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Goats

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  287 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Ellis is getting ready to leave the Southwest for a boarding school in the East. This means leaving behind his mother, and the only real father figure he has ever known, Goat Man. Goat Man has done more for Ellis than giving him his first bong hit. He has maintained a home on Ellis's mom's property rent-free since Ellis was a child, taking care of small t ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 7th 2001 by Miramax Books (first published August 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 540)
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Mark
May 03, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing
Pot smoking and goat trekking...does it get any better than this? An amazingly engaging coming-of-age novel that has elicited comparisons to the Catcher in the Rye. What starts off as paradise-like environment for Ellis Whitman slowly starts to unravel at the seams as the true natures of the participants are revealed.
David
May 28, 2010 David rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
On the back cover of this coming-of-age story we learn that Mark Jude Poirier is a graduate of the "Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and the Iowa Writers' Workshop". I read "Goats", his unusually sure-footed debut novel, to a background of faint grinding and whimpering noises, almost as if someone were throwing kittens into the machinery in the basement. Puzzling, as the basement is free of both kittens and machines. Finally I realized that the odd acoustic phenomenon was just the eldritch soun ...more
Julanne Wicks
As I approached the end of this book, I was perfectly aware that it was almost over, but when I looked down and saw I only had about eight pages left, I stopped reading. I didn't want it to be over.

Beautifully written, Goats is a coming of age story that you will never forget. The characters are believable and unique, eliciting every emotion from their readers: anger, frustration, hurt, worry. These characters, made up of nothing other than paper and ink, become as real as our own friends and fa
...more
Benjamin
Nov 20, 2014 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fourteen year old Ellis lives with his mother in Tucson, sometimes there is a man in her life, his father lives in Washington with another woman. Ellis is about to start boarding school, his only real apprehension is leaving his mother to care for herself, she is far from organised and is likely to forget to pay the bills and Ellis, who is very bright and mature for his age, tends to take the responsibility for making sure everything is taken care of. Although he is also leaving Goat Man (Javier ...more
Nicole
Jan 23, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, new-fiction
This is the second book I've read after reading a reference in The Starboard Sea (first was Sailing Alone Around the World) and it was by far the weirdest book I've read in a LONG time. But it was compelling all the same and I found myself looking forward to the next chapter throughout. The book is chock full of marajuana, which will be off-putting to many I'm sure, but it was such a central focus that it helped to make the book more real to me. I'm pretty sure there are characters out there who ...more
Chase Hagler
Jul 29, 2014 Chase Hagler rated it really liked it
Best coming of age novel I have read personally. Very wacky and like able main characters and the story is very relatable. Classic story and a fun read to say the least.
Wrecksie
Aug 08, 2014 Wrecksie rated it it was amazing
This is actually a really deep book. What kind of a person is Ellis going to become? Which person will really be there for him? The characters were unique and interesting and fundamentally realistic and believable. This is a very good book.
Andrée
Jan 19, 2016 Andrée rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't trust anyone over 30 still applies.
Very enjoyable and occasionally disturbing read
Lacey
Jun 13, 2016 Lacey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star
One of my favorite novels with a male voice. Such a different and interesting journey to read. Highly recommend.
