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Sunday, October 26, 2014

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

It is really hard to characterize this book, which was short listed for the Booker Prize this year.  Let me start by saying that I really liked it, and the story is unusual, almost hilarious, but equal parts sobering.  That is a confusing description, but really, I am doing my best here.

Paul O'Rourke is a dentist, and there is quite a bit of detail about the day to day life of a dentist included.He is likable in his inner life, meaning the reader is prone to like him, but he has derious problems in his actual life making and keeping friends.  He is rootless and he is not afraid to share that with any and all who ask, which tends to push people away.

The game changing event that occurs is that someone poses as him in an on-line life.  Someone who has strong opinions that he is not afraid to share, and Paul is set completely off balance by this.  What happens from then on is esoteric, perhaps a little unnecessarily complicated, but very thought provoking.  It is not nearly as light a read as it seems to be when you open the book, but well worth the effort.

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