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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, It Really IS a Keeper
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...
Published on February 10, 2008 by Daniel W. Hays

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting at times, ultimately frustrating
I really wanted to like this book more because its premise and cover captured me from the get go. The book had its moments, some - mostly passages involving the "kid"- touched me greatly, plus I agree that some of the writing is witty, smart and emotional. However, things changed pretty quickly for me: a convulated plot, ultimately unsympathetic characters, some rambling,...
Published on June 27, 2010 by Clicia Tremblay


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, It Really IS a Keeper, February 10, 2008
By 
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
5.0 out of 5 stars this book's a keeper, January 13, 2008
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Parenting for moms and dads, June 9, 2008
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching, Heartwarming, Lovely, April 8, 2008
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This One Is Fun, March 14, 2008
By 
Jimmy Keeper has a good life going for himself. In his mid-thirties, Keeper, veteran of an amiable divorce, has just purchased a little house with his live-in girlfriend Leah and is making ends meet pretty successfully in a no-pressure job helping his best friend run an antiques salvage business. He loves Leah, he loves his job, and he loves the circle of friends he plays poker with every week. But things change.

All it took to change Keeper's life forever was one phone call telling him that his ex-wife Cynthia wanted to see him from her hospital bed. The call may have been unexpected, but what really blew Keeper's mind was the news he received a few days later that Cynthia had unexpectedly died in the hospital. But even then his biggest surprise was yet to come: news that Keeper was the father of Cynthia's three-year old son, product of the one last fling they had before Keeper met Leah, and a little boy he had not known even existed.

What happens when Jimmy Keeper is immediately given full legal custody of his son Leo is both funny and touching. Keeper and Kid is the tale about what a man who can barely take care of himself, a man who in many ways does not seem ready even at his age for adult responsibilities, goes through when he is given sole responsibility for a little guy who both needs and demands his attention twenty-four hours a day. Keeper suddenly realizes that there is no time off for good behavior and that his day now centers on the needs of his son. And he is almost as unhappy about his new situation as Leah was when she took one brief look at Leo and decided to end her relationship with Keeper.

Any man, and I suspect more than a few women, who has suddenly found himself the sole caretaker of a small child will understand why Jimmy Keeper felt so totally helpless within hours of having taken custody of his son, a little boy who will eat only round food, has a great vocabulary, is terrified of cats, loves to stay up late, gets up at the crack of dawn, wets and soils his pants because of the trauma of losing his mother and who hides things to punish people. Keeper is just not ready for Leo.

Edward Hardy has created an interesting mix of characters and it is difficult not to root for Keeper in his quest to get Leah back while learning to cope with the demands of fatherhood. In the process, Keeper learns a lot about himself, his family, his friends and especially his former sister-in-law. Let's just say that the three-year old is not the only one who starts to grow up in Keeper and Kid. This one is fun.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious but also thoughtful, January 25, 2008
What I particularly like about this novel is that while it is laugh-out-loud funny, it also has lots of thoughtful things to say about parenting today. When Keeper finds out he's a father, he feels suddenly completely isolated and overwhelmed. It never occurs to him, for example, to tell his parents he is a father or to ask for help or advice from them or his many friends. Hardy manages to convey the strangeness of parenting for a generation who really have had no experience with children and who are too shell-shocked and too individualistic to ask for help. Even more deft, however, is the way Hardy handles the strangeness of a whole culture which is panicked by child-rearing. His hilarious and detailed descriptions of the masses of objects, television shows, and fast food meals that have been created to fill a child's day remind one of Don DeLillo. Hardy is as funny and unsparing about consumer culture as DeLillo, but he's not as paranoid or despairing. This book is "must" reading for any new parent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting at times, ultimately frustrating, June 27, 2010
I really wanted to like this book more because its premise and cover captured me from the get go. The book had its moments, some - mostly passages involving the "kid"- touched me greatly, plus I agree that some of the writing is witty, smart and emotional. However, things changed pretty quickly for me: a convulated plot, ultimately unsympathetic characters, some rambling, unconnected plot points, infuriating character behavior led to an increasing lack of interest in the story. I grew frustrated and somewhat bored. I agree with some of the things that reviewers who gave the book 5 stars said about the book being witty etc. Nevertheless, I found myself agreeing more with those who gave it 1 star. I think it deserves more than 1 star, bt certainly not 5. I felt horrible for Leo, the "kid", who seems to be largely neglected or treated as burden/inconvenience by those adults who supposedly loved him. I can understand the main character, Keeper, the father, feeling lost and clueless about having a son he knew nothing about until the day he met him at the age of 3 or 4. I get it that Keeper feels overwhelmed, bt it is no reason or excuse to be rather unresponsive to the child who has suffered a great loss. I missed the supposed enlightment and maturity that Keeper supposedly undergoes in the process - given how he conducts his own life and behavior towards his girlfriend who flees hours after meeting Leo. The author alludes to the child's suffering and tries to connect all the points in the story, bt IMO, he fails to bring the story together in a meaninful way. I lost interest and except for the child's well-being, could not care much for the other characters. The focus is not so much on the father-son relationship as I had expected. I wish the author had concentrated more on that. The book is supposedly about the father/son relationship and how it helps Keeper grow up; However, all Keeper does is to let the child watch tv all the time, swear in front the child and blame the child- not overtly- for the changes in his life, especially his love life. I did not feel the parental love there. At some point, Keeper becomes so embroiled with his girlfriend's defection, who is an annyoing character, that the book should have been retitled "Keeper and Leah", at times, the child seems almost incidental to the story and I wanted to read more about the child who is truly a fascinating character, far more interesting than some of the adults in the story. Thus, this aspect frustrated and infuriated me. I think that the book could have been an amazing portrait/journey about fatherhood but I also found strange that a book about fatherhood has the main character call the child mainly "the kid" and the child never refers to Keeper as "dad" or, I believe, is told who Keeper truly is. Very unfulfilling read though it had some amazing moments that did not carry on or lasted. I wished he had concentrated more on the Kid and less on the Keeper.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeper and Kid, January 20, 2008
In this wonderful, funny and highly engaging coming-of-age story, Keeper is from one day to the next thrown into the role of father and sole caretaker, when his ex-wife dies unexpectedly and leaves him with their 3-year old son, he never knew existed. With the kid, he is now put into a situation where there is no escape, no easy solution. Movingly and with humor and sensitivity, the book describes how Keeper, overwhelmed and in a panic, faces the challenges of taking care of an upset boy. As Keeper learns to open up and ask for help in his efforts to handle the kid, maintain his job and get his girlfriend back, his life is enriched and so are his readers.

Keeper and Kid: A Novel
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pathos and Joy, August 16, 2013
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Real believable characters in an unusual, but plausible premise. A divorced man finds he has a four-year old son with his former wife that she never told him about, thus upsetting the new life he is creating and the new love that is developing. He must now step up to the plate, though he is not a "take charge" kind of guy. I found the writing so real and believable, I just wanted to
ask the author how he could create such emotion and reactions without having experienced it --- or perhaps he did?
I recommend this for readers who like great characters in a real life setting. Kind of like Anne Tyler. Try it and see.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A unique story, March 8, 2013
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A single father with a son he doesn't really know. It's a story of an educated man who is woefully lacking socially.
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Keeper and Kid: A Novel
Keeper and Kid: A Novel by Edward Hardy (Hardcover - January 8, 2008)
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