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Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,074 Ratings  ·  209 Reviews
In this tour de force of imagination, Ron Currie asks why literal veracity means more to us than deeper truths, creating yet again a genre-bending novel that will at once dazzle, move, and provoke.

The protagonist of Ron Currie, Jr.’s new novel has a problem—or rather, several of them. He’s a writer whose latest book was destroyed in a fire. He’s mourning the death of his
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published February 7th 2013 by Viking
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May 01, 2014 karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

if you like your love stories unconventional and ultimately sad (ach, don't wave that spoiler-finger at me - that is a page-19 spoiler), then this is probably a good match for you.

it is about the frailty of human romantic love, the power of the written word, the difficulties that "truth" faces in our works of fiction, how to leave someone for their own good, what the living have to witness in the slow death of another, and the possibilities of the singularity.

i know, right?

this is my first ron
Jun 19, 2015 Trish rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, islands, ebook
I did not read any of Currie’s earlier works, so I did not know until now that his previous novels were so well received. But I could tell upon beginning this book that this was someone who bumped up hard against sudden celebrity—those moments when everyone seems to think they know you intimately. Not so fast, Currie seems to say.

The book tells of a character named Ron Currie who is perpetually “in recovery” over the love of a woman, Emma, who returns his love but marries another. The book’s na
Mar 02, 2013 Greg rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
"Emma tried to run away..."

This song keeps running through my head when I think of this book. Or the first part of it anyway.

"Another theory I find appealing is that the Singularity could and likely will render the body, and therefore sex, and therefore by extension romantic love, as obsolete as a Walkman personal stereo."

For various reasons this novel was difficult for me to read.

The novel itself isn't written in a difficult manner, I just had a hard time getting through some of the sections.
Feb 22, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it
I liked this book. I liked it, a lot. But I am not sure that I can explain why, or maybe, I'm not willing to explain. At least not about how it resonated with me, or how I related to it. Maybe I’m a coward, but so be it.

Moving right along...I've been a fan of Currie's since I stumbled across his first book of stories God Is Dead and his great novel Everything Matters! so it was only natural that I pick up his third book right away.

The first thing you’ll notice about this book is how the text i
Allen Adams
Jun 17, 2015 Allen Adams rated it it was amazing

“Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles” is a whirlwind of imagination and insight. It’s the sort of novel that not only openly challenges the reader, but does so with grace and gusto. What Currie has created is a fictional memoir – a sort of unauthorized autobiography – that blurs the line between life and literature. Could it be that the book being written in the book is actually the book that we are now reading? That it’s even a question speaks volumes about Cu
I'll never get postmodern fiction, ever. I like my novels nicely organized, with neat transitions. It's weird. I enjoy chaos in the form of stream-of-consciousness, but I don't enjoy postmodern. That was one of the main reasons for my intense dislike of this book. It speaks more of my tastes, rather than of the novel, but as aptly put by the author-protagonist, we are perception machines. But, that's not my only reason for loathing this thing.

The plot which finds, at the beginning, the protagon
Jen Estrella
Mar 10, 2013 Jen Estrella rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, cover-love
Well. I read on a friends goodreads page that this was a sad love story, and being one of those kinda emotional self cutters, I stuck it on my "to read" list, as well as my "ASAP!" Shelf. I ordered it on amazon and discovered, to my dismay, that it had not been released yet and I would have to wait a month for it! Damn it!

Finally I got it, aaaand read thru it in about a day. The format was unique; the pages were separated like thoughts. It didn't read straight thru like a normal novel, but rath
Mar 04, 2013 Myfanwy rated it it was amazing
In one of my favorite movies, "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey attempts suicide on a Christmas Eve when all seems hopeless. He jumps off a bridge into a near freezing river, only to be saved by an angel. After the angel shows George how his life mattered to those around him (by showing what would have happened to them had he never lived), George is resurrected into his old life with all of its messiness and heartache only to realize that no matter what, his life is filled with wonder.

Jan 21, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc-egalley
I never know quite how to respond to uber-postmodern novels, with the blurred lines between author and character, the unreliability of the narrators embroiled in identity crises. Despite the fact that I've taken lit theory classes, I never know quite how to describe the stories and structures and whatnot in everyday terms.

Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is an existential crisis and a troublesome love story wrapped together with musings on truth and Singularity (the concept of machines developing
Sep 17, 2012 Liam rated it it was amazing
Goddammit Currie. You've done it again. I was supposed to get shit done tonight. Not read a couple hundred page book in one siting (on an office chair, a subway, and a recliner). Now I have to contend with having this book in my head. Well done.
Kelly McCoy
Dec 18, 2014 Kelly McCoy rated it it was amazing
At first this all seems a little strange, the book is fiction but it’s also claiming to be true. The author, Ron Currie Jr, uses himself as the main character. Well that seems uncreative and entirely lazy, but believe me Currie pulls it off. He doesn’t put himself on a pedestal. He shows an unapologetic, needy version of himself and the people he loves. There are parts that are so genuine they have to be true, such as Ron’s struggle with his father’s illness and death. But at the very center of ...more
Well, I didn't expect to love this book. When I started reading it, I was expecting something else. I liked Currie’s thoughts on live, love, loss, Singularity but I was still expecting something else. I didn't know what.
And then, I got to the end of the book. And hell, I realized that Currie got to me. That all the things he had said had changed me. And I wasn't sad for how how the book ended. Because the book maybe had ended, like Currie says, but life doesn't end. Life doesn't end, it’s just
Jenn Ravey
Mar 05, 2013 Jenn Ravey rated it really liked it
t’s important that you understand, from the very outset, here, that everything I’m about to tell you is capital-T True. Or at least that I will not deliberately engage in any lies, of either substance or omission, in talking with you here today.

The truth is that just like Huck Finn, who also mostly tries to tell the capital-T Truth, Ron Currie (the character, that is, not the author) is on a journey. Yes, we’re all on a journey, but Ron is on a journey unlike the philosophical or figurative one
Jan 26, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
Wow! Talk about breaking the mold. This is the most unconventional book I've ever read. There are no chapters, no “quotations”, and some pages only have one paragraph or one sentence. However, I ended up liking it in spite of all the weirdness. The writer is very passionate and even though it was told in an odd storytelling kind of way, it was grabbing.
The character Ron reminded me of Ernest Hemingway. Ron is a writer, a drunk, and bitter about love. The story jumps around a lot but the one in
Feb 24, 2013 Linda rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. After 10 pages I thought it might be okay. 50 pages into it I decided the main character was a jerk alcoholic and his girlfriend was selfish and didn't really love him. It was so dark. I skimmed the rest of the book. Why? I'm not sure. I feel like I need to apologize to myself for staying up until midnight reading this garbage. The chapter on computers taking over the world were skimmed over quickly. The chapters about his father dying were sad and the chapter about him, ...more
May 29, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
This might be called a "quasi-memoir." Yes, Ron Currie, Jr. is the name of the protagonist. Yes, Ron Currie, Jr.'s father died. Yes, Ron Currie, Jr. believes, to a degree, in the singularity. (All this I know from a book reading where he told us!) But, as Ron Currie, Jr. explained in an interview available at, "at the end of the day, according to most people's standards it is a novel, it's definitely not a memoir."

While the main story line is about Ron an
It is beginning to look like Ron Currie Jr. may never exhaust his two favorite topics - the death of his father, and his undying love for his childhood sweetheart. Because Flimsy Little Miracles begins by semi-fictionally referencing the author's previous book, I read Everything Matters! first. Though the two books are very different - Everything Matters is quasi-science fiction, and FLPM is quasi-memoir - both books centre around these two obsessions, sometimes to the point of redundancy.

If you
Jan 20, 2013 Literary rated it it was ok
Charlene's Review:

This is a story about a man who is obsessively in love with a, seemingly, unattainable woman. Finally realizing his futility and recovering from the loss of his father, Ron moves to a Caribbean island in hopes of "moving on." In an attempted suicide that fails as miserably as his life, Ron decides to just disappear, and in doing so, becomes a huge literary success. Eventually, he is found out and must face his choices.

I have to honestly say this was very hard for me to finish.
Jennifer Arnold
Mar 28, 2013 Jennifer Arnold rated it really liked it
What a strange, oddball, hard-to-define, yet lovely little book. I was a tad concerned about where it was going when I started - a writer writing about a writer (himself no less), the unconventional structure - despite the fact that I'm a huge Currie fan (I fell hard for Everything Matters). In a lot of other writer's hands, this would be a meandering disaster of random thoughts, but in Currie's it's something else. What I'm not exactly sure, but it sure as hell is interesting.

