Thursday, July 27, 2023

Page-Turner Recommendation: Romantic Comedy is a great read, especially for fans of SNL

It seems like just yesterday I was excited to read Curtis Sittenfeld's 2020 novel Rodham. I haven't gotten to that one yet, but I have finished her new release Romantic Comedy, and it's a gem.

The author is one of our top comtemporary novelists. Her vibe and style are like the masterful Taylor Jenkins Reid, but Sittenfeld leans a little more witty, similar to Woody Allen. She usually aims for dialogue about the issues that often go unspoken in romantic relationships. It helps the story feel real and makes readers remember those early days of falling in love, when couples are learning about each other and fascinated with utmost curiosity about all the new things one learns from and about another person when getting to know that other person on a deep level. 

Sittenfeld has done her homework on the topic as well. She's read many of the same books, listened to the same podcasts, and watched the same TV and movies as I have about and by the stars and players of Saturday Night Live. Sally Milz writes for an SNL-like show and happens into a relationship with the featured and musical guest of one episode, Noah Brewster, who is a major pop star. She is a complex and exceptionally witty character who is the driving force behind making this an ultimate page-turner.

Romantic Comedy is every bit as good as her debut Prep, which I reviewed in 2014, and wrote that it's "a true coming-of-age story, reminiscent of Catcher in the Rye or Ethan Canin's novels, but with an even sharper microscope."

4.5 out of 5 stars

Bonus fun fact for fans of St. Louis: Sittenfeld moved to the city in 2018 because her husband got a job teaching at Washington University. She has said she likes St. Louis because of its "sense of history, its Midwestern sensibility, its vibrant arts scene, its friendly people, and its rich literary history."

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