Customer Reviews


28 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even the dog is funny...
Yes, even the dog is funny in "The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac."

But why?

Because Kris knows how to work humor in fiction. Or maybe he just knows little dogs can be both annoying and funny. He's got a knack for setting up jokes, for witty, real, in-your-face dialogue, and for weaving an interesting plot that kicks family values right in the...
Published on March 20, 2012 by N. L. Belardes

versus
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not funny, kinda boring
I was not impressed by the book at all(but give the author credit that he was able to write and publish 320 pages of something that could be summerized in 15 pages). I didn't find it funny, main character is pathetic and can't make up his mind (I love loosers main characters or weridos, but Calvin is not exctiting at all) - he wants to leave the house and finds his family...
Published on June 13, 2012 by Konstantin Denev


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even the dog is funny..., March 20, 2012
Yes, even the dog is funny in "The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac."

But why?

Because Kris knows how to work humor in fiction. Or maybe he just knows little dogs can be both annoying and funny. He's got a knack for setting up jokes, for witty, real, in-your-face dialogue, and for weaving an interesting plot that kicks family values right in the groin.

I didn't see the big plot twist coming. And I found myself rooting for both the protagonist and his father, that they would both find light at the end of the tunnel.

Get the book. Read it to find out. And let's hope Kris has about 30 more books in him.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not funny, kinda boring, June 13, 2012
I was not impressed by the book at all(but give the author credit that he was able to write and publish 320 pages of something that could be summerized in 15 pages). I didn't find it funny, main character is pathetic and can't make up his mind (I love loosers main characters or weridos, but Calvin is not exctiting at all) - he wants to leave the house and finds his family annoyning, then he is trying to help'em, then he wants to move out again and this goes ad nauseum. Same with his job - he hates his job, but it takes him forever to leave, he calls the kids "retards", but he calls Ahram "buddy" and says "I love the little guy". Nothing much happens in the book till the 300th page and after I read the first 50 pages the remaining 270 pages were more of the same stuff - weed, records, jerking off, looser friends,the million dollars question "Do I move out or to stay in my parent's house?".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complicated family, May 22, 2012
Calvin Moretti is a jerk. Despite being in his twenties, he behaves like a teenager, collecting vintage vinyl and sinking further into debt. While he wants to be a man of the world, he ends up moving back home with his parents. In fact, every decision he makes, or drifts into, leads him backwards.

The timing home is difficult; his overachieving and obnoxious brother is also home for an indefinite time, and his little sister has rejoined the nest. It all seems to be coming together for a Hallmark moment when the reader learns that the father of these children is dying of cancer. All those kids, all that potential help! Caregiving and getting to know each other, creating precious memories.

But no. This is not that family. Because "Dad" is not a Hallmark moment patient. He keeps a Colt .45 in his robe. Shooting at life-size family images through a window at night is just something to do. He's bunkered down, stocking the house with everything he can to beat a potential enemy, just not the one that is killing him from within. He makes Calvin promise to be with him in the end, and gives away his fears, it seems, only to Calvin.

An ensemble cast and a family drama like this usually leaves an author plenty of room to make it all work out with lots of hints at impending unity. That despite it all, they'll end up closer and wiser.

But no. This is not that author. Kris D'Agostino doesn't take the shortcuts. He creates characters that are messed up, and that much more real for their flaws. Recognizing that challenges don't always bring out the best in us, he doesn't insult the reader by tidying up their sometimes ugly lives. For example, Calvin works with disadvantaged and disabled children. Perfect setup to make him a sympathetic character, but D'Agostino doesn't go there. Calvin is just as much a jerk at work, impatient with these kids, and we see just how atypical he is. And here's the thing: the more layers of flaws and complications put on each character don't just make them difficult, it actually draws us in.

So how can you work a plot around some extraordinarily complicated characters? D'Agostino does so by making everything a surprise. A push and pull comes from moments when Calvin looks towards the future:

"What's going to happen to us?" I ask.

"In what context?" David asks.

"In the context of life," I say. "A year from now I'll be twenty-five. My father got married when he was twenty-five. He bought a house. I have nothing to show for it."

"We don't want those things," Wally says.
.....

"Maybe we need to grow up," I say. "At least a little. maybe it isn't all about us."

