Much Ado About Loving (Paperback)

What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals

By Jack Murnighan, Maura Kelly

Free Press, 9781451621259, 224pp.

Publication Date: January 8, 2013

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (1/3/2012)

List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


“A treat for any book lover, happily mated or cheerfully single” (USA TODAY)—two popular journalists give hilarious relationship advice borrowed from the most famous characters in literature.

Finding love should be easier than ever before, given all the freedoms we enjoy. But as it turns out, the more options we have, the more difficult attaining romantic bliss becomes. We wonder: Should we put all our energy into online dating, or hang out in bars to find someone new? Should we settle for a friendship-with-benefits, or refuse to stop looking until we happen upon true love? And if we do manage to achieve the impossible and find a perfect match—soul mate, sexual dynamo, and best buddy all in one—how can we beat the relationship doldrums when they come, as they’re bound to in this hyperactive society?

In our quest to reach romantic nirvana, we turn to self-help manuals, magazines, talk shows, friends, relatives, and shrinks. But we’ve overlooked the true font of wisdom: the timeless stories written by great novelists. That’s where Much Ado About Loving comes in. In its pages, two book lovers who are also advice columnists—Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan—relay the lessons in life and love that they’ve learned from reading more classic novels than your English teacher, while having far more romantic conundrums than all of Jane Austen’s characters combined. They’ve done the heavy reading—and the recovering from heartbreak—for you.

Now all you need is this book.

About the Author

Jack Murnighan has a Ph.D. in medieval and renaissance literature from Duke University. His book, Beowulf on the Beach helped tens of thousands of readers rediscover their love of the classics. His two previous books, The Naughty Bits and Classic Nasty, were critically acclaimed tours of sexuality in the history of literature. He lives in New York City.

Maura Kelly has been a staff writer for Glamour, a daily dating blogger for Marie Claire, and a relationships columnist for amNew York. Her work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, More, The Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone. She received her BA in psychology from Dartmouth College and her MFA in creative writing. She lives in New York City.

Praise For Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals

"As I've been told on more than one occasion, my expectation that a courtship will mimic a Victorian novel's plot might lean toward the unrealistic. But when seeking advice to bolster [my] love life...I shy away from current romantic self-help books... Enter Much Ado About Loving, in which dating blogger Maura Kelly and sex columnist Jack Murnigan comb classic literature for love lessons." --Elle

"A treat for any book lover, happily mated or cheerfully single." --USA Today

"A clever, amusing hybrid of lit crit and relationship advice." --Publisher's Weekly

"Like a Cliff Notes for the lovelorn, as told by two authors who've 'been there.' Much Ado is as sage as it is funny. " --Lucinda Rosenfeld, "Friend or Foe" columnist at Slate and author of the novels, I'm So Happy for You and The Pretty One

"I’ll take my advice from Toni Morrison over Suzanne Somers any day, even if it doesn’t come in bullet-point format, with a weight-loss chart. Wisdom rarely does. [Much Ado About Loving] is a clever mash-up of dating advice and literary discussion, with the authors alternating chapters and subjects...That’s probably the first time Virgil has been used for romantic advice, at least in this century - and that alone is an achievement. " --The New York Daily News

"I find reading novels to be more entertaining than reading advice columns, so why not combine the two? Dear Jane instead of Dear Abby." --Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

"In Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-So-Great Gatsbys and Love in the Time of Internet Personals, authors Kelly and Murnighan demonstrate that most literary classics contain great lessons about romance that are still relevant today... The authors take a magnifying glass to some of literature’s great and not-so-great hookups, injecting some of their own dating triumphs and faux pas, both relatable and comical." --The New Jersey Monthly

" Much Ado About Loving… plumb[s] great literature for relationship advice."

New York Times Book Review