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Roastbeef's Promise: When Your Dad's Dying Wish Is to Have His Ashes Sprinkled in Each State, What's a Son to Do? Hardcover – March 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Smack Books, LLC; Stated First Edition edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981545912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981545912
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,306,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''Roastbeef's Promise is an exciting romp through the United States, highly recommended.'' --Midwest Book Review

''One of the best pieces of humorous fiction that I have ever read.'' --Charles Ashbacher, TOP 50 Amazon Reviewer

''Recommend this one highly. It needs to go to the top of your 'to read' list!'' --Don Blankenship, TOP 100 Amazon Reviewer

About the Author

David Jerome has written jokes for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show and performed his own monologue on the ABC late night talk show Into the Night with Rick Dees. From 1994 to 1996, he wrote and published a comedy newspaper, The Irreverent Times. Under the pen name James E. Spamm Jr., he authored a collection of humorous fan letters to celebrities and other notables called I'm a Big Fan.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 35 customer reviews
This is a book to read and re-read!
Janny Catlin Meyer
The premise in unusual yet carried out so well that it is sometimes hysterically funny.
Charles Ashbacher
Again this book is a TEN star winner!!
Beth DeRoos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The premise in unusual yet carried out so well that it is sometimes hysterically funny. Jim "Roastbeef" Hume's father is suffering from a severe case of Alzheimer's Disease, a lifelong hater of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he now believes that he is Roosevelt and making executive decisions. In his last hours, he asks that his body be cremated and his ashes scattered throughout the 48 contiguous states of the United States. Jim is a mediocre college student with no money, so even though his father was demented when he made the request, to Jim a promise is a promise, so he embarks on the journey, which starts in the Washington D. C. area.
Jim travels by car, bus, moped, bicycle, truck, train, and on foot. He bums rides, jobs and almost everything else when he can't find enough work to continue the journey. In a very funny book, the best part by far was when he was describing his "Uncle Spud." "Spud" was a member of his father's army unit in World War II and he received a Purple Heart for his wound in "hand-to-hand combat" with a German woman armed with a potato peeler. Spud is an unmarried Professor of agriculture at Cal Poly and the description of this colorful character had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes.
This is the most unusual road story that I have ever read, Jim struggles with adversity, everything from getting his car stolen to being thrown in jail to having the container of his father's ashes overturned and stolen. Yet he perseveres, meeting some of the oddest people ever to appear in a story, so quirky that they were plausible. It is one of the best pieces of humorous fiction that I have ever read.
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Format: Hardcover
Have you ever started a book, was captivated by the first page and then found it got better with each one you turned? Well this work by David Jerome falls into that category. The reader must remember while reading this book that it is a novel which, according to the author, is loosely based on his own experiences while visiting all of the lower 48 states.

Briefly, the premise of the "novel" is that a young man, nick-named Roastbeef, makes a promise to his father who is in end stage Alzheimer's to have him (his father) cremated and to sprinkle a few of his ashes in each and ever state. Now our young hero, whose collage career at that point is less that stellar, follows his father's wishes and set out upon a journey which turns out to be quite remarkable. With very limited funds, a certain naivety, but determined attitude, along with a rather quirky outlook on life, Roastbeef hits the road. Little planning is involved here and the travel is by the seat of his pants and on a shoestring budget. In short, Roastbeef, our first person hero, is pretty much clueless. I will say that I had to admire his tenacity and devotion to his father's wishes.

Now I am a big, big fan of road trip books and set at the feet of the Godfathers of road trip books such as William Least Heat Moon (Blue Highways) and John Steinbeck (Travels with Charlie). I simply cannot pass a book up in this genre. Mind you, I am not by any means placing or comparing this author with these two giants, but I will say for pure reading pleasure, Jerome certainly delivers.

This book is indeed fiction but the reader must constantly remind themselves of this fact.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a sucker for a travelogue, and the funnier, the better. So it was only natural that I loved David Jerome's first novel, Roastbeef's Promise, from start to finish. He reminded me of two of my favorite authors--Tony Horwitz and Bill Bryson, except that these two write works of nonfiction. But I'm sure that there is a fine line between fact and fiction in Roastbeef's Promise. Jerome did make a similar trip in his younger days, although I assume without the ashes.

Jim "Roastbeef" Hume is barely scratching his way through college and his dad is dying of an aggressive case of Alzheimer's. On his deathbed, "this lifelong Republican now believed he was Franklin D. Roosevelt." When all memory was lost, the disease made him an "FDR savant." Mr. Hume made his son promise that he would scatter his ashes in all 48 contiguous states. He also gave specific directions for some states. "Don't sprinkle too much of me in Vermont. In four elections, I never carried that damn state." So after the funeral, Roasbeet takes off in his Hyundai, with very limited funds and 3/5s of his dad's ashes (not all of his siblings agreed with his mission, so the ashes were divided).

What begins as a smooth trip quickly becomes a bumpy road. Throughout his 15-month journey, he travels by car, bus, train, plane, moped, and on foot. He sleeps everywhere from the "Hyundai Hotel" to the side of the road. He runs out of money on a number of occasions and seeks temporary employment. But what makes Roastbeef's Promise so successful is his colorful cast of characters and his ability to see comedy and irony in all situations. He meets a crop-duster (who helps scatter his dad's ashes over New Hampshire), a lesbian softball coach, the owner of a Mt.
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