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Goodbye for Now: A Novel by Laurie Frankel
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Goodbye for Now: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Laurie Frankel

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1443383,153 (3.95)5
Member:bakenquilt
Title:Goodbye for Now: A Novel
Authors:Laurie Frankel
Info:Doubleday (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:2012 Reading List
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel

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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Goodbye for Now starts out as one type of novel, then switches to another. In the beginning it is about a brilliant computer programmer who uses his skill to find the woman who is his perfect match. That light, fun idea cruises along for a good while until someone dies and the story morphs into one about people dealing with tragedy and grief. I imagine Laurie Frankel loses some readers in the first part and others in the second because she seems to be writing for two very different audiences. But the readers who stick with the book will find an interesting story that has something to say.

The idea that leads to the largest plot line in Goodbye for Now is that people who use social media, define who they are through a combination of tweets, facebook posts, emails, blog entries, etc. and those definitions can be used to create a series of artificial programs that can email, im, and/or video chat with the loved ones who have been left behind. The beauty of this idea is the fact that it is unique while also close enough to something that might be done someday, to make the story seem real.

Sam’s “find true love” algorithm works. We readers know this because he and Meredith are perfect for each other. Her strengths compensate for his flaws and vice versa, which makes them a wonderful couple and becomes more evident when they go into business together. She is the marketing person while he writes the software. Both their skill sets are necessary for success.

What I loved about Frankel’s work was its unique approach to such a common topic, but what I didn't like about it was the way it went on too long once the author started dwelling on grief. Every way of describing how a person feels when dealing with the loss of someone he or she loved has been done before and Frankel seems to go through them all. So the book manages to be unique yet cliché. Still this novel is worth the read, especially if you are at a point in your life when you would like to think about grief and loss without resorting to the depressing step of a self help book.

Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions ( )
  SteveLindahl | Dec 26, 2014 |
Sounded promising but turned out to be hard going and obscure ( )
  eas | Jun 20, 2014 |
Sam was a computer engineer for an online dating site when he created a matchmaking algorithm so successful that he loses his job, since the online dating site requires monthly fees and instant succesful matches don't make the company money. So although Sam was abruptly terminated, he came away with his own perfect match, Merideth. Unfortunately, Meredith loses her beloved aunt Livvy, soon after they begin dating. In order to bring her some consolation, Sam develops an algorithm that combines all of Livvy's past online communication with Merideth to generate a computerized Livvy, able to communiate with Meredith in the present. Meredith is at first horrified, then skeptical, and then elated with computer-generated Livvy, who is so flawless that it is hard to believe she is dead. Which becomes part of the problem... or is it? Does this program postpone the natural grieving process or help the one left behind to deal with grief in a more compassionate way? Sam, Meredith and Meredith's cousin are so excited about the possibilities that they launch a new company to bring this connection to familes who have recently loss loved ones (who had adequate stores of online activity). The company is immediately successful, but as it takes off, unexpected social consequences emerge.

This novel is a brilliant, fun, and fascinating exploration into the possibilities for virtual relationships that transcend death. It also became increasingly sad as the book went on, so much so that I was surprised by my own feelings of grief and loss at the end. This would be a fascinating book club book to discuss the ethics of futuristic technologies, the consequences of which cannot always be predicted. While I loved this book, it was profoundly sad and may not be for everyone due to this aspect. ( )
  voracious | Jan 23, 2014 |
I'm not sure how to write a review for this without revealing the entire novel. I loved this book. It's funny and moving and poignant and almost lyrical. I read this having only read the blurb. I didn't read any reviews. I didn't try to find a summary of the novel. This, I think, made the book almost magical for me. The whole story was a surprise. ( )
  lesmel | Sep 29, 2013 |
This book is fabulous! The topic is dark, but the humour and amazingly original (original to me anyway) story made it enjoyable. Thought-provoking on issues of social media. Dialogue is funny and very smart. I tried not to finish too soon I enjoyed it so much. Love all the characters.
  deadgirl | Jul 5, 2013 |
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Book description
Sometimes the end is just the beginning . . .

Sam Elliot works for an internet dating company, but he still can't get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.

When Meredith's grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence—email, Facebook, Skype, texts—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It's not supernatural, it's computer science.

Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can't let go.

In the meantime, Sam and Meredith's affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can't live without. But what if one of them suddenly had to? This entertaining novel, delivers a charming and bittersweet romance as well as a lump in the throat exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life (both real and computer simulated). Maybe nothing was meant to last forever, but then again, sometimes love takes on a life of its own.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385536186, Hardcover)

In the spirit of ONE DAY, comes a fresh and warmhearted love story for the 21st century. Sometimes the end is just the beginning . . .

Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can't get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.

When Meredith's grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence—email, Facebook, Skype, texts—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It's not supernatural, it's computer science.

Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can't let go.

In the meantime, Sam and Meredith's affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can't live without. But what if one of them suddenly had to? This entertaining novel, delivers a charming and bittersweet romance as well as a lump in the throat exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life (both real and computer simulated). Maybe nothing was meant to last forever, but then again, sometimes love takes on a life of its own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Creating an algorithm to improve his internet dating employer's match success rate only to be fired for being too effective, Sam Elliot develops a computer program that creates compelling human simulations that allow people to say final goodbyes to lost loved ones.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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