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To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel
by Joshua Ferris

Published: 2014-05-13
Hardcover : 337 pages
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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this big, brilliant, profoundly observed novel by National Book Award Finalist Joshua Ferris explores the absurdities of modern life and one man's search for meaning.

Paul O'Rourke is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world, but doesn't know ...
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Introduction

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this big, brilliant, profoundly observed novel by National Book Award Finalist Joshua Ferris explores the absurdities of modern life and one man's search for meaning.

Paul O'Rourke is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world, but doesn't know how to live in it. He's a Luddite addicted to his iPhone, a dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan devastated by their victories, and an atheist not quite willing to let go of God.

Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name. What begins as an outrageous violation of his privacy soon becomes something more soul-frightening: the possibility that the online "Paul" might be a better version of the real thing. As Paul's quest to learn why his identity has been stolen deepens, he is forced to confront his troubled past and his uncertain future in a life disturbingly split between the real and the virtual.

At once laugh-out-loud funny about the absurdities of the modern world, and indelibly profound about the eternal questions of the meaning of life, love and truth, TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR is a deeply moving and constantly surprising tour de force.

Editorial Review

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

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by DebraF (see profile) 08/09/16

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  "Review of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Balcones Book Club"by PeggySue64 (see profile) 06/23/20

Book club members found the book a difficult read due to long stream of consciousness sentences and paragraphs describing the inane. Main character conflicted in all aspects of his life while searching... (read more)

 
  "Lively discussion of a modern satire"by DebraF (see profile) 08/09/16

Unlikable characters always make for more interesting discussion! Having some understanding of present day USA social mores helps lift the satirical aspects.
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by suedock (see profile) 10/15/14

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