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The Rich Part of Life

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  646 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
After Teddy loses his mother to a car accident, he and his young brother are left with their eccentric Civil War professor father, who is more able to discuss Confederate footwear than his sons' day at school. But Teddy's father plays the lottery with his wife's old numbers, and wins $190 million, immediately transforming their lives forever. For the first time, the family ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 16th 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published May 16th 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,117)
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Tea Jovanović
Roman o odrastanju... o dečaku koji prerano ostaje bez majke a otac dobije na lutriji... i Večito pitanje, šta biste uradili s novcem da dobijete na lotou... Topla i nežna priča...
Pamela Pickering
Feb 12, 2008 Pamela Pickering rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I found this book listed in a book chat room. It's opening line: The day we won the lottery I was wearing the wax lips that my dad bought me and the Nose Picker at the gas station. How can you not like a book that has a entry like that. What a charming find. It has the most interesting characters. I have to say my favorite would be the out of work vampiric actor. It has many humorous moments, it is sometimes predictable but still very enjoyable.
Jan 26, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it
A great book that was funny, suspenseful and engaging. It is like 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' meets 'The Descendants' -- the story of a Greek family with the type of hilarious humor that all ethnic groups can appreciate, used as a backdrop for a much darker story of sudden wealth, dark secrets and legacy, all narrated by an 11 year old boy. I loved the Chicago setting. Author Jim Kokoris also has the rare gift (which I like to call 'To Kill a Mockingbird' syndrome) of being able to tell an adult ...more
Mar 14, 2015 Judith rated it liked it
The author repeatedly demonstrates that he doesn't understand the difference between "lie" and lay." He uses "I" where he should use "me," "he" where he should use "him," and "who" where he should use "whom." He uses "passed" where he means "past" (as in "She walked passed our table") and "route" where he means "rout" (as in "The battle turned into a route"). To top it off, at one point he actually says that a character allowed "sufficient enough" time to do something! (As opposed to "insufficie ...more
Victoria Miller
Dec 04, 2015 Victoria Miller rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Told from the perspective of an eleven year old boy, with a younger brother ("The Nose Picker"), whose mother has died, Jim Kokoris has written a most engaging and unexpected tale, with a wonderful cast of eccentric but engaging characters. Kokoris weaves a subtle nuance throughout his writing: what remains unsaid is more powerful than what is told as the story unfolds. Don't want to give anything away....there are some things you'll see coming and some you won't, but always the unexpe ...more
Joanie Driemeyer
Mar 09, 2016 Joanie Driemeyer rated it it was amazing
Liked this one a lot. The characters are unique. The story explores the question of what happens to people when they suddenly come into a lot of money. In this case, it affected others more than those who won the money.
Sue Heaney
May 09, 2016 Sue Heaney rated it it was amazing
I can't get enough of this author and the way that he paints a picture with words of the story. It's funny and quirky. I highly recommend!
Oct 30, 2014 Wisewebwoman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best, unputdownable
Told from the perspective of an 11 year old boy who recently lost his mother, it is extraordinarily well written.

On contemplating his widower father who is not well himself: "Due to the uncertain state of his health, I was convinced that Tommy and I daily walked the fine line that separates children from orphans." He then looks up "Orphanages" in the yellow pages.

Through the course of the novel we see the slow emergence of the baffled and disconnected father after he was won the lottery and ref
Book Concierge
Professor of history Theo Pappas plays his dead wife's favorite lottery numbers - the date of birth of his oldest son, Teddy - and wins $190 million. The lives of the Pappas family members are forever changed, but all does not go smoothly. Kokoris gives the reader a wonderful cast of characters who are vividly drawn. My book club really enjoyed this book. We couldn't help ourselves and simply HAD to "cast the movie" - Kevin Spacey as Theo. And, of course, it made us wonder - would WE be changed ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How I came to this title, I don't recall, but it is unlike my usual fare. Yet, it pulled me in fast -- and I finished it within a day or so. It is centered around Teddy Pappas, an eleven-year-old boy forced into maturity before his time. The official synopsis says it best: "He lives with his younger brother and their eccentric Civil War historian father, a man more comfortable with discussing Confederate footwear than what kind of day his sons had. Their lives have been quiet for a year since th ...more
Apr 01, 2016 Rieta rated it it was amazing
I seriously loved this book. If I lived near Jim Kokoris I would ask to be an editor so I could read everything first. He has such an amazing ability to develop character. I've never really had a favorite author but I'm getting there with Kokoris. Loved this book.
Feb 14, 2015 Mom2nine rated it really liked it
What can I say, I liked Theo (the father) As many reviews explain, the book is based after the family wins a huge lottery payout. Father is socially inept and a loner, who loves his sons dearly. Story is told through the eyes of his 11 yr. old son. Now that his mother is dead, he no longer has her to smooth the edges of his father. Between the formerly distant, now close family members, boys' security guard, and a psychologist, father and son become closer and build a more understanding relation ...more
Jul 19, 2011 Alecia rated it really liked it
I had read Jim Korkoris's novel, In Pursuit of Other Interests earlier this year. I enjoyed it so much that when I was going on vacation, I looked for earlier paperback books he had written to bring with me. I found The Rich Part of Life, which is his first novel. I again laughed our loud while I was reading this one, just as I did in the previous one. Although it falters a bit with some of the characters, and it's a bit predictable, I found it a delightful story. It's told through the voice of ...more
Charlene Baumbich
Jul 09, 2012 Charlene Baumbich rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 15, 2011 Candice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommend
Details at my blog

Teddy's father, a civil war historian, hasn't yet recovered from his wife's death, so Teddy takes care of his little brother and keeps an eye on his dad. When they win the lottery, in swoop his uncle (a director of failed vampire movies), and his great-aunt (who constantly exclaims in Greek even though she's lived her entire life in Chicago). Everyone in the small town wants a share of the money. Since his father isn't around much, Teddy gets to relay the requests, including th
Lois Fortez
Mar 29, 2008 Lois Fortez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I've recently read several books with pretty dark, almost depressing plots, so I chose this book thinking it would be lighter as it's about a family who wins $190 million in the lottery. Honestly, as great as this book was, it was kinda depressing. Oh well, you can't win them all!

I enjoyed this book a lot, though. It takes place in the '90s and is told from the perspective of an 11 year old boy named Teddy, whose mother passed away in the previous year and now his father has won a huge lottery.
Apr 27, 2016 Brenda rated it really liked it
A ten year old boy narrates this story of a family who wins a lottery and the some of the problems is causes, including the boys biological dad showing up out of nowhere.
It was a good story, well told. There were a few typos in the last third, and one or two inconsistancies.
This book is not humor, but the thought processes of the ten year old boy were pretty entertaining.
I'll look for more by this author.
Tanya Procknow
Aug 05, 2015 Tanya Procknow rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't wildly exciting or dramatic but it was a nice story. I was engaged enough to feel frustration as I read it. It's told by an eleven year old boy who has recently lost his mom and then they win the lottery. The characters were original and funny. I thought it was a good book to show the difference in how we think as a kid compared to an adult.
2.5/5 stars

"The Rich Part of Life" was my first read of this school year, for class.

The way that Teddy stated things remind me of how I would state things (for the most part). Although, I had some questions while I was reading, I understood (as much as I did) why he felt/thought about certain matters.

Teddy was brave, for having to go through what he did (towards the end). I don't think I would've been that calm--calm enough to think about what to do, while in such an uncomfortable condition t
Milagros Lopez
May 09, 2014 Milagros Lopez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
nunca habia escuchado de este libro, para ser sincera lo compre en la feria del libro porque salia 10 pesos y la contratapa parecia interesante.
la verdad que me encanto y disfrute mucho leyendolo. me hizo reir y emocionarme. me gustaron mucho los personajes y el cambio que se produce al final. es un libro para todas las edades y para lectores de cualquier genero.
Josh C
Aug 10, 2013 Josh C rated it it was ok
I had to read this as a summer reading assignment this year, currently going into my junior year of high school. It seemed a bit strange to be reading this for school, when an eleven year old is fantasizing about his teacher's breasts. So this eleven year old and his family, consisting of himself, his father, brother, aunt, and uncle win the lottery, but don't actually do anything significant with the $190 million winnings. Sure it's a nice story, but it doesn't seem very realistic that these pe ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Wileyacez rated it really liked it
I like this "Sister North" and enjoyed it, so picked this one up, too. He does a lovely job of developing characters you care about AND believe in. The tale is told from the perspective of young Teddy Pappas. He's lost his mother in a car accident, but that's just the beginning of the changes and upheavals in this young boy's life. Other characters are his father, brother, uncle, and great aunt. The book begins with his father hitting the lotto to the tune of almost two-hundred millii ...more
Apr 15, 2014 Kendra rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Enjoyable read. Thought that the author's choice to write from the ten-year-old's point of view was a good one. Very effective in creating a child's view of life events
Jerrianne Wallace
Feb 06, 2014 Jerrianne Wallace rated it really liked it
Great mix of history and fiction, but definitely not a historical fiction book. I LOVE a book that can make me laugh out loud, and this one did through most of it.
Jun 17, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This story has many unexpected twists and turns. I love that the story is written from the boys point of view. There are many odd characters but the story itself is believable which is one of the many reasons why I liked it.
Aug 16, 2011 Kharen rated it it was amazing
The Rich Part of Life by Jim Kokoris is a book I find very poignant.

The story is about Teddy Pappas, an eleven-year-old boy who lives with his younger brother and their historian father. Teddy’s mother died in a tragic car accident. On the one-year anniversary of her death, Teddy’s father plays lottery and it turns out that they won $190 million which transformed their life.
They started getting attention from people who doesn’t even care for them before.

With all the roller coaster ride in their
Beth Tortorici
Feb 26, 2015 Beth Tortorici rated it liked it
An interesting read but moved slow. Kind of slow. Interesting father/son relationship. Had to force myself to finish!
Michael Kotyk
Feb 17, 2014 Michael Kotyk rated it it was ok
Unfortunately the characters were not very like able and the story line was lame. Other than that is was good....
Jan 24, 2016 Sondra rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Good first novel for the author. I liked the fact that it was from the child's point of view.
Feb 02, 2016 Judy rated it liked it
An enjoyable quick read, but the occasional grammar and usage mistakes bothered me.
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Chicago-area novelist Jim Kokoris is the author of three books, "The Rich Part of Life," "Sister North," and "The Pursuit of Other Interests." His books have been published in 15 languages and have been optioned for film consideration. The winner of The Friends Of American Writers Award for Best First Novel ( 2001), his humor essays have appeared regularly in The Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine.
More about Jim Kokoris...

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