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To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel Hardcover – May 13, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2014: Paul O'Rourke defines himself as three things: a dentist, a die-hard Red Sox fan, and an atheist. He's also a bit of a jerk, which is why, when someone sets up a fake website for his dental practice, Paul has trouble figuring out who is responsible. But a synopsis of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour can hardly do justice to a novel that is constantly changing shape and context. What begins as a stirring questioning of personal identity later evolves into a poignant meditation on the value of community, before transforming again into something entirely different. As with his previous novels, Then We Came to the End and The Unnamed, the paths of Joshua Ferris's narrative intentions are windy and at times unclear. But patient readers will find that when the author pulls the story from out of the woods, the things Ferris has to say about humanity are curiously and devastatingly observed. ---Kevin Nguyen
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Top Customer Reviews
I’d give the book 5 stars if it was all like the beginning, but unfortunately it didn’t work as a whole for me. I love Ferris’ writing style and nervy innovative ideas, but it’s also got to work for me as an entertainment. I know that might sound shallow, but I do read for enjoyment.
I would recommend "And Then We Came to the End" over this one.
Paul O’Rourke, who grew up poor as an only child of a widow after his father died when he was nine years old, is a successful dentist on Park Avenue in NYC. He is a luddite, an atheist, a cynic, and an antisocial misanthrope… or so it seems to others as well as to himself.
He hates all things technological and he'd rather opt out of internet, but he is always glued to his smart phone. He’s not a mere fan of Red Sox but a true devotee, who records every single Red Sox game and goes through superstitious rituals for the team’s win, but who also bemoans the fact that Red Sox had become World Champions but had been contenders ever since. He believes God doesn’t exists and everything Godly bores him stiff, yet he is attracted to, or rather infatuated and obsessed with religious people. He hates Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday because he just goes through the same rituals at home (if it’s a game day) all by himself. When he feels down, he goes to a mall, a sea of humanity, to make himself feel better while at the same time depressed at the unwholesomeness of all those people. Most of all, he finds it all meaningless and life pointless.
When somebody fakes his identity online, starting with creating his website, posting comments under his name, branching out to facebook and twitter, ever increasing his fake online presence, impersonating him perfectly but with some religious stuff mixed in that nobody has heard of, Paul is irresistibly drawn to this fake Paul O’Rourke who seems to know him better than himself. And he begins his journey, kicking and screaming, to find himself.
Well… at least that’s my take on it.Read more ›
I guess around the time that he realizes that other than the theology that itches him, the website represents a better version of himself that I began to get intrigued with the guy. The long winded Red Sox monologues make me nuts, but then began to enmesh me in the romance of a losing team's fan. And it turns out he cares deeply for people, although he hadn't known it. The book is full of quirky little factoids and side trips that snare the unwary, myself included. There is a certain charm to it all. I kind of really like the once grouchy dentist.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Paul O'Rourke is a New York dentist, a chronic insomniac and manic depressive manchild in need of love, acceptance and meaning in life. Read morePublished 2 days ago by J. Ang
I intensely disliked this book. Our book club had selected it. It rambles on and on. Besides being very depressing, it is boring. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Patricia Ridgley
Ferris presents exceptional insight on many different levels and with a masterful writing style. At its heart is the personal struggle with alienation and the relief from... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Jason F. Cutler
Brilliant, deep, funny, heart-breaking, genuine questioning of the contemporary human condition. Never glib; never trite; never superficial. Read morePublished 1 month ago by White Rabbit
I'm reading this book for book club, so I really, really wanted to at least like it enough to get through it. It's very infrequent that I quit a book, but I'm this close. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Nelson
Mediocre, heavy going and dull! primitive writing. It lacks originality and interest, mildly entertaining at best. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer