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Now Is the Hour
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Now Is the Hour

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  778 ratings  ·  111 reviews
The year is 1967, and Rigby John Klusener, seventeen years old and finally leaving his home and family in Pocatello, Idaho, is on the highway with his thumb out and a flower behind his ear, headed for San Francisco. Now Is the Hour is the wondrous story of how Rigby John got to this point. It traces his gradual emancipation from the repressions of a strictly religious farm ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published May 15th 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2006)
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Aug 10, 2011 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those drawn to character-based stories. Plot, schmot.
Original review August 31, 2009:

I'm not going to lie, this book took a solid 100 pages to really get into. But once I was in, I was IN. All the way. I cried to have to turn the last page. It's like a cross between Steinbeck and Kerouac with some SE Hinton thrown in for good measure, a YA version of _East of Eden_.

The setting (rural Idaho in the late 1960s) seemed pitch-perfect, the character was believable and engaging (once we got over our initial hump), and the emotional development was well d
"Different"- dirían los Klusener, huir del aparente calor de hogar, de lo que te inculcan de pequeño y te ciega y durante la huida topar con muros insalvables. Ahora es el momento de doblegar nuestro miedo, ahora es el momento de respirar. Un Bildungsroman que empieza en aguas apacibles, las de la inocenccia de la infancia y que se vuelve tumultuoso por la propia exposición a la vida. La del protagonista, la de todos.

Supongo que lo desarrollaré más en el blog, llevo un rato dándole vueltas al po
Oliver Twist & Shout

Redactas una historia más de coming of age (o bildungsroman para los culturosos) porque total, ocho millones de historias de coming of age no son ya demasiadas.

Escribes a base de frases cortas porque no quieres que el lector se canse

Repites sin parar un puñado de diez o doce coletillas porque tampoco tú quieres cansarte a inventar.

Tu personaje principal tiene tanta personalidad como una coliflor

Inundas el libro de pasajes superfluos, por puro amor al relleno. La mitad, por descontado, son descri
Carie L
this is my first spanbauer book. i read a review about it somewhere, maybe the new york times, so i put it on my to-read list a few months ago. i finally got to it about a week ago.

it's hard to put down after "Bless us, O fucking Lord, and these Thy fucking gifts", which happens pretty early on.

even though it's over 500 pages, it's very easy to read due to the dumbed-down vocabulary and lack of punctuation. it got a little holden caufieldy and it does ramble on at times. but it's very honest and

Esta novela es una oda a la huida. Al hecho de perderse lejos de donde uno puede ser fácilmente encontrado. Un absoluto festival literario en el que el chico que huye nos cuenta en primera persona todo aquello que lo está empujando hacia direcciones desconocidas. Empujones violentos procedentes de brazos fornidos, corazones rotos y plegarias desatendidas. Un combo de aciertos y fracasos que lanzarían a cualquiera lejos de la palabra hogar.

Spanbauer vuelve a hacerlo. Muchos años después de aquel
Raül De Tena
Hace no mucho, en cierta conversación, confesaba que sí, que la mayor parte de productos culturales que me han producido un inefable vacío en el estómago tienen la peculiaridad de estar protagonizados por homosexuales. Al fin y al cabo, no podemos dejar las emociones en la mesita de noche cuando nos enfrentamos a determinadas historias... Esto es lo que me ha ocurrido precisamente con el libro de Tom Spanbauer. Pero, ¡ojo!, que un libro te toque de forma tan directa no significa que anule tu cap ...more
Jul 14, 2008 Núria rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Núria by: Raül
Si hay algo que no perdono nunca a un libro es que me dé la sensación de que estoy perdiendo el tiempo. No soporto estar leyendo un libro y estar todo el rato pensando que podría estar leyendo otra cosa, algo que me llenara más, o si me apuráis algo que me diciera algo. Creo que su principal problema es que es demasiado largo y acaba siendo repetitivo. Hay páginas y páginas describiendo minuciosamente escenas y más escenas indestriables las unas de las otras que no aportan nada: ni hacen que la ...more
João Roque
“Agora ou Nunca”, de Tom Spanbauer é um livro que me veio parar ás mãos por mero acaso. Comprei-o por 5 euros numa Feira do Livro, sem quaisquer referências anteriores sobre o livro ou sobre o autor, que aliás desconhecia. Apenas li a contracapa e pareceu-me interessante.
Apenas há pouco tempo e em conversa com um dos amigos com quem converso sobre livros ele me referiu que tinha sido este livro um dos melhores que ele já tinga lido.
E agora que o li não só o confirmo, como estou pasmado pela pouc
Karen Germain
I picked up Tom Spanbauer’s “Now is The Hour” at a Goodreads bookswap in Hollywood. The back cover looked promising and it had praise from other authors that I respect. This book fell flat and was well below my expectations.

