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The Here and Now: A Novel Hardcover – December 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (December 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312286473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312286477
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,052,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lost idealism is the subject of Easterbrook's second novel, an earnest but clumsy morality play about a troubled corporate lawyer who, on the eve of a major settlement, starts reliving scenes from his youth. Just as he's about to close a deal, Carter Morris is literally transported back to a classroom from his early childhood: after sitting through a nuclear attack drill, he returns home to find his father building a bomb shelter. Morris returns to the present and resumes negotiations, shaken by the incident, but more time trips follow, one taking him back to a military hospital where he tries to help his brother, Mack, who was injured in Vietnam. Morris's disappearances quickly compromise his role in the case, and he finds himself replaced as lead counsel by a libidinous young female colleague after he spurns her advances. The flashbacks turn romantic when Morris meets his eventual wife, Jayne Anne, in a series of scenes that replay their meeting at a college protest in the '60s and their life on a commune. The gimmick of presenting life lessons through a series of trips into the past seems worn out, and Easterbrook (This Magic Moment) compounds the problem by having Morris spew familiar rants about the excesses of the legal system and the material culture that has spawned it.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Thought provoking... The novel's moral message might seem heavy-handed if its observations didn't ring so true." - WSJ

"Well, what a sermon! But that's what Easterbrook has written, a thought-provoking sermon [which] deserves an evangelical 'enthusiastic', tent-meeting review." Carolyn See, Washington Post

"An engaging fable... Easterbrook gets in some good satirical licks against a variety of reprehensible targets... More insidious is the way that people have been led to believe that economic injustice is inevitable... Reading "The Here and Now" is like attending a pep rally against this kind of defeatism." -Los Angeles Times

"[Easterbrook's]engagement with social and spiritual causes comes through clearly in this satisfying tale of disillusionment and redemption." -San Francisco Chronicle

More About the Author

I was born in Buffalo, New York, to parents who were naturalized Canadians. I'm a graduate of Colorado College and a lover of the Rocky Mountains region throughout North America. Because my wife was until recently as U.S. foreign service officer, I've lived in countries including Pakistan and Belgium. I wish there was still a little family-owned patisserie in walking distance from my house like there was in Brussels. My character flaw is that I watch too much football.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Evan Haglund on February 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In some respects, Mr. Easterbrook's novel, The Here And Now, is more akin to a series of essays, interconnected and made more readable under the rubric of a novel. This is not a plot-driven novel; rather, the novel simply follows the development of its main character, over both a short period of time in "crisis," and over the protagonist's lifespan.
That said, The Here And Now is an excellent book. The primary characters are well developed, for whom the reader develops a sincere empathy. Minor characters are often walking indictments of a particular trend, industry, or the like, such as the therapist who has authored such notable psychological works as "Day Care For The Inner Child" and "When Mom & Dad Countersue," and the real estate magnate developing the "Gates of Hell" theme park (family friendly, despite its name, because it shows "little skin"). The dialogue is witty and insightful.
Best of all, the novel is thought provoking. Moreover, notwithstanding considerable cynicism throughout, its ultimate message is clearly one of hope and optimism. I highly recommend Mr. Easterbrook's novel.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By aharon levy on April 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Okay, so with its loose, fable-like structure and pretty clear moral cant, it shouldn't be read as a standard novel. But Easterbrook doesn't exactly give us much else to hang on to: with overcooked metaphors and undercooked characters, this doesn't read like anything other than bad fiction from someone convinced he's writing something brilliant. The "dude, what if..." premise--cribbed in equal parts from b-grade sci-fi and "It's A Wonderful Life"--is almost cringe-inducing. And the point he's making--that modern society is, like, bad or something, because people, like, sell out--is embarrassing to hear. Not because it's necessarily untrue (in many cases) but because everything Easterbrook presents is so without nuance, subtlety, or grace.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was intrigued by this book's premise of an umarried, cynical, fortysomething corporate lawyer's trying to recapture the idealism and romance of his youth. But I was disappointed at the specific form his efforts took--politically correct fantasizing about his hippie antiwar protest days in the 60's, debating whether to give up his millions of dollars in profits from a class-action settlement obtained by his law firm. The flashback/psychosis episodes every other chapter were also a rather cheesy device to bring us back in time to see his past perspective. Perhaps this will appeal to nostalgic, liberal baby boomers; but not necessarily to those with other worldviews, or other experiences of youthful idealism besides tossing out dandelions and flashing peace signs in public squares.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading this book. Some good jokes, a nice plot line. This guy is known for his political analysis and commentary, but he's also got a creative streak in him.
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4 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. Djuranovic on September 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I do read the author's Tuesday Morning QB column regularly and if the novel has half the wit and observation that Easterbrook delivers on weekly basis during the NFL season you're in for a treat. His is a rare eye that sees through the silly and the nonsensical and brings you closer to the truth -- providing you're willing to listen.
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