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After Lucy

3.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  97 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Porter Ellis once believed he would be a famous painter -- until a decade of eking out a living as a graphic designer crushed his dreams.

Suddenly his wife, Lucy, dies of breast cancer, and Porter discovers that he can't deal with her parents. Sneaking out of town with his twelve-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son, he sets out on an adventure that he hopes will mend t
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 5th 2001 by Harper Perennial (first published 2000)
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Stacey Palevsky
May 18, 2008 Stacey Palevsky rated it liked it
The writing in this book was only so-so, but the characters were so endearing that I couldn't stop reading. I really loved being inside Porter's mind during the novel. His thoughts had a very conversational tone that I liked. And had the author's prose been better, I would have given this book 4 stars.
Aug 23, 2007 Evan rated it really liked it
Dan Jones is a a local author who is also the editor of the NY Times Magaznine column on Love. This was his first novel before he edited the "Bastard on the couch", a follow up to his wife's compilation, "Bitch in the House". He really writes in a comic yet poignant way. Good first novel.
Laura Krossner
I'm not sure why everyone seems to give this book low ratings. I really enjoyed Porter's journey in the novel. It was a bit of a slow start, but that worked well with how we was feeling in the beginning of the novel.
Karl H.
Feb 20, 2011 Karl H. rated it did not like it
After Lucy is supposed to be "affecting and wise" according to Vanity Fair. I would dearly like to know how they reached that conclusion, because there are no insights into anything, and I found it impossible to be affected by the misadventures of this jerk.

I hate Porter. He's supposed to be a likable everyman, but how are we supposed to empathize with this man-child? His jokes aren't funny and often play off facile stereotypes. Hur hur, granolaland, hur hur, fat people, yuk yuk, abstract art.
Angela M
Sep 17, 2014 Angela M rated it it was ok
This book was just OK for me. From reading the book jacket, I was expecting more of a road trip where they possibly meet lots of interesting people and Porter forms new bonds with his children. The road trip was kind of a bust. I also thought that it was unrealistic for them to be doing all this only 3 weeks after Lucy died. Three MONTHS would have been more believable.
Rebecca Edgar
Sep 18, 2014 Rebecca Edgar rated it liked it
Loved It
Sep 09, 2013 Mom2nine rated it really liked it
This book is not a downer! The story starts a few weeks after Lucy's death, Porter has not gone back to work and is trying to figure out where to go from here. I found the characters believable and likeable. The story flowed nicely and I read it in one day. Each person in the family: the husband, children, her parents and his parents all trying to find their way in a world that hasn't turned out as planned.
Katie Conklin
Jun 27, 2013 Katie Conklin rated it it was ok
I thought the writing style was too basic in this book. That usually doesn't bother me but it did with this book. I just felt that it was flat and really anti-climactic. I found this in a second hand bookstore and was really excited to read it, but sadly I was disappointed. I'm glad I read it and I thought it was a good idea, but I don't know if I would recommend it
Dec 28, 2010 Emily rated it liked it
Although in my opinion this book's plot wasn't very good, I liked it because it gave me perspective on what someone goes through after a spouse or someone close to them has died, and how they cope with it. I would recommend it because it's a quick read and the insight it has on the topic of death is very interesting.
Sep 17, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok
I kept waiting and waiting for this book to get started and before I knew it I was half way through. It was pretty depressing and I wouldn't recommend it. I'm pretty sure I read a great review in a magazine about this one and boy were they wrong!
Abby Sominski
Feb 15, 2008 Abby Sominski rated it it was ok
I read this book after reading the author's moving letters to his real life wife (who is also an author) ... maybe I should read his essays because this novel was unimpressive to me, and unrealistic.
Nov 14, 2015 Monica rated it really liked it
I read this for the first time in high school and really liked it. I just re-read it and guess what? I still really like it.
May 28, 2007 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Picked up in the second half. After his wife's death, man and his two kids end up a campground full of Deadheads.
Marisa Zimmerman
Jul 31, 2008 Marisa Zimmerman rated it it was ok
The premise sounds so much more interesting than the writing actually is. I wanted to like it more.
Jan 02, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it
Enjoying this more than i imagined i would.... No expectations. Just a fun, easy read.
Jun 10, 2010 Susan marked it as to-read
EFL Book After-Sale ($0) 6/10
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Daniel Jones, author of “Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers),” has edited the Modern Love column in the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times since its inception in October 2004. His other books include two essay anthologies, “Modern Love” and “The Bastard on the Couch,” and a novel, “After Lucy,” which was a finalist for the Barnes ...more
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