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Keeper and Kid: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 8, 2008

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, January 8, 2008
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312375247
  • ASIN: B0043RTCAK
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,494,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this very funny but slight second novel, Hardy imbues the familiar cool-dude-suddenly-saddled-with-a-little-dude-he-didn't-know-existed plot with enough giggle-worthy humor about 30-something quasibohemian life to make it more than a Nick Hornby also-ran. Jimmy Keeper is divorced from Cynthia, a pastry chef with a penchant for secrecy; he runs an antiques salvage business in Providence, R.I., and lives in a tiny house with girlfriend Leah, a self-assured architect. But after Cynthia falls gravely ill and summons him to the hospital, Keeper's carefully constructed, somewhat man-boyish life is destined for disruption. It turns out that he and Cynthia have a three-year-old son, Leo, the secret product of a final pre-Leah fling. In due course, the boy lands in Keeper's care, and Leah flees. Will Keeper be able to successfully take care of Leo? Will Leah be able to love Keeper despite the addition of a child not her own? Because Keeper is a companionable narrator (he's a dude's dude who likes beer, sex and playing cards, and yet is aware of his propensity for emotional stupidity), the quest for these answers is a fun if predictable jaunt.
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"A wonderful journey of thoughtful, reluctant fatherhood. Highly recommended." -- Library Journal, Dec. 15, 2007

"Keeper and Kid is an unconventional but skillful and ultimately satisfying novel. It leaves the reader with a true, but too rarely expressed, picture of how complicated life can become and how we all have the capacity to handle more than we think." -- The Providence Journal, Feb. 3, 2008

A rambunctious story from Hardy (Geyser Life, 1996) that portrays the graceless experience of child-rearing with honesty and good humor. -- Kirkus Reviews, Nov. 1, 2007

More About the Author

Edward Hardy is the author of the novels Keeper and Kid and Geyser Life, he grew up in Ithaca, New York, has an MFA from Cornell, and has published stories with Ploughshares, GQ, Witness, The Quarterly, The New England Review and many other literary magazines. His work has been included in The Best American Short Stories, and he lives in Rhode Island.

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Customer Reviews

This is a heart felt story that can only make you smile as you read it.
Bingo-Karen Haney
The writing is sharp, the characters are interesting, the story has enough twists to keep it surprising.
Alison Hardy
I didn't like the main character because I couldn't relate to him personally.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel W. Hays on February 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A look at Edward Hardy's literary resume so far would lead you to make certain assumptions about his writing. His short stories have appeared almost exclusively in "literary" journals - titles such as Ploughshares, The Quarterly, and The Massachusetts Review. Reading Hardy's latest novel, however, seems to belie that impression.
"Keeper and Kid" is funny. It isn't merely "amusing," it is downright funny. Admittedly, Hardy's sense of humor is what is generally called "quirky," and his touch is more Oates than McManus. But it's hard to resist a novel that opens: "If dogs, rats, and pigs can all sense a looming earthquake and make plans, how come all I can manage is a quick stare at the phone just before it rings?"
This is a novel about an ordinary thing. A thing, in fact, that has become way too common a literary device. Divorced James Keeper is happily conducting his new life in a new place with a new love. Then he gets "the call." And, yes, before he knows it, he is raising the three-year-old son he "didn't know he had."
Before you decide to move on because you've read that, seen that, maybe even done that, give Hardy a fighting chance. He uses that device to kick-start a life that the first-person-narrator didn't even know needed help. He creates characters so eccentric and endearing you'll be sorry to see the last of them when you have finished page 294. Including, somehow, the little boy. Such literary children are almost always annoying beyond description (the only way they can be made more annoying is to put them on film - which might just happen with this book). Here, young Leo is somehow simultaneously endearing and maddening.
In the end, please forgive the pun, "Keeper and Kid" is a keeper. It will find a home on your bookshelf in the section with other books about the human heart.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By cody in ithaca on January 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
james keeper, 36, is gliding through life, working with his best friend at their antiques and salvage store. then two bombs hit: james' ex-wife cynthia dies, and--suprise!--james inherits a three-year-old boy named leo, a child james fathered but did not know existed. hardy shows the sheer exhaustion and relentlessness of being a dad. his girlfrind, leah, at one point simply can't deal and leaves. (does she return? read the book.) keeper and kid is surprising on a number of levels-its sinuous, snappy prose is more layered than one would at first expect, and its emotional power creeps up on you. By the end of the story one is powerfully affected by this off-beat, deeply moving love story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beth E. Settje VINE VOICE on June 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I probably would have found this book anyway, but it was next in line for the book club, so I had to read it! Plus the author agreed to come and I needed to be sure to not look foolish when we talked about the book. Keeper is so realistic it is at times frightening. The author does a very good job at capturing the essence of parenting, and then puts situations in the extreme to make his point. It is easy for the reader to relate to many of Keeper's emotions (increduality at the situation of becoming a parent; frustration at how to parent properly, or at all for that matter; anger for the disruption Leo, the kid, seems to cause; amazement and joy for all the wonderful quirky elements parenting can bring to one's life). Many elements of the story do provide solid closure, yet there are enough open ended aspects should a sequel be written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SZAA on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What would you do if you found out you had a three year old child you never knew existed? That is exactly what happens to James Keeper, in Edward Hardy's new book Keeper and Kid. James, or Keeper as he is called, is a kind, casual man that works in the antiques industry, has a beautiful girlfriend, Leah, and only occasionally has flashbacks to what life was like with his ex-wife, Cynthia. When Cynthia passes away, Keeper soon learns that she has his son three years ago, yet failed to fill him in on that most important piece of information; instead, choosing to place Leo with him once she died.

Keeper has never cared for a child before, disregarding the fact that he has never even met Leo. He and Leah have just moved into a new house, though when she finds Leo sitting in the living room one evening after returning home from a business trip, she jets out of there as fast as possible. Now Keeper is alone, with a three year old that just lost his mother, believes his father is away on an island, and will only eat round food. Thrown off the high dive into fatherhood, Keeper does what any respectable man would do: he basically gives up. Through some coaching by close friends and the subtle love of an irresistible three year old, Keeper slowly gets his life back and is allowed to watch Leo get his back as well.

Keeper and Kid is an incredibly touching story and one that I must recommend to all of you that believe men cannot write intimate novels without including raunchy sex scenes. Hardy does an amazing job of tapping into the psyche of Keeper, Leah, and little Leo, all without missing a beat. As I was reading the book this past weekend, I kept closing it after certain chapters with a smile on my face, knowing that this could actually be someone's reality and the author did such a great job at making that known. Your heart will be opened by this novel and you will immediately be wanting another title from Hardy's hand.
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