Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2014
Amy Gallup is an aging novelist and writing instructor living in Escondido, California, with her dog, Alphonse. Since recent unsettling events, she has made some progress. While she still has writer's block, she doesn't suffer from it. She's still a hermit, but she has allowed some of her class members into her life. She is no longer numb, angry, and sardonic: she is merely numb and bemused, which is as close to happy as she plans to get. Amy is calm.
So, when on New Year's morning she shuffles out to her backyard garden to plant a Norfolk pine, she is wholly unprepared for what happens next. Amy falls down. A simple accident, as a result of which something happens, and then something else, and then a number of different things, all as unpredictable as an eight-ball break. At first the changes are small, but as these small events carom off one another, Amy's life changes in ways that range from ridiculous to frightening to profound. This most reluctant of adventurers is dragged and propelled by train, plane, and automobile through an outlandish series of antic media events on her way to becoming - to her horror - a kind of celebrity. And along the way, as the numbness begins to wear off, she comes up against something she has avoided all her life: her future, that "sleeping monster, not to be poked."
Amy Falls Down explores, through the experience of one character, the role that accident plays in all our lives. "You turn a corner and beasts break into arias, gunfire erupts, waking a hundred families, starting a hundred different conversations. You crack your head open and three thousand miles away a stranger with Asperger’s jump-starts your career." We are all like Amy. We are all wholly unprepared for what happens next. Also, there’s a basset hound.
©2013 Jincy Willett (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
The author has a superb tone and style--wonderful command of language. Intelligent but also very accessible. The story steps outside of the same old plot-driven grinders--not that I don't like the old plot driven grinders. I do. But, if you are looking for something refreshing, honest and generous, this will do the trick.
This is not "chick lit." I'm sure this is a derogatory term... I'll rephrase: this is not a story of a twenty something girl living in Manhattan torn between a pair of lovers and a pair of shoes--nothing like that. I'm a man. I enjoyed this story. It's big on guts and skill.
The narrator does a great job matching the humor and tone.
I am a 67 yo disabled Vet who lives in N. Texas. I was a medic in the Army during the Viet Nam war, got an MS in ecology and just retired.
This is not normally my cup of tea. I'm sort of a military fiction/science-fiction/thriller/mystery kind of guy. I like a lot of action in my books and I don't like a lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo or romance or sex. Philosophy? OK. I can handle some of that, and there is plenty of philosophy found in this work. It's dished out in un-subtle slaps to the mug too, though not unkindly.
Plus, it's a very funny book, sort of in a "Stephanie Plum" funny way. However the protagonist, Amy, isn't young and fit and beautiful. She's in her 60s and sort of dumpy; and very anti-social, especially at the start of the book. When we meet her she has a basset hound and a couple of friends and teaches writing on-line and has a very messy house which she rarely leaves and which is filled with books she hasn't read.
In chapter one, she falls down. She's hit on the head and suffers a mild concussion.
What happens from there... Well, listen to the book. You'll enjoy it. I did, and I was surprised. Honestly I never would have bought this book but it was one of those books recommended by the narrators.
And, speaking of the narrator, Amy McFadden did a wonderful job on this book, catching the character's voices just right; hitting the proper ironic notes and also deadpanning the slapstick in the funniest ways. I laughed out loud while in inappropriate places, such as the grocery store, the pet store, the gas pump and one or two other public places I can't think of right now.
For me, this book was sort of like falling down and being hit on the head and suffering a mild concussion, metaphorically, and... I suppose... philosophically speaking.
This book is laugh out loud funny, I recommend it highly.
A comedy, A life study, A culture study, A yummy study of words, phrases and life in a delightful humorous and very sarcastic tale of an aging writer/author. Amy McFadden did an excellent job with the voices and pace, I especially loved her voice for Maxine!! I loved this book!
Good, expressive, clear
Too many to list.
While this book was humorous in places, I was mostly bored. When I start "dreading" to listen to a book, instead of "can't wait to get back to it," then I know it's not for me. I didn't finish it.
The reviews about this book led me to believe it was funny and enjoyable. It was very difficult to connect with the characters, to follow the narrator and to follow the story line. 5 chapters in and I'm calling it a day and returning this book.
Anything Fanny Flagg
The story telling could have been more dynamic and voices for characters could have been more distinct
I will stick with authors I am familiar with or who come recommended by friends
I didn't dislike the book, but it didn't grab me either. It occupied my mind as I drove to and from work. Unlike some other books, it never grabbed me enough to sit in the driveway listening after I got home.
The sense of humor of the main character, and how it carried her through the trials and tribulations of her life.
Amy, of course!
Laugh, a lot.
The narration was perfect.
I loved this book. I loved Amy. I loved her refusal to care about so many of the things our society worships. I loved her dog. I loved her ability and willingness to look at both herself and the absurdity of modern life, in particular the world of writers, with honesty.
If I was going to compare Willett's writing to anyone, it might be Fran Lebowitz, but not quite so cutting.
More interesting story
I should have reviewed this after I quit half way through. I just wasn't very interested in the main character's life and portrayal.
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