Toby’s Trouble

I am reading Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. The first sentence on the book jacket tells the reader that Toby Fleishman and his wife have separated. My wife Mollie could not gag her way past the first ten percent of the novel, so I am reading it because: (1) maybe I can give her insights to impress her Book Club in a few days; and (2) if she hates the book, presumably I would love it. I do not but I have pinpointed her problem. My wife would hate the Clint Eastwood movie The Unforgiven because she needs stories with a hero or heroine. If everyone is flawed or unlovable, she has no interest because I provide ample opportunity for her to love a flawed character on a daily basis. She hated Gone Girl and The War of Roses. Mollie always takes the woman’s side in any divorce so will definitely not be sympathetic to me if we split up. No surprise that she hated Toby right off the bat. His viewpoint dominates the early narrative but my wife could not stomach Toby’s spouse either. Mollie would never understand the Fleishman book because Toby is a sympathetic character in the beginning but she hates him anyway. Spoiler alert. So how is she going to get the twist when the wife, the female narrator/classmate of Toby, and the female author all collaborate to introduce additional information and dominate the different perspective later in the novel? My wife saw through Toby the whole time and thus spoiled the punchline. On one of our first dates, Mollie startled me when she said she could see right through me like a piece of cellophane. I wondered why she said cellophane instead of glass. Perhaps she saw the future wrinkled version of me.


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