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I Didn't Mean to be Kevin: a novel [Kindle Edition]

Caleb J. Ross
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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  • Length: 276 pages
  • Prime members can borrow this book and read it on their devices with Kindle Owners Lending Library.
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Book Description

Jackson Jacoby is a motherless twenty-two year old boy with only the support of his crazy ex-military Uncle Marve and a kindred motherless peer named Creg. Creg holds fast to the hope of one day reuniting with his mother while Jackson maintains that his own life is so much better off without all the baggage that comes along with being somebody’s son.

After finding a plea in a newspaper from a woman begging her runaway son, Kevin Masons, to return home, Jackson takes the opportunity to prove to Creg that a mother is not necessary to be happy. What begins as a drunken call to the mysterious mother leads to a cross-country pilgrimage to attend the will reading of Kevin’s recently deceased grandfather. Along the way, Jackson spreads tales of his participation in the human appendage trade, the history of his missing ear, and anything else that might validate his life the way he insists that a mother never could.

Editorial Reviews


"A stirring novel, this extraordinary work plays upon the reader's willingness to suspend disbelief and turns it on its ear...Covering ground similar to the works of Sherman Alexie and Chuck Palahniuk, this is an author worth keeping an eye on." -Publishers Weekly

" of the most amazing fiction concepts I've ever read." -Rayo Casablanca, author of 6 Sick Hipsters and Very Mercenary

"In I Didn't Mean to Be Kevin, Caleb J. Ross writes fearlessly, never shying away from the wild, insane places where his fertile imagination leads him. The first half a twisted take on small-town aimlessness, the second half the American road novel from hell, the book is ultimately a darkly comedic evaluation of a generation of motherless men." -Joey Goebel, author of Torture the Artist and Commonwealth

From the Author

I Didn't Mean to be Kevin is a novel about validation. The protagonist is a twenty-something boy looking to validate himself. He's never had a secure family, so he basically lies his way into the minds of strangers.

I started this book immediately after finishing my first novel Stranger Will, and I Didn't Mean to be Kevin definitely reflects my head-space at the time. Stranger Will is a novel about a man who doesn't want to be a father; I Didn't Mean to be Kevin is about a boy wanting nothing more than to have a parent. This process is consistent with most of my writing; I go deep into an idea and follow that up with something far removed. It's how I stay sane.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1413 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Viscera Irrational; 2 edition (January 12, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0088QLPFM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,285 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Clark
The book far exceeded my expectations. I only say that because Caleb Ross is a relatively new author with only a few titles to his name. I had the assumption that this book would be average at best. Let me tell you how wrong I was to assume that. This book was excellent. I found myself fully engrossed in the story. Caleb Ross packs a lot into these 200 pages.

Overall, I was completely impressed with this book. Caleb Ross has a lot of talent for writing. I can't wait to read more of his work. 5 stars for "I Didn't Mean To Be Kevin."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Failing the Art of Impersonation February 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Caleb J. Ross explores the nihilistic underbelly culture of the American Midwest in his latest novel I Didn't Mean to be Kevin. It is a reverse coming-of-age story in which Jackson Jacoby and the friends he makes each attempt to uncover a childhood they never had. It is unclear if the book is a tribute to the underclass of America or rather an account of an adrenaline addict. I Didn't Mean To Be Kevin is literature that falls in line with the dirty, drug and sex-ridden films of Gus Van Sant and Harmony Korine who romanticize the grime and desolation of America's working-class.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read! Quentin Tarantino would approve! May 8, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stylized, ironic, and genius, this is a story that would satisfy Quentin Tarantino. Caleb requires that we suspend disbelief over the overt insanity in his characters, and I was happy to comply. I was swept up into the strange and provocative for six straight hours and loved every minute!
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5.0 out of 5 stars i didn't mean to be stunned September 18, 2012
picked this title up at the mention of a friend, and truth be told, didn't have very high expectations. because usually when people set me up like this, they are basically saying "she's got a great personality." but it soon became clear (page one?) that i was dealing with a very rare and very original talent in caleb ross. his characters are real, his descriptions vivid, his questions insightful, and most important, his storytelling is masterful, hilarious, and poignant. this is one blind date i'll never forget. hugely impressed by this effort. buy it yesterday.
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More About the Author

Caleb J. Ross' fiction and nonfiction has appeared widely, both online and in print. He is co-host of the Important Question? Podcast (


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