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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Nice Copy with Normal Signs of Wear. Good Solid Exterior and Interior with Minimal Writing, Notes or Highlights. An Overall Previously Handled Copy that Has Been Well Cared For and Preserved.
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Couch Paperback – Unabridged, November 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Parzybok's delightfully lighthearted writing successfully diverts attention from the heavy-handed plot devices that threaten to overwhelm this ambitious debut. An apartment flood destroys almost everything owned by mismatched roommates Thom, Tree and Erik, leaving only the handmade orange couch, which the landlord demands they remove. Broke, jobless and now homeless, the roommates begin carrying their couch through the streets of Portland, Ore., and quickly discover two things: it might be magical, and Goodwill won't take it. They reluctantly embark on a hapless quest to take the couch exactly where it wants to go. Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, the enthusiastic prose carries readers through sporadic dark moments, though it can't save a clunky finale that leaves too many unanswered questions, including the survival of its heroes. Parzybok's quirky humor recalls the flaws and successes of early Douglas Adams. (Nov.)
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About the Author

Benjamin Parzybok created a journal published through gumball machines (Gumball Poetry) and a city-wide mystery/treasure hunt (Black Magic Insurance Agency). His previous jobs include: ghostwriter for the Governor of Washington state, web developer, Taiwanese factory technical writer, asbestos removal janitor, potato sorter, and congressional page. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with the writer Laura Moulton and their son.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931520542
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931520546
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Valerie E. Polichar on April 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Not only is this a stylistically fabulous book, it is also by turns hilarious, poignant, tender and energizing. It's a classic hero-quest novel -- and it's an edgy, modern take on magic realism. Its hero is a stereotypical geek -- who sports complexity and hidden depths, and who does some actual and believable growth through the course of the novel. The plot is compelling (I read it in a day because I couldn't stand to stop), the characters are delightful, the writing style is addictive, and beyond all that, the book has something to say that you'll want to hear -- about life, about love, about cooking and couches and camping. Yes, it's a book that any computer geek worth his or her salt will enjoy, but it's also a book for your father, your best friend, your teacher, your daughter. I recommend you buy 10 copies and just hand 'em out.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I'm the type of reader who will either be immediately attached to a book upon the first few pages, or immediately repelled. Thankfully, "Couch" was definitely in the former category.

"Couch" is about three roommates who move their couch after their apartment is flooded. While carrying their couch, they notice that, strangely, the couch either grows lighter or heavier depending on which way they carry it. Soon after this discovery, weirder and weirder things begin to happen...

This is an AMAZINGLY funny book. I swear, I scared my neighbors several times by cracking up in the middle of the night while reading the book. The three main characters, Thom, Tree, and Erik, are by far extremely original, sympathetic, and hilarious. The plot is original, the writing is excellently done, and it is extremely easy to enjoy.

I can't understand why there aren't more reviews on here. This book is worth it. Seriously. Give it a try, at least. If you like comedy, fantasy, magical realism, or just a stories about extremely durable furniture, this is the book for you.

(Read it. It's worth your time.)
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Format: Paperback
In Parzybok's first work, he introduces characters whose internal struggles are delightfully complex. Honing in on three youthful samples of angsty internal struggle, he raises the stakes one notch at a time as the impossible, the supernatural, and the miraculous drop layers over a twisted slacker scenario. The characters' quest, their struggles to believe, and their resulting commitment to a life-threatening, though life-affirming, adventure comes across as believable and intensely suspenseful as the novel-turned-travelogue paints scenes of otherworldly natural splendor and makes frightening but insightful forays into historical spiritualism. In the end I am left with one handful of early Stephen King and another of seminal Douglas Coupland. (Raising the slacker flag high in the name of eerie ancient symbolic stuff)
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Format: Paperback
I don't usually read magic realism or fantasy books and hesitate to call this one of them- but when I saw it in the book store my curiosity got the better of me. Three guys carry a magic couch?? What?

It was sometimes weird, true. But, I loved it. I laughed out loud. It was intellectual, it was ironic, but it was also literary. As I see more super hero stories becoming good movies, the Lord of the Rings becoming an Oscar winner, and TV shows like LOST and Heroes on prime-time, I wonder if this book isn't bridging a gap between the "nerdy" sci-fi fantasy world and the "hipster" literary world.

It is potentially ground-breaking because although the story has magic in it, the characters are modern American dudes. They are skeptical and gritty. They are not guileless like Frodo and they're not ethereal like Garcia Marquez' characters. They are flawed, contemporary epic heroes- a refreshing idea.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is brilliance hidden behind a seemingly simple story line. The words just flew off the pages of this epic journey about three roommates who are going nowhere in life. After a ridiculous accident floods their apartment they are evicted and with them they must take a massive couch. On their way to drop the couch off at a thrift store they find that this couch is incredible light when walking in certain directions and with nothing better to do they let the furniture lead them on a sprawling adventure.

This book was completely unpredictable and kept me guessing constantly till the end. The whole story was very exciting and the characters were so relatable that you easily became attached to them. It has a perfect blend of hilarious comedy and serious drama that will stick with you after you put it down.

I really can't recommend this book enough. If you like to laugh and read something very original that's unlike anything you've read before then you should definitely pick this up.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had a favorite book for 30 years, and that's "Vanity Fair," by
William Makepeace Thackeray. It pretty much says it all. So, I've had
little call to push books by other authors, beyond simply recommending
them to a few friends.

But now, I am on a mission to introduce as many people as I can to a
wonderful little fantasy called "Couch" (2008), by Benjamin
Parzybok. Take heed, all you geeks. Couch is an all-too-short glimpse
into the depths of geek soul.

I've bought two copies so far, and I lend them out to whomever will
take them. If you liked "Lord of the Rings," but prefer a bit of
modern irony, angst, and uncertainty, this is your ticket. I don't know
how a book so small could dig so deep. Even Thackeray would have loved
this one.
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