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Come with Me A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice A New York Post Best Book of the WeekRecommended by Vogue The San Francisco Chronicle The Skimm The BBC Southern Living Pure Wow Hey Alma Esuire EW Refinery 29 Bust and Read It or Weep“Mind blowingly brilliant Provocative profound and yes a little unsettling Come With Me is about how technology breaks apart and then reconfigures a family and though it has hints of sci fi it’s so beautifully grounded in reality that it seems to breathe Although it takes place over just three days what’s so fascinating is that so many lives and many possibilities are lived through it Truly it’s a novel like its own multiverse”   — San Francisco ChronicleFrom Helen Schulman the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller This Beautiful Life comes another gripping potent and blisteringly well written story of family dilemma and conseuence Elizabeth Gilbert—a mind bending novel set in Silicon Valley that challenges our modern constructs of attachment and love purpose and fateWhat do you want to knowAmy Reed works part time as a PR person for a tech start up run by her college roommate’s nineteen year old son in Palo Alto California Donny is a baby genius a junior at Stanford in his spare time His play for fortune is an algorithm that may allow people access to their multiverses—all the planes on which their alternative life choices can be played out simultaneously—to see how the decisions they’ve made have shaped their livesDonny wants Amy to be his guinea pig And even as she uestions Donny’s theories and motives Amy finds herself unable to resist the lure of the roads not taken Who would she be if she had made different choices loved different people Where would she be nowAmy’s husband Dan—an unemployed perhaps unemployable print journalist—accepts a dare of his own accompanying a seductive award winning photographer named Maryam on a trip to Fukushima the Japanese city devastated by tsunami and meltdown Collaborating with Maryam Dan feels a renewed sense of excitement and possibility he hasn’t felt with his wife in a long time But when crisis hits at home the extent of Dan’s betrayal is exposed and as Amy contemplates alternative lives the couple must confront whether the distances between them in the here and now are irreconcilableTaking place over three non consecutive but vitally important days for Amy Dan and their three sons Come with Me is searing entertaining and unexpected—a dark comedy that is ultimately both a deeply romantic love story and a vivid tapestry of modern life

  • ebook
  • 320 pages
  • Come with Me
  • Helen Schulman
  • 09 August 2014
  • 9780062459152

About the Author: Helen Schulman

Helen Schulman writes fiction nonfiction and screenplays She is a professor of writing and fiction chair in the MFA program at The New School She lives in New York City with her family

10 thoughts on “Come with Me

  1. Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows) Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows) says:

    This book was entirely not what I expected it to be Based on the synopsis I expected in the way of multiverses and the experiences Amy would have as a guinea pig to Donny in his experiment This has been a subject that has always fascinated me How many different lives could you be living what if you had made different decisions what would your life be like now? While this book did touch on that I felt it was not the focus at all during my read which was disappointingThere are a lot of characters to keep track of in this book and they're all interspersed with each other in one form or another I kept getting confused as to who belonged to whom and who was whose mother etc At times the story line changed from one character to another with no exact change over to let you know we were now looking through someone else's eyes Unfortunately I never connected to any of the characters I especially wasn't interested in Dan's story line and wanted to drop kick him into next week I'm not sure exactly what it was about him that just really got under my skin but he just did Then that ending for him UGHIt's interesting that this is classified under sci fi when it was such a minimal part of the book I would put this under domestic drama and it certainly doesn't fly in the dark comedy or deeply romantic love story that the synopsis leads you to believe in the last paragraph Maybe it was due to all this misleading that led me to not particularly care for this book Maybe it was the disconnection I felt to every character Or maybe it just wasn't a good fit for this reader No matter which way unfortunately this book just didn't jive with meThank you to Harper Books for this copy

  2. Jessica Woodbury Jessica Woodbury says:

    At first I was unsure what the balance in this book would be between domestic drama and surrealscience fiction trappings It turns out that it is 95% drama and 5% sci fi so if you don't read a lot of sci fi you have nothing to worry about And like the best sci fi that part of the plot is really just a chance to consider our characters in depth And while the startup Silicon Valley setting also plays an important role in the story it's not the focus either This should have all been just fine with me but while I was four stars for this book for much of the first half it ended up falling down to threeThe family at the center of the book is well drawn and the fact that the plot didn't really take off for a while didn't bother me at all I enjoyed spending time with them I enjoyed Amy's take on the world I enjoyed being in her head The last third of the book involves several crises culminating together which is a very real thing but also meant that most of what's been happening at the book gets sidelined while one particular thing gets worked out The point of view also changes often with many characters taking center stage only once meaning that many of their stories feel unfinishedUltimately I just wanted this to be than it is than just the same story of a marriage we've seen many times before I wanted the different points of view the idea of the multiverse invention the whole package to go up a level and take me somewhere I knew I was in a book by a skilled writer but it felt like a hodgepodge than a cohesive novelI also have to note that this book is another in a trend I've noticed in the past couple of years It contains a trans character that character is treated like a person the character is allowed to be worth loving and worth desiring but the way the character is written about especially with respect to the gender they were assigned at birth is problematic I am 99% sure the author knows this that it is the character whose point of view we are in who is ignorant on trans issues But so much of the world remains ignorant on trans issues and while this book may mean those audiences see trans people as valid there are also things they may take away that are callous and insensitive things you should never say or think with a trans person I do not know how to solve this dilemma since of course there will be characters who are ignorant on these issues but it's a problem nonetheless and I would caution readers who are sensitive on this topic to at least go in with proper expectations

