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Lucy Crocker 2.0: A Novel Hardcover – May 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (May 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068485449X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684854496
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,125,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A family of computer programming nerds in Crowley, Mass., repair their marital dysfunction and domestic alienation by rediscovering the great outdoors in a blandly amusing, gently ironic tale from the author of Jackie by Josie. Former librarian Lucy Crocker is the inadvertently famous designer of the popular computer fantasy adventure Maiden Quest. Lucy is a fine artist and knows little about computers, but her game has made her husband Ed's company, Crocker Software, a big hit. Ed, a math genius with a pony tail, is having a hard time motivating his wife to bring out Maiden Quest's long-awaited sequel; exasperated by Lucy's procrastination, and bored after 15 years of marriage, Ed finds comfort in the tantric massages of his take-charge publicity director, Ingrid Bascom. Meanwhile, the Crockers' insufferably geeky 13-year-old twin sons, Benjy and Phil, have started their own computer company. When Lucy figures out how to read e-mail, she learns of her husband's dalliance and discovers that her sons are giggling at dirty pictures online. So the boys, who'd never dream of trading their hard drive for a Sunday drive in the country, get shipped off to the wilderness survival camp in Wisconsin that Lucy attended every summer as a teenager. The kids manage to tough it out, Lucy has a fling with a mountain man and the story climaxes in a predictable convergence on Little Lost Lake. There aren't many surprises here, but Preston's story bubbles along cheerfully, thanks to her evident enjoyment in her tale. This offers lighthearted fun for readers interested in the humorous clash between high-tech lifestyles and old-fashioned domesticity. BOMC and QPB alternates. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The titular heroine of Preston's second novel, a children's librarian and a technophobe, creates a computer game that establishes the Crocker Software company financially. Lucy is an outward success--not only is her creation "Maiden's Quest" a best seller but her twin sons run a lucrative hardware installation business they began while in fourth grade. Inwardly, however, Lucy's life is a mess: her marriage and motherhood feel like failures. She discovers that Ed is having an affair with his nasty publicity director and catches the boys downloading pornography off the Internet. Lucy snatches her sons and retreats to what she hopes will be a purer existence in the lake regions of Wisconsin and Canada. Amusing caricatures abound--for example, Corky, Lucy's intensely shallow mother. Librarians will find their portrayal only slightly more flattering than Corky's. Lucy faces one setback after another as she settles into her parents' backwoods cabin. Nonetheless, zany mishaps spark the revival of her family ties and of Crocker bank accounts. Light entertainment with a message: Do what you love, and money, fame, and happiness may (if you're lucky) follow. Preston's first novel, Jackie by Josie, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. For most public library collections.
-Joyce W. Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

As a girl growing up in Lake Forest, Illinois, Caroline Preston used to pore through her grandmother's and mother's scrapbooks and started collecting antique scrapbooks when she was in high school. She majored in American Studies at Dartmouth College, and received a master's in American Civilization from Brown University. Inspired by her interest in manuscripts and ephemera, she worked as an archivist at the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Peabody/Essex Museum and Harvard's Houghton Library.

Preston is the author of three previous novels. "Jackie by Josie," a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, was drawn from her (brief) researching stint for a Jackie O. biography. "Gatsby's Girl" chronicles F. Scott Fitzgerald's first girlfriend who was the model for Daisy Buchanan. In "The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt," she has drawn from her own collection of vintage ephemera to create a novel in the unique form of a scrapbook.

Preston has been awarded a Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowship and has had residencies at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Ragdale, where she is a Distinguished Artist. She lives with her husband, the writer Christopher Tilghman, in Charlottesville, Virginia and has three mostly grown-up sons.

