The Good Father
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The Good Father

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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  3,428 ratings  ·  673 reviews
An intense, psychological novel about one doctor's suspense-filled quest to unlock the mind of a suspected political assassin: his twenty-year old son.

As the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport with his se...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Doubleday (first published 2012)
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Ciara
a respected rheumatologist paul allen experiences the shock of a lifetime one evening when he sees a news bulletin: someone has assassinated popular senator jay seagram at a political rally, & it looks like his disaffected son daniel is the assassin. paul can't believe that his son would kill someone. he devotes himself to finding the real gunman, or uncovering the conspiracy under which his son was brainwashed by seagram's political rivals. the book is mostly from paul's perspective, inters...more
Jessica at Book Sake
Book Review (ARC)
Do you know exactly how much I love the idea of a reputable doctor raising a psychopathic, cold-blooded murderer? The answer is – a lot, and I was really looking forward to reading this book. Unfortunately, the author executed this idea very poorly. Somewhere, within all the superfluous facts and details, there is an excellent story to be told, but this novel just seemed like a mess of loosely related thoughts – like ordering a pizza and the waiter telling you how cheese is made...more
Stephanie Driscoll
“The Good Father” by Noah Hawley is one of those books that I’ve been trying to find for a while. First off, the story itself is brilliant and the main character, Dr. Paul Allen completely sneaks up on you. The author is able to make this main character so quiet and so unassuming that it is able to become the perfect light for a father to be questioning his son in. He is neither too in your face, or too outraged. He is instead, a man trying to understand, through logic, the ways in which his son...more
Laura
The blurbage suggested that this was going to be like We Need to Talk About Kevin or Nineteen Minutes: how does a family cope when a child has done the unthinkable? And to some extent the plot does live up to that premise. Dr. Paul Allen's life is turned upside down when his son Daniel kills Senator Seagram, the leading Democratic presidential candidate. Of course Paul wants to believe that there's no way that Daniel could have done this - there must be a conspiracy, or his son was brainwashed,...more
Rebecca Foster
A canny psychological thriller, a cut above average in terms of both writing and content. Hawley has, in a sense, written the father’s version of We Need to Talk About Kevin. Our narrator here is Dr. Paul Allen, a rheumatologist who fancies himself a bit of a Dr. House, putting together clues to solve mysterious cases. His son from his first marriage, Daniel, is a college dropout who has been travelling the country in a beat-up old Honda, doing odd jobs to get more money. Though a bit of a loner...more
Aaron Mcquiston
So. What makes a good father? According to Noah Hawley's novel, it is feeling so guilty about not having a relationship with your son that it almost makes you crazy when the son does something that is despicable, and even though you don't know your son at all, you need to insist on his innocence. As if the son's innocence of a crime will prove that the father is innocent of a crime (in this case not really caring about a child) as well. This is kind of harsh. Let me start over.

Noah Hawley's nove...more
Penny
This is the kind of book that I will keep thinking about for a long time. It was a great read. Part suspense, part history, part family trauma...all around fantastic. From the very beginning of the story, the plot pulls you in and I found it hard to put down. I could sympathize with the characters..the writing style was meant to make the reader feel like we were really inside the heads of both father and son so we could understand their actions based on their feelings. It was like we witnessed a...more
Jules
I am always very open-minded about the books I read but this one just didn’t comply with what it said on the tin for me and proved to be a disappointment all the way.

On the premise that this was meant to be bloody damn good read (if a plethora of reviews are anything to go by – (and yes, I know that reviews are not ‘god’)), this book just didn’t really do it for me from the offset. If I can put it down to anything, in my own head the characterisation just wasn’t right and the father and son pro...more
Jane
Whenever I hear a story of senseless killing, my first thought is always for the victims. But the thought that follows close behind is a thought about the parents. Not just the parent of the victims but also the parent of the killer especially if it’s a young person. I always wonder how I would react. Would I go over every detail of my child’s life to figure out how that child had come to such a bad place? For this reason, this book really spoke to my heart. The father in this book does exactly...more
Lynn Harpham
This is not the type of book I generally read. I love character-driven books with poetic, lyrical language, quiet dramas that take place in the silent space between people. This book is almost a whodunit... and appeared at first to have nothing in common with the books I generally love. But it called to me from the library shelf for some reason, and so I picked it up. I'm thrilled that I did -I will most definitely seek out other books by this author.

