The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P
Adelle WaldmanNate's never been popular and that's fine. Now a Harvard grad with a book deal living in the Brooklyn literary scene he spends all his time thinking about high brow things like western guilt and how he thinks that girl in the low cut top probably does have a great personality. Once he meets Hannah he's sure that she is different but is she really enough to shatter his mold?
There has been a lot of buzz around Adelle Waldman's debut novel and I for one think it is much deserved. Equal parts funny and cringe worthy Nathaniel P. is a engrossing and quick read. However don't be fooled by the title, the story may be about the many loves of Nate but this is not a love story.
Nate, for he is never called Nathaniel, is actually kind of a jerk. A likable jerk, but a jerk nonetheless. He is constantly focused on his work, on his past relationships, on how progressive and supportive he can be. In any other novel he'd be intolerable but here, in these pages that feel so much like Brooklyn he springs to life. While he musing on about how he's really not superficial and that he is just as interested in plain smart women as their superficial counterparts he becomes less likable, but more real. Really where Waldman succeeds is in the verity of her characters.
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is currently sitting atop my "favorite books of summer" list. You should totally check it out.