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Ode to Joy Boy, Book the First: On the Origins of Joy Boy's Chasm [Kindle Edition]

Liam James Leaven
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"An exciting first novel . . . think {MTV's} Real World on lithium and you begin to get a sense of what this exciting first novel is made of . . . an infectious romp guaranteed to entertain." -- Bookshop Santa Cruz

The mysterious nature of women, coupled with what seems to be a life slated for nothingness, has Joy Boy reeling. His consequent search for Dude, and all that he must know, begins a zany quest for something, anything, with more meaning and staying power than the 18-word sitcom descriptions he writes for his job at the TV Talon Times.

So begins a hilarious series of events filled with a wildly diverse array of impassioned, lonely and restless searchers, culminating in an explosion of pastoral bliss.

"Somewhere between our ever-extending, post-adolescent existence and having a life, lies a burlesque netherworld. It is called Joy Boy's Chasm, and I have never before known it to be so damn funny." -- Young Werther

"A zany, uproarious romp through the streets of Manhattan. Joy Boy's Chasm will have you laughing out loud, and shaking your head in disbelief." -- The Old Man on the Corner

Liam James Leaven donates 10 percent of royalties received from sales of the Kindle edition and all other editions of Joy Boy's Chasm to The Smile Train. Donate today at

Editorial Reviews


"Mirroring the unrelenting pace of Manhattan and city life in general, Joy Boy struggles to keep his love as his world spins uncontrollably . . . Think MTV's Real World on lithium and you begin to get an idea of what this exciting first novel is made of . . . An infectious romp guaranteed to entertain." -- Bookshop Santa Cruz

From the Author

Be Huge.

