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A Patchwork Planet

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,853 Ratings  ·  498 Reviews
Barnaby Gaitlin has less in life than he once had. His ex-wife Natalie left him and their native Baltimore several years ago, taking their baby daughter Opal with her. He acquired an unalterably fixed position as the black sheep of the family. And this family isn't one where black sheep are tolerated. The Gaitlins are rich and worthy, supposedly guided by their own special ...more
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published (first published 1998)
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Derek Finnigan At the beginning of the book, When Barnaby is attending the Renascence school, the students have to learn a weekly Shakespeare sonnet. The first…moreAt the beginning of the book, When Barnaby is attending the Renascence school, the students have to learn a weekly Shakespeare sonnet. The first sonnet Barnaby has to learn is, 'When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, Haply I think on thee'. Martine, along with his grandparents, will have faith and belief in him no matter what, and this is why, at the end of the book, when he finally comes to understand what Martine really means to him, Barnaby says to her, "Haply I think on thee".(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gerald
Oct 15, 2012 Gerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe I've admitted to reading all of Anne Tyler's books, several of them more than once. I just reread A Patchwork Planet, and I'm dumbstruck again. Like no other author I know, Tyler is a master of the emotional sandbag. She blindsides you, saps you in the skull when you don't see it coming (even if you've already read the book!), and you need to take a brief time-out to recover from being a blubbering fool. In this paperback edition, if you don't experience an epiphany by page sixty-one, ...more
Layna
Dec 16, 2008 Layna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I feel like apologizing for liking Anne Tyler but this book in particular is truly wonderful - I'm not terribly great at reviews but it has the hallmarks of things I generally value in a book - wonderful characters who stay with you, and the amazing ability to tightrope-walk between funny and sad without ever becoming maudlin or flippant.
Bobby
Jan 31, 2011 Bobby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The critics say that Anne Tyler writes novels with quirky characters. I say that we are all quirky characters. Certainly, I grew up with and am a member of a family of quirky characters. I find the characters in Anne Tyler's novels real, they are people one meets everyday.

As I began to read this novel, I thought about days when I lived in the pages of Anne Tyler's novels. My trips to the library always took me to the same section, where I fingered the titles looking for favorite or unread novel
...more
Galen Johnson
Jun 15, 2008 Galen Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book follows thirty year-old divorced father, never graduated college, manual laborer Barnaby Gaitlin through a year of growing up. Barnaby works for a company that aids the elderly and others with heavy lifting and big chores, leading to many interesting minor characters in the novel. Barnaby realizes that he is not living up to his potential both in his parents' eyes and in his own, although for different reasons. He meets a slightly older woman, Sophia, on the train and begins a friendsh ...more
Stephanie Holcomb
Feb 02, 2012 Stephanie Holcomb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love Goodreads. You can click on "I'm finished" which does not necessarily mean you have completed the book to the final page.

I CANNOT stand it when, 187 pages into a book, the main character takes a turn that you absolutely can't see them taking. You think you know a guy...

I had my doubts reading this, really. Its horribly written. Time passed too fast and scenes were over in a few pages, nothing was drawn out and no agreeing with a character over their choices. In fact, choices weren't reall
...more
Mo
Dec 03, 2013 Mo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
not quite 3 stars

This book started out just fine. I started reading and found interesting characters, a pleasant writing style, and some very engaging dialogue. All good, right? Well, somewhere it took a turn, because I had to keep pushing myself to finish reading the darn thing.

Here’s the problem. I like what happens in a book to be meaningful in some way. I don’t want to read a bunch of random incidents that in no way help to impel the story forward. Anne Tyler has a habit of throwing a lot o
...more
Rose
Nov 12, 2015 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy Ann Tyler's works. Looking into the lives of ordinary people and finding extraordinary stories.
The main character in the novel,Barnaby Gaitlin, is the the anti-hero in this story. He is definitely no prince. A quasi-reformed juvenile delinquent, he is a disheveled handyman,helper with a heart and "a man you can trust". His work takes him into the homes and lives of people who have no reason not to trust him and build relationships with him. He likes the work because it puts him in
...more
notgettingenough
Jan 24, 2015 notgettingenough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit
I want to be Anne Tyler when I grow up.

