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The Twoweeks by Larry Duberstein

The Twoweeks

by Larry Duberstein

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2619415,071 (2.21)2



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It was okay. A cute story, damn good writing, but the premise was stretched awful thin at points and it doesn't quite stick the landing ( )
  EricFitz08 | Apr 27, 2013 |
This peculiar novel comes from the overwhelmingly reliable Permanent Press. It is roughly divided into four parts. But first some background.

Cal and Winnie are married and have two kids. Call loves Winnie, Winnie loves Cal, and Cal is absolutely devoted to his children. Lara and Winnie are friends. Lara and Ian are married but have no children. Cal and Lara bump into each other, and Cal notices her beauty. He is smitten. Duberstein writes, [I only have an uncorrected proof, but as soon as I get a trade copy, I will post a quote.] (25). Cal and Lara decide to take two weeks together to work out of their system the mutual attraction that had been building. Lara tells Ian, but Call does not tell Winnie.

Numerous stories crossed my mind while reading The Twoweeks by Larry Duberstein. These stories involve people married or involved with the wrong partner. Someone new comes along, and suddenly chaos breaks out. Think The English Patient, Bridges of Madison County, Shakespeare in Love, and The End of the Affair by Graham Green.

Part one involves Lara reading a journal of The Twoweeks, but Cal interrupts her and insists the “backstory” is important and relevant. Part two reveals the journal, frequently interspersed with comments mainly from Cal explaining, revising, or adding details in the journal. Part three describes separately Lara and Cal’s reaction in the immediate aftermath of the two weeks. Part four has a narrator outside the novel. Here all is revealed.

Duberstein’s prose is down to earth and conversational – lots of dialogue between Cal and Lara, and between Cal and himself and Lara and herself. The reader delves deeply into the psychology of these two characters, and clearly reveals the trauma and heart ache associated with finding oneself in a marriage when someone “better” or “more suited” comes along.

Having been in such a relationship myself not too many years ago, I had a great deal of empathy for Cal and Lara, as well as a lot of sympathy for Ian and Winnie. The major complicating factor in this novel, is of course, the children.

The bottom line? Small press fiction is every bit as wonderful as mainstream publishing, The Twoweeks is Larry Duberstein’s eighth novel along with two collections of short stories. I see a future spent hunting for the rest of his works. 5 stars

--Jim, 5/19/12 ( )
  rmckeown | May 24, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Hmm. Where to start with this one. The premise and blurb made the book sound incredibly interesting but after I was about 50 pages in, I realized I'd almost forgotten half of what I'd read. There wasn't great character development OR plot development. The writing was a bit choppy and I just couldn't find myself getting really interested. By the end of the novel, I felt like the book could have been SO much stronger if the author would have just taken some time to really expand everything. Characters, plot, setting, dialogue, etc. ( )
  hankesj | May 5, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Twoweeks by Larry Duberstein is written artfully, almost archly, in onion-like layers. The beginning and ending form the outer layer, which wraps around the book; the beginning makes a lot more sense after you’ve read to the end. It is written in experimental style, almost more like a play than a novel. We seem to be expected to be completely familiar with Cal and Lara’s current situation, although the novel doesn’t concern itself much with that. Readers listen to Cal (an actor) and Lara (a poet) correct and contradict each other’s memories of the Twoweeks –that shared time outside of normal life – as they read (we along with them) in the present, pages that present Lara’s perspective at the time. It’s a love story of sorts, but The Twoweeks is actually a pretty unsentimental dissection of what turned out, to everyone’s surprise, to be a grand passion.
This is a shortened version of the full review on my blog at http://baystatera.com/2012/02/28/time-capsule-of-love-the-twoweeks-by-larry-dube... ( )
  baystateRA | Feb 28, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The publisher sent me only a note saying that the early prints had run out and I was not going to receive the book. To offer such a promise on a site like LibraryThing, and then to not be able to deliver - FAIL.
  HippieLunatic | Feb 1, 2012 |
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Cal and Lara are happily married-- just not to one another. And though they came of age in the sexual wilderness of the 1960's, neither is seeking to expand any sexual horizons now, 10 years later. Lara proposes a "Twoweeks": take two weeks carved out of their normal lives, and be done with. What happens to these lively, storm-tossed souls before, during, and after The Twoweeks forces them to review their lives.… (more)

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