Benjamin
Nov 04, 2014 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: male-friendship
Fourteen year old Ellis lives with his mother in Tucson, sometimes there is a man in her life, his father lives in Washington with another woman. Ellis is about to start boarding school, his only real apprehension is leaving his mother to care for herself, she is far from organised and is likely to forget to pay the bills and Ellis, who is very bright and mature for his age, tends to take the responsibility for making sure everything is taken care of. Although he is also leaving Goat Man (Javier ...more
Ian
Apr 05, 2011 Ian rated it really liked it
Kind of SW stoner take on 'Catcher In the Rye' except instead of running away from prep school, the protagonist runs away TO it. Also, as many prior readers and reviewers have noted, Ellis is a remarkably un-flawed protagonist who seemingly has few if any inner or outer conflicts to resolve beyond whether to stay on his school's crew team, help his roommate with his algebra or (and perhaps this is the one) engage in a more meaningful relationship with his estranged father. In fact, by the end of ...more
Emily Cherry
May 23, 2012 Emily Cherry rated it it was ok
I liked this book, up until about the last quarter. It's a nice coming-of-age type of story, focusing on Ellis' life before going away to a prep school, and how he and his family change while he's there. But the end bothered me. It felt like it was not as fleshed-out as the rest of the book. And then it just ends, and left me feeling like several issues were left unresolved. Now, I'll admit that I don't like Slice-of-life stories, because I want my stories to GO somewhere. So, maybe this was sup ...more
Bonnie Thurber
Jul 29, 2014 Bonnie Thurber rated it it was ok
A teenage boy whose main role model is a pot growing goat owner living in his mother's pool house goes away to boarding school. I listened to this one in the car. The language was atrocious-lots of F bombs. Felt the ending was abrupt.
Erika
Mar 18, 2016 Erika rated it did not like it
Terrible. It leaves you hanging at the end and you're wondering what was the point of this story.
Martha
Jul 02, 2015 Martha rated it did not like it
Not my style of fiction, but I wanted to note that I gave it a chance.
St. Wait
Jan 17, 2014 St. Wait rated it liked it
Fictional book, similar to Catcher in the Rye. I was originally interested by the idea of raising goats and the novels information on goats seems accurate. The book was nicely put together and seems overall positive.
Alex
Jun 07, 2015 Alex rated it liked it
Pretty good coming-of-age tale. I've read better but I loved the Arizona backdrop.
Jcamille Wyatt
Oct 01, 2008 Jcamille Wyatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. One of the main characters reminded me of my brother : a long haired pot smoker who grew his own plants just for himself and went on treks in teh mountains with his goats. I felt like the ending was a bit lackluster, but the whole book was pretty entertaining. Besides the goat trekker, there was a young boy trying to figure out who he was and what he wanted to be.
Melanie Ullrich
Apr 19, 2014 Melanie Ullrich rated it liked it
Shelves: southwest
This was a very character based book. The author is amazing at giving the reader well rounded characters, but although I enjoyed the book, felt like the structure of the story was lacking. This might have been because I listened to the book. All in all, good book based in setting I can't get enough of!
Sarah Clapp-Work
Aug 16, 2012 Sarah Clapp-Work rated it liked it
If I could give half stars this one would get 3.5 stars. It is not a typical coming of age novel, however, it may be more typical in todays world than many may realize. The book is well writen and the characters well formed. This book reflects on the extremes of humanity and everything inbetween.
Chuck
Nov 29, 2012 Chuck rated it it was ok
This is a coming of age novel, and not an interesting one either. All of the characters in the book share one quality in common. They're self-involved narcissists, and it's difficult to care about what really happens to any of them.
Erik
Feb 13, 2009 Erik rated it liked it
I saw this book mentioned in Oxford American Magazine, and gave it a try. This was an enjoyable read, though nothing spectacular. It did keep my attention throughout.
Diane
Jul 12, 2012 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read this year. Actually, one of the best books I have read ever. Can't believe that I missed this when it first came out. I <3 Goat Man.
Justin
Dec 19, 2012 Justin rated it really liked it
Such an attractive book, even despite the borderline stagnant characters and fairly predictable "coming-of-age" arc. Couldn't put it down.
Joshua
Jun 24, 2008 Joshua rated it it was amazing
This book was given to me by a friend and I feel like it is a true reflection of my life in many ways. Definitely worth reading!
D.
Aug 29, 2010 D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cool coming of age tale. It shows that certain people grow up more quickly than others. I hope I'm one of the slower people...
Amy Tanikawa
A young boy coming of age in an eclectic, marijuana induced, non-traditional family. Out of my normal reading genre.
John
Jul 06, 2012 John rated it liked it
Just okay coming-of age story. A bit long on words and short on insight.
April
Jun 08, 2013 April rated it really liked it
Fun coming of age book.
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