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Domestic Violets: A Novel Paperback – August 9, 2011
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“Domestic Violets is a fast, fun, hilarious read.” (Jessica Anya Blau, critically-acclaimed author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Drinking Closer to Home)
“Domestic Violets is a wonderfully readable, riotous story... told with humor and surprising intimacy. ” (Susan Richards Shreve, author of A Student of Living Things)
“Reminiscent of Richard Russo’s earlier work, Norman’s refreshingly witty style is perfectly suited to articulating the trials of a middle-aged cynic. Wonderfully fast-paced, hilariously genuine, difficult to put down, Domestic Violets is an ideal first novel.” (Booklist)
“Matthew Norman has written a dastardly fun satire of contemporary domestic life [with} surprising twists on all the old conventions and a fresh perspective on a literary foundation that hearkens back to Philip Roth, John Updike and John Cheever. An astoundingly good read!” (Joshua Gaylord, author of Hummingbirds)
“Norman’s debut novel is funny and incisive, and hard on sacred cows.” (Shelf Awareness)
“so real, so funny” (Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. at Psychology Today)
“Timing, so important in comedy, is also exacting in Mr. Norman’s expert hands...Domestic Violets leaves the reader satisfied by the intriguing plot written in a comic spirit; it also endears the author and hero to the reader for maximum poignancy.” (New York Journal of Books)
“All this misery makes for good comedy … charmingly drawn …” (Washington Post on DOMESTIC VIOLETS)
“Norman’s hilarious debut novel is a tale of a man’s middle-age quest to differentiate himself from his father and decide what’s worth changing and what’s worth keeping in his life.” (Washington Independent Review of Books on DOMESTIC VIOLETS)
From the Back Cover
Tom Violet always thought that by the time he turned thirty-five, he’d have everything going for him. Fame. Fortune. A beautiful wife. A satisfying career as a successful novelist. A happy dog to greet him at the end of the day.
The reality, though, is far different. He’s got a wife, but their problems are bigger than he can even imagine. And he’s written a novel, but the manuscript he’s slaved over for years is currently hidden in his desk drawer while his father, an actual famous writer, just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His career, such that it is, involves mind-numbing corporate buzzwords, his pretentious archnemesis Gregory, and a hopeless, completely inappropriate crush on his favorite coworker. Oh . . . and his dog, according to the vet, is suffering from acute anxiety.
Tom’s life is crushing his soul, but he’s decided to do something about it. (Really.) Domestic Violets is the brilliant and beguiling story of a man finally taking control of his own happiness—even if it means making a complete idiot of himself along the way.
More About the Author
Matthew Norman is an advertising copywriter. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Baltimore. His first novel, Domestic Violets, was nominated in the Best Humor Category at the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards. His short story, Miss November, appears in the anthology Forty Stories, which is available now on Amazon as a free ebook. Read more on his blog at TheNormanNation.com or follow him on Twitter @TheNormanNation.
Top Customer Reviews
Story-wise, that's about all you need to know to get started. BTW... my copy was an uncorrected proof, filled to the bursting point with homonym challenges, so hopefully they caught those before the "real" copy came out. Otherwise you'll be shaking your head.
All that being said, here are the Top Ten Things That are Great About "Domestic Violets"
10. It's funny. Not generally laugh-out-loud funny, but amusing. Tom doesn't take life too seriously. He's glib. He's got a smart mouth. It amused this glib smart-mouth reader a lot.
9. It makes my soul happy to know that you can slave away at your novel for 5 years and you can finish it. There's hope. It also makes my soul happy to think that there's a novelist who is not only great but is recognized in public like a celebrity. Ah, fiction... how I love you.
8. English Lit majors of the world unite. At one point, Tom and Anna (both English Lit majors) are in the kitchen and Tom mentions how his friend is worried. "Is it about the... economy?" Anna asks. The book goes on: Anna is as helpless as I am when it comes to exactly what it is that's put the world in its current state.Read more ›
Tom hates his copywriting job (he doesn't integrate well with coworkers who use words like "leverage" and "facilitate") and seems dead set against career advancement. His domestic life is no more satisfying than his work life. He's plagued by ED and he's "a little bit in love" with a beautiful young coworker named Katie. Although Tom nervously but politely snubs Katie when he runs into her while having dinner with his family at Johnny Rockets, neither his wife (Anna) nor his father believe his assurance that "there's nothing going on," and the snubbing doesn't endear him to Katie. Just as troubling is Tom's growing concern that Anna is involved with another man. In short, Tom feels inadequate: as a husband, as a son, as a father, and as a writer. Tom is unhappy ... until he does something at work that's either daring or stupid (or both) but in any event wickedly funny, an act of defiance that changes the course of his life.
These events probably don't sound terribly amusing, but domestic turmoil has nourished comedy at least since Shakespeare.Read more ›
At 35, Tom has a wife he loves but with whom he has a distant relationship. Tom and Anna have moved away from each other and both are fighting, in their own ways, to save their marriage. They have a young daughter, Allie, who is the light of their lives. Tom also has a job-in-a-cog. He's a copywriter for a Washington DC multi-national company and has realised he finds absolutely no satisfaction in his job, other than heckling a fellow employee and having the opportunity to have a crush on a young woman who works for him in a cubicle. And then his father, the famous novelist Curtis Violet is both awarded the Pulitzer Prize and moves out of his house and into Tom and Anna's.
So, okay, here's the thing. Tom Violet can't seem to make heads or tails of his life. Nothing is going right - marriage, fatherhood, son-hood (is that a word?), his work, or his relationships either of his parents or his friends. And things just keep getting worse for Tom. But Tom Violet has a secret; he has written his own novel. He's just beginning to show it to friends and family. Tom's novel plays an important place in author Matthew Norman's novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a huge fan of Jonathan Tropper, Tom Perrotta: authors that can insightfully capture the male psyche. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Tim
I loved this book. As I'm reading this I'm thinking this is close to being as funny as Richard Russo's Straight Man which to me is the gold standard. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steve Schrader
I want a credit on this book. It's a good book, good read but every 2nd & 3rd page are missing. It makes for an incredibly hard read filling in all those blanks! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Susan Blanchette
Domestic Violets is brilliant. It's smart, funny, and very relatable to every day life. I started it and finished it in the same day because of the interesting ease at which... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brett Mireau
Really loved this book reminds me of Jonathan Tropper wish he had more books!Published 3 months ago by Nate
Very entertaining book. Brings you back to 2008 when the economy was Imploding, and everyone thought voting for Obama was a fix. Read morePublished 3 months ago by P. M.
I laughed out loud at least once a page while reading this book. It's a wonderful story too with characters one can really care about. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Expat Mommy