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3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  723 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
Twisting the buddy cop story upside down and inside out, Penn Jillette has created the most distinctive narrator to come along in fiction in many years: a sock monkey called Dickie. The sock monkey belongs to a New York City police diver who discovers the body of an old lover in the murky waters of the Hudson River and sets off with her best friend to find her killer. The
Paperback, 228 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 5th 2000)
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Feb 18, 2013 Mandy rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, ebook, 2013
If this book was a person I would punch it in the face.
This isn't a story. It's just a string of atheist essays with a small bit of plot holding them together. I hated it so much, and I'm not even a religious person. If I had known this book was going to preach to me I never would have started reading it in the first place.

The worst part of all is that a dear, sweet sock monkey had to be included in this drek. I love sock monkeys. I hate this book.
Anna Janelle
May 04, 2013 Anna Janelle rated it really liked it
I'll be up front here. Lately, I've had a non-sexual crush on Penn Jillette. This, of course, was spurred by his appearance on that awful time-suck of a show called Celebrity Apprentice; however, I've always thought he was articulate, creative and uber-intelligent. He's tall. He's mysterious. He's mothereffing magic. Not to mention, he named his daughter Moxie CrimeFighter. For real. What a RAD DAD. Anyways, a few years back, I picked up "Sock" and found one more reason to appreciate Penn Jillet ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Matthew rated it it was ok
Shelves: goodreads-recs
I want to give an extra star for the wild and unconventional execution, but it’s tempered by the fact that a lot of its kooky devices fall flat. Every paragraph ends in a pop culture reference, usually a line from a song, I guess because the Little Fool listened to music a lot when he was younger, so Dickie picked up these phrases? But they are only rarely actually relevant to the content of the paragraph they are tacked onto, and often that relevance doesn’t go much deeper than simple word asso ...more
Aug 08, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers
Sock. What a surprise. Granted it has been out a few years, but I had not heard anything about its existence, let alone how well or poorly it was written. Not quite what you would expect from the co-author of "Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends". But, then again, in some ways it is.

I see that the goodreaders don't rate it (on average) quite as highly as I did. I can understand that. It is "choppy" in some ways, but not because of lack of interest. I think that elements of the book take more effort to
Nov 20, 2007 Peds rated it liked it
This book has the most interesting narrator I have ever read: a sock monkey called Dickie. All throughout the book, readers will see things from Dickie's point of view.

You see, Dickie belongs to a grown-up NYPD diver, whom Dickie calls Little Fool. One day Little Fool discovered a body belonging to his former lover Nell, obviously dead, in a river. Together with his friend Tommy and Dickie, Little Fool tries to find the killer. Which is a bit challenging, since Little Fool is a diver, not detec
Mar 17, 2008 Benji rated it liked it
the voice of this novel is a sock monkey named Dickie. he is owned by the Little Fool, a police diver who scubas a reserve of water in new york for bodies.

the story starts to pick up steam when the Little Fool drags a familiar body out of the water. an old lover of his that he has now determined was his true love.

i enjoyed the book as a whole. it is full of pop culture references, all of which the author has said help give the paragraphs a theme. i felt that there was a chapter towards the end
Benjamin Siess
Aug 04, 2011 Benjamin Siess rated it it was amazing
The end of every paragraph ends in a line to a pop song. This is meant to reinforce the idea of the paragraph. It seems like a nice, quirky idea, but for me it was extremely distracting. It took away from the flow of the story. I quickly started skipping the last line of every paragraph. It still bothered me because sometimes he threw in two lines of a song. I felt myself getting super frustrated because of how much I liked some passages of the book.

Then I found a website that listed all the lyr
Jul 09, 2014 M rated it it was ok
Penn Jilette puts his words into his protagonist puppet's mouth in his oddball novel Sock. Purportedly told by a stuffed sock monkey, the main focus is on a New York City police diver. Upon finding the bludgeoned body of his ex during a crime spree, the diver and his salon-running gay best friend team up to bring down the murderer. While starting off with a neat premise, the book swiftly falls into a running commentary of Jilette's societal views. Plot is sacrificed in order to expound upon reli ...more
Jason Brown (Toastx2)
Sep 18, 2008 Jason Brown (Toastx2) rated it did not like it
Penn Jillette.. The louder half of Penn and Teller.

Penn wrote a book back in 2004. When i saw it in the book store, i said to myself, that looks awesome! The story is narrated by the sock monkey of a NYC Police Diver. Said diver runs across the body of an ex-girlfriend and spends the rest of the book determined to locate the killer and take him down. Did i mention it was narrated by a sock monkey?