  3. Julie Ehlers Julie Ehlers says:

    It was a cowardly move he knew but he was a cowardAs has already been established here on Goodreads I was a big fan of Schulman's novel PS but was underwhelmed by the recent This Beautiful Life Initially to my dismay Come with Me seemed to have a lot in common with the latter book Privileged white straight middle aged married couple; wife in a constant state of feeling put upon husband completely clueless in the emotional intelligence department teenage son depressingly pervy and self centered younger siblings in need of protection from the well meaning but oblivious adults around them Both novels also contain viewpoints than seems strictly necessary for such short 200 300 pp books I was so disappointed that I nearly DNF'd thisThen Schulman threw a curveball and suddenly I was riveted Obviously I won't tell you what it is and it might have been kind of a cheap trick in another writer's hands but in this case it made me realize what a good writer Schulman really is Somehow she had set the whole thing up so that by the time the shocking event happened I was invested without even knowing it An odd compliment I know but I cannot deny that after that I didn't want to do anything but read Come with Me and it ended up being a completely satisfying reading experienceThe book is bafflingly flawed In addition to all those viewpoints it tries to do too much—major world events and issues are incorporated; the lives and concerns of middle aged folks both married and divorced are dealt with in ways that seem to be trying to say something bigger; the culture of Silicon ValleyPalo Alto and really the entire internet itself not to mention the weird complicated topic of multiverses are all up for discussion But the sci fi element the book description promises isn't uite there and the people are pretty much all terrible It seems like the novel should barely hang together but for some reason for me it didSo yes Come with Me is ambitious and it also manages to be vivid and nimble and thought provoking and engaging It defied my expectations over and over again and when it comes to novels I can't think of much I admire than that

  4. Emily B Emily B says:

    Throughout reading this book I uestioned my enjoyment and wondered if I should continue reading I did however finish and felt that it was two star novel There seemed to be a lot of characters too many for each individuals story and to be told and mean something I felt the teen phone sex was weird and uncomfortable to read and did not add anything to the story The part involving Yoshi’s story was very familiar to me that I felt deja vu reading it Did anybody else feel this way? For me the ending was not satisfactory but I was glad that the book was finished

  5. Jennifer Tam Jennifer Tam says:

    A very very interesting book it was a bit tough to get into but once I did oh my gives me lots to think about for me and my sons and future generations

  6. Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books says:

    I’d prefer not to end a strong reading week on a negative note but have you ever read a book that feels like a case of false advertising? As in if you had paid for it you would have demanded a full refund? That’s how I feel about Come With Me Here’s the Goodreads synopsis Amy Reed works part time as a PR person for a tech start up run by her college roommate’s nineteen year old son in Palo Alto California Donny is a baby genius a junior at Stanford in his spare time His play for fortune is an algorithm that may allow people access to their “multiverses”—all the planes on which their alternative life choices can be played out simultaneously—to see how the decisions they’ve made have shaped their livesDonny wants Amy to be his guinea pig And even as she uestions Donny’s theories and motives Amy finds herself unable to resist the lure of the roads not taken Who would she be if she had made different choices loved different people? Where would she be now?Interesting right? Except there’s a subplot about Amy’s unemployed journalist husband and his decision to take off for Japan to interview the most radioactive human on the planet—which is just a cover to be alone with a beautiful transgender woman he thinks he’s in love with The husband’s plot plays out in tedious unimaginative detail while the entire premise of an app that allows you to explore the lives you didn’t live? That’s explored in two brief chapters where the developer who reads like a stereotypical techie man boy psychologically tortures Amy with an app that doesn’t work properlyI kept going with this book despite characters who were so off the charts in their self indulgent precious uniueness as to be violently annoying a teenager so in love with his girlfriend that they are on Skype 24 hours a day—he brings her to school on his phone and they set a place for her at the dinner table Up until the midpoint I thought there would be redemption—that something discovered from the app would bring profound meaning to Amy’s life Instead a painful and tragic incident appears out of nowhere—as if Schulman thinks it will redeem the book—and turns the last uarter of the novel into a theater of the absurd I finished Come With Me as a hate read which is unfortunate because Helen Schulman’s last novel This Beautiful Life was impactful and thought provoking

