Becky H. (Chicago, IL)
A "good" read
After a slow start I really found myself enjoying the witty (though very dry) humor in this book. Amy grows on you as you discover more of her character and background. I especially enjoyed the names of the chapters, trying to see if I could find the relationship as I read. Another part I liked was the "topics" Amy lists as story ideas/titles. They give another clue to Amy's persona. Amy's students are delightful, clearly and carefully drawn.
While the entire book is a put down of pretentious authors, it is also the story of a very human woman who has great sorrows to surmount. As is true with all good humor, there is also tragedy to provide contrast. Willett deals well with both. (spoiler alert – Maxine's recovery is the one deviation from realistic outcomes in an otherwise well-paced and plotted tale.)
Anyone who enjoys a "good read" and, equally, a "bad read," will enjoy this writer's delight. If you are a potential novelist, there is much food for thought.
Book groups will have a field day with a variety of topics – truth vs fiction, honest criticism, how you see yourself as opposed to how others see you, marriage of convenience, dealing with rude/stupid/ignorant people (and being rude/stupid/ignorant yourself), personal growth and change, phobias and others.
Grace W. (Corona del Mar, CA)
Is it a cheap shot for a writer to write about a writer? Maybe. Yet Jincy Willett in Amy Falls Down crafts a fascinating story from beginning to end. Is a reader a sponge, sandglass or a strainer or does an author create a story that a reader wants to absorb like a sponge? From the first page I was fully engaged with Amy Gallup, her basset hound, Alphonse, and the literary and media crowd. Scenes and character descriptions were so vivid that I felt like I was right there with them. Amy Gallup's riffs about publishers and the pseudo mystic of writing were classic irony without the klaxon. Amy Falls Down is a thoroughly entertaining, yet highly thought-provoking story. I could not put this book down and will definitely recommend it to friends.
Sue J. (Wauwatosa, WI)
Amy Falls Down
The book starts out with author Amy Gallup tripping over her raised garden in the back yard which causes her to fall and knock herself out on a birdbath. After an interview that she doesn't remember, her bizarre behavior (from a mild concussion) sets off a series of events that puts her on the verge of being rediscovered. Her outlook on life was refreshing - she was quoted as saying "Feelings Are Not News". She said she remembers a time when competent reporters and editors were bright enough to figure out for themselves how catastrophic events feel. They feel bad. I really enjoyed this quirky book, it was a fun read. Highly recommended!
Jill S. (Chicago, IL)
A scathingly funny view of publishing
Amy Gallup -- Jincy Willettt's fabulous creation -- would be appalled to hear me describe her as "compelling" or "scathingly funny" or "wickedly good." This laugh-out-loud book captures the bathos of the publishing industry as only an insider could, and along the way, has several gleaming insights into the work of a writer as well. It helps to know Ms. Willett's previous book, The Writing Club, since some of the characters are the same, but this one still stands on its own. A great read for would-be writers and readers alike!
Portia A. (Mount Laurel, NJ)
Why would you read this book?
An older writer falls and hits her head...does this sound like a book you would want to read? Do go past the description and read it. It is literate and sometimes even funny, but mainly it is a look at what makes Amy be herself. No description I write will do the book justice. It is well worth your time.