Less ambitiously, if ever somebody was going to write me, write my life, my family, my friends, my fuck-ups, my fuck-downs - which I hope are the very opposite of ups - this is the only person I would want to do it. She'd make it all okay.
Em
Mar 01, 2015 Em rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
I’ve always liked Anne Tyler’s stories and this one started off well but it fell very flat in the end. She dedicated it to the loving memory of her husband so perhaps she lost heart towards the end. She has always written about people viewed as losers or really just view themselves as losers and then in the end find the life they had thought was mundane is pretty wonderful after all. I really liked ‘Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant’, but this one with Barnaby who works at Rent-a-Back and is con ...more
Summer
Dec 25, 2008 Summer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
Jan 16, 2008 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't my favorite Anne Tyler book, but even so, it is an enjoyable read because her characterizations are so good. She seems to see all the foibles and failings of her characters, and helps us like them anyway. Barnaby Gaitlin is stuck in a position most of us probably understand--that of feeling like he is not living up to his own or others' expectations of him. How he makes peace with himself and his demanding family is a funny and interesting journey.
Sarah Pavlina
Mar 24, 2012 Sarah Pavlina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tyler's concept of the dialogue a 3o year old man would use, even in the mid-nineties, is laughable.
Don
Sep 03, 2015 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for an absolutely delightful book to end your summer reading, Anne Tyler's "A Patchwork
Planet" would certainly do the trick.

Our narrator, Barnaby Gaitlin, is a 30 year old "lovable loser," (to quote the book jacket.) As a teen, Barnaby ran afoul of the law by robbing neighborhood homes. Oh, he didn't want the cash; no, he just wanted the chance to read their mail, look at their photographs, and maybe grab a few souvenirs while he was at it. Now, to the despair of his social
...more
Bev
Jul 22, 2011 Bev rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago and liked it, so when I saw it on tape at the library for $1 I picked it up to listen to it again. I didn't care for it so much this time. It is basically the story of a man who has been a disappointment to himself and his family trying to redeem himself and find a way to a happier life. There were some inappropriate things in it, but mostly this time I found the main character a little annoying! I don't want to disuade anyone from reading it- maybe I just didn't ...more
Dianna
Aug 04, 2013 Dianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love quirky characters with substance and Anne Taylor delivers. I found myself dancing around the outer edge of who the main character, Barnaby Caitlin, is. Coming from a family of wealth and prominence, he is the self ordained black sheep. Trying to find his place in life, he has to wade through his childhood baggage. He works for the company 'Rent-a-Back' that offers their services in helping the elderly with things they no longer can do for themselves - from simple chores to weekly shopping ...more
Carolyn Agosta
Jul 26, 2010 Carolyn Agosta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the last page, sighed, and said "What a great story!", thus waking my husband and drawing his wrath (we were both extremely jet-lagged at the time). It was that good.

It's so easy to get jaded about books today - often the books touted on the bestseller lists are, well, less than impressive. Then comes along a book like A Patchwork Planet, reviving my delight in reading. Original characters, situations, problems - yet so relatable. Barnaby touched me with his impetuous kindnesses, his slid
...more
Anne
Mar 17, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No one can create quirky, beguiling, harmless misfits as well as Anne Tyler, and in A Patchwork Planet, Barnaby Gaitland steps onto the page. He's the black sheep of an affluent family, living in a rented basement studio, divorced, wanting to be a better father to his daughter, working for Rent-a-Back, a service company that does household jobs its elderly clients who can no longer manage. Along comes an angel, and his life seems to take a major turn for the better. But in the background of this ...more
Rachael
Jan 14, 2012 Rachael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I kept reading and reading, waiting for this book to get good. But it always felt like nothing was happening. The romances felt forced, the family dynamic was uninteresting and I never really understood Barnaby, the main character. Why did he steal things? Why did he sleep with his co-worker when he had no attraction to her? Why did do the things that I felt that he had no reason to do? I kept reading mostly because I didn't absolutely hate it, but I can't say I really enjoyed the experience eit ...more
Nita  Kohli
This book starts out fine. When I started reading this book, I felt this will be good book with humor and a quirky protagonist. But, then somewhere in the book things start messing up and I started losing interest. I did not feel for any character. In fact there were so many character that were not even needed. I found the book a total mess.

