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.
weird, and I surrendered my key and promised not to do it again. But of course I had a spare and did do it again, addicted as I was to Sam’s bedsheets and sick to death at the idea of her out in the world without me. I was unable simply to sneak in and breathe in the sheets and touch her things and smell her lotions and look through her Santacroce photo albums and then leave, because I couldn’t leave. Her room was the only place I cared to be, with or without her. And because she didn’t want to
Dr. Paul, but I made no mention of this breach in protocol. “So they call the ranger over—actually, come to think of it, it’s a priest, a reverend, and a rabbi, the three of them together are going golfing. Like I said. It’s been a long time.” She gestured as if I were driving too slowly in the car in front of her. “Anyway, they call the ranger over, and the priest says, ‘We’ve been waiting to tee off for twenty minutes now, but those fellows ahead of us are taking an eternity. What gives?’ The
periodontal disease. “There’s also some slight mobility,” I said, “here, and here.” “Mobility?” “They’re starting to move around on you.” “My teeth?” “I think we can probably save them—” “Probably?” “But I wouldn’t recommend waiting.” “I don’t understand,” he said. It’s something you get from time to time. A perplexity. This is happening? To me? With my background, my livelihood, my nationality? I vote Republican. I have full dental. This whole prognosis needs rethinking. I didn’t enjoy
bound for happy reunions in a better world, in the brotherhood of a loving multitude, while her tombstone was still fresh with wreaths of everlastings. She’d order a book. It was called Stop the Scheduling Madness or The Way of the Zero-Balance Office or The Million Dollar Dentist. This last was written by someone named Barry Hallow. He wasn’t even a dentist. He was a consultant. Here’s a guy fresh out of business school, he’s desperate for a niche, he hears about the chronic problems that
to oppress and murder you? It was an accident of birth! It was not my fault! I love the Jews!” He continued to implore them until the police arrived. He held up the Chagall and said, “I bought this for you, Rabbi Mendelsohn,” and then he leaned it carefully against a tree. “I believe I saw you admiring it.” The cops stepped out and cuffed him. He had violated the protective order he had been served two days earlier. Mirav Mendelsohn lived with Grant Arthur in the house on the corner during the