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Joe Jones Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Lamott has written before about copingwith death in Hard Laughter , with life in Rosie. But Joe Jones is about nothing else; coping seems to fill the hearts and minds of the characters at Jessie's Cafe, and it certainly dominates their epigrammatic, italic-studded conversation. Not that theirs isn't a lot to cope with. Louise, cook and philosophical earth mother, pines for Joe, the faithless lover she sent away, and he, a hypochondriacal drifter, longs for her. Willie, Jessie's gay grandson, loses a lover to a distant job and his grandmother to heart failure. And those are only their current trials. Lamott's spare prose can sing, but here it too often sounds forced. "Life is hard and then you die," as these characters note more than once, is too trendy and insubstantial a framework for the fine work Lamott can do. Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Anne Lamott is a cause for celebrations. [Her] real genius lies in capturing the ineffable, describing not perfect moments, but imperfect ones ...perfectly. She is nothing short of miraculous." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company; Unabridged edition (September 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565118251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565118256
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,813,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Grace (Eventually), Plan B, Traveling Mercies, and Operating Instructions, as well as seven novels, including Rosie and Crooked Little Heart. She is a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mary K. Emmrich on November 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
Anne Lamott captures imperfect people in our imperfect world beautifully in this novel. Readers who think Lamott has left them bereft of plot aren't paying attention. The title character's imperfections construct the plot for us. This books is about loving someone despite it all.
Joe Jones is flawed, and does not realize his shortcomings, making those that genuinely care about him the central characters. I found great strength and hope in Louise - she was more physically and spiritually beautiful by the end of this novel than I ever expected. Louise also teaches us by example. Faith and inner strength are not attributes bestowed one time that last forever. They falter, need to be replenished, and are questioned daily, hourly for each of us. I think we forget that sometimes.
I always find guidance in Lamott's writings - snippets and phrases that bolster me and comfort me. "Joe Jones" is no different - the memorable phrase from this being "It's just so time-consuming being me."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the introduction, Lamott thanks Jane Vanderburgh(sp?) for lending an editing hand to Joe Jones, published a long time ago. Having read the original and liked its quirky, flawed movements, I am now absolutely savoring this rewrite. It is a full novel, rounded and studded with unforgettable characters like the elderly Jessie (the car driving scene - the long one - isi sidesplittingly funny), the romantic but wise Lou, and of course the charming and lovely young Willie, whom we all know out there somewhere, the eternal boy-man. Oh it's all pure delight. Fey to the naysayers! A perfect read for the intelligent reader who doesnt need a Hollywood plot or a pat ending. I will not,howvever, be satisfied until Anne writes a sequel to Rae's character in Rosie. We need the Rae book, Annie! We honestly do. All hail Lamott, writer for women (and men) who think.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an avid Anne LaMott reader. The commentator who said they were off to read ROSIE will NOT be disappointed. That is an extraordinary book. Although I enjoyed these characters they didn't have the usual depth of LaMott's characters. They were all full of flaws, yes, but I didn't actually believe how they felt about each other. And I could find little in me that even liked Joe Jones. I would've rather seen Louise in a book all by herself. Anyway - I am not swayed from my love of LaMott and her work but this wasn't my fave and I certainly don't reccommend it to forst time readers of her work. Do not stop go - go directly to ROSIE.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Valerie S. Fowler on December 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I disagree with the reviewer who suggested reading this by way of the library, just to complete your Anne collection. This is a wonderful piece of work. It is driven by imperfection, which is a language we understand. I adore this story and the characters in it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By meeah on June 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Joe Jones" is one of Anne Lamott's earlier novels and the first Anne Lamott novel I ever read. More than one reviewer has advised against making it your first experience of Lamott and several have criticized this book as being too long, too sloppy, repetitious, basically plotless, full of annoyingly quirky, all-too-precious characters who lack any resemblance to anyone you'd ever encounter in real life...and I can understand why some readers might feel this way, but I loved this book. I loved it to death.

First off, the novel does have a plot. Louise works as head cook, chief bottle-washer, and resident therapist/cheerleader at Jessie's Cafe--a seaside diner, drive-in, and dive catering to locals. She's broken up with Joe Jones, with whom she'd been living, after she discovered he was sleeping around on her. Joe has gone away for awhile; now he's coming back. What is Louise to do? She loves Joe, understands Joe, she can even forgive Joe, but can she ever take him back?

That's basically the main plotline. It has a resolution, if a circuitous one, which ties in with several other plotlines, each of them primarily illustrating the unifying thematic knot of this book: love, loss, and how we get on with the grim, gritty, glorious art of living.

It's the circuitousness of "Joe Jones" that seems to lay the novel open to the charge of being repetitious, as well as too long, and sloppily written. But I found the leisurely pace and conversational tone of "Joe Jones" to be among its most charming and addictive aspects. Like the tide that rises and falls around Jessie's Cafe, the novel has its own rhythm, its tide. What's happening is often happening under the surface.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Even the author acknowledges this as her sloppiest published work. The characters themselves are the sort of lovable, messy types Anne often writes about. The problem is the lack of structure in this wildly uneven work. It has a plot, sort of, but even after you get to know the characters, and watch them do their thing, you have little insight into why. If you're a fan, find it in a library and read it for completeness, but don't bother buying it.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anne Lamott writes from a need to create a safe space, and her characters give the reader that haven. By turns gentle and hilarious, Joe Jones is a true portrait of a community of friends and a meditation on what friends can do out of love. This book shines and begs to be in print again. Read it!
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