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Ways of Leaving [Kindle Edition]

Grant Jarrett
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

*Winner of the 2014 International Book Awards in Fiction: Best New Fiction.*

"A standout novel about going home, where old girlfriends, awkward funerals, deeply buried parental secrets and naked, drunken, nocturnal escapades irritate a man like scabs of his squandered youth and misspent adulthood. When Chase returns to his hometown in the Poconos, his father has just died, his wife has left him, he lost his job as a journalist, and his sister wastes away in a mental institution. He's grappling with addictions to sex and alcohol as well as, closer to the surface, a problem with rage, most frequently expressed with dripping sarcasm. It's that sarcasm that gives this bleak, sometimes violent book its surprising levity. Jarrett (More Towels, 2002) seamlessly combines dark comedy with real tragedy and pathos, a hat trick comparable to that of certain movies with similar themes-Zach Braff 's Garden State, for instance, or Diablo Cody's Young Adult....Chase remains an enthralling, completely believable character, and readers who share his sensibilities will writhe and laugh in empathy as he seeks to retie his unraveling life. Ruthlessly brilliant writing brings grace to a story smoldering in pain." -Kirkus Reviews


Editorial Reviews

Review

*Winner of the 2014 International Book Awards in Fiction: Best New Fiction.*

"A standout novel about going home
, where old girlfriends, awkward funerals, deeply buried parental secrets and naked, drunken, nocturnal escapades irritate a man like scabs of his squandered youth and misspent adulthood...It's that sarcasm that gives this bleak, sometimes violent book its surprising levity....Ruthlessly brilliant writing brings grace to a story smoldering in pain." -Kirkus Reviews

*
Selected by Independent Publisher's
as an Indie Groundbreaking Book.*
  • "... an outstanding and devastating new novel ''
  • "...When Hannah tries to take her own life, Chase takes it upon himself to save her and protect her as she once protected him. The results are the emotional cornerstones of Ways of Leaving, and they are as heartbreaking as anything you will read in a novel this year."
  • "Jarrett masterfully conveys Stoller's story, switching seamlessly between artfully assembled prose and stream-of-consciousness ramblings to get inside his head and give readers a front-row seat to understand his journey. It's a master class of fiction writing, and it marks Jarrett as an author well worth watching in the future." -Independent Publisher

Product Details

  • File Size: 2660 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: SparkPress (a BookSparks imprint); 2 edition (March 8, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IVYC61I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,712 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense January 18, 2013
By WEB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The guy, protaganist, has problems. He IS having a midlife crisis and when things start stacking up against him, it is probably not the best time to be having a midlife crisis. His reactions to things in his life are intense, and the writing expresses the intensity so well the reader is caught up in it, unfortunately his reactions are usually wrong or at least ill advised. Much dark and stormy humor but also pathos as he tries to make sense of a world coming unglued. He is the kind of a mess that some women seem so attracted to in real life as well as in the novel. Warning: well written explicit sex, and that is quite an accomplishment. No warning needed; more farcical sexuality than explicit sex. The storm builds up to an intense (there's that word again)climax, but it is the final scene that will literally take your breath away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Story May 29, 2014
Format:Paperback
I loved this story. It was really well done. You start with a guy whose life is literally coming apart at the seams, if there ever really were any seams. Add beautiful narrative and an engaging voice and style, and you've got a story that you can't put down. And one that leaves you thinking about it well after the story is over. As a writer myself this is one of those novels that makes me wonder what in the heck I think I'm doing trying to write a book and wishing I was this good.
Time richly spent in this one.

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book free through the GoodReads Giveaways and the opinions in this review are my own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Debut Novel of 2014 July 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye. Charles Bukowski in Ham on Rye. What do they have in common? The protagonists - one fictional, one autobiographical - were the modern day folk heroes of their time and in fact remain heroes to this date.

Which brings me to Chase Stoller, the brilliant, tortured star of Grant Jarrett's debut novel, Ways of Leaving. Chase joins the ranks of Holden and Charles - he will delight you, engage you, enrage you, and in the end, you will never forget him. Why? Because he will never bore you and you will highlight sections of this book so that you can go back and quote him.