Product Details

  • File Size: 302 KB
  • Print Length: 205 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1468131052
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Etienne Press (November 2, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002YQ2X4O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've Read This Year December 12, 2002
By A Customer
I will try to describe the experience as minimally as possible: A witty, fast-paced and wildly inventive romp that will grab you by the neck and shake you up, down and all around until you break down and weep in the face of it's relentless, utter merriment. Somebody pass me a Martini, I can't believe what just happened.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant (and nutty) surprise February 12, 2003
By A Customer
In Joy Boy's Chasm we find that the disenchanted editor has met with dot-com hysteria as surfers, lonely messengers and free-wheeling, soul-searching crackers somehow all come together to occupy the same space in a wildly believable New York fashion, weaving nothing less than an hilarious, over-the-top, comic tale whose roots we find in the following: Breaking up is hard to do but harder, still, perhaps, is growing up.
The episodic novel takes place in Manhattan late in the fall of 1998, as the author states in his energy-driven prologue in where he also states that the reader would do better to throw the book on the ground, stomp on it, soak it in charcoal lighter fluid and set it on fire than they would to continue reading. A perfectly crafted take-away -- you have no choice but to continue on once you read this.
My most enjoyable and positive comment, other than the uncompromisingly witty repertoire that fills the pages and the carefully created (albeit madcap) plot, is that it is great to have an author who can take a risk with a unique perspective on the post-college, pre-marriage life by not littering the pages with the drugs, booze and sexcapades that one inevitably finds in most mainstream media treating the subject. Characters who unwittingly widen the rift between the now and where they are trying to get to by the all-too-common, tired and cliche literary method of filling their idle time with stimulants and depressants are a dime a dozen.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect! December 4, 2002
By A Customer
If it's laughter you're after, Leaven is your man! Flawlessly executed. Hey [], Can I give more stars??
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Gem in a World of Trash January 9, 2001
By A Customer
Finally, a book that is smart AND funny. If you love to read, but just can't take one more oversentimental drama from the Oprah Book Club genre, then you have found it! I promise, you won't stop reading until you've finished this satirical look at the post-college exhistence of the hilarous, sweet and sometimes naive Joy Boy. If you or someone you know has just made, or is about to make the transition into "adulthood" this book is a must. Or, if your like me, a thirty year old father of two who still can't come to grips with the "chasm" between those college day's and the harsh reality of the daily grind then this book will, at least make you not feel so alone. I especially liked reading about a character in New York City who isn't either some stereotypical type A tycoon dressed in black tie every night or some hugely impoverished stereotypical inner-city person. This really is a smart book that conveys what most of us, who fall somehere inbetween, are challenged with everyday - finding our place in a world that constantly challenges us to bend our ideals. I look forward to Liam James Leaven's next book to find out more about Joy Boy and his struggle.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart and fun story about coming of age angst December 1, 2000
By A Customer
I've not read a book this funny in quite some time. The unrelenting pace of city life, Joy Boy's search for love and truth in a world seemingly gone mad, and a wild cast of characters all come together beautifully and keep you laughing out loud all the way. I highly recommend this book. If you want to laugh -- and think! -- get it as quickly as you can.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read with lots of laugh out loud moments December 6, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A little zanier than most of the books I read, but very entertaining with some hilarious characters and dialogue. Some of the chapter titles alone (eg. Chapter 26: How Rico asked Willie not to spit in his favorite Provincetown mug, thus provoking Willie to spit out the window instead) were enough to make me laugh. After getting into the book a little bit it was tough to put down. I thought the ending was great.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "What a bore it would be-what would there be to talk about if...
Liam James Leaven sets the scene for this one-of- a- kind romp and life experience in New York,in his Author's Prologue. Read more
Published 22 months ago by J. Guild
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn good
Although this is not a great book it is a very nice read. I found the names a bit on the annoying the story itself felt real if not a bit oversimplified. Read more
Published on July 19, 2010 by jodi r
3.0 out of 5 stars It's A Confederacy of Dunces in a different time and place
As of this moment I am preceeded by ten reviews. None of them mention A Confederacy of Dunces. Perhaps this ten were not familiar with this work by the late John Kennedy... Read more
Published on June 21, 2010 by Sambient
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and satisfying
What at first appears to be a meandering and delightful tale of an odd group of characters begins to coalesce into a tale of lives intertwined culminating in a satisfying and... Read more
Published on January 1, 2010 by Angi E
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild, Inventive, Entertaining
This is the most wildly entertaining novel that I can ever remember reading -- no exaggeration.
If you're between 18 and 40, this book will have you laughing out loud. Read more
Published on April 2, 2004 by Charlie
3.0 out of 5 stars what a ride!
Apart from the in-your-face writing style, this little book is all about who Joy Boy encounters in New York - his roommates, the girls his libido latches on to, the booze he... Read more
Published on January 28, 2003 by Rebecca Brown
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More About the Author

Liam James Leaven is the name of a computer program that travels through the ethereal Space of Cyber, posting random musings at binary will at some of the world's most preeminent think tanks and thought gathering grounds. Recently, in a flash of Avatar-esque genius, Liam James Leaven's programmer recruited a goofy looking bloke to hook a motherboard and WiFi connection to his brain and be Liam James Leaven's tactile connection to the real world.

While Liam James Leaven leaps from WiFi to cable modem to Ethernet connection, leaving a trail of woeful ruminations in his path, his avatar travels the streets, roads, paths and alleyways of the world, peddling hard copies of the program's RNG-generated musings. Together, Liam James Leaven and his avatar hope to one day conquer the world, take all the stuff, recede to their compound and build a big fence.


Liam James Leaven will be appearing on the West Coast in the late fall/early winter. After, he will make his way back to the East Coast. Then he will go to the middle. Kansas is there. And a bunch of other stuff.

Please check back a little later when we have hashed out the final dates and locations. The tour bus is large, and with gasoline prices being the way they are, we are doing our best to avoid any backtracking en route.

We look forward to a time in the future when we may expense all of our gasoline and other promotional consumption, charging with glee and the proverbial reckless abandon said items to the LJL Corporate Amex, in a post-green world free from consumptive guilt and rich in abundant, renewable and politically correct energies.

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