Noah Hawley effortlessly weaves together a p...more
Chris
This is a 5-star read.

Well researched and constructed - fast-paced and never, never sentimental.

Reads like a TV thriller but treats the subject with respect.

Excellent.
Merilyn Porter
In the same vain as books such as We need to talk about Kevin, The Good Father explores the consequences of the assassination of a presidential candidate on the family of the perpetrator, in particular his father. Senator Seagram is gunned down by 20 year old Daniel Allen and along with his death goes the hope and optimism of millions of disillusioned Americans. For Daniel’s father the tragedy is far, far greater and he finds cannot acknowledge his son’s responsibility or accept that his son cou...more
Alisha Marie
I've mentioned before that when it comes to senseless acts of violence, the family of the accused are the people that I tend to forget about. Of course, you remember the victims and due to that, you remember the perpetrator, but the perpetrator's family is almost never thought about and when they are it's mostly to vilify them for bringing a monster into the world. Sometimes, I feel like the perpetrators' families are also victims (unless, of course, they had something to do with the crimes and/...more
Diane
There are two books that published recently, Defending Jacob, by William Landay and The Good Father by Noah Hawley, that deal with fathers struggling with the accusation that their sons committed murder.

In Landay's novel, an assistant district attorney's teenage son is accused of killing his classmate. In The Good Father, Dr. Paul Allen's estranged college drop-out son is arrested for killing a senator, a popular family man on his way to winning his party's presidential nomination.

Allen divorced...more
Linda
Paul Allen, a successful doctor, remarried with twin sons has another son, Daniel from his first marriage. Daniel travels to see Paul and his family throughout his childhood and Paul thinks Daniel is unfocused but otherwise a normal 20 year-old as he has dropped out of college and is traveling in the U.S. going from job to job. But Daniel is not fine as he is now accused of killing a presidential candidate. Paul works passionately to prove Daniel's innocence and becomes obsessed with the case an...more
Chris Witkowski
This is a gut wrenching story told from a father's perspective about his 20 year old son who has been accused of assassinating a presidential candidate. As would be expected, Dr. Paul Allen absolutely can't believe that his son, the gentle Daniel, could ever do such a thing. So he begins a long quest to find the truth, only to learn some very painful things about his relationship with his son. Interspersed with the story is some fascinating historical background on famous assassins - Hinckly, Ch...more
Sharon Mcalister
The Good Father is a well written book. My only quarrel with the writing is that the author tends to be somewhat verbose. This is the story of a medical doctor who is living in New York with his second wife
and twin sons. He is shocked to learn that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot and
killed in California. He is more than shocked when his nineteen year old son from his first marriage, Daniel, is arrested and charged with the murder. The book uses alternate narratives from the...more
Liz Laughlin
Besides the fact that I tweeted this author and he turned out to be a major prick, I LOVED THIS BOOK.

I am very envious of Hawley. First of all, from the beginning I felt very connected to the characters. I keep wanting and wanting to know about his son, whether or not he did it. The suspense killed me. But, what I loved about this was it subtly told you he did do it, no matter what the father did. This guy was literally torn between two families-two families he tried to make one. How could he pi...more
Mayda
Imagine you are a successful doctor, respected by patients and colleagues alike. Image coming home to your loving wife and twin sons, albeit your second family, having gone through a divorce years before and leaving your first son with your ex-wife on the opposite coast. Now, imagine seeing a news bulletin on TV of your 20-year-old son being wrestled to the ground by secret service men, because he just shot the candidate destined to be the next president of the United States. It might take you a...more
Naomi
This book was FANTASTIC!! It sucked me in immediately with its' gut-wrenching story and reflection by a father on a son's unspeakable act. I think anyone who is a parent, could feel for this man and wonder what they would do if, God forbid, they were put into the same predicament. This book was recommended to me to review off Netgalley and I am thrilled I was given the opportunity. It is def. a book which I will recommend to others. An absolute must read!!
Daisy
I don't really know how to explain what I like about this book besides saying, pretty much everything.
It's a book about the assassination of the next president of the united states, but it's more than that. It follows the father of the young man that pulled the trigger. The book is the father's journey in coming to terms with what happened, figuring out who his son was, if he was capable of doing such a thing. But it encompasses so much more than that and I'm finding it very difficult to explain...more
Susan Tunis
Explaining the unexplainable

