©2004 Jonathan Tropper; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.
"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)
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.
I'm sorry to be the lone voice of dissent! To me, the book seemed not funny and sad, as I'd hoped, but alternately crass and maudlin, see-sawing from chest-pounding bathos to smirking, cheap jokes. Also, you may want to know that Scott Brick, who narrates Sideways, also narrates this book. To me, Brick's narration is difficult to deal with: his hushed, intense tone suggests a level of drama that's not present in the book, and his catch-all voice for women is subtly -- but increasingly noticeably -- weird.
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