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The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody Paperback – September 27, 2011


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The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody + Weasels in a Box: a not so musical journey through partially truthful situations with eighty percent fictitious dialogue
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hope and Nonthings (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098156433X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981564333
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,145,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CLARENCE ODBODY:

"John Jughead Pierson's strength as an artist is his seemingly endless ability to find new worlds of meaning in the simplest, most familiar ingredients--it used to be three chords and an attitude; in this new book, it is a plot we all think we know and are sick to death of--and, thanks to his passion, humor, and soul, make it all seem utterly fresh, absolutely vital, and like something we cannot live without. It was a joy to read." — Jim DeRogatis, rock critic, author, co-host, Sound Opinions

"I've always loved John's mind. Almost more than John himself. It's a mind that you can trust and be fdascinated by what it makes his mouth say and his body do. You won't be disappointed by this fascinating piece of work." — Dino Stamatopolous, writer for Mr. Show, Morel Orel, Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, and NBC's Community


PRAISE FOR INCOMPLETE PHILOSOPHY OF HOPE AND NONTHINGS:

"A fiendishly smart writer...intelligent and provocative." — The Chicago Tribune

"Like the best plays of Ionesco, Albee, and Pirandello, Ian Pierce merely hints at the deepest level of truth." — Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader

"Pierce is determined to fashion dense, cryptic works that confound as much as they enlighten us." — Nick Green, Chicago Reader


PRAISE FOR WEASELS IN A BOX:

"Reading Weasels In A Box is time well spent in the company of the quirky, intelligent, funny, talented, eccentric man who plays a mean underwater guitar. You won’t regret or forget it. Trust me." — Graham Rae, The New Review

"Weasels in a Box is revealing, compelling, and a flat out fun time for all to enjoy." — Denis Sheehan, Askew Reviews

Customer Reviews

I just loved the ending as well!
Ayperi
A brilliant re-thinking of Its a Wonderful Life, with tremendous character development intertwined in a terrific story arc.
Amazon Customer
This book left me feeling grateful for having read it.
Dina M. Carani

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By lulubella on February 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am probably one of the few celebrators of Christmas who does not religiously watch It's A Wonderful Life every holiday. It's always seems too cloying, too tidy, too precious. I know it's darker than it appears, but it seems that most people gloss over the darkness and focus on the happy ending. The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody, on the other hand, dives right into that darkness and explores the what-ifs of the film. What if George didn't survive his suicide attempt? Would the life that Clarence predicted for the town come to pass? It's a gutsy idea, to take on one of America's most beloved films, but Pierson is equal to it. He tells a story that is both heartbreaking and uplifting, and writes like he himself has earned his wings.

This book is both a pager-turner, and a serious piece of literary fiction. It is, quite simply, the best thing I've read in a long, long time.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lisa B on December 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
A fresh take on an old classic: the author takes a familiar cultural icon and turns it on its head in spellbinding fashion. Marvelous food for thought, remarkably inventive, quite a ride! You've never given so much thought to so many characters' backstories in your life, guaranteed. Utterly fascinating!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Susan J. Acosta on May 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
So John Jughead has really done it this time. You might think that if an author, as the opening of his novel, took one of the most beloved films of all time and changed the ending from happy to tragic, that those who love the film would get very angry at him, right? You probably think it could never work. But it does, and then some. As a lover of Frank Capra's 1947 It's a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a movie I, and many others, grew up watching affectionately each year at Christmas-time, I can safely say Pierson's book, although not quite as innocent as the film, is just as delightful. Written in straightforward yet artful prose, the novel stretches forth its ideas - about interconnectedness and causality, about appearances and attitudes - and frames them in a story peopled with characters, some from the movie, some not, but all well-rounded, believable, and, for the most part, likeable. The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody provokes thought but, above all, following the tradition of its source, has a heart. Thus, though an alteration of the film, simultaneously, a tribute. Its details are complex and layered, but, by novel's close, fit together neatly like a puzzle. Many years ago in Chicago, when I was fortunate enough to catch a production of one of Mr. Pierson's early plays, I knew he was a talented writer, but he's really outdone himself here. Read it, especially if you love the film, but even if you don't. You won't regret it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bruce D. Janu on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
"I'm so dreadfully sorry, Zuzu. Everything that's taken place since then happened because I allowed your father to die. I'm responsible for why we're here, for the way things are."

This is what Clarence, the one-time Angel Second Class tells George Bailey's daughter over two decades after Bedford Falls' favorite son went missing that Christmas Eve. The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody re-imagines a world in which Clarence failed in his mission to save the distraught, yet warmhearted owner of the Building and Loan. The characters are familiar enough, but things have changed in Bedford Falls. Zuzu drives a beat up '65 Ford Mustang. Ernie Bishop, the former Bedford Falls taxi driver is now a renowned author and Frank Hagney, Potter's former henchman is racked with guilt and loneliness, trying to make amends for all that he did prior to George's disappearance. And poor Clarence, unsure if he did the right thing, is doomed to walk the earth, his worn-out suitcase in hand, trying to piece together the mysteries of life and fate.

Keeping with the spirit of the original story, The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody offers readers familiar with the movie a look into the world of "what-ifs." Meticulously researched and painstakingly faithful to the original characters, the novel is a breath of fresh air; a completely original take on a familiar story. As one who has made watching It's a Wonderful Life a yearly tradition, I was a bit skeptical at first by the premise of this book. It seemed almost blasphemous to mess with such an iconic American story. But The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody does not take anything away from the classic film. If anything, it enhances that story and provides a means to contemplate the philosophical issues brought up in the film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
A brilliant re-thinking of Its a Wonderful Life, with tremendous character development intertwined in a terrific story arc. Definitely one of the best books of the year
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mandy on December 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody is a fantastic retelling of the classic story "It's a Wonderful Life." The attention to detail, rich interior lives of the characters (who are beautifully developed in vivid detail), and overarching plot lines are unparalleled in any book I've read recently. It's among the best of the best. The only drawback is that you have to be prepared to loose sleep; This book is a page turner.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tim on December 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is without a doubt my favorite book this year. I think I may add reading this book to the yearly tradition of watching It's A Wonderful Life
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