Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Romantics by Galt Niederhoffer

In which a group of close college friends meet up for a wedding, to the detriment of all of their relationships.

Laura had a very close group of friends in college at Yale.  It was the sort of group where most of the men had slept with most of the women at different points in time and their closeness was due as much to rivalry as true friendship.  The Romantics takes place as Laura and the rest of the group prepare for the wedding of two of its members, Lila and Tom.  Problem is, Laura is still in love with Tom.

This review will contain spoilers.
The nine college friends in The Romantics have sort of bland personalities.  The author tries to give them a few defined characteristics, but they don't seem very real.  I kept waiting for the part where it told even what the main character did for a living, and not getting it.  I'm convinced that at least one couple, Annie and Oscar, were totally redundant and could have been excluded.  Evidently the producers of the movie version agreed with me!

I think the story did a good job of implying and eventually exposing the mystery of why Tom was marrying Lila instead of Laura.  What kept me entertained through most of the book was trying to figure it out, and it was explained gradually really well.  I also was very invested in Tom's ultimate decision on whether to go through with the marriage or run away.

A good chunk of the middle of the book is devoted to a fairly contrived crisis.  It's a blatant plot device that did not add much other than a way for characters to do and say what they needed to.  The crisis was very contrived.

I would recommend this book, hesitantly, to fans of thoughtful relationship studies.  OK, I probably wouldn't recommend it at all unless I was convinced it would appeal to someone specifically.  The big take-away I got from it was how inferior my wedding is going to be to that of the characters' in the book. It's not like I didn't enjoy the book, it was an entertaining journey without much meat to it or value.


Disclaimer: I received this book from Goodreads giveaways


  1. No, I didn't. I guess I would be marginally more interested in it than in most romantic drama movies but it's not something I'm going to go really out of my way to see.

  2. so it does! I bet they make that character less of a creeper in the movie...


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