To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Summary and Reviews

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

by Joshua Ferris

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
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  • Published in USA  May 2014
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Smart, sad, hilarious and eloquent, this shows a writer at the top of his game and surpassing the promise of his celebrated debut." - Kirkus

"Paul is an appealing - albeit self-involved - everyman, but Ferris's effort to take on big topics... feels more like a set of thought experiments than an organic or character-driven story." - Publishers Weekly

"The protagonist's sharp inner dialogues are laugh-out-loud hilarious, combining Woody Allen's New York nihilism with an Ivy League vocabulary. The narrative occasionally stumbles and spins out in the novel's latter third, but Ferris' unique voice shines." - Booklist

"Some books simply carry you along on the strength and energy of the author's invention and unique view of the world. This is one of those books." - Stephen King

"This is one of the funniest, saddest, sweetest novels I've read since Then We Came to the End. When historians try to understand our strange, contradictory era, they would be wise to consult To Rise Again at a Decent Hour." - Anthony Marra, author of New York Times bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

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Reader Reviews

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shabbyneil

Hits so many spots for me
A quirky and witty tale of a depressive American dentist, his relationships to women and religions, which often go hand in hand, and his obsession with the Boston Red Sox.

The latter topic struck familiar bells with me, as a life-long supporter of lowly football team Walsall.

A very well-written book, funny but with serious undertones.

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Author Information

Joshua Ferris Author Biography

Photo: Kelly Campbell

Joshua Ferris's first novel, Then We Came to the End, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and was a National Book Award finalist. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Guardian, and Tin House, among other publications. His second novel is The Unnamed. He lives in New York.

Says Ferris about himself:

I was born in 1974 in Danville, Illinios, a small town just over the Indiana border. I went back recently and the house where I grew up had taken something out of Alice in Wonderland and shrunk to half the size of what I remembered it being. In 1984 my mother, sister, brother and I moved with my step-father to Cudjoe Key, Florida, where I learned how to fish, boat, snorkel, and work. At ten I had my own landscaping company for ...

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