Richard Novak is a modern-day Everyman, a middle-aged divorce trading stocks out of his home. He has done such a good job getting his life under control that he needs no one, except his trainer, nutritionist, and housekeeper. He is functionally dead and doesn't even notice until two incidents (an attack of intense pain that lands him in the emergency room and the discovery of an expanding sinkhole outside his house) conspire to hurl him back into the world.
On his way home from the hospital, Richard forms the first of many new relationships: He meets Anhil, the doughnut shop owner, an immigrant who dreams big. He finds a weeping housewife in the produce section of the supermarket, helps save a horse that has fallen into the sinkhole, daringly rescues a woman from the trunk of her kidnapper's car, and, after the sinkhole claims his house and he has to relocate to a Malibu rental, he befriends a reluctant counterculture icon. In the end, Richard is also brought back in closer touch with his family; his aging parents, his brilliant brother, the beloved ex-wife whom he still desires, and finally, before the story's breathtaking finale, with his estranged son Ben.
The promised land of Los Angeles, a surreal city of earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides, and feral Chihuahuas, is also very much a character in This Book Will Save Your Life. A vivid, revealing novel about compassion, transformation, and what can happen if you are willing to lose yourself and open up to the world around you, it should significantly broaden Homes' already substantial audience.
©2006 A.M. Homes; (P)2006 Penguin Audio and BBC Audiobooks America
"I think this brave story of a lost man's reconnection with the world could become a generational touchstone, like Catch-22, The Monkey Wrench Gang, or The Catcher in the Rye." (Stephen King)
"Homes is always riveting, but this juggernaut hits a higher mark with its aerodynamic prose, finely calibrated humor, and spiky characters....A novel of cinematic pizzazz that revitalizes our understanding of love and goodness." (Booklist)
This book will bore you to death. Don't waste a credit. Can't blame the narrator there's just so much he can do with this drivel.
This book's narration and story were so interesting to me. Scott Brick ALWAYS rocks at telling stories, he could read a law book and I would sit on the edge of my seat in anticipation. The dry manner in which the characters interacted grew on me as I listened. It has many funny parts too. It's been a while since I listened to it so details escape me, but this one is still stuck in my head as one of my favorites because it was so different and refreshing. I wish Homes would write more books like this, maybe a series...don't think he has, if so I missed it.
Fire, flood, sinkhole, divorce and more of the problems we face in life and the joy that can come from encounters and connecting with others. This is a great book, it has action, humor romance, and life lessons all in an enjoyable story.
Interesting story, complex characters and telling dialogue carry you through. An intriguing view of life: inside out and upside down. Will it save your life? Perhaps.
I had every reason to look forward to TBWSYL, and I really worked hard to like it. In fact, I listened TWICE to the first hour in the mistaken belief that I just wasn't paying enough attention. But by hour four, I took myself off the hook: reading time is too precious to waste on this silly and not at all funny or provocative or even interesting tale of a wandering mid-life California failure.
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