Dr. Paul Allen is a good man. As Noah Hawley’s novel opens, he is enjoying the family tradition of shouting out Jeopardy questions with his wife and twin sons. The game is interrupted by breaking news. The Democratic candidate—the presumed next President of the United States—has just been shot at a public rally. The coverage is chaotic, with reports and footage coming in from a variety of sources. Finally, some images of the shooter come up on the screen. It’s Daniel,...more
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
Dr Paul Allen has a very successful professional life and a happy family at home. Married to second wife Fran, he lives in a nice house in the suburbs with their twin sons, spending his days in a hard-earned top job as chief of rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. One Thursday evening, just like any other, they are all at home, making dinner and preparing to settle down for the evening, to eat pizza and watch TV, when there is an alarming newsflash. Jay Seagram, a Democra...more
Denise
Solid 4.0 out of 5 stars - not "nature vs nurture" but WHAT MAKES A GOOD FATHER?

This book reminded me of We Need to Talk About Kevin because it was about the anguish experienced by a parent when a child does something inexplicably heinous. Although in the former, the child, Kevin, had something obviously wrong with him from the beginning -- with Daniel Allen (or Carter Allen Cash), it was more insidious.

Dr. Paul Allen has a happy life. He's remarried to Fran and they have twin 10-year-old sons w...more
Edith
I liked this book for the cautionary tale it is to divorced parents who relegate their kids to the shuttle back and forth thing when they make a new marriage and the poor kid becomes a ping pong ball in no-man's land. Everyone likes to make the point about how adaptable kids are and that most of them survive the divorce of their parents in perfectly fine shape, but this book speaks to the case where this isn't necessarily so.

This book portrays a suffering father whose young adult son has commit...more
Cheryl "Mash"
The Good Father by Noah Hawley
Published by Doubleday
Publication date: March 20, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-385-53553-3
At the request of Doubleday, an ARC TPB was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.


Synopsis (from publisher):
An intense, psychological novel about one doctor's suspense-filled quest to unlock the mind of a suspected political assassin: his twenty-year old son.

As the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting sy...more
Carrie
A 20 year old college drop-out murders a Senator who is running for President. The young man's father, remarried with a new family, is devastated when he learns the news. At first, he is certain there has been a mistake. His son could not possibly be a cold-blooded assassin. As more evidence comes to light, the father begins to grapple with his own life decisions and the impact they had on his son. What part may he and his ex-wife have played in their son's failures? Is violence genetic or a pro...more
Terri Lynn
I have to confess that reading this book has done me in emotionally. I am the parent of a child who will be the same age as Dr. Paul Allen's son Daniel in a few months and I am aching all over after finishing this book.

It was just an ordinary day in New York when the chief of rheumatology at Columbia rides the train home to his prosperous but ordinary suburban town in Connecticut and spends family time with his wife Fran and their 2 young sons. This ordinary day stops being so ordinary when ther...more
L
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Juste
I'd read some great reviews on this book but ultimately it just made me feel empty and disappointed... but maybe that's truly a sign of how good the book is?? It left me feeling as empty as the father in the story with no real answers for comfort.

The story follows Paul Allen, a Doctor/Father in search of answers after his first Son is the prime suspect in a political assassination. The book weaves and jumps sporadically between present and past and encompasses some rather in-depth studies of sim...more
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Noah Hawley is an American film and television producer, screenwriter, composer, and author. He is the author of three novels including A Conspiracy of Tall Men, Other People's Weddings and The Punch. For TV he wrote and produced the television series Bones (2005-present) and also created The Unusuals (2009) and My Generation (2010). Hawley also wrote the screenplay for the film Lies and Alibis (2...more
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Other People's Weddings The Punch A   Conspiracy of Tall Men A Conspiracy of Tall Men The Good Father

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“There are things in this world that no human being should be able to endure. We should die of heartbreak, but we do not. Instead, we are forced to survive, to bear witness.” 9 likes
“I'm sorry," I said, "did you just say elections are about hope?” 2 likes
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