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Walks with Men
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Walks with Men

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2.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,418 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
"He'd tell me anything, anything, as long as the information went unattributed, as long as no one knew he and I had even met." Such is the deal Jane, Harvard valedictorian fresh out of college, strikes with Neil, the intoxicating writer 20 years her senior. It is 1980 in New York City, and the two quickly become lovers, living together in a Chelsea brownstone. Jane is infa ...more
Audio CD, 2 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by AudioGO (first published 2010)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
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.
Danielle
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.
Nikki
May 11, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: city-girls, novels, nyc, xx
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
Tia
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.
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
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
...more
S.
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
Eliza
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
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
Katie
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.
Kitty
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was really a one and a half star. Starts out with a lot of promise for such a short little book, and then it truly peters out. It is almost as if the writer said, "Oh, am I still writing this book?" ????
Terri
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
Raquel
Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A ratos me resultó muy divertida, a ratos soporífera. Iba veces ágil, otras repetitiva. Un pequeño relato de poco más de cien páginas denso y directo sobre la figura del amante-tutor, aquel que presume de abrir las puertas a la mujer a un mundo desconocido pero que luego resulta vender solo humo.
El tema está bien, es original, y la escritora tiene un lenguaje directo muy agradable pero me resultan desconcertantes algunas cosas, especialmente el destino de Neal (el amante, no digo nada más para n
...more
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.)
Macdonald
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.
Jessica
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Horrible, don't waste your time.
Sub_zero
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
Paul
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
Rebecca
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
Kate.
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
Emma
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
Katie
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.
Rose
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
Kevin
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.
Joannmullis
An ok narrative, left me empty. wanted more depth.
Donna
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Choppy, overwritten, and underwhelming.
Frances Coles
This is a strange one, and I am ultimately not sure what I think of it. You think at first that it is going to be a relationship story, albeit a cool and alienated and ironical Ann Beattie one. But..while it IS a relationship story, I suppose, it's from a much wider, stranger and more distant angle than you are led to expect. It's really a story about relationships, that is, more than it is a story about one, particular relationship. In fact (spoiler), the manipulative older man disappears midwa ...more
Fede
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me gustó, sin más. Tiene algunos pasajes interesantes y personajes auténticos, pero es un globo, mientras transcurren los acontecimientos se va desinflando. Al principio me recordaba por ambientación y protagonistas a esas películas de Woody Allen que tanto me gustan, después se vuelve algo insípido.

Rescato la pluma de la autora, que es bastante original comparada a otras narrativas. También agradezco que no fue predecible cuando imaginé en una situación que lo sería. Le faltó más profundidad en
...more
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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
More about Ann Beattie

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“Clichés so often befall vain people.” 726 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.” 29 likes
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