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The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac Paperback – March 20, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565129512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565129511
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In his hilarious and heartbreaking novel, D’Agostino has given us a sharp and poignant sketch of a generation searching for self-definition in a new century.” —David Gates, author of Jernigan and Preston Falls



“A singularly funny, bitter, bold book about what it’s like to resemble people you want badly to be better than. This is a remarkable book about a remarkable family with disturbingly familiar problems.”
—Brock Clarke, author of Exley and An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England

About the Author

Kris D’Agostino lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works in a preschool. This is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

I didn't even bother finishing it it was such a slow book.
Aslyn
I suppose it's possible that the character has an epiphany and changes his selfish ways, but I doubt that would have been enough to win me over.
Mary Lavers
The characters seemed very static, the plot almost non-existent, the protagonist unlikeable without being interesting.
T. Noon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. L. Belardes on March 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Konstantin Denev on June 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
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?".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amy Henry TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Downs on March 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
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
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joan E. on January 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't get the unsophisticated humor nor pejorative description of children with disabilities. Readable but didn't smile once. Made me sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bondu mom on October 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hangedman on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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