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Publisher's Summary

The Fran Lebowitz Reader brings together in one volume, with a new preface, two best sellers, Metropolitan Life and Social Studies, by an "important humorist in the classic tradition" (The New York Times Book Review) who is "the natural successor to Dorothy Parker" (British Vogue). In "elegant, finely honed prose" (The Washington Post Book World), Lebowitz limns the vicissitudes of contemporary urban life - its fads, trends, crazes, morals, and fashions. By turns ironic, facetious, deadpan, sarcastic, wry, wisecracking, and waggish, she is always wickedly entertaining.

©1994 Fran Lebowitz (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Hilarious...an unlikely and perhaps alarming combination of Mary Hartman and Mary McCarthy.... To a dose of Huck Finn add some Lenny Bruce, Oscar Wilde, and Alexis de Tocqueville, a dash of cabdriver, an assortment of puns, minced jargon, and top it off with smarty pants." ( The New York Times on Metropolitan Life)
"Her humor made me laugh aloud and call friends to read passages to them." ( Newsweek on Metropolitan Life)
"Unique.... Lebowitz offers vocational guides for aspiring heiresses, popes, empresses; manuals for landlords; guidance to the rich who wish to meet the poor." ( Vogue on Social Studies)

What listeners say about The Fran Lebowitz Reader

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Disappointed

I've been a devoted fan and avid reader of Fran for years but honestly have no idea what this was supposed to be.

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Wonderful in her own voice.

My daughter read this and gave up less that half way through. I think you have to hear her deliver her own prose. She is a master. I adore her. I get her humor even though I'm not a New Yorker but I am an ex smoker. She makes me laugh out loud. She writes very well-although I understand she had a long period of writer's block. Until I read this I thought she was famous just for being all over the social pages of Vanity Fair. I hope she writes and narrates more for 'our listening pleasure'.

11 people found this helpful

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Fran is a treasure for NYers

Unique quirky & exactly like me (but wittier.) I only wish she performed more, because I have to read her stuff over & over with decent intervals. Often enough to still feel fresh, but not often enough to be fresh. If I could have lunch any 3 people, living or dead, Fran would be one of them.

4 people found this helpful

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Perfection

As a New Yorker who hails from Des Moines and is a woman of letters, if not substantial advances, not to mention a Jewtina, which is for the uninformed a High Femme Latina Jewess, upon listening to this I have my answer to the question, “If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be?” Implied meaning being someone you don’t know. I will now answer Fran Lebowitz. And broke as I am, I’ll pick up the check.

4 people found this helpful

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Boring.

Fran Lebowitz is a smart and witty person. This book is her biggest joke. It is awful. I understand the challenge of writing a book. I could never do it. But if you can’t do it, don’t. Chapters of one-liners one after the other was mind-numbing. Ms. Lebowitz will find inspiration again and I hope she waits until then to publish.

4 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Hysterical

Would you consider the audio edition of The Fran Lebowitz Reader to be better than the print version?

They're equal.

Any additional comments?

One of the most diverting and unbelievably witty collections of her best. Will be listening to it for a third time soon. Fran Lebowitz has a keen, satirical look on society that is universal. I sum it up with this. “Do not allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth.”

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Acid, sarcastic and ironic amd brutally honest

I couldn't start the year with a better book. I never heard from Fran before Netflix and It was unexpected and really well written. Fran's unique view built a classic for sure.

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Fran will make you laugh

I love friendly but with. it's like having her in the room. you will literally laugh out loud on some of them. highly recommend.

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Her Writer's Voice Matches Her Speaking Voice

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Lebowitz's dry wit coupled with her dry delivery create an unforgettable entertainment experience. She's a joy to read; she's a joy to hear. She alone can breath the necessary rhythm into her words.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fran Lebowitz Reader?

The entire listening experience is memorable.

Which character – as performed by Fran Lebowitz – was your favorite?

It's autobiographical.

4 people found this helpful

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You Gotta Love Fran Lebowitz!

. . . and if you do, you'll love this one.

Tales of New York – narrated by Fran.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maher
  • 01-16-21

Tiring, Pretentious, Impersonal, and Forgettable

Fran is not a writer. There. I said it. She's a brilliant conversationalist and I could listen to her for hours when she is on stage or speaking with someone(eg Martin Scorsese). Her ode to NYC and all of its quirky characteristics, both good and bad, are mesmerising when there is someone who is helping her navigate through her thoughts to bring some order.

But as a writer, it just doesn't work. You get tired very very quickly. It actually becomes quite irritating after a while. It sounds impersonal and after the fifth joke about dry cleaning in NYC or the rats in the city, you get the feeling she's trying desperately hard to paint a picture that has already been clearly painted by everyone who ever writes about NYC. She has some brilliant one liners in there for sure, but a book it is not.
If you like Fran Lebowitz like I do, do yourself the favour of NOT listening to this audible, as it will only stain your admiration for her.




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  • Alan
  • 06-29-21

unlistenable.

not suitable for audiobook format....sounds like random lists of nonsense. unfortunate, given how funny and talented the author is.

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  • David F
  • 06-09-21

Oh Fran.

Fran is wonderful at playing with words and twisting well known phrases with ease. She has a hysterical chip on her shoulder about... most things. And yet she delivers her wit and brilliant bon mots with a monotonous samey rhythm and a bored take the money and run attitude, or it simply pains her to read her own stuff. Either way, she should get a few coffees and get back in the booth again with a voice director.

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  • Linda T
  • 09-16-21

Hilariously droll. less is more

Seen in tv I had to learn more. Comprehensive amd sometimes dated, but a good insight into this New Yorker.