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A smart, engaging 21st-century comedy of manners in which the debut novelist Adelle Waldman crawls convincingly around inside the head of one Nathaniel (Nate) Piven. [She shows] herself to be . . . a savvy observer of human nature . . . . terrific at describing the halting miscommunications of a relationship. Nate’s self-destructive moodiness and reverse-engineered justifications are especially well drawn; his shallow pick-a-fight thoughts may even be painfully familiar.
And Katie Roiphe, writing for Slate, says
We have lately heard ad infinitum the new sensitive literary man’s account of his life and times… what we haven’t yet heard enough of is the smart literary woman’s view of him. With Adelle Waldman’s funny, provocative satire, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., we have a valuable new anthropology of the type. In a debut novel told from his point of view, Waldman deftly skewers the new literary man… with his stylish torment, his self-seriousness, his dangerous admixture of grandiosity and insecurity, and old fashioned condescension toward women gussied up as sensitivity, his maddening irony, his very specific way of treating people badly while worrying about liberal politics…. [An] excellent funny novel.
Monologue topics: poem, Michael Earl Craig, Primitive Men.