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In the Cherry Tree

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
With a wholly original voice, this stunning debut novel captures the overwhelming transformation from childhood to adolescence

An ordinary suburban Connecticut summer in the seventies is the stage for the miraculous world of Timmy. Twelve years old and full of boundless curiosity, Timmy lives an ever-expanding life of record collections (of which Elton John is king), neighb
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Picador
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Apr 13, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
The women in my book club did not like this I quit the club (they also didn't like Beloved...enough said).
Dan Pope is hilarious without trying, telling his story with true enjoyment that spreads to the reader. A natural story teller. This novel brings you back to smells, sounds, tastes and sights of the days of endless summer that most of us experienced as twelve years olds growing up in Northeast during the 1970's. Even if you didn't, you should read this book to capture the essence o
Jan 03, 2013 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads and I am soooo glad I did! It was a amazing story with just the right amount of everything you would expect from an adolescent boys point of view. I love how Timmy grows throughout the story exploring his individuality and basic human emotions along the way. It's a story that makes you laugh, wrinkle your nose in disgust and pulls on your heart strings with all the realistic struggles the family is forced to endure and overcome. All in all the writin ...more
Dec 09, 2007 Kirk rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: coming of age novels
Shelves: books-by-friends
I met Dan with Marshall Boswell in KY in 04. We all had a great drunken time together talking on-the-cusp of forty stuff. Dan later put me in contact with his agent, who went on to do me many a favor as well. Evel Knievel's recent passing made me pluck the book off the shelves and reread, because the "Do you know who I am?" man (for you Jim Rome fans) is a big motif in the book. I loved the referencing of the parents as The Father and The Mother as well. If you were around in 1974, you'll be tra ...more
PacaLipstick Gramma
Apr 07, 2014 PacaLipstick Gramma rated it really liked it
This book was absolutely hilarious! There were some parts that I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt!!!

The author wrote from the perspective of 12 year old boy growing up in the 1970s. And from that mindset, it was a fast and easy read. Not that it was all "lite" stuff ~ there were some difficult situations, that as an adult we see them differently ~ but from a pre-teen we saw it through his eyes.

I enjoyed the author's style. If was easy flowing, and a fun read.

For those who remember the '70s ~
Dec 28, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
My CurledUp review: It seems that modern fiction has always provided plenty of insight into the coming-of-age of the female gender. Recently, however, a surge of stories about the opposite sex are quickly threatening Holden Caulfield’s stranglehold on the genre.

