That's Not a Feeling and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $3.37 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Used, but looks brand new. Only very slight signs of use. Cover and binding are undamaged, and pages are crisp and unmarked. Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

That's Not a Feeling Paperback


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.58
$1.44 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

That's Not a Feeling + Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
Price for both: $26.07

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Press (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616951885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616951887
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The Roaring Orchards School for Troubled Teens in upstate New York is a troubled institution. Its founder and headmaster, Aubrey, resembles a cult leader, and while he insists that teens need structure and limits, interpreting his rules isn’t easy; the struggle to win privileges often pits the students against one another. Anchored by the slowly growing friendship between students Benjamin and Tidbit (aka Sarah), the story is told by Benjamin, in recollection, informed by what he says others told him, so it becomes both a first-person narrative and an ensemble piece (there are many scenes in which Benjamin is not present). This is not your usual coming-of-age tale. Aubrey’s arcane, arbitrary form of therapy (the book’s title comes from his list of seven approved feelings) and its attendant vocabulary evoke George Saunders’ eye for the absurdity of bureaucracy and his ear for jargon, too. There are also strong echoes of Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. But despite the dark humor, Josefson humanizes his characters beautifully. Their longing to connect, and their confusion at where they find themselves—students and faculty alike—is urgently palpable. The prose is matter-of-fact, even placid, and studded with perfectly phrased gems, a cool surface to a work that is rich in feeling. A wonderful and noteworthy debut. --Keir Graff

Review

New York Times Editors’ Choice
Booklist Editors’ Choice


"Dan Josefson is a writer of astounding promise and That's Not a Feeling is a bold, funny, mordant, and deeply intelligent debut."
David Foster Wallace
, author of Infinite Jest
 
"If That's Not a Feeling were a fifth novel, it would be a triumph. As a first novel, it is an astonishment. Dan Josefson sails along the scary edge of perfection in this book, and does so with style, empathy, compassion, humor, and wisdom."
Tom Bissell, author of The Father of All Things

“Deft, tempered prose...unornamented, but never flat or blunted, so that the characters, not the sentences, heat the pages.”
—New York Times Book Review

“The prose is matter-of-fact, even placid, and studded with perfectly phrased
gems, a cool surface to a work that is rich in feeling. A wonderful and noteworthy debut.”
—Booklist, Starred Review

“Funny at times, and more than a little sad, the book’s form perfectly mirrors Benjamin’s profound sense of dislocation and uncertainty. This is a powerful, haunting look at the alternate universe of an unusual therapeutic community.”
—Library Journal, Starred Review

“Metaphor is a hell of a weapon in Dan Josefson's debut That's Not a Feeling...a funny, humane, egalitarian, and gently challenging book, one to quote and roar over, and one that gets better and stranger as it goes.”
—SF Weekly, "Instant Classic"

"This is a book of enormous intelligence, and even more heart."
Jim Shepard
, author of Like You'd Understand, Anyway

“An incredibly daring experiment in characterization, and one that will surely reward many rereadings.”
—School Library Journal, "Adult Books for Teens"

“It’s difficult to read this novel and not feel challenged, moved, devastated, and excited for Josefson’s next book.”
Tottenville Review

“Not only is this novel a humorous narrative adventure, it’s also deeply moving, subtle in its approach, and beautiful in its execution.... A vivid portrait of human frailty and perseverance, one that makes us question what breaks us, what heals us, and what makes that journey worth it.”
Tethered by Letters (blog)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
14
4 star
8
3 star
5
2 star
4
1 star
0
See all 31 customer reviews
Kudos to Mr. Josefson!
Nadia S. Edwards
I wish the author had dug down a little deeper to tell us not just what happened, but what it felt like.
lookingin2you
Despite fertile subject matter, this book is a real disappointment.
notaprofessional

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dienne TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I suppose I should start off by saying that I began my career in a residential school somewhat like the fictional "Roaring Orchards" portrayed in this book, so this book held a special draw for me. There were plenty of differences between where I used to work and Roaring Orchards. We worked with kids of all ages, not just teenagers. We were in an urban rather than rural environment. We had a much bigger staff and much more supervision.

