Customer Review

82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent in the beginning, June 7, 2014
This review is from: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel (Hardcover)
This book started off great. It seemed to be similar to “Mr. Penumbra’s 25 Hour Bookstore” - a mysterioso literary sleuth with excellent writing and really cool hooks into the modern world, e.g. “Me Machine” as a descriptor for smart phones. The weird on-line identity takeover is also really fun, along with Paul’s (main character) dentist office and the dynamics with his co-workers and ex-girlfriend. But then about halfway through it starts to get too complicated. It’s like the book was edited down from a larger book and the pieces don’t fit anymore. Ferris is a fun writer, but without good structure this book fell down for me. It began to feel like I was at school, with all the Jewish religious details, and it was also a downer with all the personal religious failure stuff and the introduction of too many characters to keep track of.

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.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 15, 2014 2:56:35 PM PDT
amiracle says:
Like the reviewer writes, the beginning is where the book shines, only to turn dull and lose its persuasiveness as the plot and characters develop. One can detect two personalities in the speaker, clearly reflecting two personalities in the author. One is mature, confident, intelligent, and observant; the other, childish, insecure, impulsive, and self-centered. The quality of the writing suffers from this inconsistency in the voice of the narrator. And that's a genuine shame, because the book had a stimulating premise and formulated a compelling message. It just couldn't sustain itself on a level elevated enough for what the premise and message demanded.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2014 8:29:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2014 8:31:37 PM PDT
Amiracle: That is a truly excellent six-line summary of the book's strengths and shortcomings. You really nailed it.

Posted on Oct 11, 2014 1:46:33 PM PDT
Lisa Baker says:
I found it utterly exhausting.

Posted on Jan 17, 2015 7:14:28 PM PST
PWJ says:
You nailed it. 5-star first half, 1-star second half.

I'd like to try another of his novels but I have a vague memory that I tried Then We Came to the End but didn't finish. Too bad.
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Review Details

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3.2 out of 5 stars (220 customer reviews)
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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1 star:
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Location: Arroyo Grande, CA United States

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