Commonwealth and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.37
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by B. R. Media
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: EX LIBRARY BOOK WITH STICKERS! A readable copy. Item is in good condition with all pages intact. Eligible for super saver and Amazon Prime shipping. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Commonwealth Hardcover – July 13, 2008


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$23.90 $0.27
Best%20Books%20of%202014

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 511 pages
  • Publisher: MacAdam/Cage (July 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596922796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596922792
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,986,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Goebel's third novel (his first was The Anomalies), a tepid satire of contemporary politics in Middle America, hinges on Blue Gene Mapother, the heir to a vast fortune who prefers hocking his old toys at a flea market. After a mutual four-year estrangement, his family reaches out to Blue Gene, hoping to give his older brother John's congressional bid credibility among working men. Initially reluctant, Blue Gene is swayed by John's conservative beliefs and moves back home to begin campaigning full-time. It isn't until he meets Jackie Stepchild, a substitute teacher and revolutionary rocker, that he begins questioning John's motives. A serendipitous meeting with his former nanny leads Blue Gene to uncover a dark family secret and he quits the campaign. Spurred on by Jackie's leftist outlook—as well as his growing attraction to her—Blue Gene cashes in on his inheritance and opens up Commonwealth, a communal enterprise providing free services to the town's middle-class citizens. An abundance of homosexual slurs and profanity detracts from Goebel's crisp storytelling, and the uninspired spoof of red states feels stale. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Wickedly ingenious...Goebel s ebulliently funny writing sparkles off the page. He s created a whole living, breathing world, filled with vividly sympathetic souls, and deliciously evil ones...one of the most interesting and engaging books I ve read in a while, a smart, witty, deeply moving parable..."
Boston Globe

"This novel, a pointed commentary on the media machine that continuously grinds away at our culture, is by turns hilarious, thought-provoking, chilling, and sad. Goebel is a quirky, fresh, and relevant voice for our time."
Library Journal STARRED review --Boston Globe Library Journal

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
10
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 12 customer reviews
The characters in this novel are multi-dimensional.
Roy E. Perry
Much of the political points and counterpoints within the novel are so well articulated that it becomes hard to distance the author from the material.
Caleb J. Ross
Commonwealth is a fast paced, well written novel that kept me interested throughout.
Elmore Hammes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tony H on April 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
For a novel that sets out to satirize and illustrate the assorted sillinesses of the American class system, from the blow-your-mind wealthy to the -blow-your-mind poor, the reach of "Commonwealth" exceeds its grasp by a long stretch, but don't let that stop you from giving this book a shot.

Blue Gene Mapother comes from old money, and wants none of it. Having never felt accepted by his family, he soon moves into a trailer and finds a semblance of happiness selling toys at a flea market after the local Wal-Mart he was working at closed down. Soon, though, his brother John, a recovering addict, decides to run for Congress, and the Mapother family, each with their own motives, decides to work as hard as they can to get him elected. Blue Gene reluctantly agrees, until he meets a punk rock singer who opens his eyes to what's going on around him, and Blue Gene's awakening is the meat of the story.

For stories like this to work as comedy of manners, you need one sane and sympathetic character at the center who reacts the way the reader would. Joey Goebel's attempts to have Blue Gene serve as that character don't really work.

He's a fascinating character; the one thing immensely wealthy and immensely poor people have in common is that the rest of us never really see them, and that blind spot seems to suit Blue Gene just fine. But he's not a fully multidimensional human being, and neither is anyone else in the book.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caleb J. Ross on September 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
(This review originally appeared at Oxyfication [DOT] net)

The inherent danger with a politically grounded novel is the potential to read the book as an author's manifesto. There is a desire for the reader to take a Rhetorical Critic's stance on the text and interpret every politically-backed statement as the author's personal belief. And with this danger comes the potential to polarize audiences. Joey Goebel's third novel, Commonwealth, is weighed by this dynamic, however he has the storytelling chops to move beyond treatise territory and deliver a great story, helped, not hindered, by the political setting.

Commonwealth follows the Mapother family black sheep, "Blue Gene" Eugene, as he slowly morphs from passive flea marketer and Wal-Mart enthusiast to aggressive philanthropist with communist leanings. Blue Gene, willing dissident in regards to his family's unfathomable fortune, adopts a working class lifestyle far removed from his wealthy family. This tension is only heightened by his brother, John Hurstbourne Mapother's, campaign for a congressional seat. As the novel progresses, pandering for votes becomes not-to-far removed from pandering for familial affection, which forces the Mapother family into devastating conflict.

Though Blue Gene is mostly a caricature of the "red neck" conservative right, much of the conflict deals with the narrator's unexpected struggle with these "red state" ideals as seeded by the novel's love interest, the elfin-faced Jackie Stepchild, female lead of the anti-establishment punk band Uncle Sam's Finger.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Lubrican on August 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion this book has it all: phenomenally written, deep, moving story, important, relevant themes insightfully rendered and humor and sadness that often hit at the same time. The book haunted me for days once I closed its last page, which is always the mark of a great piece of art.

The most important part of this book is how thoughtful it is. I think in a nation politically polarized it's easy for us to write the other side off as imbeciles, to lose touch that the opposition are actually our fellow citizens, our neighbors, our fellow human beings. Goebel could have easily taken the superficial road and made the right-wingers in this novel out to be morons and yahoos and made us all guffaw wildly at their expense. But instead he treated his subjects with thoughtfulness and complexity and empathy and yet still managed to make us laugh.

I can personally work myself up to pure hatred when I think about republican politics, I can even at rare times feel dehumanizing to our poorest set who seemingly vote against their own economic interests in the name of "moral issues", but Commonwealth makes you feel more accepting of the people behind the political views. The author makes you feel like you could even go share a beer with a right winger and it's going to be okay. You'll be able to connect with them as people. When you leave the novel you have a sympathetic understanding of all the characters and all their motivations... Goebel shines a big light into why they are the way they are and you come to understand that they're not bad people at all.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?