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THE GUY NOT TAKEN: STORIES
Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
Weiner has put together 11 stories for this uneven anthology. With four exceptions, most of these stories fall flat. Fans of Weiner will feel as if they're reading a collection of creative writing assignments, since some of these tales were written when she was still in college. But readers will see a noticeable improvement with the more current ones.
The exceptional stories in this collection are: "Oranges From Florida," in which newly single Doug helps out a young boy; "The Guy Not Taken," where Marlie stumbles upon her ex-boyfriend's wedding registry; "Buyer's Market," with Jess trying to help her struggling real estate agent boyfriend by listing her apartment; and "The Mother's Hour," where two very different moms meet at a children's playgroup.
The remaining seven tales include three -- "Just Desserts," "Travels With Nicki" and "The Wedding Bed" -- about two sisters trying to find themselves after their parents divorce; "Swim," with ex-sitcom writer Ruth now working as a consultant; and "Good Men," about a man who sneaks into his girlfriend's place to kidnap her annoying dog but ends up proposing instead. (ATRIA , Sep., 272 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed By: Lori Waddington
Published: September 2006