I felt more than anything, that the story needed drastic editing. It could have conveyed the same point with about a hundred less pages. Spanbauer uses repetition, with phrases and ideas, as a stylistic choice. It drove me nuts. I bogged down the pace.

It’s a coming of age s
Honestly I have no coherent words or thoughts right now but I'm emotionally compromised and not okay in any way shape or form. I may write a proper review here later but for now I'm gonna try and cope with the emotional trauma I've just been through.

(Bert, I'm looking at you and blaming you for ever introducing me to Tom fucking Spanbauer).
The way Spanbauer writes is almost lyrical, beautiful. His story immediately drew me in from "Parmesan cheese" to the end (he started with Parmesan cheese, what can I say?). It was kind of the classic coming of age, questioning everything type of story, but the unique writing style and narrator's honesty made me glide along with anticipation. I'm not great with the reviews, but I will say that I felt this calm after I finished reading Now Is the Hour and I wanted to meet Rigby John (the main cha ...more
Oct 02, 2015 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Differnt folks with differnt strokes
Recommended to Alan by: An author appearance; previous work
Pocatello, Idaho... a place much better to be from than to be. According to Tom Spanbauer's 2006 novel Now Is the Hour, anyway:
We blessed our roast beef, the canned peas, the mashed spuds, the Wonder Bread, with the same old prayer that came out of us like bad breath from a sick dog, then made the sign of the cross again.
Pocatello probably really wasn't the best place to grow up, back in the 1950s and 1960s, at least for anyone who was, as Rigby John Klusener would say, a little "differnt."
Review initially published on my blog, Writing by Numbers, here.

Now is the Hour is the tough, heartfelt prayer of Rigby John Klusener, iconic American teenager. He’s by turns scared and rebellious, crammed with feelings, angry and apathetic and hopeful and earnest. Knowing there’s something bigger out there. Wanting and fearing the world at once.

Set in the sixties in rural Idaho, this coming-of-age novel takes time to get into. It’s a rhythmic readjustment, slowing down the pace of life and spe
Book Review

‘Now is the Hour’ by Tom Spanbauer

Vintage Books – ISBN – 9780099506959

459 Pages - 7.99

‘Now is the Hour’ by Tom Spanbauer focuses on the life and times of Rigby John Kluesener. It is 1967, and he is going to San Francisco, with flowers in his hair, and the novel looks at the how’s and the why’s of why he is there.

At 459 pages, the novel is a long book, but the energy of the central story, and the way in which it is told does not make it seem like a long read. Rigby is confused, he is H
May 24, 2008 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone, with the caveat that something might suck about it
I remember I kept complaining about this book while I was reading it but now I don't remember what the problem was. Something about the prose being... cheesy? Repetitive? Predictable? What was it? But now I only have good memories of the book: it totally swept me up and I wanted to read it all the time. That is what I want in a novel. Also, it was hella gay, which is always a plus. I think it probably made me cry.
Young Rigby John Kluesener commences telling his story as he is hitch-hiking on the road from Idaho to San Francisco, and in so doing goes back to the 1950s and his earlier childhood, recounting the events that led to him being on the road.

