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The Hope Valley Hubcap King [Kindle Edition]

Sean Murphy
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $3.01 (23%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Kindle Edition $9.99  
Paperback $11.17  
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Book Description

Time, The Universe, And America...

In a country a lot like our own, in a time a little bit like now, Bibi Brown is an ordinary young man with an extraordinary destiny. Bibi, the first male in twelve generations of Browns not to have taken his own life, has a furious crush on a beautiful nine-fingered woman and an unbearable urge to understand the meaning of Time, the Universe, and America. So Bibi begins his quest--careening through a world of bizarre cults, gravity-defying crones, and lunatics of every stripe--all for a chance to meet his long-lost uncle Otto, a legendary junk-dealer who lives on the Hope Valley Hubcap Ranch. Because in a world that is spinning a little too fast, and a little too wildly, Bibi’s destiny is to find the essence of hope, the beauty of hubcaps, and the meaning of life in the Valley of the Hubcap King....

With a touch of Candide, a dash of Don Quixote, and healthy dose of Zen, Sean Murphy’s wondrous, riotous novel is the story of an ordinary man searching through a hilariously off-kilter world--for the truths that might just save us all.

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Murphy, a longtime practitioner of Zen, has distilled the open-minded adventurousness of his life's study into a quirky novel set in the future that is at once ingenious, exhilarating and pleasantly frustrating. Frederick G. Brown II (inexplicably nicknamed Bibi) is a precocious child whose father-along with 11 generations of men before him-committed suicide. His odd sense of exploration and curiosity lead him to question everything around him, and as a young man he sets off across America on a journey that resembles one of Castaneda's acid-hazed travels. In Murphy's world, everybody is a philosopher; even a passing trucker who gives Bibi a ride cannot resist waxing poetic ("[T]he moment we come into this world we start dying. Mothers kill children by giving birth to them"). Bibi is driven by a fascination with a nine-fingered billboard model and a mysterious uncle who has become the near-legendary King of the title. His journey from home to Hope Valley mirrors the spiritual journey of countless seekers in countless disciplines, and the finale, while cautionary, is also hopeful. Filled with clever literary references (one of Bibi's relatives is named Gregor Samson) and told in a decidedly intellectual style, this book has "future cult classic" written all over it.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


The Hope Valley Hubcap King began as a tremor and ended in a torrent of extraordinary prose with words tumbling over each other like a symphony of precious and glittering stones.”
--Malachy McCourt

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 424 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385337825
  • Publisher: Delta (February 3, 2004)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0ZJ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,098 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen Heart February 24, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Hope Valley Hubcap King, Sean Murphy takes us on a long walk with a character of elemental simplicity, a few quirks and a huge heart named Bibi Brown. The book is a lovingly humorous painting of human nature and the sweet-crazy beauty of existence on Earth in the 21st Century, in the midst of much that seems not so beautiful. It was for me a Great Medicine book.
Murphy's use of the language opens up the magical in every moment of the novel, which for me lingered beyond the reading in a renewed sense of the infinite miracle in everyday things.
Tears came for me at the end of Hubcap King, mostly because I was going to miss Bibi's company, though his feeling has stayed with me. I very much look forward to more from this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A page flipper December 30, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought Hubcap King and 'The Time of New Weather' together. I'll probably not be attempting The Time of New Weather for quite a while -- too much else on my reading list. I wanted so much to enjoy the novel (having mystical interests myself). The story does have some interesting metaphors and characters, but it took me a long time to get through it without flipping over countless slow sections, not because it was a heavy read -- quite the opposite, it just didn't hook me in any way. As much as Sean may be a wonderful teacher of Zen, I heartily suggest he take a few writing courses to learn how to become a better story teller -- to create a more coherent and escalating plot structure, develop multidimensional characters, scintillating dialog... I found myself neither amused nor excited nor gaining anything from the read. I felt instead that there was a lot of rambling and redundancy and fluff.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quest for the hubcap king November 26, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sean Murphy is a brilliant teacher, whether it's zen or writing. His work -- especially in this cult classic of a novel is exemplified by his character Bibi Brown and the adventures he has as he searches back and forth across the country for the answers to life's big questions and his uncle -- the hubcap king.
The book has everything, love, loss, hilarious and very serious characters . . . plus a mother who's love for her son transcends everything. There's artistry, mystery, science and geographic landscapes as wide and wild as any place left in the U.S. It's futuristic and yet blatantly appropriate to this very moment, and to each of us.
Keep an eye on Sean Murphy, he's a man worth following closely.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I read it! February 26, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It looked quirky and entertaining, and besides it seemed to have some Zen stuff to it, so I bought it. I enjoyed it. Murphy isn't Hermann Hesse, and Bibi, the protagonist, is not Siddhartha, but they are brothers under the skin...think Siddhartha meets Don Quixote! But aside from the laughs and the fun of the journey, it brought me back to my center and reminded me of some central truths. I tend to think about what I'd rather be doing, rather than being what I am doing. So I came away having had a good time and perhaps a little better for it. Not a bad investment.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky & weird....A fun little book May 16, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Though not a new concept in what this novel is trying to convey, it manages to make you think, is clever and has terrific humor. Bibi's quest is the quest we all go on, his is just more convoluted and possibly a little scarier than the rest of us. It's presentation is creative and each character is different and fun to discover as you read on. You have to suspend some disbelief and let the book just take you.

Sean Murphy has managed to weave his Zen Buddhist philosophy into a quirky odd little novel with a lovable and admirable hero who quotes things like " Life is a naugahyde seat cover with no stuffing!!" If you like silly, weird but with an undercurrent of real issues we all deal with, this is a fun book.

In retort to Leather who hated this novel-Malachy McCourt is Frank McCourt's brother-who wrote the pulitzer prize winning memoir Angela's Ashes. Malachy is an Irish name and if you haven't read Angela's Ashes-it's great!
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