• 1992
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, eBook
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The Easy Way Out

Patrick O'Neil is a travel agent who never goes anywhere.

His closest confidante, Sharon, is chain-smoking her way to singles hell, passing up man after man. His parents, proprietors of a suburban men's store, can't agree how best to interfere in their sons' lives. And his lover, Arthur (a golden retriever of a guy to whom Patrick can't quite commit), wants to cement their relationship by buying a house.

Then a call comes in the middle of the night. Tony, Patrick's straight-as-an-arrow younger brother, has fallen in love with a beautiful lawyer who is turning him on to.opera. Unfortunately, she's not the woman he's already pledged to marry. Tony's life is a mess. Finally, the brothers have something in common.

Film adaptation

The Easy Way Out was adapted to film in France in 2015 as L'art de la Fugue, and was directed by Brice Cauvin, from a screenplay by Raphaëlle Desplechin. The film featured an ensemble cast of well-known French actors, including Laurent Lafitte, Agnès Jaoui, Benjamin Biolay, Nicolas Bedos, Marie-Christine Barrault, and Guy Marchand. Full details at IMDB.com.

Praise for The Easy Way Out

"This beautifully written, heartbreaking book is an eloquent depiction of the compromises lovers and families make to keep relationships alive. Clever, revealing, sharply drawn." Publishers Weekly

From the author

"I worked at a travel agency in Cambridge, MA, for about seven years. It's very detail oriented work, and I was always screwing up. (I once got an angry call from a customer I'd sent to San Diego instead of San Francisco, although I've never understood how or why he actually got on the plane.) Like the character in this novel, I sometimes found myself trying to talk people out of going away. But a friend got me the job, I had no other marketable skills, and the airlines gave agents a 75-percent discount on tickets. So I stayed.

"I was still working there when Object of My Affection was published. The book was getting decent reviews, but I had no money. About six months later, 20th Century Fox bought an option on the novel, and I gave notice. I missed the job almost immediately. Or at least I missed the camaraderie of being one of a group of people with similar things to complain about all day. I started writing this book as a way of thinking myself out of the isolation of my study and back into a job I'd been hoping to leave for years.

"The Easy Way Out is dedicated to Luppus, a dog. His owners were very important to me, and I planned to dedicate the book to them. But they'd broken up by the time I finished it, and it didn't seem right to link their names in print."