Yet pages later, Calvin is still short-sighted as always, looking for the perfect drug to deaden such questions about life. These moments occur for the rest of the family, as their worry over their Dad and money and a new complication presents itself. Many twists keep the tension ratcheted up, and it's difficult to put it down once you've started. Possibly because, while most families like to imagine they are the Cosby's, the Walton's, or the Cleaver's, the reality is that they are the Simpson's. And the Simpson's are what most of us understand.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor Factory, March 23, 2012
From the opening line to the last sentence, Calvin Moretti captured my attention with his unique voice and the interesting way he views the world. He's not always a likable character, but that's what I liked about him. He doesn't try to be something he's not: he's genuine. He's the voice of a generation that hasn't quite found themselves yet, and I can't think of a better character to tell the tale. Despite his wayward direction, I found myself standing behind him every step of the way.

The story moved at a clipped pace, and I found myself flipping pages to find out what happened next. Although I wouldn't call it a light read, at times it can be light-hearted. The beginning proved more than memorable, with pockets of humorous scenes filling up the pages, to a more profound middle and end. Like Calvin, this story proves to be much deeper than it appears on the surface. It's a story and a journey worthy of your attention.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Robert Downs
Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the humor?, January 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac (Kindle Edition)
Don't get the unsophisticated humor nor pejorative description of children with disabilities. Readable but didn't smile once. Made me sad.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, October 22, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We chose this as our first book for our new book club. From some of the reviews we thought it would be funny at times. I did not find it humorous in any way. It was a depressing look at the family's life. I did not feel the characters were developed enough to really care about any of them beyond a casual curiosity about what will happen to them. I thought it lacked a solid ending. I like my books to make me feel as though I had witnessed a growth or experience of some kind. After this book I felt I just muddled through it with the characters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, April 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am deeply impressed that this is the author's first book. It has the sophistication of works addressing similar subject matter by the likes of Rick Moody and Marilynne Robinson, but humor plays a much bigger role here.
I look forward to what next the author has in store.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Funny, March 20, 2012
This book made me laugh hysteircally then a few chapters later I found myself crying, and then laughing again... The point is this book pulled me in and I was captivated start to finish. Cheers to Kris for having the wit and heart to tell this story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not funny, April 9, 2012
By 
J. Weight "juliew8" (Woodland Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac (Kindle Edition)
I got the Advanced Read Copy (ARC) of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

I admit, I'm confused. The synopsis of this book claims it is "not only buoyantly fun but often very, very funny." There are reviews here at Amazon that claim the readers were laughing hysterically, continuing the theme that this is a funny book.

If this book is funny, I'm Rip van Winkle. Maybe my sense of humor isn't warped enough. I kept waiting for humor... and waiting... and waiting. All I got was more and more depressed. I found nothing funny or even particularly witty about Calvin's "as told by" voice. I didn't laugh once. I didn't even chuckle. I'm pretty sure I didn't even smile. I cried at the end. Where's the humor?

What is funny about a 20-something who is lost and directionless, living at home, spending what little money he has on weed and more records than he'll ever listen to, while paying off a massive student loan and trying to save enough money to move back out of his parents' home? Was his father's cancer and subsequent deep depression supposed to be funny? Or his mother's juggling bills and worry over paying the mortgage and losing the house? Maybe I was supposed to find his teenage sister's pregnancy hilarious? I'm not sure. I finished this book as confused as when I started, except I was absolutely certain about one thing: this book is not funny.

There is not only no joy in this book, there's no redemption. Calvin, in my opinion, makes little or no progress towards becoming a real adult. He's still confused. Furthermore, he doesn't even have a job, which is a step back from where he was when the book started. In that respect, I found the story a failure in terms of the classic coming of age theme. I didn't feel that Calvin ever underwent any kind of significant change. He improved - minimally, in my opinion. I kept waiting for him to have an epiphany and make what, for him, would have been a real sacrifice, like selling his collection of albums. But no, he continued being a whining, shallow, entitled twit who thought he was making a big sacrifice because he paid the electric bill for his mother instead of spending the money on weed.

On the other hand, as I read this book, I kept thinking this is the kind of book that would probably be picked by the Oprah reading list. I don't mean that as a compliment - I have disliked every Oprah's list book I ever read. For my own reading purposes, a book being on Oprah's list is like the kiss of death - I will avoid it like the plague. There are probably legions of people who love those books who will love this book; maybe they'll even think it's funny.

I'm giving it a rating of 3 because there are probably people who will like this book and because it was competently written. It gets no great marks for the price, which is $9.99 for the e-book, which is at least less then the $11.16 for the paperback. My recommendation is save your money. If you want depressing family slice-of-life stories, you can get them free by making a phone call to your favorite screwup relative.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good look at a modern American family situation, April 27, 2012
I was drawn to this book easily by the cover - and I'm so glad I read it. I found it a great commentary on what I suspect is an unfortunately prevalent condition of families in America today. Bravo!

I welcome more from this writer. So, Kris, bring it on!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac
$9.39
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.