Rather than give you a synopsis of what this book is about as others have succinctly done in previous reviews, I want to focus on what Grant has brought to the table here. The spoken dialogue is both witty and hilarious. Do you want quirky characters? Check. Laugh out loud, odd-ball sexual situations? Check. Scenes written so vividly you are right there with Chase while he "interacts" with police officers, doctors, the self-absorbed brother you will all recognize, the husband of his latest love interest, and the woman who got away....or did she? And as for Chase's inner thoughts? Even better. He is Holden all grown up; Charles would have grudgingly offered him the adjoining bar stool and even bought him a drink.

Writers are taught to dig deep if they want to produce something extraordinary, but few are able to accomplish it. In Ways of Leaving, Jarrett has done that and more. He is almost painfully honest and while we know this is a work of fiction, the observations Chase makes...what makes him tick...what makes him cry...what gives him hope...all had to come from something deep in the writer's mind. It was as if Jarrett said, "You know what?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos! to Grant Jarrett and Ways of Leaving October 15, 2014
Format:Paperback
Chase Stoller is a good, old-fashioned American hero: a wry, witty, funny, tortured soul. Filled with humor and poignancy, Ways of Leaving is a riveting read with great language and characters. Mr. Jarrett has crafted a solid and compelling tale of a man examining his life, his relationships, and his moral code. This book does what a great novel should do - make you examine fundamental questions about how you live your own life and the choices that you have made along the way. Ways of Leaving is a beautifully written and artfully told story that I recommend without hesitation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
In case you thought you were in a bit of a downward spiral, consider, if you will, Chase Stoller: his estranged (much estranged) father has just died, his wife left him, he got fired, his beloved sister is confined to a mental institution, and now he has to head back home and face the brother he does not particularly enjoy.

You’re feeling pretty good about yourself, aren’t you.

As challenging as things are for Chase, though, he’s doing okay. Or he will, once he’s figured out how to manage his reliance on booze and sex and a sort of pugilistic streak to solve his life’s problems.

But first he needs to bury the dead, even if he’d rather be drinking. And he needs to stay far away from the married woman to whom he finds himself almost irrationally attracted. And he needs to figure out a way to get along with his older brother, the guy who has installed himself as the Voice of Reason in the family. And he needs to see for himself – really investigate and know without a doubt – that his sister is being cared for and can’t be “cured.” Then there is a lingering attraction for a former girlfriend, and a near death-wish that causes him to greet every obstacle with his fists.

Once he gets all that sorted, he’ll be fine.

Jarrett writes with such an inventive voice that you feel as if you’ve pulled up a bar stool next to these characters; they seem real and made of flesh as opposed to words. Chase’s young niece and nephew are almost a Greek chorus of grade school insights, add a further layer of realism. Chase himself is not a father, nor has he felt himself inclined to be one, yet he is an adept paternal figure in the lives of his brother’s children. It isn’t so much that he sees himself in them as he sees what could have been, what could still be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Delves into what typical family relationships might be like. If you...
Delves into what typical family relationships might be like. If you enjoy self analysis and psychological awareness this novel is for you.
Published 25 days ago by Eugene Huttie Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars eeehhhhh
It seems like the author had good intentions but then seemed to wander a bit. I had questions that weren't answered and I feel like some events weren't resolved. Read more
Published 2 months ago by HappyShopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Ways of Leaving
Chase Stoller’s life is a wreck’ his wife left him, he lost his job, his estranged father just passed away and his brother who doesn’t care for wants him to come back home. Read more
Published 8 months ago by grumpydan
4.0 out of 5 stars For Jonathan Tropper fans, here's a sarcastic, funny, yet emotionally...
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

Full disclosure: I received an advance readers copy of this book from NetGalleys in exchange for an unbiased review. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Larry Hoffer
5.0 out of 5 stars buy this book.
I don't know if i'd ever like to meet this author but I recommend his book. I was intrigued by "More Towels" but this book shows a much hired level of maturity as an... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dustin Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid good read!
Ways of Leaving is a well written novel about a time in one man's life that seems like an extra double helping of undesirables. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Wendy L. Hines
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Ride
This novel is amazing, wonderful, fun, scary, eye opening (scary and eye opening go hand-in-hand) and brilliant. I cried and laughed and held my breath. Loved it!
Published 21 months ago by Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and funny!
I enjoyed this book for both it's cutting edge humor and the soul searching journey of Chase Stroller to love and be loved. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Bonnie K. Rudeski
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and poignant novel that has a bite
Grant Jarrett's novel, Ways of Leaving, struck me as a deep, yet consistently hilarious account of familial death, dysfunction, and personal awakening. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Noah Jarrett
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