If I could remember who recommended this book to me I'd sock them in the eye - or more likely write them a nasty email.
But to be fair - had I been looking for a reference source for cliches this would have been a great find. And Johathan Tropper did write convincingly in the voice of a high school boy - but anyone who's read the fiction writing of high school students might question if that is a good thing.
And the whole meta-thing was set at full volume: a writer writing about a writer who was remembering what he wrote while writing a new book? Young aspiring writers of America hear my plea: Stop Writing About Writing.
Business Physicist and Astronomer
First, I did enjoy this story of a man's journey back in time. I've made my own though after longer than this writer's 17 years. I had some similar experiences and very similar feelings. So, I'd say the writing is genuine.
The story is a little fumbled and the characters somewhat shallow and very predictable. Not all the idiots from high school remain idiots and some of the "good ones" become idiots. The author misses this and all his characters are simply magnifications of their high school personae. It would have been interesting to have a character really surprise. I won't speculate here because I don't want to taint your read.
There's a bit to bit to be learned from this book. And, the writing is touching and entertaining for the most part. I'm not a fan of Scott Brick's cadence of speech. Sometimes it's great---when characters interact---sometimes too droll during long frames of narration. But that's a taste thing.
Overall, yes, spend a credit.
Retired biopharma banker and exec. Now photographer/writer
This is a classic, and Scott Brick is brilliant. This book kept me happy all the way to Nashville and back...drama, pathos, humor....it has it all.
From someone who rarely publishes reviews.
It took a bit of time to get into it, but once in, I couldn't wait to continue. Tropper uses such beautiful language, and the narration made it sound even better.
It's entertaining, touching, and funny. Parts of the plot are somewhat predictable, but there are also a lot of little twists and surprises. The beginning was a little slow, and I wasn't sure I was going to connect with any of the characters. However, once I was hooked, I grew to love them and the weird little town called Bush Falls.
This book was mildly entertaining but it didn't hold my interest. I stopped listening about 3/4 of the way through.
I could not even finish the ending of this book. It felt so slow and never gave me a feeling of wanting to continue. There was nothing that drew me into the characters. It just felt like a long drawn out story that tied back to just about nothing. This could possibly be the worst (listen) I have ever tried. Sometimes it is not worth switching from my usual list of authors and this is most definitely one of those times.
I thought this book was very interesting. Loved the characters and the storyline. An easy listen. Couldn't help but notice the resemblence to ABC's "October Road."
If you like stories about sex, violence, cars and sports, this book is for you. While the writing is clever, witty, and flows seamlessly, there seems to be no spiritual center and the narrative seems thin and shallow. Although the main character does seem somewhat aware of his unhappy egocentricity, the book consists primarily of guy stuff and the female characters are lacking in definition except as sexual commodities. I have nothing against this type of book per se, as "The Memory of Running" and "Dry" both fill the male-focused coming of age novel with depth and dimension and are a pleasure to read but to this reviewer "The Book of Joe" is just another comic book. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.