Mar 04, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, fiction
This book succeeds for its unapologetic honesty and its refusal to conform to narrative standards. Ron recalls the events of his life not in a linear plot, but in short bursts, from his father’s death, to his relationship with Emma, his brawling and boozing, his fake suicide, his exile, and his return. And the Singularity. Ron is particularly fixated on this topic. The book as a whole is excellent, self-deprecating, masochistic, funny, and raw. I adored the manner in which Ron chose to tell this ...more
Jan 24, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
A father's messy death, the Singularity, a perfect, violent love, and capital-T Truth. Why is it that a book that makes me think so hard and feel so much is impossible to describe? Ron Currie manages to accomplish things on the page (gymnastic feats of logic, associative speculation, alienation, abject confession, contrition, enduring love, aching loss) that I can only manage in my mind--and sometimes not even there. The best thing about Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is that the author takes yo ...more
Tammy Lee
Jun 09, 2015 Tammy Lee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
This was one of those random, unexpected, brilliant reads I just love!! For instance, the format - the pages separated like thoughts, the whole story like a flowing stream of consciousness. He writes this account as he is self-exiled to an island, where he is either in touch with his feelings, grieving the death of his father, his reoccurring loss of the woman he loves, or obliterates them with drink and the escaping life in general, after the novel he had been writing was lost in a fire. Instea ...more
The Lit Bitch
Jan 27, 2013 The Lit Bitch rated it it was amazing
Here is a post modern novel after my own heart.

Though this is not a memoir but rather a work of fiction it doesn’t mean that the feelings and thoughts are not real….that was one of the things Currie explicitly points out to readers and one of the reasons I loved the novel….just because something isn’t the “truth” doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

This novel is begging to be deconstructed and analyzed. It’s hard for me to describe in normal terms how rich this novel is and why….it just simply is.

See my
Emma Sea
Jul 16, 2014 Emma Sea rated it did not like it
Did not enjoy.
Mar 14, 2014 Katie rated it liked it
This is a novel... or is it a memoir...? It's a book about a character named Ron Currie Jr., written by the author Ron Currie, Jr. I think it's supposed to be unclear where the truth begins and ends, and that's sort of what the book is about, too. What is truth? Etc., etc.

I started off really disliking this book but then it grew on me, making it hard to rate. At first I thought it was gimmicky, experimental navel-gazing (amusingly, "navel-gazing" is mentioned several times in the book itself...
Feb 14, 2015 Traci rated it liked it
What a weird book. I can't really tell if I liked it or not. Thus the 3-star rating. I'll ponder it, maybe come back to this review, add to it later.
Aimal (Bookshelves & Paperbacks)
3.8 / 5

Look at that cover. Look at that title. I’ve been wanting to read this book since I was working at Barnes & Noble, but I never got around to it. But Book Outlet is a gift from God, and I was able to get my hands on this book for $2.

Currie’s writing is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s matter-of-fact, but he also has a tendency to ramble. His words are simple and not flowery, but his sentences are long and winding. His writing, his voice and the tone he sets for his novel co
Jan 31, 2014 Chrissy rated it really liked it
I think the books falls under the category of fraudulent artifacts in that it relies on the ruse of the author's long-form confession/tell-all. Regardless of how it should be classified, I loved the gimmick and wink and nod it gave to the thin line between fact vs. fiction.

The narrator, who both is and isn't the author himself, explains in page by page excerpts how it came to pass that he faked his own death after losing the love of his life, and the posthumous mess it created, including once p
Jan 12, 2013 Roxane rated it it was ok
I really didn't care for this book. I just... did not get it. I also found it kind of.... sexist and not in a way that served the plot in any meaningful way. So many sections just made... no sense. There's ambition here but the overall project isn't realized. It's like, there's this big statement trying to be made.

The writing is fine. There are even some really nice moments but man, I do not understand.
Sep 21, 2015 Anita rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, swap-in, swap-out
The author is presumably writing about himself in a semi-autobiographical way, seeing as the main character is named Ron Currie, Jr. In terms of subject matter, though, this book is about three things:
1. Ron really loves a girl named Emma but he can't seem to get her to love him back.
2. His father died of lung cancer,
3. He is obsessed with the concept of Singularity, the inevitable rise of technological artificial super-intelligence. (Did I say that right?)

The Emma character and the trajectory o
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Ron Currie, Jr. was born and raised in Waterville, Maine, where he still lives. His first book, God is Dead, won the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library and the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His debut novel, Everything Matters!, will be translated into a dozen languages, and is a July Indie Next Pick and Amazon Best of June 2009 sele ...more
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“Don't repackage your fear and try to sell it to me as indifference.” 10 likes
“Neither of us looking for an apology, or to be proven right at the other's expense. No anxiety to make it better than it was, no yearning towards something more. No dramatic conclusion at all. Just an array of loose ends, wrapped in a bundle of memories, all tied together with a sinew of regret - regret that we could both ultimately live with.” 6 likes
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