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The Big Bang Paperback – November 18, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tyrus Books (November 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440544158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440544156
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,335,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hull's satisfying debut explores the McMansions of Melody Mountain Ranch, a planned suburb where eating disorders, lesbian affairs, and a coven of teenage witches are just a few of the outrageous secrets hiding behind the idyllic facades. Hope Jordan is obsessed with having a baby, but months of fruitless trying have taken their toll. Her new neighbor, Tim Trautman, has hired her to design a nursery, though he's barely able to hide the fact that his interest in Hope is more than professional—and he's not the only one. She's also caught the eye of stay-at-home dad Will Pierce-Cohn and Frank Griffin, the local minister and homeowners' board president. When a batch of laced brownies doses neighborhood Memorial Day picnickers, the residents' hidden desires emerge. But the most toxic secrets of all are hidden by the Ranch itself, and when they come to light, the damage will affect the entire subdivision. Despite a slow start and some awkward one-liners, Hull deftly handles a multitude of complicated characters and brings about a conclusion that will leave readers suitably scandalized. (Dec.)

From Booklist

Beautiful Hope Jordan is an object of desire among the male population at suburban Denver’s Melody Mountain Ranch. Three men in particular are less than subtle about their lust: stay-at-home dad Will Pierce-Cohn, who leaves all decisions to his gutsy politician wife; minister Frank Griffin, clearly at odds with the Tenth Commandment; and Tim Trautman, whose joyfully pregnant wife is about to burst with twins. Try as they might, Hope and her movie-star-handsome husband, Jim, have been unable to conceive a child. (He’s always traveling when she’s ovulating.) With Jim overseas, Hope goes solo to a community potluck, where she unknowingly indulges in hash-laced brownies and falls into the wide-open arms of one (or perhaps all three) of her aggressive admirers. As bad luck would have it, egg and sperm finally collide. But who is the father? As Hope’s world falls apart, Melody Mountain Ranch’s shoddily constructed homes begin to crumble beneath residents’ feet. Hull’s amusing debut will appeal most to readers who like their fiction with extra froth. --Allison Block

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ellen E Rosenblum on November 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you live in the burbs of Anywhere, USA...where every third house is the same, the HOA rules the world, and nothing and no one are quite as they seem...you will love this book. If you live in the Denver burbs, as I do, you will swear that it's actually nonfiction, with the names changed to protect the not so innocent. I laughed aloud through the entire book. Pick it up...you'll love it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stevens VINE VOICE on October 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Hope Jordan wants a baby. When we meet her, she's getting ready for a fertility day "coffee break."

Neighbor Will Pierce-Cohn has a litany of concerns aimed at the developer of Melody Mountain Ranch and goes door to door in hopes of fomenting anger--and gathering signatures on his multi-faceted petitions.

Maryellen Griffin is desperate to shed a few pounds to get below her current 102, a "dismal" number. She savors the peppermint flavor on her toothpaste.

Real estate agent Laney Estridge managed to sell a property on Winding Valley Circle by "downplaying the minor explosion that resulted in $30,000 of Meth lab cleanup costs."

Frank Griffin has multiple goals--to become a spiritual leader in South Metro Denver and use his position on the homeowners' association to meet all his needs, including repurposing land designated for a "mega playground" for a more "lofty" purpose, a church.

Frank's daughter, Eva, is studying Covens Made Simple. Her head warlock is Tyler Pierce-Cohn and they quickly induct two fellow teens as "Dedicants" so they can reach their magic number in the group to make the coven official, 13.

This is all the first few pages of Linda Joffe Hull's The Big Bang, a delicious skewering of suburban lives, politics, religion and modern, upper-middle-class white people problems. It's "Weeds" meets John Updike's "Couples" with the satire dial set to slow, steady braise. Mary-Louise Parker's Nancy Botwin would recognize these surroundings, down to the laced brownies, and so would Kevin Spacey's Lester Burnham from "American Beauty," right down the tumble of themes from sex and redemption and search for liberation.

The focus of The Big Bang is Hope Jordan and what becomes a mystery, of sorts.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Atkinson on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a great deal more complex than the summary on the back makes it sound. However, it doesn't read as overly complex. It is well-paced, wonderfully crafted, and is full of interesting characters. It does center on Hope and her situation, but I wouldn't list her down as more of a main character than a number of the other characters of this suburban neighborhood. Hull works with a number of characters and manages to keep them all moving and developing in a way that they all seem to be the central focus of the story. It's pretty impressive to be able to do that while still keeping a core, focused story. I enjoyed the book a great deal and found it to be extremely impressive for a first novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janet Reading Fan on November 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When it is time to curl up with a good book I hope that you add this one to your library. I found the characters lovable, believable and even familar. The story line is everything that people desire in real life. Dont we all want money, a beautiful home, great looks, and popularity? But sometimes you have to becareful what you ask for. I love the Desperate Housewife/ Footloose morality/ Craft mischief and the mishaps of HOAs. I stayed up all night just to finish it because it was so entertaining.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By copchic430 on December 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was really slow moving for me,and had too many one dimensional characters . I found that I didn't really connect to anyone in the book ( poor character development ) and the novelist jumped back and forth through characters too often. I finished it but barely.... I found it too be a bit boring,even in the parts that should have been the suspenseful. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
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By dawndlee on September 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While a fun read, the characters never really felt fully developed. I kept thinking it would get better and then I just wanted to finish it to see who the dad was and still felt ambivalent when I found out.
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By Theresa Alan on May 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this was a fun, fast read and very well written. The characters were memorable, and I had a smile on my face much of the time!
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Format: Paperback
Suburbia in hyper mode! Without a doubt, one can not but think of a favorite TV show featuring suburbia antics when reading this book, yet it is not quite Desperate Housewives. Perhaps more Desperate HOA or HOA Gone Wild.

If you've ever lived in a neighborhood with an active HOA, on some level you can identify with at least some of the HOA antics in this book. Living in an HOA active neighborhood myself, I found myself quite amused at this aspect of the book and the characters that played into that storyline.

However, there were other characters that I found to be interesting, and kept waiting to find out where they were going to fit more into the story line, but they were never expounded more upon. A friendship that seems like it is more than just a heterosexual friendship. The pastor's daughter who is into witchcraft and her friends is another set of characters that seem like they are going to be of significance, but then are left dangling in the story.

The ending was both hard to swallow as plausible for some characters, and for others, cliche. It was a book I wanted to love, wanted to be pulled into, but yet found myself having to just get through it the deeper I got into it. I was disappointed all the mentioned characters weren't resolved as to how the really fit into the story.
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