The most recent addition to a growing list that includes Green Grass Grace by Philadelphia author Shawn McBride, I’m Not Scared by Italian author Niccolo Ammaniti, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by British author Ma
The ghost of Mark Twain told me to read this book. No, not really. But I would like to think so! While visiting the Mark Twain House and Museum gift shop, there was a local author’s table which had this book on it. I had to pick it up not only to support a local author, but because this book is completely based in Hartford, Connecticut. This book really hit home. Literally. Even though based in Hartford, I swear it could have been my own neighborhood which is in the New Haven County of Connectic ...more
Jun 05, 2007 Frederick rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Realistic Fiction
Shelves: novels, pope-dan
This novel, published in 2003, is about a suburban neighborhood in Connecticut. It's set in 1974 and is written in the first person. The narrator is describing the life he led at the age of twelve. While this narrator does not say, "By the way, I'm a grown man now, reflecting on his childhood," I think the reader is supposed to conclude the same thing I concluded: that the narrator is holding on to his childhood self but seeing his childhood with adult eyes. Dan Pope never tells you what he thin ...more
Dec 21, 2012 Kachina rated it really liked it
This book is written like a memoir, that is to say, an adult looking back on adolescence. It does a great job of capturing the 1970s (at least I think so. I wasn't around back then, but the world the author depicts is immersive and believable). I love all the references to music -- I listened to lots of 70s rock when I was young, and loved Elton John, so I can definitely relate. When it comes to awkward, uncomfortable encounters with puberty, it's a book that doesn't pull its punches. In that re ...more
Jul 29, 2013 Leah rated it it was amazing
A terrific coming of age story set in the seventies. Timmy grapples with friendships, parents, siblings, and sexuality. As other reviewers have mentioned, there are some fairly graphic masturbatory scenes, but all are quite believable and necessary to the story and character development. This is a book about a twelve year old boy and his friends, after all. But this is also a beautifully written novel about universal themes of friendship, family, and growing up.
Jun 12, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
The author is very skilled at putting himself into the mind of a preteen boy-vulgarity, sex obsession and all. It's often very funny and can switch to sad instantly. He also does a great job of capturing the essence of the 70's, and the confusion of kids trying to comprehend the confusing works of adults.
Feb 25, 2008 Andreas rated it liked it
I read this book on flights to and from Europe and as far as easy reading, cramped in a seat for 12 hours, tired with dry eyes goes it's certainly worth while. Reasonably entertaining, with an occasional smile and a few melancholic thoughts about my own growing-up.
Sep 18, 2008 Duane rated it liked it
Timmy is a twelve year old boy in the 1970s who is experiencing life's changing times. The book doesn't flinch away from all the weird/disgusting things young boys do and experiment with. A great coming of age book.
Jun 27, 2013 Kimberly rated it liked it
Dan Pope does a great job taking the reader into a 1970's suburb. I thought for a second he was writing about the street I grew up on! I enjoyed the humor that he brought to the story and the characters. Great book to curl up with on a rainy day.
Jul 26, 2011 Elabossiere rated it it was amazing
This was a very very good book I really enjoyed reading it kind of a fun summer read. It take you back to the 70's so if you were born in that era you can really understand more and it takes you back.
Feb 16, 2008 Jaime rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely charming, even laced with some of the more disgusting things 12 year old boys tend to do. I found it sort of meandering and exploratory, and when summer ends, it does. Just as it should. It read like a true memoir, despite being fiction.
Kimberly Atkinson
Nov 30, 2011 Kimberly Atkinson rated it it was ok
I think editing out a few key scenes (entire concepts?) would have made my rating a 3. I'm sure doing raunchy things is part of growing up for most boys, but it just isn't my favorite thing to read about.
Apr 25, 2008 Barbz rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This book was okay. It's a coming of age story for a young boy, so it gave a unique perspective. I wouldn't call it great, but it wasn't bad.
Jul 24, 2009 Theresa rated it it was ok
Strange book. If you have boys it may scare you. It scared me. Are all boys that obsessed with sex?????
Jan 12, 2008 Teresa rated it did not like it
Not worth the time.
Bobbi Heck
Apr 09, 2010 Bobbi Heck rated it really liked it
I really really enjoyed this book a lot. I think part of it was because it was set in "my time". Things seemed much more simple back then.
Riki Cutlip
Dec 06, 2007 Riki Cutlip rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
A great book about what it was like to be an adolescent male in 1970s suburban America. This book is often funny as well as disturbing.
May 13, 2015 Jimmy rated it really liked it
White kids growing up in CT in the 60's. Good lead character. Moves quickly and does not waste time. Lots of references to days gone by. Really dug this one.
Jun 12, 2010 Marci rated it liked it
I liked watching a 70's childhood in review. The male perspective was also interesting. Light read for the summer.
Oct 01, 2009 Mel rated it liked it
An enjoyable read with quite a few laugh-out-loud moments. Saying that however, if you don't want to read about a boy learning to masterbate then this probably isn't for you!
Dec 29, 2008 Zach added it
An entertaining an earnest look at suburban adolescence, with the requisite pain, boredom, lust, epiphanies, and tomfoolery. Nice job, The Pope!
Dec 06, 2012 Hannah rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. End of story.
Tammy Siegel
Tammy Siegel rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2012
Eliza Sanders
Eliza Sanders rated it liked it
May 25, 2014
N. Frank
N. Frank rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2011
Bridget Russell
Bridget Russell rated it liked it
May 27, 2015
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Dan is the author of the novels IN THE CHERRY TREE (Picador, 2003) and the forthcoming HOUSEBREAKING (Simon & Schuster, May 2015). His short stories have appeared in such journals as Iowa Review, Harvard Review, and McSweeneys. He is a 2002 graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut.

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