05 January 2010

Books: The Book Of Joe by Jonathan Tropper (2004)

Right after high school, Joe Goffman left sleepy Bush Falls, Conneticut and never looked back. Then he wrote a novel savaging everything in town, a novel that became a national bestseller and a huge hit movie. Seventeen years later, Joe is struggling to avoid the sophomore slump with his next novel when he gets a call: his father's had a stroke, so it's back to Bush Falls for the town's most famous pariah. His brother avoids him, his former classmates beat him up, and the members of the book club just hurl their copies of Bush Falls at his house. But not all of his old friends hate him, and so with his dying friend Wayne in tow, and delinquent nephew adding to his troubles, Joe discovers that coming home might not be all bad -because sometimes there are second chances.

Back in August, I read Jonathan Tropper’s latest novel This Is Where I Leave You. I loved the book, for its look at small town life and dysfunctional family. This earlier work , The Book Of Joe, takes on same themes, but its really about a man coming of age. The only part, he’s 34 and not 18. Tropper has a great conversational tone and gift for character inflection that make for some of the books funniest moments. Some of it can fall into sitcom style, but you can forgive him for that, as you laugh out loud to some of the antics Joe gets into. It’s hoot of a book, sentimental and wicked look at small town life and the secrets they try to keep.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

One of my favorite books... so funny, fresh & moving!
Nice blog. Really. I will be back.