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Publisher's Summary

Single, Carefree, Mellow is that rare and wonderful thing: a debut that is superbly accomplished, endlessly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Maya is in love with both her boyfriend and her boss. Sadie's lover calls her as he drives to meet his wife at marriage counseling. Gwen pines for her roommate, a man who will hold her hand but then tells her that her palm is sweaty. And Sasha agrees to have a drink with her married lover's wife and then immediately regrets it. These are the women of Single, Carefree, Mellow, and in these 11 sublime stories they are grappling with unwelcome houseguests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and all manner of love, secrets, and betrayal.

In "Cranberry Relish" Josie's ex - a man she met on Facebook - has a new girlfriend he found on Twitter. In "Blue Heron Bridge" Nina is more worried that the Presbyterian minister living in her garage will hear her kids swearing than about his finding out that she's sleeping with her running partner. And in "The Rhett Butlers" a teenager loses her virginity to her history teacher and then outgrows him.

In snappy, glittering prose that is both utterly hilarious and achingly poignant, Katherine Heiny chronicles the ways in which we are unfaithful to each other, both willfully and unwittingly. Maya, who appears in the title story and again in various states of love, forms the spine of this linked collection, and shows us through her moments of pleasure, loss, deceit, and kindness just how fickle the human heart can be.

©2015 Katherine Heiny (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Katherine Heiny's first collection, Single, Carefree, Mellow, is a tour de force about love, deception, friendship, and flirtation. Several stories feature smart, sexy Maya, who in the title story becomes love-struck by her dog’s veterinarian. ( Elle)
"The buzziest book of 2015 would have to be Single, Carefree, Mellow, a saucy short-story collection that took Katherine Heiny more than 22 years to write... This whip-smart collection about women wrapped up in all kinds of love affairs will have you laughing out loud.” (Most Anticipated Books of 2015, Entertainment Weekly)
"Katherine Heiny's work does something magical: elevates the mundane so that it has the stakes of a mystery novel, gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve - and makes you laugh along the way." (Lena Dunham)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Sickened

This is simply my opinion. The book made it seem like everyone in the world has affairs and it is completely fine and will not affect marriage in the slightest. The stories made me sick to my stomach due to all the lies and deceit and selfishness.

The writing in itself was good as well as the readers. I just hated the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Glad I'm not these women

A well narrated book of sad women. I couldn't even finish this book. Instead of being laugh out loud funny it was mostly just depressing. Little snippets of life of selfish un-empowered women mostly being miserable or making someone else miserable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A woman who hates women

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Waste of time. The author must hate being a woman. Makes all the women in these stories either mean, hateful, stupid, petty, or self absorbed with one thought on their minds sex.

Has Single, Carefree, Mellow turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes. Yuck!

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Spoke too slowly with overly long pauses.

Do you think Single, Carefree, Mellow needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Woman are not that horrible of creatures.

Any additional comments?

Mean and spiteful book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Short Story Collection

Interesting characters, insightful & emotional stories, excellent narrators. What's not to like? I enjoyed these stories immensely.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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In love

I love this book. It’s such a great read. Everyone can relate to someone in these short stories ♥️ The narrators are amazing and you’re never bored when listening to these stories.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Who read which stories?

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The stories reminded me of John Updike's writing. The book was just OK for me. I find as I get older, it's harder to find books I can relate to. This would have been relatable to my 30 year-old self. Now I am 53. I actually found this because I was seeking more books narrated by Emily Rankin...she's very good. But, there is another narrator on her - who I want to avoid. I think it's Julia Whelan.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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What was Oprah thinking

I ordered this book because it was in the Oprah magazine. Thinking it would show some life lessons, not condone them. This book had me thoroughly depressed and wondering what has happened to our morality. I kept looking for the redemption at the end but I guess it just made me have more questions about my own failed relationship. We are not doomed to just get by with what we have, we are all entitled to be happy and HONEST in our life's quest. If you want to understand how low our personal standards can be, then I guess you could read this book. BUT if you are looking for uplifting, positive reading STAY AWAY

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Impressive Debut

I am not a short story collection fan. Short stories and Novellas require the most precise editing and have to be master written, in order to become memorable.
I gave this collection a chance, as it turned out to be a pleasent introduction to a new voice.
The collection buildup from one story to another, reminded me a bit of Alice Munro's "Runaway", but Katherine Heiny's voice is unique.

Some of the stories were disturbing - looking into the superficial focus in day to day life details, while missing any content or purpose. those stories criticized and showed empathy at the same time.

The trilogy novella - starting with "Single, Carefree, Mellow" - was touching and funny at times.

The Rhet Buttlers - started as amuzing but turned out to be deeply distressing.

The narration was flawless.