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Welcome to Scranton [Kindle Edition]

Greg Halpin
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $6.96 (70%)

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Book Description

It's a wild ride through Scranton in this darkly funny and touching story about friends in their twenties trying to figure out life in their hometown. The boundaries of friendship are tested as one of them hits rock bottom.

Welcome to Scranton paints a portrait of a small town that includes political corruption, a disgraced teacher, and the hilarious antics of young men.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Greg Halpin was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He opened gourmet coffee shop Café del Sol in the mid 1990s where some of the scenes take place in Welcome to Scranton. Halpin now lives in State College, Pennsylvania with his wife Elisha. He works for his alma mater, Penn State University. Halpin hosts a Jazz program each month on WPSU-FM. You can listen online at

Product Details

  • File Size: 302 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Greg Halpin (November 23, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004AYD6LW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #742,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars :( August 31, 2011
By Meagan
Format:Kindle Edition
I was very confused about this book. I'm not sure if I missed something, but I kept waiting for a plot to appear.I felt that the story with Ed was so-so. It felt very unreal. I wasn't very sure about what was what. I also felt that character development was extremely lacking, which makes sense because the book was so short. I think the book could definitely be expanded upon and I would like it more. There were a few grammatical errors/typos but that's okay. Overall, it was definitely not the worst book I've ever read.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Character likeability is subjective. In Greg Halpin's debut novella, Welcome to Scranton, Hank and Ed are not your typical valiant heroes or romantic leading men. Instead, they offer a glimpse into the mind of a twenty-something, small town male. They are rude, crude and obsessed with the opposite sex. All in all, they represent Halpin's take on the average guy. Their realistic portrayal demonstrates how good writing can overshadow the cult of personality.

The main question Halpin addresses is: Would you try to save someone you didn't like? Despite the fact that they've been friends since childhood, Hank despises Ed. Hank is the owner of the gourmet coffee shop, Cafe del Sol, while Ed is a strip club hustler. Hank likes to watch independent films at the Ritz Theater while Ed indulges in cocaine. Hank is tolerant of the differences of others while Ed is a bigoted homophobe. Hank is in a committed relationship while Ed cheats on his pregnant girlfriend. Yet when Ed's life is in danger, Hank must decide whether or not he is worth saving.

This powerful premise is developed through dialogue laced with profanity and sexually explicit language. Hank is not depicted as a saint. He is hesitant to respond to Ed's call for help. He is reluctant to do the right thing. He doesn't want to take charge of the situation and shoulder the responsibility. This is a complex, emotional response to what may seem like a straight forward dilemma. Hank is not one who gladly rises to the challenge of saving the day. Instead, he exhibits the characteristics of a genuine antihero.

When a protagonist doesn't fall into a cliche and think/say/do the expected thing, it lends credence to the narrative. Real life isn't black and white, and good writers live in shades of gray.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Wild Ride December 18, 2011
Do you like dark humor? I thought this was amazing! Somehow even with loads of foul language, disparaging remarks about women, and you name it this book has it, I think this book is great. The foul language and racial slurs are all necessary to depict the characters in the book.

The two main characters that 'Welcome to Scranton' revolves around are Henry and Ed. It is all written in first person from the viewpoint of Henry. He hates his name so you don't even know that right off. Henry has a group of male friends that he has known from way back, Jake, Mike and Ed. But the real main characters are Henry, Ed and the town of Scranton. If you look at the cover of the book, you will see a collage of the important parts of the story but you can't figure it out just by looking at the cover.

The story is told by Henry in first person. First he tells about Ed waking up him up in the middle of the night. Ed has an apartment in the same complex and he bangs on the door at three in the morning. Ed asks him for some smokes and mentions that he took a whole bottle of pills. Henry gives him the smokes, Ed leaves and then he goes back to sleep. Then he wakes up again. He thinks about the bottle of pills that Ed took. What should he do? Take Ed to the hospital. Then he hesitates. Why, that you will learn!

There are two more parts of the story, a journey back into the past with meetings in bars with his friends, a road trip to Atlantic City and we really get to know Henry, Ed and Scranton and the rest of the group. Then we are back to the present. Henry has to make an important decision.

From the first sentence of the book with Ed banging on Henry's door, I did not want to put `Welcome to Scranton" down'. The whole book is a wild ride through the past and through Scranton.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! March 2, 2011
From the opening scene, I could not put it down. Halpin is great with dialogue, interjecting backstory with taste, and adding his own wry sense of humor when appropriate. I stayed glued to his prose until the very last page.

I must confess, I also got a real kick out of reading all the landmarks in print, as I live and study in Scranton. I felt like I was sitting right next to Hank, Jake, Mike, and Ed while at Whistles, I felt like I could see those grey walls in the Mercy hospital waiting room, I was looking up Ash street, and I could see the pool table in that upper-level-thingy at Jack's. I'm sorry - the old Jack's.

As a whole, I was very impressed with his writing and ability to tell a story with a great balance of detail and introspection. The book is very tasteful and it flows with ease. I don't think there was ever a moment when I found myself bored while reading it.

In conclusion, the story seems to take place at least 15 years ago and Halpin has to be at least that much older then me. Sadly, or ironically (or both), I think about the current state of Scranton, and the same problems still exist: Heavy drinking and drug use, lack of employment, friends who can't cope so they try to kill themselves by consuming a whole bottle of pills, etc etc etc ... And I flip to the cover of his book and re-read the title "Welcome to Scranton" and don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

But besides that little rant, this book is excellent. Halpin has got real talent!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Worth the price I paid (free)
Might have made a decent short story. I kept waiting for something to happen - it didn't.
Published 2 months ago by landiec
3.0 out of 5 stars It's just okay, like Scranton
The book was entertaining and if you have ever spent anytime in Scranton you can easily picture the characters and the town. Read more
Published 12 months ago by LN
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok try, but should be better
The title tells you what you should be getting. A story set in Scranton. Instead of developing the town and making it part of the story, the author simply mentions some bars,... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars A lot of street language
This little book trades on the author's drive about Scranton and every page he name drops a few of the local places. So, if your from around here, then you know. Read more
Published 23 months ago by David H. Bernhauser
1.0 out of 5 stars Superficial
I thought the character development was weak and unimaginative. There was so much that was missing in this flat story.
Published on December 9, 2012 by Richard Bennink
3.0 out of 5 stars If you know Scranton, it's a cute story
It was a very short easy read. I got it for free so it definitely was worth the money! If you know Scranton, you can picture all of this happeneing
Published on December 7, 2012 by julie
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry not for me
I'm afraid I couldn't get past the first few pages... Poor writing, poor character development ... story never seemed to go anywhere... couldn't do it.
Published on October 22, 2012 by K. Wright
3.0 out of 5 stars For a younger audience, I suppose
I read this book (in one sitting) only because I had lived in Scranton for a few years and attended Marywood, the women's college featured in the story. Read more
Published on October 22, 2012 by Victoria Ceretto
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
I found this book to be quite enjoyable. You care about the main character, flaws and all. The driving question of why he'd ignore the fact that his long-time friend has taken an... Read more
Published on October 11, 2012 by D. Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, funny story of every day life in a small city
Welcome to Scranton is an interesting look into the life of 3 small city characters. It is a funny, enjoyable read. Read more
Published on September 22, 2012 by Dan Rasimowicz
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More About the Author

Greg Halpin was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Halpin now lives in State College, Pennsylvania with his wife Elisha. He works for his alma mater, Penn State University.

Halpin hosts a Jazz program each month on WPSU-FM. You can listen online at


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