Modern Lovers

Modern Lovers

3.43 (30,389 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers, a smart, highly entertaining novel about a tight-knit group of friends from college and what it means to finally grow up well after adulthood has set in.

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy property, and start families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch - of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool - to their own teenage offspring.

Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her girl-next-door smile, rich-kid Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and beautiful Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same Brooklyn neighbourhood and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose can never be reclaimed.

Straub packs wisdom and insight and humour together in a satisfying book about neighbours and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions - be they food, or friendship, or music - never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us.

Praise for Modern Lovers:

'Straub writes with such verve and sympathetic understanding of her characters ... Reading this novel has all the pleasures of reading one of Anne Tyler's compelling family portraits - but transported from Baltimore to Brooklyn, peopled with aging hipsters (instead of perennially middle-aged folks) and doused with a Lorrie Moore-like sense of the absurdities of contemporary life' The New York Times
'[Modern Lovers] has the smart, cool sensibility of Straub's other novels, and you're sure to love this one just as much' Elle
'[Straub] sets her observational wit on three middle-aged friends (former college bandmates) who find themselves in a crisis of identity as their now-grown children head off to college themselves' Huffington Post
'Wise and often hilarious, Modern Lovers is a testament to how the passions and secrets of our youth can last well into adulthood' Buzzfeed
'[Straub is] a precise and observant writer whose supple prose carries the story along without a snag. Straub's characters are a quirky and interesting bunch. . . it's a pleasure spending time with them' Kirkus (starred review)
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 26mm | 477g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1405921579
  • 9781405921572
  • 162,072

Review quote

Emma Straub is a magician, full of brilliance and surprise -- Lorrie Moore Funny, poignant and beautifully observed -- Jojo Moyes Charming and absorbing -- Maggie Shipstead Witty and big-hearted ... leaves you smiling for days -- Maria Semple Intimate, epic, beautifully observed -- Jennifer Egan Emma Straub is a gorgeous and witty storyteller -- Elizabeth Gilbert Funny, poignant and beautifully observed -- Jojo Moyes Charming and absorbing -- Maggie Shipstead Witty and big-hearted ... leaves you smiling for days -- Maria Semple Intimate, epic, beautifully observed -- Jennifer Egan Emma Straub is a gorgeous and witty storyteller -- Elizabeth Gilbert Straub's novel is cast from the same mould as the likes of Liza Klaussmann's Tigers in Red Weather and Maggie Shipstead's Seating Arrangements . . . The Vacationers is a holiday read in every way with a gently witty narrative that slips down as easily as a beachside cocktail * Independent * I loved The Vacationers; funny and poignant and beautifully observed -- Jojo Moyes, author of * Me Before You * Delicious . . . richly riveting . . . The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author * People (four stars) * For those unable to jet off to a Spanish island this summer, reading The Vacationers may be the next-best thing. . . . [A] gorgeously written novel . . . When I turned the last page, I felt as I often do when a vacation is over: grateful for the trip and mourning its end * The New York Times Book Review * Witty and big-hearted . . . leaves you smiling for days -- Maria Semple, author of * Where'd You Go, Bernadette * A gorgeous and witty storyteller -- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of * Eat, Pray Love * Emma Straub is a magician, full of brilliance and surprise -- Lorrie Moore, author of * Bark * Charming and absorbing, this is a novel that demands to be read in long, satisfying gulps -- Maggie Shipstead, author of * Seating Arrangements * There's nothing more addictive than a darkly funny dysfunctional domestic drama. Straub's novel-set during a fraught family vacation in Mallorca-is pretty much the perfect beach read -- Entertainment Weekly Emma Straub puts the fun back in dysfunction * San Francisco Chronicle * Now this is what I call good holiday reading. Straub writes beautifully and amusingly . . . hard to beat for sheer charm and gentle wit * Daily Mail * Praise for The Vacationers * - * Emma Straub is quickly making a name for herself as an author who can deftly toe the line between literary and popular writing-her books are easy to breeze through, but there's also food for thought for the discerning reader * Bookpage * Emma Straub is consistently excellent * Book Riot * Sprinkled with humour and insight, this is a Brooklyn novel with heart * Library Journal (starred review) * Devilishly observed * Booklist (starred review) * Straub spins her lighthearted but psychologically perceptive narrative with a sure touch as she captures the vibes of midlife, middle-class angst and the raging hormones of youth. . . Readers will devour this witty and warmly satisfying novel * Publishers Weekly (starred review) * [Straub is] a precise and observant writer whose supple prose carries the story along without a snag. Straub's characters are a quirky and interesting bunch. . . it's a pleasure spending time with them * Kirkus (starred review) * Wise and often hilarious, Modern Lovers is a testament to how the passions and secrets of our youth can last well into adulthood * Buzzfeed * What happens when you age out of your cool? It's a topic that filmmaker Noah Baumbach has explored, and Straub is his literary counterpart. . . With the multigenerational structure, it would be easy to compare Straub to other masters of the genre like Meg Wolitzer or Jennifer Egan, but she's already a master in her own right after The Vacationers, so Modern Lovers should prove to be a witty romp * The Millions * [Straub] sets her observational wit on three middle-aged friends (former college bandmates) who find themselves in a crisis of identity as their now-grown children head off to college themselves * Huffington Post * Thoughtful and hilarious, Modern Lovers proves growing up doesn't stop in adulthood * Real Simple * Straub's novel might be set in well-trod modern literary territory (the parenting world of brownstone Brooklyn), but what she does with this familiar milieu is smart and fresh, offering new insights into the lives of people all around us * Brooklyn Magazine * A lovely, satisfying early-summer read * EW.com * A funny and insightful look at love and relationships * Good Housekeeping * [Modern Lovers] has the smart, cool sensibility of Straub's other novels, and you're sure to love this one just as much * Elle * Straub writes with such verve and sympathetic understanding of her characters ... Reading this novel has all the pleasures of reading one of Anne Tyler's compelling family portraits * The New York Times * Hugely talented . . . if you are looking for some intelligent holiday reading then this is the book for you -- BBC 4 Woman's Hour Smart and entertaining * Stylist * Hugely talented... intelligent holiday reading * Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4 * ** 'It's the beautifully drawn, vibrant characters that make this smart, compelling novel so irresistible.' Liane Moriarty **

From the New York Times Bestselling author of The Vacationers, Emma Straub brings us a sharply observed tale of modern love...

Twenty years later and they were supposed to be grown-ups...

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
Summer in the city . . .

College friends Elizabeth, Zoe and Andrew had a band, grew up, settled in New York and now they were still living round the corner from one another (and in each other's pockets).

One hot summer as their kids come of age, making those first hesitant steps into adulthood, it's the parents who find that the lives they've so carelessly stitched together begin to slowly unravel . . . * from publisher's description *
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About Emma Straub

Emma Straub is The New York Times-bestselling author of The Vacationers, Modern Lovers, Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, and the short-story collection Other People We Married. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Elle, and Conde Nast Traveller, and she is a contributing writer for Rookie. Straub's work has been published in fifteen countries.
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Rating details

30,389 ratings
3.43 out of 5 stars
5 11% (3,457)
4 37% (11,097)
3 39% (11,985)
2 10% (3,054)
1 3% (796)
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