  7. Suzanne Suzanne says:

    The synopsis of this book described as exploring parallel lives in multiple universes sounded so exciting but the reality was much less I had to interrupt my reading for a few days and was shocked to realize that I had not retained any details about the story The characters and plot just did not engage me The sci fi aspect could just as easily be described as mildly hallucinatory experiences with pot in a sensory deprivation chamber But why bother? The tale is about an unhappy marriage and the wistfulness of a middle age wife mother woman and her choices in life But even at that level the tale is lacking I received my copy from the publisher through edelweiss

  8. Kimberley Kimberley says:

    This book tested my patience On the one hand I didn't enter into it with any expectations Unlike some I wasn't really sure how much the multiverse aspect would play into the story so I wasn't disappointed when it took a backseat to the marital discord of Amy and Dan However there was also a lot here that felt like too much information for the sake of filling pagesI didn't need a play by play of all the ways in which a marriage can fall to the wayside Nor was I interested in the far too codependent relationship of two horny teenagers with far too much time on their handsliterally There were plenty of interesting characters within the book but they were often relegated to the periphery in favor of a random encounter or some dinnertime shenanigan While both Kevin Jack's best friend and Amy's second son and Marilyn the trans woman eventually play a major role in the arc of the story neither was fleshed out enough for you to feel connected to them as characters If anything they felt like collateral in a story that feels about a man suffering through a midlife crises as his marriage falls apartI wanted to love this but it often felt like I was reading a rough draft of a story where the author was still letting it cometo her it often seemed to veer off the path completely before returning back to whatever its point was in the first place

  9. Danielle Danielle says:

    Like a lot of other reviews I want to emphasize that while this sounds science fictiony it's primarily based in real life There are some aspects involving technology that doesn't exist but the multiverse part of the book is much philosophical what if I did this instead instead of actually trying to reverse your lifeWhat made me realize that I really hated this book was how it centers itself around white people being shitty and not changing There's a lot that starts to build but everything hits when view spoilerthe older son's friend who is Chinese kills himself hide spoiler

  10. Simon Firth Simon Firth says:

    I guess I'm not the ideal reader of this utterly mediocre novel I live a couple of streets over from where its protagonists ostensibly live so I notice whenever Schulman gets her geography wrong My kids attend the schools it features so I understand how they don't really function as described I work in the two industries she writes about journalism and high tech which brings home the author's tenuous grip on the history and current realities of both And lastly I know the people who live here and that the last thing they'd want anyone to make of our community's painful experience with a teen suicide cluster would be a facile hook for a piece of fiction But that's what we get Worse a high achieving stressed out Asian kid is killed off as a mechanism for a middle aged white couple to face their banal relationship demons Cliche is piled upon cliche hurt upon hurt without acknowledgement that this is also racially freighted territory As an appendix make clear Schulman's is a book researched mostly through Google and informed by Wikipedia above all plus an occasional visit with relations who live near by It's spectacularly superficial and notices all the wrong things Just a tiny example No kid in Palo Alto would be surprised or grossed out by an Asian family serving Asian food at a funeral Every child here eats dim sum knows how to use chopsticks etc etc And if they don't that's the news not that the host family was somehow gauche in wanting to serve it Few of Come To Me's readers will live in the area it describes of course although I only picked it up because it's about my town So what if we forget that the streets schools and communities it name checks are real and see the novel's Palo Alto as emblematic of the wider hyper connected modern world? After all the opaue and frankly unbelievable virtual reality technology developed by a major character in the story himself a walking brilliant but immature slob nerd cliche offers its users a glimpse into alternate universes and all the ways in which their lives might have gone differently Sadly just as its protagonists fail to really grapple with the ramifications of what they're inventing the narrative makes disappointingly little of the futuristic technology or the counter narratives that it conjures The personal and societal events and inventions it posits both real and imagined are momentous there's a whole subplot about the Fukushima earthuake that is woefully underdeveloped in the context of the broader narrative But its characters' reactions to them are devoid of new or surprising insight Perhaps that's a deliberate comment on what little we make of our lives But it tells us nothing we didn't already know There's much about Palo Alto that is both typical and strange I can imagine a novel in which the particular ways in which we go about our lives in this part of the world are both illustrative and revelatory about how people live now But you won't find that in the version of our town that Schulman has chosen to describe

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