But there were enough similarities that Dan Josefson's portrayal not only rang true, but packed a wallop. My school too was a rarefied, nearly incestuous environment that, despite being in a major city and affiliated with a major university, was oddly isolated from the outside world. I too was one of those staff barely older/more mature (and definitely less streetwise) than many of the students I worked with. I too struggled to understand and implement the therapeutic "process" and be part of the daily therapeutic "milieu". And I too saw the pathos and tragedy that ensue when so many severely damaged kids are isolated with only each other and staff with their own issues. I often found myself wondering if Josefson's portrayal of Benjamin were perhaps autobiographical - how else could he paint such an unbelievable, yet utterly accurate, picture of such a place?

Not only does Josefson's novel work on a psychological level, it works on a literary level. Our narrator, Benjamin, is the ultimate unreliable narrator. His story is ostensibly a first person narrative, but it shifts frequently to a third person omniscient point of view, including many events, conversations and even thoughts, feelings and dreams, which Benjamin could not possibly know.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bernice Hunt on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The director of Roaring Orchards, a school for troubled teens, believes wholeheartedly in the therapeutic process of his own invention on which the school is predicated. Cockamamy? Yes--but not a bit more so than many of the weird therapies that were popular in the 60's. Josefson's intelligent, empathic, and always lucid writing brings the school to vivid life. The teachers are patient and well-meaning, but often bumbling and incompetent; the parents are desperate and hence gullible and trusting; the children struggle with mighty burdens of anxiety, anger, frustration, and desire as they attempt to follow "the process" in order to graduate. The book is sad and wryly funny, and everyone in it is so compelling that I was sorry when I got to the end.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cathleen M. Walker VINE VOICE on September 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In 1971 I spent six months in a juvenile facility for troubled teens. In 1993 my daughter spent time in a half way house for troubled girls. It is now 2012 and I am now doing this work. Not many people have any idea what this work entails for those involved, both staff and kids. This books captures it in heartbreaking reality. I was completely captivated by the characters, the stories, the outcomes. The author is truly gifted and I am honored to have read this book, and to recommend it to anyone who cares about the next generation.

WEEPING IN THE PLAYTIME OF OTHERS: AMERICAS INCARCERATED CHILDREN, 2ND EDIT
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Granfors TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved Meg Abbott's "Dare Me," and thought this book might be like it. It was and it wasn't. "Dare Me" digs more deeply into the psychology of the girls whereas Josefson lets actions speak louder than words. There are some very crazy actions.

Dan Josefson has created a dystopian school amid the traditional world of private schools. "That's Not a Feeling" takes place at Roaring Orchards, a boarding school for troubled kids. In an otherwise idyllic setting, Roaring Orchards, the school, is purgatory.

There is no real curriculum. There is no real adult around. The students are put into levels and different punishments on a whim. The cast of characters is wide, each with a highly unusual, negative trait.

The main character, Benjamin, was tricked into coming to the school on what he thought was a visit. Then his parents disappear, and he's stuck. He befriends Tidbit, a girl who seems to understand his own sense of disillusionment with the world and can play the words right into a teacher's face with a straight expression.

Although this is kind of a black comedy, with the various character names (Pudding for one) and constant teasing and psychobabble, Josefson looks closely at the use of drug therapies and self-esteem building programs that aren't working.

Truly, this is a book that lays it out plainly but in a comic way: don't mess with other people's brains and quit trying to get them to indulge in telling their secrets to strangers.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lookingin2you on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Narrator Benjamin is left by his parents at a "school" for troubled teens. Teens are organized into dorms, held accountable for the actions of not only themselves but their group, and are generally looked over by one or more inept dorm parents or teachers. They are all following a program set forth by headmaster Audrey, who seems to be the only person in the entire facility who understands his ideas (which is no surprise, as they are largely ethereal mumbo-jumbo).

Sounds interesting, right? Boarding school? Troubled teens? Crazy adults? An almost cultish leader whose ideas nobody can quite seem to grasp?

Sadly, the book falls flat. Very flat. The narrator's own story is very incomplete. We never understand why Benjamin was put away at this school. No one seems to make any progress. You will find them in the same state at the beginning of the book as the end. There is a traumatic event that unfolds 3/4 way through the book and still there is no character development. The narrator even refers to his return to the school as an adult, and yet no reason is ever given for his pilgrimage back to this place that must have affected him deeply.

I can't help but think that we got the boring pieces of this story. All the ones that sat right on the surface. Student A did this. Teacher B did that. I wish the author had dug down a little deeper to tell us not just what happened, but what it felt like.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa5bfb6b4)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?