The Woman Who Wouldn't

The Woman Who Wouldn t The beloved actor and screenwriter s second novel set in stars a young concert violinist named Jeremy Webb who one day goes from accomplished adagios with the Cleveland Orchestra to having a c

  • Title: The Woman Who Wouldn't
  • Author: Gene Wilder
  • ISBN: 9780312375782
  • Page: 299
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The beloved actor and screenwriter s second novel, set in 1903, stars a young concert violinist named Jeremy Webb, who one day goes from accomplished adagios with the Cleveland Orchestra to having a complete breakdown on stage If he hadn t poured a glass of water down the throat of a tuba, maybe he wouldn t have been sent to a health resort in Badenweiler, GermanyThe beloved actor and screenwriter s second novel, set in 1903, stars a young concert violinist named Jeremy Webb, who one day goes from accomplished adagios with the Cleveland Orchestra to having a complete breakdown on stage If he hadn t poured a glass of water down the throat of a tuba, maybe he wouldn t have been sent to a health resort in Badenweiler, Germany But it s in that serene place that Jeremy meets Clara Mulpas, whom he tries his hardest to seduce Clara is so beautiful that Jeremy finds it impossible to keep from trying to find a chink in her extraordinary reserve and elegance He finds himself reflexively flirting to get a reaction after all, a tease and a wink have always worked before, with women back home But flirting probably isn t the best way to appeal to a woman who was married to a dumb brute and doesn t want to have anything to do with men Jeremy isn t sure how to press his case but he won t give up Wilder s prose is elegant, spare and affecting But it s his romantic s eye for the intense emotions that animate a real love story that makes The Woman Who Wouldn t an unforgettable book.

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    About “Gene Wilder

    • Gene Wilder

      Gene Wilder was an American Emmy Award winning and twice Academy Award nominated stage and screen comic actor, screenwriter, film director, and author.Wilder began his career on stage, making his screen debut in the film Bonnie and Clyde in 1967 His first major role was as Leo Bloom in the 1968 film, The Producers This was the first in a series of prolific collaborations with writer director Mel Brooks, including 1974 s Young Frankenstein, the script of which garnered the pair an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay Wilder was known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka on Willy Wonka the Chocolate Factory 1971 and for his four films with Richard Pryor Silver Streak 1976 , Stir Crazy 1980 , See No Evil, Hear No Evil 1989 , and Another You 1991 Wilder directed and wrote several of his films, including The Woman in Red 1984.His marriage to actress Gilda Radner, who died from ovarian cancer, led to his active involvement in promoting cancer awareness and treatment, helping found the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles and co founding Gilda s Club.In recent years, Wilder turned his attention to writing, producing a memoir in 2005, Kiss Me Like A Stranger My Search for Love and Art, and the novels My French Whore 2007 and The Woman Who Wouldn t 2008.

    606 thoughts on “The Woman Who Wouldn't

    • When I picked it up, this was NOT the story I expected to read. I am VERY surprised that none of the reviews I read so far mentioned Gilda Radner, but then I didn't read ALL of the reviews, and mybe folks just don't know the story. I mention her here because THIS story is exactly what I think he would have wanted to happen with her, and flies in the face of what DID happen. The book carries REAL emotion about life, love and loss, and gives a good deal of insight into a very tragic time in one ma [...]

    • A review in two parts Highly biased and subjective reviewI love you Gene Wilder, I Love You, you brilliant wonderful man! Slightly more objective reviewJeremy Web, a pseudo stand-in for Wilder, is a famous concert violinist from America who totally loses it during one of his performances and is shipped off to Germany where he stays in a spa/hotel type of recuperation facility. There, under the guidance of a doctor, he tries to find the root of his temporary insanity. At this facility he meets An [...]

    • I listened to this short story in audio format and was pleased to find that it was narrated by the author himself. Although I really enjoyed the story itself, I couldn’t imagine it being told by anyone other than Gene Wilder. Other reviewers have mentioned comparisons to this story and his real life experience with wife Gilda Radner’s death from ovarian cancer in 1989. Unfortunately reality has a very different ending than fiction.Jeremy was an interesting character, who I would describe as [...]

