To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel

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9780316033992: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel
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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 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.

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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

About the Author:

Joshua Ferris is the author of two other novels, Then We Came to the End, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and received the PEN/Hemingway Award, and The Unnamed. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, and The Best American Short Stories. Ferris was chosen for The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" list of fiction writers in 2010. He lives in New York.

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