The book (aptly named “Sock”) was one of the lousiest reads i have ever mucked through. The story wa
Jan 30, 2016 Traci rated it liked it
First off, I must admit that I had no idea Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame had written a book. I was very happy and excited to find this - it meant a book for my hubby to read and I really wanted to read it myself. And, as is usual of strange writing, we had very different opinions about said book when we were done. Namely that hubby really liked it, and I was really disappointed by it.

The story is a basic murder-mystery on the surface. A police diver (the guys that fish corpses out of t
Jun 29, 2016 Harold rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. I was a big fan of Penn Jillette's two collections of rants, anecdotes, and essays - God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales and Every Day is an Atheist Holiday - so I was curious to see what a work of fiction from him would be like. Well, it turned out that the book was still full of rants and opinions - and they pretty much overwhelmed the narrative. The plot of Sock is fairly straightforward; a police diver discovers the brutally murdered body of his ...more
Jul 03, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
This is a difficult novel to review, especially if you are a fan of Jillette not only in his roll as bullshit bashing magician, but as a social commentator. Penn tells it like it is-constantly. And that is the problem with Sock.

As a debut novel it is brave, clever, insightful and raw. Unfortunately,if you've read any of his other works as I had with God,No!, read any of his work online, or seen Penn & Teller:Bullshit, it's all old and just comes acros
Peter Bosson
Aug 28, 2014 Peter Bosson rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Penn Jillette, whether it be from TV or his Vegas show, where he graciously signed this book. So of course I was curious to read a work of fiction from him. I was a little nervous because the story was told from the point of view of a sock monkey and I had read an awful book called Winkie, which was told from the point of view of a teddy bear. Luckily the odd narrators are the only similarities. This is really two books in one. The main storyline is a classic noir story; a poli ...more
May 18, 2015 Onionboy rated it liked it
I fully knew what I was getting into when I started this book, thanks to so many reviews on sites like this. But I am having a hard time putting my thoughts into words for this book, or even picking a rating. I liked that it was so different from other books. It was dark, but at times I wondered if the author was doing so for shock value. I didn't understand the point of the pop culture reference at the end of almost every paragraph. Few of them contributed much to the story.

The ending seemed a
David Levy
Jun 23, 2013 David Levy rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this book.

For the first chapter, I thought I was reading something revolutionary; a story, while fairly straightforward when you took away all the heavy-handed in-your-face pop culture references and "oh look at me, a character in my book is gay", told from a unique perspective and with an interesting voice.

By the second chapter, I was "oh, more of the same".
By the third, it was starting to grate.
By the fourth, i'd had enough.

I'm sure 'Sock' has in there somewhere a great book,
Mar 17, 2016 Mike rated it did not like it
I had all kinds of hope for this book. Whew. See, I'd believe a sock monkey as a narrator if he had some redeeming qualities or helped what might be mistaken for a plotline. But Jillette's investment in this character/narrator is so very disappointing. He is hurtful, spiteful, and at times full of the kind of hate that makes Donald Trump look good to the unwashed. The premise of the book is unique, but it doesn't do much else for anyone who puts sentences together with care. Concluding each para ...more
Jun 26, 2008 Glenn rated it it was ok
Recommended to Glenn by: Mellinger
Okay, another weird book from Mellinger, one which I'm not quite finished with yet. One of the blurbs on the cover mentions the orginal new voice of the narrator, a sock-monkey named Dickie. Anybody familiar with Penn Jillette will note that there's nothing original about the narrative voice- it's a direct feed from Penn himself. It even features his fascination with monkeys (Monkey Tuesday!)- and it seems unedited. There's a song quotation at the end of nearly every paragraph, and often the lyr ...more
Jun 22, 2010 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
It wasn't until his second book got released that I started wondering about Penn's writing, and I decided to pick up a copy of Sock, his first book.

It was great - in a dark, twisted, sock-monkey sort of way. This is the kind of book I'd recommend to my peers, but not my parents. It's graphic and vulgar, and it tells a fascinating story from a unique point of view.

I can't speak for others who have read it, but there were definitely parts that made me feel physically upset. And while feeling upset
Dec 08, 2008 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: home-library
I really wanted to like this book. I really did. Who do I love? Penn and em-effing Teller, that's who. But man, I did not get into the voice of the storyteller at ALL, and while I do appreciate a good serial killer storyline, I didn't find myself satisfied by the denouement. Also, we all know Penn is an outspoken fella with some really firmly-held opinions. Unfortunately, so much of what the storyteller had to say read like Penn going on a tirade and didn't feel really honest for the character, ...more
Amy Sheridan
Apr 27, 2011 Amy Sheridan rated it it was amazing
this was one of those books that sounded interesting enough to go on my Christmas list, but not interesting enough for me to run out and buy. I ended up getting it for Christmas and love it more than I can explain.

