A Brilliantly Funny Novel Of Money, Sex, Race, And Bad Behavior In The Post Obama Era, Featuring A Wealthy Connecticut Divorc E, Her College Age Daughter, And The Famous American Novelist Who Is Seduced By Them Both.Rachel Klein Never Meant To Kiss Her Creative Writing Professor, But With His Long Eyelashes, His Silky Hair, And The Sad, Beautiful Life He Laid Bare On Twitter, She Does, And The Kiss Is Very Nice Zahid Azzam Never Planned To Become A Houseguest In His Student S Sprawling Connecticut Home, But With The Sparkling Swimming Pool, The Endless Supply Of Whole Foods Strawberries, And Rachel S Beautiful Mother, He Does, And The Home Is Very Nice Becca Klein Never Thought She D Have A Love Affair So Soon After Her Divorce, But When Her Daughter S Professor Walks Into Her Home, Bringing With Him An Apricot Standard Poodle Named Princess, She Does, And The Affair Isa Very Bad Idea In A Darkly Hilarious Novel That Zigzags Between The Rarified Circles Of Manhattan Investment Banking, The Achingly Self Serious MFA Programs Of The Midwest, And The Private Bedrooms Of Connecticut, Marcy Dermansky Has Written An Audacious, Addictive, And Wickedly Smart Take On The Way We Live Now. This is a vicious little novel, smart, efficient, mean, full of terrible people behaving terribly, incisive observations about a certain class of people pretending they had no hand in the state of the world Writers don t come off too well, either Absolutely delightful. While this is certainly a smart book, it is probably not the deepest novel ever written still, it is great fun, and sometimes, intelligent fun is than enough to warrant 4 stars Dermansky plays with the discrepancies between self image and the perception of others when she tells the story of a love triangle between a naive, young college student, her mother and her creative writing professor Told in a linear fashion, but from constantly shifting perspectives, we learn about the thoughts, motivations, convenient self deceptions and scheming of the protagonists, and we meet and look through the eyes of their social circles At the sidelines, the author also reflects and frequently mocks current phenomena and themes from gun laws to corporate culture , and it is often hilarious and surprisingly bold Rachel has a crush on Zahid, her 36 year old Pakistani professor, sleeps with him and agrees to be his dogsitter while he is travelling in exchange for a good grade As it s semester break, she takes Princess, the poodle, along to her mother in Connecticut in order to cheer her up Becca has just been dumped by Rachel s dad for a younger woman, and her own poodle has died Of course, it doesn t take long before Zahid, who is struggling to finish his new novel and to find a new job, shows up on the doorstep, intrigued by the beautiful house with a pool and a fridge that s always full All three of them have their own agendas and their own side stories, and Dermansky does a great job intertwining her narrative threads it might not always be all too plausible, but it s always entertaining But this author is at her best when she renders her characters arguing with themselves, their inner monologue reflecting how they try to frame the narrative that is their own life Rachel tries to convince herself of a certain idea of Zahid, Zahid is trying to convince himself of a certain self image, and Becca is trying to find her new role as a single woman or isn t she And then there is a whole cast of minor characters, all of them with distinctive roles and attitudes, all of them deeply flawed and very human a wonderful gang of people to hold up the novel and propel the story forward I listened to the audiobook, and I put it on every minute I could, because this story is truly addictive not related to content, but hey That cover is also great I definitely need to read Dermansky I know I probably shouldn t be saying this too loud but I have never read a Marcy Dermansky book before I have read reviews of her work Some of my most keen and thoughtful Goodreads friends have described her previous work as witty, defiant, buoyant and electric So when I saw this on offer I knew I just had to read it Indeed, Very Nice reads like a guilty pleasure that you can devour in one sitting The plot seems simple a lauded author sleeps with one of his students then falls in love with her mother But that s the magic of Dermansky Everything is not what it seems All of her characters are flawed, quite unlikable in fact Their lives are painted with a veneer of accomplishment and success but there is so much simmering below the surface Dermansky s prose is constructed with simple short sentences that intricately connect her characters In subtle fashion she deftly weaves politics, sexuality, gun violence, misogyny and racism into a clever and entertaining tale. Call something a literary soap opera and I can t read it fast enough Here is one about sex, writing, race, and politics The lines Dermansky walks are fine and she navigates them expertly with humor