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Ways of Leaving [Kindle Edition]

Grant Jarrett
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 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

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:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,682 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense January 18, 2013
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Story May 29, 2014
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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1 of 1 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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
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.

Chase Stoller's life is kind of falling apart. He's lost his job as a reporter, his marriage is over in all but the legal sense, and to top it off, his estranged father has just died. He now must return to his hometown in the Poconos, a place he doesn't have many warm feelings for, and face his unresolved feelings about his childhood. Plus, his brother, Aaron, resents him for not being around much and forcing him to care for their father, and Chase's beloved sister, Hannah, has been languishing in a mental institution. It's understandable why Chase has stayed away so long, isn't it?

Growing up with a distant, disengaged father and a mother barely able to contain her simmering rage and depression, Chase really only had Hannah to turn to and protect him, and the two were inseparable until mental illness took hold of her life. And Chase certainly has his own problems—he's addicted to sex and alcohol, has a bit of a rage issue, and his self-destructive tendencies manifest themselves mainly in uncontrollable sarcasm and not knowing when to be quiet. His return home is marked by more than a little bit of abuse (both self-inflicted and inflicted by others), not to mention unabashed flirting and and a few sexual encounters, with an old girlfriend and a fragile, married woman.

"Perhaps everyone found comfort in convenient little myths created out of need, out of desperation. Or maybe some lives were truly wholesome, replete with the rich, sustaining byproducts of love. But what did it matter? Searching for answers was like studying a map after arriving at your final destination.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 5 months ago by grumpydan
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 6 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 11 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 17 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 18 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 18 months ago by Noah Jarrett
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and rich with depth and insight delivered with a sense of humor...
The author has created rich characters who he unfolds to us through a rare introspective and honest sense of humor. Very tight and interesting writing. Great dialog. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Monkey House (Consignment)
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ashton Stoller, Retired Banker and Grunter, Deader at Age 73" -- What...
-- Wish that line had been the book's opener, but it's just one of many bow shots announcing this book's soulful homecoming. Jarrett's "Ways.. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Brett Cartwright
2.0 out of 5 stars My way of leaving was to turn my Kindle off
I was surprised to see this published. The author constantly told the reader the back story and the feelings of the characters about one another but nearly never showed it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Karin L Mitchell
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