Read the complete review here:

http://book-choose.blogspot.in/2015/0...
Robert C.
Sep 30, 2015 Robert C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You gotta be careful when you talk to people about the books they love, because every now and again you come across a generous one and - WHAM - they lend you one of their favourite books.

The fact that I read this slim volume is the result of one of those 'I love books' conversations.

It's clear to me that one man's meet is another man's parting (gosh - that's clever isn't it?) and this book hammers in that particular nail to perfection. Whilst I didn't mind the book, I found it to be lacking in o
...more
Carol
Jan 21, 2016 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish - Anne Tyler tells the story of a lovable loser who's trying to get his life in order. Barnaby Gaitlin has been in trouble ever since adolescence. He had this habit of breaking into other people's houses. It wasn't the big loot he was after, like his teenage cohorts. It was just that he liked to read other people's mail, pore over their family photo albums, and appropriate a few of their precious mementos. But for eleven years now, he's been working steadily for Rent-a-Back, rentin ...more
Beth
Jan 11, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carmen
Oct 27, 2011 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popular-fiction
Barnaby is a man who doesn't fit in. He is from a rich family, but doesn't live up to the family's expectations. Instead he works at a place that hires people for jobs for people who can't do them themselves. This typically means older people. It's a great concept, but definitely not well-paying. His marriage didn't go well; he is divorced. His daughter is detached from him, doesn't even call him Dad. And then Barnaby meets Sophia. It is a strang encounter. A man goes up to people at the Baltimo ...more
Ron Charles
Nov 28, 2013 Ron Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'A Patchwork Planet" opens and closes with this protest: "I am a man you can trust." Barnaby Gaitlin understands the full value of trust, and between the covers of Anne Tyler's latest novel, he tells a story of hard won redemption in the face of withering doubts.

Everything about Barnaby's upbringing in a gracious Baltimore neighborhood promised a successful life. His family even keeps a book of narratives about their encounters with guardian angels, strangers who have passed on wise advice about
...more
Mary
Aug 17, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Barnaby Gaitlin is a loser - a charming, lovable loser, perhaps - but a loser nonetheless. As a teenager, he had a bad habit of breaking into other people's houses. Although, it was never about stealing like it was for his teenage cohorts; Barnaby just liked to read other people's mail, pore over their family photo albums, and appropriate a few of their precious mementos. He had been in trouble ever since adolescence, but now, at just short of thirty years old, he was attempting to get his life ...more
Tyler
Nov 03, 2009 Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember why I started reading Anne Tyler books years ago, maybe it was our shared name. But I've read at least a half dozen of them now and never been disappointed. If there are other authors who do as good a job at making ordinary people so endearing, I haven't come across them.

A Patchwork Planet is the story of a sort of grown-up misfit who's trying to overcome his past. It's told in the first person, which I always enjoy. (Remember The Rainmaker by John Grisham? Great opening line: "
...more
Sharon Zink
Feb 27, 2014 Sharon Zink rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will read anything by Ann Tyler. She takes the simplest event and turn it into a plot: a male baby-sitter who becomes enmeshed with the family he works for; a client getting a crush on a travel agent while booking a trip; or, in the case of this book, a young ne'er do well trying to turn his life around. He is a college drop-out, divorced, under employed. Captivating.
Emma Nguyen
the book started out interesting. but towards the end things were...left open? the main character certainly had shown that he has moved on from his old ways but at the same time...im still questioning things. there's just a lot of problems that aren't being directly addressed or even at all and that's unsatisfactory. still, it was a decent read.
Brandon
Apr 13, 2014 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! From the beginning descriptions of the angelic Sophia to the everyday routine of Barnaby Tyler has crafted a beautifully written book. I especially enjoyed all the encounters with Barnaby's older customers. Each quirky character was described insightfully. Tyler also illustrates masterfully how we are defined by expectations. There are many instances where expectations override truth. Recommended!
Kate
Apr 18, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably 3.5 / 3.75 if we had half and quarter stars!.....
An enjoyable, comfortable, homely read - but about the big stuff none the less. Tyler is an impressive observer of families, people, relationship dynamics & life in general. I'll pass this on & read others by her.
The observations of the elderly were good and the way relationships are affected by role play, manipulation, self image and often a severe lack of self awareness and empathy rang true.
The writing was very good in places
...more
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Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. The Beginner's Goodbye is Anne Tyler's nineteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons , was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts a ...more
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