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Publisher's Summary

Jessie's Cafe is a staging place for a group of amusing, entertaining, sometimes raucous but always very real people. Each character is wildly unique yet their human yearnings and shortcomings unite them in a common, and uncommonly strong, bond. This unlikely family includes Jessie, the gorgeous, 79 year-old who owns the waterfront dive in which "one might expect to find Steinbeck." Louise is the cook and the dymanic center of this small universe. Willie is Jessie's gay grandson. And Joe Jones is the deeply devoted and continually unfaithful lover whom Louise tries hard to live without.

Lamott weaves a complex tale that moves along breezily with great heart and humor, but skim the surface and you will find human frailty, remorse, and loss. Back in print after fifteen years, Joe Jones is a testament to the ways in which humor heals and binds.

©1985 Anne Lamott (P)2003 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration. [Her] real genius lies in capturing the ineffable, describing not perfect moments, but imperfect ones...perfectly. She is nothing short of miraculous." (The New Yorker)
"Funny and candid....Lamott brings invaluable humor, imagination, and magnanimity to the conversation about faith." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gayle
  • Greeneville, TN, USA
  • 01-15-04

Rich, Funny and Worth the Listen

Anne Lamont develops a group of unlikely characters, all connected by Jessie's Cafe. You laugh with them, cry with them, and get angry at their foibles. Their individual idiosyncrasies give richness to each character.

Barbara Rosenblat (my favorite narrator) uses her many voices to ceate each personality. Soon, you can identify each character by their distinctive voice. Definintely worth the credit!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Eccentric is Also the Most Human

I have enjoyed several of Anne Lamott???s books, including her more recent work, Imperfect Birds. Her characters have many unique, even eccentric personality traits, habits, strengths, and weaknesses, but each is very human and understandable. The many odd characters in Joe Jones, including Joe, himself, are funny and insignificant but worth understanding. Both the author and the narrator understand each of the characters and convey that understanding very well. Maybe we should just pretend that the main characters are significant, as if we also believe in HP -- the Higher Power.
By the way, I cannot understand why two reviewers find fault with the narrator. She has the tone of the book ???dead on???, in my opinion.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

narration prevents enjoyment of a favorite author

i love anne lamott and once drove twenty miles trying to find a bookstore with anything she had written in it while on vacation. i was very excited to hear this selection, but i cannot stand the narrator. her voice takes up so much room that i cannot concentrate on the story. lamott has enough voice just on paper that whatever rosenblat adds is far too much. i wish lamott had read it herself

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 03-07-04

Joe Jones

Here's the problem: you've got to love the reader Barbara Rosenblatt to enjoy this recording at all. I have a feeling the book is better than it sounds, but with Ms. Rosenblatt doing what amount to "funny voices" that are by turns implausible, self-conscious, and coy, you can't begin to tell what Anne LaMott's original intent was. I say read this as a book so that you can make up your own mind.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Rare honesty

Because she is not running from her own human condition but in touch with and comfortable in her own skin she reveals much truth and has a lot to offer. JB