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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 (468 )
5 star
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3.9 (306 )
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Story
4.3 (309 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    L. Jordan NY 07-09-07
    L. Jordan NY 07-09-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    6
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    "Loved It!"

    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."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 04-11-04
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 04-11-04 Member Since 2014

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4764
    ratings
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    484
    311
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    3931
    0
    Overall
    "A Boy Story"

    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.

    8 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-22-05 Member Since 2014

    miriam24

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    17
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    "Not the most subtle book"

    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.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MOJO 09-08-11
    MOJO 09-08-11 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    10
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    Story
    "Loved every minute of it!!"

    this book is clever, witty and absolutely hilarious!! I have been recommending it to everyone I know and will probably listen to it again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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