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What's Wrong With Dorfman?


What's Wrong With Dorfman?

Somewhere along with spring came this weird eMail message: "just
curious --- did anybody happen to notice the ad for WHAT'S WRONG
WITH DORFMAN? in Sunday's New York Times Literary Section?"
and it was signed John Blumenthal. Who the heck was John
Blumenthal, and what's a Dorfman? What on earth could this book
possibly be about?

Curiosity got the best of me, and I did some checking around.
Calling Barnes & Noble, I had them look into the listing of
books for author John Blumenthal. Soon, I had a list of several
books, including the novel WHAT'S WRONG WITH DORFMAN?. My most
disappointing news was that they didn't have it in the store yet
and had to order it. In the meantime, I turned to my library to see
what else they had on Blumenthal. Yes, they had several books of
his, and so, while I was waiting for my copy of WHAT'S WRONG WITH
DORFMAN?, I read the two books that were available. They were some
of the funniest books I've read in years. Now, I absolutely had to

Finally! The day arrived when I got my very own copy of
WHAT'S WRONG WITH DORFMAN?. I took one look at the cover, a picture
of a bunch of men dressed in Shakespearean clothes observing what
appeared to be a corpse. Instantly, I had visions of something
long, boring and difficult to read. How could Blumenthal, who wrote
such funny books, put out something that looks so dated, dreary,
and dry? Sitting down to do some heavy reading I thought to myself,
"I'll manage to muddle through this book somehow."

However, once I started reading this novel, I simply could not put
it down. I was so interested in finally finding out what was
wrong with Dorfman that I did nothing but read for a couple of
days, and Blumenthal certainly did not disappoint me.

About WHAT'S WRONG WITH DORFMAN? I can say that John
Blumenthal has again written one of the funniest books that I have
read in a long, long time. I had no trouble identifying with
Dorfman, the Hollywood screenwriter who just entered middle age
having vague symptoms of something's-not-right. Not feeling quite
wide eyed and bushy tailed, Dorfman goes to the doctor and has
every conceivable test, all of which come back negative. When he
fails to get answers from the medical field, he tries the route of
the herbalists and their concoctions, where sometimes the treatment
is worse than the cure. One of my favorite little episodes takes
place in the doctor's office where Dorfman meets his companion in
misery, Delilah Foster.

If it hadn't been for that weird message from John Blumenthal, I
really would have missed out on a great book and a lot of laughter!
Frankly, I enjoyed this book so much that I'm recommending it to
every one I know, because laughter makes the world go around just a
little bit better.

Reviewed by S. H. Seppo on January 24, 2011

What's Wrong With Dorfman?
by John Blumenthal

  • Publication Date: May 20, 2000
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Farmer Street Press
  • ISBN-10: 0967944406
  • ISBN-13: 9780967944401