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The Rich Part of Life: A Novel
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The Rich Part of Life: A Novel

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  479 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Teddy Pappas is an eleven-year-old boy forced into maturity before his time. 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 the real lifeblood of their household, Teddy's mother, died in a tragic car ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 18th 2001 by St. Martin's Press (first published May 16th 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 774)
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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
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.
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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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.
3/5 stars

First read of this school year (for class) and as it turns out, I like it. ^.^

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 conditio
Milagros Lopez
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Michael Kotyk
Unfortunately the characters were not very like able and the story line was lame. Other than that is was good....
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 as forever changed, but all does not go smoothly. There's a wonderful cast of characters who were 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 by winning the lottery?
This book made me laugh out loud, because it was so different and strange. I read it because the author is a U of I grad and Marist Grad, and Jim thought I would enjoy it, which I really did.
Featuring a diverse cast of characters, this book is a delightful read, refreshing in its characterization. The narrator is an 11-year-old boy named Teddy Pappas whose family holds a $190 million dollar winning lottery ticket. As events spiral out of the control from this one event, the family comes together to realize 'the rich part of life'. This book makes you laugh out loud and you fall in love with the eccentric characters that are in Teddy's life.
Trying not to "spoil" the story for my book group friends! I don't normally pickup a book about father-son relationships but this one was interesting. I wanted more about the mother - she died in a car crash before the novel began - and more about the impact of the lottery. Felt a little deceived as those appeared to be two major story lines in the synopsis. I appreciated the twists but I felt like they came too late and never fully developed.
Aug 08, 2007 Marian rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anne Tyler or Richard Russo fans
I loved, loved, loved this book. I found it on a "readalike" site for being similar to John Irving, but the book it actually reminds me of is J. Robert Lennon's The Funnies (which I also love). The Rich Part of Life is funny and sweet and sad and has some great lines like this one, when the 12 year old narrator Teddy describes his alarmingly bosomy next door neighbor: "Mrs. Wilcott stood on our front porch looking divorced."
I'd give the first half of this book 5 stars and the last half 3. The writing throughout was witty and poignant and I loved it, but the story took a weird turn in the end and I didn't like it so much. As a whole, however, the book had hilarious characters and a tender and moving story.
I stumbled upon this book and I'm glad I did. If the author ever writes anything else, I'd love to read it.
Dan Radovich
The lives of a man and his 2 young sons are flung into confusion when he wins the lottery. Who would think 190 million dollars would wreck such havoc as created by Jim Kokoris. The humor is laugh-out-loud at times and well placed through the entire novel. Kokoris tells his story from the eldest sons point of view, and Teddy is a wonderful character - wise beyond his years, yet believable.
I seem to be reading a lot of books lately that are good, but don't quite knock me out. Well written story about a man who somewhat randomly wins a very large lottery he wasn't really hoping for and the fall-out for his family. Both the unexpected problems it causes and the unexpected bonuses it brings into their lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love the bits of humor the author instills in the text, the way he lets us into the mind of an 11 year old, and how that child thinks. The characters were interesting and unique. It was a lighter read but it truly touched my heart with a happy ending. I like the way this author's use of language is appropriate and connected to each different character.
Annabel Smith
This is the third time I've read this book and I enjoyed it just as much this time around.

Told from the perspective of eleven year old teddy pappas, the book tells the story of his father winning $190 million and how that money changes their lives in unexpected ways.

It is very funny, touching and moving, and the child's eye view is spot on throughout. One of my favourites.
Jan 18, 2008 Jackie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jackie by: Mimi Schorsch
I loved this book, it is one of my all time favorites. THe wacky dad in the story is a civil war fan and goes to reinactments. He is a professor at NOrthwestern University. He just happens to win the lottery and becomes a multi-millionaire. He doesn't really want the money, though, and goes to great lengths to deny the possibilties it presents.
Loved every minute of this book...
The characters were sooooo unusual and believable and interesting!!
I adored it....could hardly put it down..
Warning for those of you who don't like bad words...a couple of the characters do use them..
But it does fit with their personalities!!
Great book...can't wait for the next Kokoris book!!
The story was told by Teddy, whose father won the lottery. But was he really Teddy's dad? Maybe there was lots of money but what did Teddy want. Yes, love from his Dad but which Dad? All kinds of people came around looking for "money". This book showed me what could be if suddenly alot of money was available. A down to earth read!
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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...
The Pursuit of Other Interests: A Novel Sister North: A Novel Beam, Straight Up: The Bold Story of the First Family of Bourbon Reader's Digest Select Editions, Volume 258, 2001 #6: Summer Light / Echo Burning / The Rich Part of Life / On the Street Where You Live

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