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Guy Not Taken

Guy Not Taken

  • reading group guide
Jennifer Weiner's talent shines like never before in this collection of short stories, following the tender, and often hilarious, progress of love and relationships over the course of a lifetime. From a teenager coming to terms with her father's disappearance to a widow accepting two young women into her home, Weiner's eleven stories explore those transformative moments in our every day.

We meet Marlie Davidow, home alone with her new baby late one Friday night, when she wanders onto her ex's online wedding registry and wonders what if she had wound up with the guy not taken. We stumble on Good in Bed's Bruce Guberman, liquored-up and ready for anything on the night of his best friend's bachelor party, until stealing his girlfriend's tiny rat terrier becomes more complicated than he'd planned. We find Jessica Norton listing her beloved New York City apartment in the hope of winning her broker's heart. And we follow an unlikely friendship between two very different new mothers, and the choices that bring them together -- and pull them apart.

The Guy Not Taken demonstrates Weiner's amazing ability to create characters who "feel like they could be your best friend" (Janet Maslin) and to find hope and humor, longing and love in the hidden corners of our common experiences.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9781442342453 | 
  • January 2011
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Jennifer Weiner: The Guy Not Taken

From the bestselling author of IN HER SHOES, a witty and heartbreaking look at love and loneliness in modern times

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Reading Group Guide

The Guy Not Taken By Jennifer Weiner
Introduction
For the first time ever, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner collects her own short stories in one truthful, poignant, and hilarious collection. From a wedding registry fantasy (or nightmare) to Bruce Guberman's side of the Good in Bed story, Weiner's fans will love these satisfying and diverse morsels.
The characters in these stories, vulnerable but full of hope, seek the strength to choose their own paths without looking back at "the guy not taken."
Discussion Questions
1. Why do you think this book is called The Guy Not Taken? What is the significance of the title for that story, and for the collection as a whole? What themes in "The Guy Not Taken" do you also find in the other stories?
2. Nicki, the younger sister in "Just Desserts," dismisses the Jaws movies as fake looking, yet she uses a different false name every day at work. Why do you think Nicki is preoccupied with illusion and authenticity?
3. In "Travels with Nicki," Josie fantasizes about helping her sister through college: "Or maybe I'd just drop out and give her my loan, and start again next year. My roommate would undoubtedly be delighted to have our double to herself" (44). What are the motivations behind Josie's fantasy? If she is so eager to rescue her sister, why does she leave Nicki to face their angry mother alone at the end of the story?
4. "Jus see more

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About the Author

Jennifer Weiner
Photograph by Andrea Cipriani Mecchi

Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, which have spent a combined five years on the bestseller list, with over 15 million copies in print in thirty-six countries. Her iconic debut Good in Bed is now in its fifty-ninth printing. In Her Shoes was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine. Her newest novel, All Fall Down, has become one of the best-reviewed novels of the year, hailed as “compulsively readable” by The New York Times Book Review. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.

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