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Flabbergasted Hardcover – May 1, 2003

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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800718372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800718374
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,371,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Blackston gives a whole new meaning to modern dating practices. Jay Jarvis, a successful stock broker, decides that the best way to meet eligible woman is to join a church singles group. The ensuing misadventures are delightful as Jay meets quirky people, including a Caddie-driving speed demon, an insightful African-American janitor, and. . .the perfect woman. The only problem is that she's a missionary in Ecuador. As Jay becomes a much wiser man, Peterson generously introduces us to a lively menagerie as he recites poetry, delivers chat-up lines, and reads Bible quotes from a surfboard. Old-fashioned charm is still to be found in contemporary America." 
S.G.B. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

Jay Jarvis just moved east.

His dating life's gone south.

What else is a guy to do but go fishing?

Jay is new in town. He's young, successful, and single, and he's not afraid to plop down in a church pew to scope out the females. But in the murky waters of the South Carolina singles scene, Jay's whole world is in danger of being turned upside down.

"Refreshingly honest. . . . Highly recommended."--Library Journal

"Blackston's light and breezy style makes ideal reading for a lazy summer night."--Bookpage

"Fun, lighthearted, and thoroughly enjoyable."--CCM magazine

"This is one book you don't want to miss!"--Crossings Book Club

"Amazing. A novel that is simultaneously serious, hilarious, and impossible to put down."--The Dallas Morning News

Armed with the knowledge that his second grade teacher always liked his stories and poems, Ray Blackston walked away from the corporate cubicle, bought a laptop, said a prayer, and began typing the first words of Flabbergasted. He does not recommend this method for the faint of heart. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I've just gotta know...Who came up with this breezy cover and its light-hearted title hinting at all things zany? Give that person a raise!
I was captivated before even reading the premise. Then, thankfully, the premise looked promising as well. I mean, how can you resist a tongue-in-cheek, fictitious look at singles and dating and church and life and the serendipitous ways in which they all come together? Ray Blackston's irreverent ideas and the publisher's presentation had me thoroughly hooked.
But--and here's the crunch--could Mr. Blackston's writing live up to the hype?
Ha, I laugh at your doubt. This book had me chuckling, shaking my head, wiping a tear from my eye, and jotting down quotable quotes all within 327 pages. Let me tell you, these pages fly by, blown by the summer air that permeates the story, and by Blackston's lighthearted style. In the midst of sharing Jay Jarvis' struggles to meet women and know God, Blackston communicates marvelous insights while never banging us over the head. This is a book I'd give to my male friends. And to my wife. And to our single friends. And...well, hey, why not send a copy to my mother-in-law. She'll love me for it--and brownie points with the in-laws are always welcome.
Bottom line: "Flabbergasted" is a comic and wise peek into the ways that God works in our lives, leaning heavily on the romance side of things. Never sappy, though. Remember, this is from a guy's point of view.
If Bridget Jones ever met Jay Jarvis, there'd be all kinds of havoc. Thankfully, Jay's in love with someone else. Read the book and you'll know what being "Flabbergasted" is all about. Then, if you're like me, you'll be waiting for the promised sequel.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Alan Attebery on March 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Flabbergasted" is one of the most quirky, interesting stories I have ever read. I cannot recall having laughed so much or so hard while reading a book since the last time I read one of Erma Bombeck's books.
Jay Jarvis is a single, eligible, stock-broker bachelor who has just recently moved to Greenville, South Carolina. Not interested in church other than to meet eligible bachelorettes, Jay meets the girl of his dreams, Allie, on his first visit to North Hills Presbyterian Church.
Unfortunately for Jay, Allie is not easy to get to know. Jay will embark on a strange journey domniated by the color lime green, a row of numericals, a less-than-punctual preacher, a pirouette of the gospel, and a multi-hour ride into the Ecudorian jungle. As Jay learns more about Allie and who she is, he will learn about who He is.
"Flabbergasted" is a Christian, coming-to-the-Lord novel. However, this is not your normal salvation tale. Ray Blackston, in his first book, has created a wild and imaginative story that will have you laughing, keep you guessing, and make it difficult for you to put down.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Pearl Colley on September 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Jay Jarvis moves to Greenville, South Carolina due to a job transfer from Dallas, Texas. Since his girlfriend just dumped him by email he is interested in finding the singles' hangout. Jay's realtor tells him that churches outnumber bars by a twenty-to-one margin. Memorial Day weekend finds Jay on a singles retreat to Myrtle Beach with thirty-four females and nineteen males from the North Hills Presbyterian Church.
Between singing eulogies to lobsters, floating to Africa on an inner tube and riding in a lime green Cadillac, Jay makes friends with a food-throwing, poetry-writing anti-materialistic missionary girl named Allie. And the summer has only just begun...
Flabbergasted is more refreshing than lemonade with a squeeze of lime. Buy this book in hardcover and tell everyone you know about it!
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful By J. C Clark VINE VOICE on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
OK, the non-Christians here hate the book because, well, I guess, because it is Christian. Hey folks, there really are people like this out there, people who do not sleep around and do care about God's plan for them.

The believers here seem to want to like the book, because, I guess they think that not-liking a Christian book is somehow not liking Christ. How about evaluating the book for what it actually is and wants to be?

Unfortunately, what it is, is not much. Too cute, too sweet, too many characters (with the inevitable result that they become hard to keep distinct and blur together as one-dimensional cliches) too glib, too coy, and way, way too trite. The climax of the story is (or should be) the sincere conversion of a guy who originally goes to church to meet girls. Yet when that "conversion" takes place, it is so tame and lame that both I and my wife were flabbergasted. How could something so profound seem to have so little impact? The narrator just goes ahead and accepts... "Yep, now I believe!" Whoa there, fella, how about a little angst over such a major change? Or is this just another step in the conquest-of-cute-female plan?

I bought this based upon someone somewhere saying this novel did a good job exploring Christian themes. I wish it did! The author has some talent, and some deft comic ability, and I might try another that a firmer editor had man-handled, but this is one slight, predictable tale, better left unread.

(I will say though, that the cover, the binding, the type face and the paper all are superlative. Physically, this is one of the most charmming books I've ever seen.)
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