and razor sharp insight This is a novel that is insanely addicting and insanely juicy Also sometimes just insane I love it so much. What a wonderful read The bizarre interconnections of a small group of people and their emotional lives are explored in this delicious dramedy of manners I had the urge to create a chart detailing all the relationships Ordinarily, one can point to a catalyst, but there are several catalytic agents at work propelling the plot Was it the relationship between Rachel and Zahid, her professor Was it the decamping of the pater familias to his mistress Was it Becca s vulnerability after losing her husband and her dog I won t even begin to analyze all the relationships, coincidences and connections, but trust me, this is a great read Denansky does a great job in allowing each character to have a voice in this novel I loved them all, maybe not Jonathan, who left his wife This technique allowed the reader to understand each of the characters, and feel sympathetic towards each one I was absolutely mesmerized by this novel I loved the absurdity of their interrelationships and the quirkinesses of this totally original novel Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to sink into this unlikely assemblage I am still reflecting on their relationships and trying to picture their futures. Rachel is taking care of her writing prof s poodle in exchange for a good grade She also slept with him, but because she wanted to, not for an A She takes the dog home for the summer, where her mother is still adjusting to life without her husband, who has left her to live in Tribeca with an airline pilot Zahid, the writing professor, had a successful debut novel but he s spent the advance for his second novel long ago and now needs to find a new teaching position, so he sub lets his apartment to the sister of his best friend, a woman who works in the male dominated world of finance This is a short novel with many characters, all of whom get to be the centers of their own chapters And the novel has a broad reach, from dissatisfaction in an affluent commuter town, to the misogynistic reaches of New York finance, to the inner workings of publishing and academia So it shouldn t work The characters should be one dimensional And yet, Marcy Dermansky manages to pull it all off There are a ton of characters, all of them behaving in the most outrageous of ways, yet they all feel very human Zahid may be sleeping with the mother of the student he once slept with, and to be angling very hard to become her kept man, but somehow I couldn t not be pleased when his writing was going well Dermansky has a talent for connecting her characters to the reader very quickly, regardless of what kind of self destructive behavior they are engaged in or how selfish they are and here that talent is able to take a large collection of characters, all behaving badly, in a wide variety of situations, and make a cohesive novel out of it I do prefer it the intense experience she creates when keeping her writing tightly focused on a single character The Red Car is a fantastic book but with this book, Dermansky set her difficulty rating much higher and landed every jump. I liked the dog That s about it There was no redeeming qualities to any of the characters presented The liberal overtones were completely unnecessary and basically made the characters even ridiculous But maybe that was the point The dog I liked the dog. Marcy Dermanksy is brilliant Very Nice is the perfect antidote to the times we live in A book that is darkly funny The kind of funny that doesn t make you laugh, but makes you cackle, you what I mean The cast of characters are all ridiculous people, that are never self aware enough to know how ridiculous they are It s these characters that demonstrate the hypocrisy of white liberalism and the micro aggressions of those who think they re good people, but perhaps are actually the worst kind of people Dermansky slyly connects all these characters into a soap opera style story that is never cheesy, always observant, and truly hard to put down. Rachel is in love with her writing professor, Becca is recently abandoned by her husband, Khloe wants to requite her unrequited love, Jonathan is unsatisfied with his new living situation, and Zahid just wants someone to take care of him Dermansky gathers these various characters together and writes a scathing, hilarious commentary skewering modern life The humor here is pointed and merciless, while the story is off and running dragging you along behind Dermansky s prose is deceptively simple, but don t be misled this storyteller writes a complex tale of passion, need, opportunism, family, and luck a layered critique of human nature and you will hang on every word Brilliant All the WASPy coolness of THE ICE STORM withsome actual warmth, this book is stylish, sleek, hilarious, I loved it I am upset that it ended I want this nice world back.
- 290 pages
- Very Nice
- Marcy Dermansky
- 16 December 2017 Marcy Dermansky