‘To Rise Again At a Decent Hour’ by Joshua Ferris

To Rise Again At A Decent Hour cover - Copy

BLURB: ‘’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.” (Goodreads.com)

READ IF YOU LIKE: Middle aged men unhappy with their lives, men who are unlucky in love but not in the cute way, obscure religions from ancient times, the subsequent heavy investigation into these ancient religions, dentists.

PAGE COUNT: 337 (Penguin books)

STAR RATING: (★★★☆☆) – I couldn’t sum up to you what this book is about in one sentence.

[ First of all – I AM VERY SORRY. My absence in the past couple of months on this lovely website has been caused mainly by the fact that my A2 studies have become very intense and scary – thus I have not had any time to be reading for pleasure! However, although the studies are still piling on top of me, a couple of books I received for Christmas have prompted me to start reading for pleasure again. ]

If you’re going to read ‘To Rise Again at a Decent Hour’, just know that the only word I can think to describe it when telling other people about it is strange. This is a weird book. There are so many different aspects to it, centred around this quite frankly flawed protagonist that I’m never really sure where to begin when someone asks me about it. Sure, Ferris has a talent for quick wit, but the hard hitting plot is almost too disguised under his funny and heavily sarcastic commentary that when you realise you’re reading about some big issues its a bit too late.

The main character brought up issues for me. He’s a whiner and a hypocrite brought down by his sad childhood, father’s suicide and subsequent malaise for the whole book. There also seems to be a recurring cycle of him falling in love with girls and falling so in love with them that they get put off and dump him, him then becoming depressed and weird, and then doing the same thing again. In some books, having an unlikeable main character is good, and often increases the appeal. But coupled with Ferris’ rambling style of writing, having to listen to Paul O’Rourke talk about his relationships and moan about the dangers of social media and whining about WHY DO PEOPLE NOT FLOSS for 6 pages surprisingly didn’t really hook me in. Also the long excerpts from Amalekite scriptures that occur once every twenty pages are a bit tedious.

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