Customer Reviews

Well...that's the farest thing from the truth.
Caroline P. Hampton
I loved Caroline Preston's "Jackie by Josie", but I was extremely disappointed by "Lucy Crocker 2.0".
Amazon Customer
I picked up this book on a whim for a light read and I could not put it down.
Elizabeth A. Harac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've been looking forward to a new Caroline Preston since I read Jackie by Josie a few years ago. (If you haven't read that yet, do so -- wonderful book.) Ms. Preston balances a wide range of issues here in dealing with the modern American family: the role of technology in family, difficulties between parents and teenagers, work versus home, the price of success. She raises Thoreau's Walden as a potential model -- but then challenges it as well, instead pleading for balance between old and new.
With so much on her plate, it's not surprising that Ms. Preston loses track of a few of her storylines: the entry of an old boyfriend late in the game seems forced, and neither the reader nor Lucy benefits from the exchange. Further, Ms. Preston tells the story in alternating viewpoints between three of the four family members; the fourth character, one of the sons, seems oddly two-dimensional by comparison.
But despite these shortcomings, Lucy is a charming, engaging and well-told story, which I read in just a few sittings. Ms. Preston, how's the next one coming?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Lucy Crocker 2.0 is an even better book than Preston's wonderful Jackie by Josie. It has the same strengths, memorable characters, a gentle ironic spin, and a satisfyingly concluded plot, but she's focusing here on our dot.com, web-enabled, screen-obsessed world, and asking whether we shouldn't chuck them all out the door and head for the woods. That's what Lucy does, and the result is fun to read and full of insight.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I loved Caroline Preston's "Jackie by Josie", but I was extremely disappointed by "Lucy Crocker 2.0". Lucy struggles with marital problems, miscarriages, and bratty kids. She doesn't find any humor in her situation and neither can the reader. Since Lucy nearly always plays the victim, she doesn't make an exciting heroine. Lucy plods through life and isn't perceptive enough (or is too depressed) to sense deception. At her own software company, she is unceremoniously demoted to consultant because she is oblivious to office politics. Her conniving brother swindles her out of twenty thousand dollars and she lets him off the hook. Her ex-boyfriend easily manipulates her into helping him commit a crime. Her own children fabricate a ridiculous story about their early release from summer camp and she believes them. Lucy may be a talented artist and a skilled outdoorswoman, but in terms of relationships she's a wimp and just about everyone around her takes advantage of this fact. Despite a tan and a new hairdo, Lucy isn't any different at the end of her journey. If you're looking for a funny novel with snappy dialog and interesting female characters, then I would recommend Jane Heller's "Name Dropping" or Adriana Trigiani's "Big Stone Gap".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carol S. VINE VOICE on June 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Awash in perceived failure (several miscarriages, a workplace fiasco, her husband's affair), Lucy Crocker retreats to her father's wilderness cabin to sort out her life -- having first shipped her precocious 13-year-old twins off on a canoe trip, and left a blistering I'm-leaving-you email for her husband. Skillfully shifting point of view allows us to see how everyone in the family confronts their demons -- the might-have-beens, the mistakes, the rash choices, the regrets -- and ultimately triumphs. Literate, charming, funny, warm and oh-so-real, this is a beach read with brains. When you're finished, dive into Caroline Preston's first novel, "Jackie by Josie," which explores some of the same themes in a different, yet also effective and engaging, way.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Caroline P. Hampton on June 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I first picked this book up, I thought it was going to be the standard story I've read before. Woman is upset with life and family, sets off on adventure of self-discovery, and ends up deciding it's not so bad after all. Well...that's the farest thing from the truth. This is a TRUE delight. I was charmed. I found Lucy to be very endearing and I enjoyed her character tremendously. It's a wonderfully funny book about a family, YES. But, it's also so much more. I think that it's an all-around book for anyone looking for a great treat on those long summer days. It's not too taxing and loads of fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Setterfield on June 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Having read Jackie By Josie a couple of years ago, I knew I would enjoy Lucy Crocker 2.0 just as much. However, when a book sits on my bookshelf for so long, the excitement about reading it tends to go away. I finally decided to read it, and now I'm wondering what took me so long. Lucy Crocker 2.0 is a delightful book and one that speaks volumes about marriage, motherhood, and self-identity.
After many miscarriages, Lucy Crocker found solace in designing a #1 best-selling computer game, Maiden's Quest. Ed, her husband and founder of Crocker Software, encouraged her in this process, but is now nagging her about the sequel. But Lucy's got writer's block, cannot concentrate for the life of her, and therefore, the progress meeting with Crocker's game team did not go over so well. To top it all off, Lucy finds a questionable e-mail to Ed from his sexy employee, Ingrid. But that's not the end of it -- Lucy's twin boys, Benji and Phil, who run their own business installing software and designing websites for businesses, are spending their free time browsing porn sites. Oh yes -- Lucy is having a very bad day.
While Ed is away at a gamer's convention, Lucy decides to take control of her life that seems to be quickly unraveling. With a retreat to her father's old cabin at Little Lost Lake in Wisconsin, Lucy is certain to figure it all out. But Benji, Phil and Ed are in for some adventure of their very own....
I enjoyed this book a lot and thought it rang true about marriage and being a mom. Caroline Preston's writing style was very refreshing and made perfect sense. But there was something else about it that I can't quite pinpoint -- maybe it was the tone of a frustrated housewife that kept me turning pages. One thing is for sure: Lucy Crocker 2.0 is a journey of discovery. Readers will no doubt be glad they rode along.
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