    • Another slim, hyper-romantic novella from Gene Wilder, it's a wistful reverie about broken people who make each other whole again. In his depiction of a couple in love dealing with the woman's critical illness, I couldn't help imagining that Wilder taking ownership of his experience with Gilda Radner, setting it in a more romantic time and place and revising certain crucial details. It reads like a happy daydream, but not a particularly engrossing one. I enjoyed Wilder's earlier My French Whore [...]

    • This book is short and sweet, a light read that would be a nice break for readers who have just finished a tome and need a snack before diving into their next lengthy read. It's bittersweet (unavoidable connections to Gilda Radner here) and sentimental, possibly predictable, but overall I found it enjoyable.

    • Added 10/25 11.I read this book in June 2015. A very enjoyable storyOM THE BOOK JACKET:"A supple, unpretentious writer."---The Palm Beach Post"A sweet, adult fable." ---Kirkus Reviews

    • Gene Wilder's short novel (176 pages) The Woman Who Wouldn't is an amusing and tender tale about a musician who has a break down during a concert and subsequently goes to a sanatorium in Badenweiler, Germany. The story takes place in 1903, includes visits with Anton Chekhov who is there dying of consumption.Without writing any spoilers, I can only say that the book has a lovely sentimental touch. Some may indeed find it ultimately too sweet, but it pleased me and made me cry. Interestingly enoug [...]

    • I said of My French Whore that it was a "silly, sappy, love story. But Wilder infuses it with enough wit and heart that it is enjoyable regardless." That can be said of this work as well. Kirkus calls it a "A sweet, adult fable." Wilder has a certain minimalist style; a straightforwardness that matches the brevity of his stories. But there is also a sense of humor; what PW calls "whimsically romantic." This second novel has a happier ending but it still has the poignancy and the sense of the pow [...]

    • The only bad thing that I can be say about this short novel is that it's a bit too touching, a bit too sweet, a bit too poignant and a bit too optimistic about the human condition. But that isn't so bad now is it? Reading it is a bit like being around the couple in your life/circle of friends who are perpetually in love/affectionate/sweet to each other. If those people piss you off, this is not the book for you. If you hang out with them and feel a bit hopeful and romantic and uplifted, then I t [...]

    • In honesty I'd give this 2 1/2 stars. I love Gene Wilder, so I was willing to give it a try. I read it in one sitting, in little over an hour, and I don't want that hour back. The story was interesting, but the characters were ultimately hollow. I knew nothing real about them, and I didn't care what happened to them!

    • Reading one Wilder book was enough, as this story was very similar to "My French Whore." I practically could have predicted what was going to happen based on how the other book turned out. Worth a glance to read the totally lame sex scene - even worse was that I listened to Gene Wilder read it!

    • Sweet, tendera short, light read. I listened to the book, start to finish, during a two plus hour car ride. It was a great companion, with the added bonus of it being narrated by Wilder himself. I enjoyed it. Knowing the pain Wilder must have endured losing his wife in real life, the story had a deeper meaning. I imagine writing this helped him heal, which made me more fond of the book.

    • Could Gene have ever done anything poorly? Certainly not. This lovely story grips at every stage. Love, self-discovery, fear, losses, gains, and no miracles ("unless they happen to me"). I loved this story and closed the book with a tear-streaked grin.

    • I agree with a few of the commentators that I think Wilder had Gilda in mind when he wrote this. The musical and literary references are vast and show a deep passion. The story is as unique as it is simple.

    • I'm grossly biased reviewing this book. I loved Gene Wilder. His autobiography was the first autobiography I ever finished and opened me to that entire genre and the beauty of life stories, but also of the underlying messages people would tell about themselves. His was honest, but I've read very dishonest ones - the ideas they want portrayed are as fascinating as the real stories themselves. But back to Wilder - I grew up with him as a role model. He was kind, gentle and always very smart. He wa [...]

    • We all know Gene Wilder is a gifted comic actor, but it turns out he's a pretty darn good writer of well, OK, it's kinda sappy fiction, but it's it's very sweet and rewarding. This is an extra short novel I basically read it in a couple of hours, and I'm a pretty ploddingly slow reader. It's the story of concert violinist Jeremy Spencer Webb, who is sent to a "health resort" in the Black Forest of Germany after losing it on stage, tearing up a fellow violinist's sheet music, pounding on the keys [...]

