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Book Bench Woman by Howard Sterinbach (2009-02-17)


Bench Woman by Howard Sterinbach (2009-02-17)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Bench Woman by Howard Sterinbach (2009-02-17).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Howard Sterinbach(Author)

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2.5 (7672)
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  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Howard Sterinbach(Author)
  • Neshui Publishing Corp. (1644)
  • Unknown
  • 6
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Review Text

  • By Kevin Killian on April 24, 2009

    It was my sister who, although a novice to Amazon reviewing, turned me on to this book; even though she has written only one review for Amazon, while I have thousands to my credit, I trust her judgment better than my own. So, since she raved about it, I went ahead and put down hard cash for my own copy. It was the right thing to do.Readers new to Sterinbach's writing will be wise to slow down and check your expectations at the door. He is not like those other writer guys and he comes to you without an agenda. His gentle, humorous, coming of age story will bring tears of recognition to other men who have been in the same boat as his hapless hero, lonesome Matthew, at 28 single and living an absolutely pointless life without any meaningful relationships. His closest friends are the waitresses at the coffee shops and diners he frequents obsessively. And women, too, will get a peek into the park of a man's psyche they never dared to investigate, how basically all we really care about is what cheap neighborhood place has the best meat loaf and where can you get really good beef fajitas.One day he sees a beautiful woman in the park, sitting on a bench, and from then on in he's obsessed--but mildly, Matt is no Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver. Simultaneously he picks up the pace on his office relationship with gentle, haunted Claire, the secretary to an important company executive. Things progress on both fronts, and Matt gets out of town to kick up his heels a bit in Atlantic City, and again in Las Vegas--we can see him reaching out for the stars, if only to gamble, to get out of his own rut. Through an amazing coincidence he finds out the name of his crush, and then Claire asks him out on a date. Maybe this produces anxiety in him, because all of a sudden he agrees to go out on a blind date with the niece of a neighbor--a third woman--or a fourth if you count Jan English, the Julee Cruise-type chanteuse slash room dealer Matt rescues in Atlantic City. You wind up rooting for our boy to attain happiness, or at least to get his wick dipped, and if Sterinbach was just a little bit more adept at dialogue I would have given this novel the full five stars my sister did. It is the kind of story Hollywood studios used to buy for Jason Biggs when people still thought he was going to be the kind of star it turned out only Seth Rogen is.One final p.s, I wonder if this story wasn't written years ago and dusted off more recently, since one thing I noticed is that no one ever seems to use a computer, get any e-mail, own a cell phone, or even look up anything online! Here you are, a 28 year old horndog with a big crush on a gorgeous unknown,and you find out her name accidentally--and it is an extremely unusual name so there's only one of her--wouldn't you google her, like, instantly? But not our guy, it's like he has ADHD.

  • By Book reader on August 5, 2010

    I really enjoyed Bench Woman. It is funny, sad, and easy to read. I liked it so much that I was sorry when I finished it.

  • By Vivian Hwang on December 27, 2016

    I received this book at the Brooklyn Book Festival in 2015. This is a very endearing book filled with lovely imagery. It is very well-written, and the author demonstrates a gentle, keen, and steady understanding of the main character. I highly recommend it to Nicolas Sparks and Nora Roberts fans.

  • By homebody on August 4, 2010

    Bench Woman was not the greatest book I've ever read. I hated that the chapters were so short; the progression of the story is so fast that you hardly can grasp it. First you're on a bench, next your in a diner, next your in an office. You go from A right to Z...I also didn't care for the narration, it didn't catch me. It wasn't absorbing. And the dialouge was terrible. You're just flung into it--Right in the middle of a sentence. This debut needs a serious re-vision. I didn't like it at all.

  • By N. D. Killian on April 15, 2009

    In his debut novel, Bench Woman, Howard Sterinbach weaves a compelling narrative in which his protagonist, Matthew, navigates a sometimes treacherous course between reality and fantasy. A latter-day Holden Caulfield (if Salinger's hero were consumed with thoughts of food and the New York auto show), Matthew seeks to reconcile his obsession with a stranger he encounters on a park bench (the title character) with his desire to cultivate a more reality-based relationship with his co-worker, the winsome Claire. This endeavor takes Matthew on trips both real and metaphoric, with jaunts to Las Vegas and Atlantic City expertly described by Sterinbach in a style that is both easy to read and utterly mesmerizing. But the real joy of Bench Woman is the voice that Sterinbach gives to those lingering questions that affect us all: What should I have for dinner? Do others my age have these same wrinkles? What should I have for lunch? It is these and other similar ponderings that we all share with Matthew, as we walk the line between the outside world and the one we create in our minds. A brilliant debut from a fine writer.

  • By R. Sheridan on April 20, 2009

    I found Bench Woman to be a fascinating read that creates edge-of-the-seat suspense from a seemingly mundane story of an unfocused young man's efforts to choose the right path toward potential romance and emotional fulfillment. The author demonstrates in a manner that I could easily identify with that so much is always happening within our thoughts when we are actually saying and doing so little. The simplicity of his very readable writing style lies in stark contrast to the complexity of thoughts that his book captures in how we perform simple tasks such as deciding what to eat or choosing what to wear. The author courageously lays out the insecurities that I believe all of us have but almost never acknowledge. I found myself smiling knowingly on countless occasions at observations made by the author that I recognized but had never previously acknowledged, even to myself. I hope to see more from this author in the future.One warning - the numerous and at times hilarious food references make this book difficult to read on an empty stomach.

  • By Marge on April 30, 2009

    What a spectacular debut by Howard Sterinbach! Sterinbach is a master at character development, a character that we all know, a character that's much like all of us. This novel is deeply moving and as impossible to forget as any beloved book. Mr. Sterinbach, we are waiting anxiously for your next book!

  • By Avid Reader on August 4, 2010

    I recently finished Bench Woman and commend the author. I laughed, I cried, and I could not put the book down. I highly recommend this novel.

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