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Tepper Isn't Going Out | [Calvin Trillin]

Tepper Isn't Going Out

Tepper enjoys sitting in his car, reading his newspaper in peace. His car always seems to be parked in a prime spot and other drivers want to know if Tepper is going out. He isn't. This drives some people crazy - including the mayor - but leads others to think Tepper harbors some hidden wisdom. The tale that emerges is "refreshing and completely likable."
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Publisher's Summary

Murray Tepper would say that he is an ordinary New Yorker who is simply trying to read the newspaper in peace. But he reads while sitting behind the wheel of his parked car, and his car always seems to be in a particularly desirable parking spot. Not surprisingly, he is regularly interrupted by drivers who want to know if he is going out.

Tepper isn't going out. Why not? His explanations tend to be rather literal: the indisputable fact, for instance, that he has 20 minutes left on the meter.

Tepper's behavior sometimes irritates the people who want his spot. ("Is that where you live? Is that car rent-controlled?") It also irritates the mayor - Frank Ducavelli, known in tabloid headlines as Il Duce - who sees Murray Tepper as a harbinger of what His Honor always calls "the forces of disorder."

But once New Yorkers become aware of Tepper, some of them begin to suspect that he knows something they don't know. And an ever-increasing number of them are willing to line up for the opportunity to sit in his car with him and find out.

Tepper Isn't Going Out is a wise and witty story of an ordinary man who, perhaps innocently, changes the world around him.

Executive Producer: Sherry Huber
Director: Sherry Huber
Producer: Louis Milgrom
©2001 Calvin Trillin
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Trillin is a highly accomplished storyteller as well as a humorist and a memoirist, and this oddly titled novel is by far his funniest and sunniest yet." (Publishers Weekly)
"By dint of Trillin's fertile and humorous imagination, the book emerges as a refreshing and completely likable jape." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (125 )
5 star
 (56)
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4.4 (25 )
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4.5 (24 )
5 star
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  •  
    George Camilla, GA, USA 01-24-03
    George Camilla, GA, USA 01-24-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Dog Stopping Funny"

    I walk dogs while I listen and I was laughing so loudly that my dogs kept stopping and turning around to see what had gotten into me. I tried to explain it to them but I don't think they ever understood. What a hoot this book is.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley Burnt Hills, NY, USA 12-31-02
    Wesley Burnt Hills, NY, USA 12-31-02 Member Since 2001

    I loved listening to books during my commute to work. Maybe I shouldn't have retired!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Constantly entertaining"

    Very funny. As a former New Yorker I enjoyed every minute of it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David New Hartfrod, CT, USA 10-17-03
    David New Hartfrod, CT, USA 10-17-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    3
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    "To park or not to park..."

    Simply one of the most entertaining books I have read or listened to this year. Mr. Trillum delivery is dry but laced with humor and grace as he explores the ordinary life of Tepper as it turns very extraordinary by the most unusual of circumstances. His acerbic wit casts its gaze on all aspects of our modern life - work, family, politics and much more. Tis a book to curl up with in any convenient parking spot and enjoy.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanya Germantown, MD, USA 03-13-04
    Tanya Germantown, MD, USA 03-13-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    3
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    "Disappointed..."

    After reading all the reviews touting how humorous this book was, I must admit, I'm quite disappointed. I didn't "laugh out loud" or even giggle. I equate this book to reading a human interest story in the newspaper; you read it, for a moment think,"hmm okay interesting" then you move on. The ending left me wondering "that's it?" Though the descriptions of the city area are quite good and whisked me away to NYC, they do not make up for the weak storyline. Perhaps this is a book you should read only when you are circling the West Side looking for a parking spot.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Kailua Kona, HI, United States 08-14-09
    Katherine Kailua Kona, HI, United States 08-14-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a droll portrait of NYC - ya jerky bastard, ya!"

    This ambling tale moves leisurely but sharply through the landscape of New York cranks, politicians, idiosyncratic regulations, and the inanity of fame. Tepper is an affable eccentric with one obsession: parking. The response of NYC to his outre behaviour moves the story along.
    I enjoyed every moment of this whimsical reading, and wish Trillin's dry delivery were available for all his books, starting with "American Fried!"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L&B 04-14-06
    L&B 04-14-06 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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    76
    5
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    "Great Listen"

    This is the funniest laugh out loud book I have read since Confederacy of Dunces. You can see every character in the book as if they were in your living room.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cristine Salinas, CA, USA 08-16-04
    Cristine Salinas, CA, USA 08-16-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Good Book - Lousy Listen"

    I thought I'd enjoy listening to the author reading his book - I've listened to him on Public Radio and enjoyed him immensely - read some of his other works and enjoyed those.

    His voice is enjoyable for about 20 minutes and then I just could not listen to him anymore. His voice just can't keep me interested for longer than about 15 minutes.

    I tried - I really tried, but I'm getting the book to read and keep my listening to Mr Trillin on the radio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Amherst, MA, USA 04-30-04
    Ken Amherst, MA, USA 04-30-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very funny but not the best reader"

    ... Or I guess I should say "I've heard better." I am a big fan of Mr. Trillin's writing, and have read most of his non-fiction over the years. He's a funny man, and a good writer.

    That being said, there are a couple of flaws that make me not so fond of the audiobook. The first is that his reading is rather bland, and does not do his prose justice. Most authors should leave reading to the professionals, and Mr. Trillin is unfortunately one of them. The second is that the prose itself suffers from that characteristic flaw of first-time novelists who have been writing for many years: Many of the jokes and themes have appeared many times in his earlier work. (If you've heard the phrase 'sabbath gasbag' before, you'll be in my boat.) This detracts somewhat from the enjoyment. Though it evokes the same nostalgia one feels for the city that the rest of the book does, it's not so pleasant in the ideas of the book as opposed to the milieu.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Houston, TX, USA 11-04-03
    Kim Houston, TX, USA 11-04-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!"

    Not recommended for those who do not live in cities where finding parking is a daily challenge, especially in front of one's own home. As a result, any profoundness, or humor is lost to me for the most part.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 12-26-11
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 12-26-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "kansas city meets new york city"

    what are the midwestern male virtues ?
    stoicism / dependability / humility
    being useful in the face of adversity

    and the virtues of new york jewish males ?
    shrewd / shrill / clever / read the fine print
    unruffled in the face of adversity

    who could possibly have a foot in both worlds ?
    well his name is calvin " call me bud " trillin
    he has written a small humble shrewd book to prove it

    the main character lives life on this own terms
    the world wants to press him into its' mold
    he resists in a stubborn thoughtful way

    the book is a parable for grown men
    it is a primer on how to live an authentic life
    trillin tells you the hard truth with a sly wink

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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