    • My friend Liz gave me a few books from her own library tied in a lovely ribbon as a graduation gift last week. One of them was this little gem. And yes it is by that Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka Gene Wilder.This was a short, 167 pages, sweet little book. I read it in one day and was charmed from page one. Jeremy Webb, professional violinist, has a break down on stage and gives a drink to a tuba. It lands him the German health resort of Dr. Gross. While there Jeremy, notorious flirt, finds a gift he [...]

    • I think I would have given this book two stars if it weren't written by Gene Wilder. It's kind of a cute story and may have slightly influenced an indoor Valentine's Day picnic this weekend for my sweetie and me.

    • Short and good reading. A warm story to pick up and read when having a day to yourself. A professional musician thinks he may be going mad after a couple of bizarre incidents he performs during a concert. He is sent abroad to an elite spa where he is expected to find out what is wrong with him and recover. During his time there, he meets this amazing woman and together they walk the path of healing both of their ailments with the old fashion medicine of courage, discovery, passion, and love. The [...]

    • This book happens to be the first book I've ever read by Gene Wilder, who I absolutely love as an actor. However, as a writer, I don't think writing is quite his forte. It did have some tender, tragic moments, and I think that somewhere underneath the storyline, Wilder was trying to impart some of his own strong emotions and perhaps a basic message of hope and love. Otherwise, while I do not think the book was bad, exactly, it certainly wasn't what I was expecting from a wonderful comedian such [...]

    • I never knew that Gene Wilder was an author! I wanted to see what a man who played the unforgettable Willy Wonka could come up with. I wasn't disappointed. This short novel was exactly what I would imagine a love story by Gene Wilder would be. Jeremy Webb is a concert violinist in 1903. He has a nervous breakdown during a concert by pounding his fist on only the black keys of a piano and giving a tuba a drink of water. He is wrestled out of the concert hall by security guards and sent to a psych [...]

    • A sweet romance novella with a slightly melancholic yet hopeful tone. The story, set in 1903, concerns Jeremy, a concert violinist who finds himself acting out during orchestra concerts, and Clara, a young woman abandoned by her husband after he discovers she has stomach cancer and is unable to have children. They meet in a health resort in Badenweiler, Germany, where they slowly warm up to each other and fall in love. Interestingly, Anton Chekhov appears as a character, Badenweiler was the same [...]

    • I like the walk the stacks at my library just to see what jumps out at me. On one of my recent walks I spotted The Woman Who Wouldn't by Gene Wilder. I stopped mid step, thinking, Gene Wilder writes books? I opened the cover to read the back flap and sure enough there was Gene Wilder, actor and author.The Woman Who Wouldn't is a novella about an unlikely romance at a sanitarium at the turn of the last century. A concert violinist goes to Germany to recover from a nervous breakdown. While there h [...]

    • I guess when you're a famous actor you get to be published even if the book is slightly better than reading a comic book. Wilder maybe meant his book to be wholly anachronistic, but I suspect he simply is too famous to be edited properly. His story takes place in 1903 and is laden with objects and language that smacks of the 21st century. Sports jackets. Medical procedures as advanced as in our own time. Really. Do your homework if you want to write an historical novel. Perhaps I missed the poin [...]

    • Would you like to? No, I would not. How would you feel if the woman you were flirting with always said, “No she would not?” When Jeremy Webb meets Clara Mulpas at a health resort in Badenweiler, Germany, that is what she says to him. Whatever it is he asks her, the same response. How they are ever supposed to get to know each other at this rate? They are both at the health resort for different reasons. Jeremy had a nervous breakdown and fed a tuba a glass of water. Why does everyone keep ask [...]

    • Concert violinist Jeremy Spencer Webb has a nervous breakdown on stage during a performance. He tears apart the first violinist’s music sheets, pours water down a tuba and punches the piano like a maniac before sitting on the stage crying. He was sent to a health resort in Badenweiler, Germany in the Black Forest to recover. There he meets a 'cute Belgie' Clara Mulpas whom he tries to seduce but she proves to be THE WOMAN WHO WOULDN? The story is about their relationship and Jeremy trying to f [...]

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