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The Book of Joe | [Jonathan Tropper]

The Book of Joe

Joe Goffman was fifteen years out from his sleepy hometown when he wrote Bush Falls, a searing critique of its people and institutions. The book was a runaway best seller, and led to an even more successful movie. Now, however, Joe's got a problem. His father has suffered a stroke, and that means that Joe has to go back to his birthplace after having successfully antagonized every person living there. Can Joe survive the reservoirs of hatred that have been waiting to pour down upon him? Just maybe.
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Publisher's Summary

In terms of style, wit, and irony, there is no comparison between Peyton Place and Joe Goffman's Bush Falls. But both books stripped away the facade of small-town propriety to reveal the private, indecorous, and unseemly doings underneath. Joe Goffman was fifteen years out from his sleepy hometown when he wrote Bush Falls, a searing critique of its people and institutions. The book was a runaway best seller, and led to an even more successful movie. Now, however, Joe's got a problem. His father has suffered a stroke, and that means that Joe has to go back to his birthplace after having successfully antagonized every person living there. Can Joe survive the reservoirs of hatred that have been waiting to pour down upon him? Just maybe.

©2004 Jonathan Tropper; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A beautifully crafted book of enormous heart, humility, wit, honesty, and vulnerability. You want to call your friends at 3 a.m. and read whole passages out loud. You want to press it into the hands of strangers. You cannot stop thinking about it because it has rearranged your very molecules. You know that kind of book? This is that kind of book. The Book of Joe is utterly magnificent. I wish I'd written it myself. "(Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors)
"[Tropper] does it with wit, insight, and a lot of fun cultural references." (Booklist)
"The Book of Joe is an elegiac, wickedly observant look at a small town and its secrets. In Jonathan Tropper's highly readable novel, the problem isn't that you can't go home again, it's that eventually you have to, whether you like it or not." (Tom Perrotta, author of Election and Joe College)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (438 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (280 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (283 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    carolette toulon, France 10-19-13
    carolette toulon, France 10-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Très bien écrit, narrateur excellent, histoire bof"

    J'ai beaucoup apprécié le style de l'auteur, le narrateur est parfait, mais j'ai été déçue par l'intrigue même si les thèmes abordés sont intéressants.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mario Huixquilucan, Mexico 05-29-13
    Mario Huixquilucan, Mexico 05-29-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
    1
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    "Great book"
    Any additional comments?

    Really great book! loved the story, the narrator's performance was excelent! the only thing that could have been better is how the author closes the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Moore Virginia, USA 11-27-12
    R. Moore Virginia, USA 11-27-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting story"

    The description says the book is "by turns howling funny, fiercely intelligent, and achingly poignant." Lose the adjectives and I'd agree. Well-written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 11-16-11
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 11-16-11 Member Since 2007

    notthe1

    HELPFUL VOTES
    360
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    117
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    "Great performance by Scott Brick!"

    I heard about this book by watching a video of narrator Scott Brick in which he said it was his personal favorite of all his performances. Since he is among my favorite narrators, I decided to download it and am very glad I did. A predictable plot (it's pretty easy to imagine what would happen if you were to leave your small home town for the big city, write a novel that profoundly insults everyone back home, then return home 20 years later) is rescued by a black comic sensibility and great writing that had me laughing out loud one moment and crying actual tears the next. As promised, Mr. Brick delivered a perfect reading of this memorable novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Fraser Watertown,WI USA 11-13-11
    Lynn Fraser Watertown,WI USA 11-13-11 Member Since 2012

    walkaway

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Strap your self in and enjoy the ride!"

    Was it the narrator or the story that made me feel with in the first 5 minutes that I had wasted money on this book? Could it be the narrator painstakingly reading the book slowly or was that the way the author wrote it? Either way I was rolling my eyes. Now, after the story is finished I realized I was set up. They had strapped me in to the car, slowly climbed the coaster first hill only to tear down and around the track of this story.


    Great character development, laughs, tears and wistfulness for your own youth. I first despised the main character, loathed his self destructive ways then I found him interesting. Joe's friend with AIDS touched me as did his lack of sympathy from his religious mother. Joe's ex-girl friend and his brother's wife wasn't who they seemed in the end. It gave the story it's fast curves, loops and turns.

    Just like every ride, the end came as a cushioned but regretful end. The sudden weightlessness as you are lifted off your seat as the whole story came together at the end was a bit of a revelation to me. It gave me some insight on how I dealt with my husband's sudden death and my children"s loss.

    Pay your ticket, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Proctorville, OH, United States 06-08-11
    Carolyn Proctorville, OH, United States 06-08-11 Member Since 2009

    70 year old grandmother of 2 teenagers. Still working in real estate appraisal field, live in OH and SC - spend time listening & traveling.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't get the story for the *&#/@ language"

    I THINK this might have been a good book. It was narrated by Scott Brick - my favorite - and had potential for a great listen. Unfortunately, the author seems to think that every character regardless of age or background or role in society MUST say the "F" word every 15 seconds. If this doesn't bother you, then you must have a very limited vocabulary or just not mind hearing the same stupid word over and over. I have often wondered if the characters substituted the word "walk" for the "F" word - how long would we listen to the drivel?? "Did you walk her?" "Did she walk your brains out?" "What the walk are you saying?" "That's a walking lie!" How walking stuped are we???

    11 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 11-12-12
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sooner or later everyone has to go home"

    I hesitated to get this one because I didn't think it would be as good as "This is where I leave you" It was. I loved it. The past and the people we knew there are always more complicated than we think (or thought).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    richard/sharon great falls, va, United States 11-05-12
    richard/sharon great falls, va, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Real-life Family Situations"

    Jonathon Tropper is one of my new favorite authors. I plan to either read or listen to everything that he has written. This story was a wonderful slice of life book with complex familial relationships and coming of age issues. Funny, sexy and true. I really enjoyed it. Scott Brick has a rich voice - Reminded me of Kelsey Grammer without all the b.s.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada 09-25-12
    Wendy St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada 09-25-12 Member Since 2009
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    "enjoyed the narrator and story line"
    What did you love best about The Book of Joe?

    The story kept going so that you would want to keep listening.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    His gay friend


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Character to the characters, although I have a pretty good imagination !


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    yes, its made me sad for the bullying and upset with the author for exportating his town where he grew up.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-17-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    3
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    "loved this book..."
    What made the experience of listening to The Book of Joe the most enjoyable?

    I liked the characters. The plot was realistic since we have all burned bridges at sometime in our lives and have to make amends.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was emotional and deep, but funny dialogue at the same time.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when Joe took his dying friend to play basketball.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first book I read by Jonathan Tropper, but will not be the last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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