All He Ever Wanted: A Novel

by Anita Shreve | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0316010367 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Brendalc57 of Sacramento, California USA on 2/4/2006
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Brendalc57 from Sacramento, California USA on Saturday, February 04, 2006
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Anita Shreve's All He Ever Wanted reads like Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own told from the perspective of the husband. The wife gains a measure of freedom, but how does the repressive, abandoned husband feel about that freedom? Set in the early 1900s in the fictional New England college town of Thrupp, and narrated by the pompous Nicholas Van Tassel, All He Ever Wanted is at once an academic satire, a period novel, and a tale of suspense. Shreve's ability to nimbly hop through genres brings a liveliness to this story of love gone depressingly wrong. Van Tassel is an undistinguished professor of rhetoric at Thrupp College and a confirmed bachelor when he meets--in no less flamy a scenario than a hotel fire--the arresting Miss Etna Bliss. Immediately smitten, he woos and wins her. At least, he persuades her to become his wife. But Van Tassel hasn't really won her. Etna keeps her secrets and her feelings to herself. The extent of her withholding only becomes clear after a couple of kids and a decade or so of marriage. Then we find out that she's been creating a secret haven for herself all along. Van Tassel is in turn revealed--through his own priggish, puffed-up sentences--as something of a monster. The book is cleverly done; watching Etna through Van Tassel's eyes is like looking at beautiful bird from a hungry cat's point of view. But Van Tassel's voice might be too well written; he's pedantic and dull and snarky all at once, and by the end we find that we, like Etna, can't bear his company a minute longer.

This book is available for a Bookring. If you are interested please PM me so I can put you on the list and we can get started as soon as I have at least 5 people. Do let me know if you are willing to mail international or if you are just mailing USA only.

The book is to stay with each person preferably 2-3 weeks only to keep a steady flow. Thanks and happy reading. It is a pretty good read. Brendalc57

1. Honey1982-Canada
2. gumshoe007-Canada
3. thegoaliegirl-USA

Journal Entry 2 by honey1982 from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Sunday, March 26, 2006
This arrived today. Well Friday. I didn't have the mail key. Hehe! I just finished one of Shreve's books and am very anxious to get to this. Will try to read it quickly and pass along to gumshoe. Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 3 by honey1982 from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 09, 2006
I'm very happy to write that the last 100 pages were better than the first 250. I found Nicholas to be insufferable. He was a very whiney man who took blame for nothing in his life. I have never hated a main character more. I think that this book could have been about 200 pages shorter than it was. For this reason, it is probably my least favourite Shreve novel. But I do thank you (Brendalc57) for sharing it and organizing a bookring, because I would have read it eventually.

As I read the first entry, I realize now why I hated Nicholas so much and the role which he believed a woman should play... Hmmm.... maybe not such a bad book afterall.

I left this book at gumshoe's work with a very cute host on Friday April 14th.

Journal Entry 4 by gumshoe007 from Gatineau, Québec Canada on Saturday, April 15, 2006
This was waiting for me at work this morning. Thanks for dropping it off honey1982!! Will get to it right after another bookring book I'm reading right now.

Journal Entry 5 by gumshoe007 from Gatineau, Québec Canada on Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Eeek! I've had this book far too long and I am very sorry for that. I have already been in touch with thegoaliegirl and I will be mailing it off today. Ironically, once I did finally get to the book, I read it in 2 days. I had a few days off from work and once I started reading, it was easy to keep flipping the pages.

Nicholas is definitely a very annoying character. I was okay with him, even though I didn't necessarily agree with him, until he started spying and then created the made up story. (don't want to actually give it away--those who have read it know what I'm referring to). It was just too much to fathom!! I was glad for Etna in the end when she did what she wanted. BUT, I don't think I sympathized with her throughout the story. It was her choice as well and, though I'm glad times for women and marriages have changed, she knew what she was getting into. I found her almost as annoying as Nicholas, living her life all sullen like it was all his fault.

A page-turner, nonetheless.

Thanks for sharing brendalc57!! Again, my apologies for taking so long.

Journal Entry 6 by wingthegoaliegirlwing from Vancouver, Washington USA on Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Received this book today. Will it start it tonight.

Journal Entry 7 by wingthegoaliegirlwing from Vancouver, Washington USA on Friday, August 11, 2006
Finished this book yesterday. I have to admire Anita Shreve for her ability to write in various periods of time, and to describe them so that you feel like you are living in that time. With that said, this was one of my least favorite of her books. Up there with this one is The Last Time They Met (due to the ending) and Where or When. I couldn't help like feeling that there was a lot of blame put on the other party, with no real responsibility taken for their own actions. Van Tassel is most likely my least favorite character, at least in a long time. He was whiney, deceptive (with they spying, etc), manipulative, etc. Don't get me wrong though, I had a hard time putting this down and read it quickly and did enjoy it. I just wouldn't read it again any time soon. Thanks for sharing this with me. Will send this back early next week.

Journal Entry 8 by wingdg7500wing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA on Thursday, September 28, 2006
Hmmmm....it appears that Santa's elves have been working overtime this year! ;0) Thank you so much for fulfilling one of my holiday wishes, goaliegirl.

Journal Entry 9 by wingdg7500wing at RABCK in RABCK, RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Released 12 yrs ago (11/28/2006 UTC) at RABCK in RABCK, RABCK -- Controlled Releases

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Passing on the good karma...this is included in a surprise Holiday Gift-Giving package. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 10 by Lei510 from Garland, Texas USA on Monday, December 04, 2006
Wow! What a nice surprise ~ a book from my wish list and lots of cute little pigs as a lovely "Holiday Surprise". I love the Christmas season. Thank you so much dg. You're the best! After I read this I promise to pass it along.

Journal Entry 11 by Lei510 from Garland, Texas USA on Wednesday, February 21, 2007
It was good but not as good as the other Shreve that I've read. Thanks again for sending it. Now I'm sending it on its way.

Journal Entry 12 by Lei510 at Montclair Elementary School in Garland, Texas USA on Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (2/21/2007 UTC) at Montclair Elementary School in Garland, Texas USA

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Teacher's lounge book exchange basket. Happy reading!

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