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The Cranberry Hush: A Novel Paperback – March 6, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ben Monopoli lives in Boston with his husband, Chris. He is also the author of The Painting of Porcupine City: A Novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468189557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468189551
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,696,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The thing I loved most about The Cranberry Hush was how it delivered the straight guy / gay guy crush dynamic and turned it on its head. The whole book, I was always right there feeling the tension, and hoping for the two main characters, Griff and Vince, to hook-up. Would they? Who would initiate? Could it even work? It took the straight guy fantasy that so many gay men have and really played it up and made it possible. It is a very real, honest, and endearing look at friendship between guys, and the complicated relationships that we find ourselves in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the most moving books I've ever read. I read it months ago, but just thinking about the ending chokes me up and makes me want to re-read the book yet again to touch these characters.

It's a love story in the truest sense of the word, it is not a romance. Just truly beautiful and I can not recommend it highly enough. Read it now!

1-31-12: I read this book for the second time, and it's better on re-read, which is saying something since after my first read, I thought it was just about perfect. On second read, it is perfect. If it was a color, it would be golden. Warm, bright, earthy, and ethereal all at the same time.

This gets filed under Top Favorite Books Ever.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books that I have read in recent memory.

I am 45 and was afraid that the age of the characters (mid-20s at best) would keep me from being fully invested, but I am happy that I was proved wrong.

The characters are wonderful and full of flaws, hope, dreams and heartache - you should recognize yourself in at least one of the three main characters. I finished the book at the gym on the elliptical machine and was sobbing in the final scenes as I finished my workout. That almost never happens to me.

I am not a book critic and I am sure there are things that anyone could find "wrong," but the bottom line is, the book never lost my attention for a minute. The ending is powerful and real and true to the characters.

I don't want to give too much away - but if you have ever loved someone that was just out of reach, this is for you.

It's not overly sentimental (though a little nostalgic - but so am I) and the author has created a universe that I not only want to visit, but live in.

I was drawn to the book because of the Cape Cod setting and fell in love with everything else. My next drive across Route 6 will be filled with thoughts of Griff and Vince. These guys will be with me for a long time.

Ben Monopoli should be very proud of himself for creating a piece of work that touches the reader's heart and emotion in a way that I find pretty rare in a work of fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many first novels, Cranberry Hush is heavily nostalgic. However, what sets this book apart from most first novels is that it is at once a nostalgia piece and a criticism of nostalgia. Vince, Griff, and the other characters display a nuanced awareness of the college years and the "post-college void" that is uncommon. The fact that Vince and several other characters are comics nerds only adds to the charm. Further, Monopoli portrays complicated sexual dynamics with a sensitive authenticity. None of the characters or their experiences feel "stock."

Overall, Cranberry Hush reminds me of Michael Chabon's Mysteries of Pittsburgh WITHOUT the stupid gangster subplot that more or less ruined that book for me. This is an entertaining, tender, and sharp first novel, and I look forward to reading more from this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a splendid book! If you are attracted to the stories of flawed, tortured characters (as I am!), "Cranberry Hush" is the read for you. One of the most refreshing things about the "Cranberry Hush" was that it wasn't trite: the author doesn't try to wrap up the story in an "everything happens for a reason" type of mentality. The characters are who they are, for better or for worse, and you come to care for and about them as you read along.
The details and descriptions drew me in from the first pages and helped me to feel that I was right there, whether at the Cape, in the comic book store, or holding an aloe plant in Boston! Well done!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
4.5 stars -- OK, based on my own personal preferences, I should not have liked this book. I am so not a fan of really descriptive writing (not sure why, just isn't me) -- and Cranberry Hush was mondo descriptive. I'm not a fan of flashbacks usually, find them confusing -- and Cranberry Hush is all about flashbacks. So when I say this book is really good, understand that I do that even in spite of the fact that it shouldn't be the book for me. There was just something about the descriptions that *fit* you know...like, in knowing Vince, it made sense to see and feel and hear from his perspective. It added elements to the book that I think most writers aim for but fail (hence why I usually don't like descriptiveness). And the flashbacks were done in such a way that they *fit* too. At first it caught me out, but once I figured out the pattern, it was really easy to follow and it didn't take me forever to figure out when we were in a flashback b/c it usually related to something happening in the present. Thus, it made sense to flashback...each piece just added more to the puzzle. And quite honestly, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Vince...he's hard to relate to, b/c sometimes you just want to smack him. But yet again, that didn't deter from the book, but kind of made the book what it was. He was flawed. He was a seriously unique character. I never really thought about the logistics of being Bi and how that could colour your world view at times. And everything resolved in just the right way where it was believable, and realistic, and he grew and changed in a way that was appropriate (not fast enough for me, but that's real life right??). So yeah, highly recommend this book.
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