than Turpentine Lane. (Ironically, turpentine gets a mention in this book too -- the paint remover, not the road).

This is intelligent, progressive, and very, very funny. We have Henry Asher, a retired lawyer, divorced gay man, whose heart
Carolyn F.
What a very good, happy book. Just loved it. I had read another book by this author and thought I'd start working through her other works. So glad I did.

It reads current but then you get the MySpace reference and the father saying gay older men don't text. That had me immediately looking up the publication date. Wonderful book.
Helen Dunn
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-stars
I'm not sure how this book found its way into my kindle but I'm glad it did! The easiest way to describe this for me is a romantic comedy movie in book form.

Fast paced, sweet, funny, sappy. All the best things with just enough plot to keeps things chugging along.

Perfect easy reading. I'll pick up more of her books for sure.
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elinor Lipman's "The Family Man," set in contemporary Manhattan, is a witty celebration of engaging dialogue and the triumph of love. Wordy characters abound in this fast-paced domestic farce: Henry Archer, a successful, recently retired gay attorney; Denise, his histrionic ex-wife from the distant past; Todd, a middle aged sales clerk with his eye on Henry; Thalia, an aspiring actress who seeks to reunite with her stepfather Henry after twenty years of estrangement -- all of these characters ar ...more
Michele Lainof
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd fallen in love with two of Elinor Lipman's books, The Inn at Lake Devine and Isabel's Bed, and read as many of her others as I could find, following those. I was a bit disappointed in the last two I'd read , My Latest Grievance and The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, so I was a bit hesitant to read The Family Man. I actually stayed up half the night reading because I was so drawn into the story and the characters. I loved the relationship development, especially between Thalia and Henry. One of the ...more
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I've been in a reading funk lately. Haven't liked a thing I've picked up. On Saturday, I was looking through the new books on our library's shelves and since I was not recognizing many of the authors, I started just pulling them out and looking at the cover. (Who says you can't judge a book by its cover?) I liked the cover of this book and on closer inspection recognized Elinor Lipman as the author of Then She Found Me, a book that I read only because I was planning on seeing the movie once it c ...more
Jami Collier
more of a 3.5
Blake Fraina
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please indulge me by allowing me to write this review as if it was the delightful film I so wish it could be.

Single gay bachelor Henry Archer (George Clooney – channeling a mix of legal eagle Michael Clayton and the hapless cuckold of “The Descendants”) is embarking on a quiet retirement from his law career when he receives a desperate phone call from his self-absorbed ex-wife Denise (Patti Lupone – chewing the scenery) asking for legal advice. You see, before Henry came out to himself and the w
This book plodded along, going nowhere, mainly fueled by dialogue from characters I didn't care about, and I had to put it down before even making it halfway through. It wasn't horrendous or completely unreadable, but it's also not a book worth reading or finishing.

Henry's a middle-aged gay man whose ex-wife calls him hysterically one day because her new husband has died without naming her the primary beneficiary of his estate. Meanwhile, Henry recognizes his ex-wife's daughter (Henry's ex-step
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Elinor Lipman novel but it sure won't be the last. This novel is funny, bright, light, intelligent, and also touching, all in under 300 pages!
Henry Arhcer is the gay ex-husband of an exasperating woman named Denise, who has just lost hubby #3 to a heart attack. Henry sends a condolence note, which Denise latches on to as a way to get Henry back into her life as a pal and as a lawyer, since Denise's two stepsons have been left her husband's entire massive estate.

The story also i
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Elinor Lipman is the author of 11 humorous novels about contemporary American society; essay and short story collections, and a book of rhyming political tweets.. Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, she graduated from Simmons College where she studied journalism. She lives in Manhattan, and received the New England Book award for fiction in 2001. Her first novel, "Then She Found Me," was ada ...more
More about Elinor Lipman...