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.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 13th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company
I won an advanced copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is May 13, 2014.
I had this book for a while before I finally had the opportunity to read it. Although I did not know much about it or it's author I was eagerly anticipating it. I have to say that this is probably the biggest letdown for me so far this year.
There was nothing remotely likeable about Paul. He was weird and creepy and in my opinion completely self absorbed. His socially awkward personality was not endearing it was annoying. The synopsis mentions laugh-out-loud funny and not once did I even break in to a grin while reading this. There were several times I set the book down and said I wouldn't finish it however sheer determination made me suffer through it.
Within the pages of this story held two of my biggest pet peeves.
- The synopsis of the story did not represent what was truly between the pages. Yes the main character had his identity stolen online however nowhere does it mention how much religion is in the story. It only mentions that he is an atheist who is not quite willing to give up on God. Instead I suffered through endless religious passages and references. This is not what I signed up for. I have an open mind when it comes to all kinds of literature however I like to know what I am getting in to so that I can make the educated choice to pick up the book when my frame of mind is leaning in the direction of the genre.
- Excessive use of the C-word. Again I am open minded. I have no moral objection to any kind of language in a story however this is a truly unnecessary word. As much as I hate the word I probably could have forgiven it if it was only once or twice. Instead I was subjected to several pages of its use when it truly was not required for the storyline.
I always try to find a redeeming quality if I do not enjoy a book as I know a lot of hard work goes in to writing and publishing a piece of work. Unfortunately I couldn't with this one. It simply wasn't for me. I give it a generous two stars.
About the Author
Joshua Ferris's first novel, Then We Came to the End, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was a National Book Award finalist. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Tin House, among others. His new novel, The Unnamed, was published in January 2010. He lives in New York.