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To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel Paperback – March 10, 2015
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2014: Paul O'Rourke defines himself as three things: a dentist, a die-hard Red Sox fan, and an atheist. He's also a bit of a jerk, which is why, when someone sets up a fake website for his dental practice, Paul has trouble figuring out who is responsible. But a synopsis of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour can hardly do justice to a novel that is constantly changing shape and context. What begins as a stirring questioning of personal identity later evolves into a poignant meditation on the value of community, before transforming again into something entirely different. As with his previous novels, Then We Came to the End and The Unnamed, the paths of Joshua Ferris's narrative intentions are windy and at times unclear. But patient readers will find that when the author pulls the story from out of the woods, the things Ferris has to say about humanity are curiously and devastatingly observed. ---Kevin Nguyen--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ferris returns with his third novel, another dark comedy in the vein of his well-received debut, Then We Came to the End (2007). Paul O’Rourke is a Manhattan dentist so disillusioned with the world that he doesn’t even like it when his favorite baseball team wins the World Series. More than anything else, he dislikes religion, other people, and the modern technology that forces him to interact with other people. He calls cell phones “me-machines” and nicknames one of his patients “Contacts” for texting during a procedure. That’s why he and his staff are shocked when a website for their practice suddenly appears online. Soon after, a Facebook page pops up, followed by a Twitter profile, all impersonating Paul. Infuriated, he tracks down his imposter and uncovers a fringe religious sect that worships Amalek, the father of a biblical tribe destroyed by King David in a holy war. As he tries to recover his stolen identity, Paul begins to question who he really is. The protagonist’s sharp inner dialogues are laugh-out-loud hilarious, combining Woody Allen’s New York nihilism with an Ivy League vocabulary. The narrative occasionally stumbles and spins out in the novel’s latter third, but Ferris’ unique voice shines. --Adam Morgan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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.
Dr. O'Rourke, while languishing in his own exclusion, unwittingly explores the concepts of community and beloging through many different channels: the online world, faith communities, sports fandom, business relationships, ancestry, and even the simple act of losing oneself in a shopping mall. Through this character, we are invited to consider our own identities - what we project and what we protect.
Ferris has once again brought a quirky individual to life in order to explore the "normal" around him. Well worth the read.