I'm not necessarily a Penn Jillette fan, I guess he's funny enough, but I'd never go out of my way to see one of his shows or anything, but this book is... I don't know, it's just well-written and funny and smart and dotted with enough pop culture references to keep pop culture connois
Jun 24, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Read this one for bookclub. I felt like there were two stories here. The nominal story was about "The Little Fool" solving the mystery of an ex-flame's death. That story was engaging and funny.

It was nearly drowned under the weight of Penn's personality. Over-the-top swagger and political opinions ranged from eye-rolling to irritating to genuinely upsetting--and I pretty much agree with the guy!

The tone of the book was musical--calling to mind rap battles and clearly demonstrating Penn's showma
Apr 16, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Highly entertaining and written in an unusual style from the point of view of the protagonist's sock monkey. Contains a great many fun pop culture references and dialogue that makes you think outside your normal frame of reference. It was a real treat for someone who gets easily bored with formulaic novels and traditional writing styles. I also share a similar point of view with the author on many political and religious subjects so it was interesting to see those fleshed out using the novel's c ...more
Mar 10, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it
A clever conceit that could have failed miserably, but, perhaps surprisingly, didn't. The whole story is told from the perspective of the protagonist's sock monkey, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, especially popular songs.

Yeah, I know, I know, but it somehow worked, and yes, the author is one-half of the Penn and Teller duo (I think he's the one who named his daughter Moxie Crimefighter Jillette, so go figure). It's not great literature, but it was fun (marred only by a rather
Nov 21, 2012 Kristie rated it did not like it
I couldn't do it.

The frustration of reading a book comprised almost entirely of three or four word sentences was maddening. Not to mention the fact that those sentences were either painfully repetitive, made no sense, or were song lyrics didn't help. Just getting through the first ten pages, I had to put this book down and walk away more than ten times.

This dialogue works when you're speaking or telling jokes, but doesn't translate well to print. While the narration idea was novel at first, it's
Mar 18, 2009 Frankie rated it really liked it
Penn Jillette doesn't hold back a lot in his writing (or his stage performances, for that matter)! "Sock" is a somewhat intense, often funny, murder mystery that ends up with a big overarching theme that won't be a surprise to any serious Penn & Teller fans (but I'm not spoiling it here!). There are even a few spots that are surprisingly touching, because it seems like it's written from a point of honesty.

I'll tell you what this book didn't do for me: it certainly didn't reduce my feeling th
J.P. Behrens
Sep 01, 2013 J.P. Behrens rated it liked it
While at times interesting, I didn't feel that the book was all that well written. The pop culture references were amusing at times for their "Where's Waldo?" discovery moments, but needless. When you end every paragraph with a line from a song or movie to "set the tone," it becomes tedious. The plot was lacking and served as only a thinly veiled attempt at writing a book about his Atheist beliefs. Something he's done much better in his non-fiction attempts at writing. The book had an interestin ...more
Mark Isaak
Jul 08, 2015 Mark Isaak rated it liked it
This book is roughly 30% story and 70% philosophical musings. The philosophical musings were generally not very deep, but they were the better part. That said, I thought the very end of the book was good and made the rest of the story worthwhile. Jillette's writing style, like his performance style, is in-your-face direct, which some people may find offputting. And his frequent cultural references will make large parts of his book inaccessible in less than a generation. Many lines in the book me ...more
Dave Burns
Mar 04, 2012 Dave Burns rated it it was amazing
Religious believers should know already that Jillette will try to set them straight, or at least offend them.

I enjoyed this book more than I expected to, and probably more than I like to admit. Why is that? Too much sex in the book? I'm okay with sex in a book. Too much weird sex? Maybe. Also, I guess I had low expectations, even though I love listening to this guy on YouTube and wherever.

I am very glad I stumbled on this book.
Feb 01, 2011 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Interesting style that takes a few pages to get used to. There is a song lyric or other pop-culture reference in just about every paragraph, which can be a little jarring if it's a song lyric you're unfamiliar with. But it definitely is true to Penn Jillette's voice. Which is to say, the story does veer off into atheist and libertarian editorializing at times. But, fortunately, retains all of the wit and humor that Jillette shows in both his stage work and on "Bullshit".
Feb 11, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
Told through the point of view of a NYC police diver's sock monkey, the book follows a jumpy, fragmented stream-of-consciousness style of writing...which worked great for me b/c I already think inside my head like that. In fact, this was one of the few books I didn't have to fight my brain to follow. It was great to let the reigns go and let the ole thinker run away with this story about a plucky sock monkey's best friend :)
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Penn Fraser Jillette is an American comedian, illusionist, juggler and writer known for his work with fellow illusionist Teller in the team Penn & Teller.
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