He had a strict upbringing, a staunch Catholic mother, a distant, unloving father, a wayward sister and brother who did not live out his first year. At school he suffered at the hands of bullies and had few friends. But things changed as he approached his seve
At first, this book was slow going for me, hard to get into. I almost didn't make it past the first 50 pages--it may have been my mood at the time--but I hung in there because of Nicole's soaring review. Then, at some point, maybe after I accepted what I felt was an annoying structural device of slipping back and forth through time (it kind of kills the mystery for me, when I know something about the character from the beginning, as he looks back on the past and retells his story--I'd much rathe ...more
Katie M.
4 stars for the writing. I deeply love Spanbauer's writing, sort of in spite of myself. This time around the prose doesn't quite have the same freshness that it did in The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon: A Novel, but he uses this repetitive phrase technique - coming back to certain lines, or images, or words, over and over throughout the novel - that completely worked for me. It's a different kind of story than The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, but all the big, beautiful, larger-than-l ...more
I. freaking. LOVED. this. book. Loved it like.... two lips against two lips, soft with a kind of suck, tobacco, and the taste of pink.

I loved Spanbauer's writing style, the strong voice he gave to Rigby John Klusener,Grandma Queep, the rural small-town America setting, the color of Billie Cody's nail polish (Midnight in Helsinki),the parmesan cheese, Georgy Girl and red neckties around bald heads, the four slices of roast beef served with Heinz 57 ketchup and mashed potatoes in the green bowl a
I love Tom Spanbauer. I love his writing, the poetry of his voice, the pace and unfolding of his craft. I read this book slowly because I knew from the first pages that I'd be tempted to speed through it only to find myself saddened by its completion. But today, finally, after months of withholding and rationing, I closed the book, took a deep breath and let it sink in. This is a book that is close to my heart. It's a story of self-discovery in Pocatello, Idaho, my hometown. Much of it takes pla ...more
This is one incredible novel. The images and experiences are so vividly rendered, I have trouble sleeping after reading even a chapter. I was blessed to take a three-day intensive workshop with Tom Spanbauer and I suspect some of this insomnia is due to his prose evoking the emotional intensity of that long weekend. Tom's calls the writing training he offers "Dangerous Writing" and he risks a high level of vulnerablity in his work which is what makes reading his prose such an amazing experience. ...more
I think I need to stop reading coming of age stories. The main characters are too melodramatic for my taste.

I read Now is the Hour for the first time my freshman year of college. I remember devouring this book and singing its praises. With my second read through, I found the book a bit tougher to get through and found myself skimming full sections. It's not that it's a bad book, really, it's just not an amazing book either. Spanbauer likes to repeat phrases a lot, especially the line "I love God
I'm drawn to Tom Spanbauer for many reasons. He favors coming of age stories, wrought with questions of gender and/or sexual identity, religion, and race in small Idaho towns, usually seasoned liberally with music, nature, cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs (Now Is the Hour employs the coming-of-age-and-out-of-the-Pocatello,ID-Catholic-farm-closet storyline, with racism directed mostly towards the Native Americans on the adjacent reservation, and sprinkled abundantly with early Vietnam-era radio son ...more
This is an excellent book. Even despite its contrivance and happy ending (which has grown on me these past few days). I'm starting to worry a bit that I relate less to the nihilism that seems to define my generation and more to the nostalgia and sentiment that defines the previous one. It makes me feel old-fashioned and unhip. Perhaps it's just that it's winter and I'm introspective.

ANYWAY, this book is filled with vivid, fully-realized characters, genuinely funny moments (I laughed out loud a
First off, The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon is one of my great loves. In the City of Shy Hunters: i wept and wept. I tried to come up with $2500 tuition when i heard that Tom Spanbauer was going to teach at Esalen. But this book -- Now is the Hour? Sigh. I do think that Mr. Spanbauer may be incapable of writing a bad sentence. But a bunch of good sentences don't always clasp hands and become a great book. I couldn't get over the feeling that i was reading about his not-super-stand-outtish ...more
Nov 03, 2014 Tyler added it
I really want to join a book group that talks specifically about Tom Spanbauer's fetishization of Native culture and people. Cause dude, I'm so over it. Lord knows I love his writing but when the Native American character says in this book that the only thing harder than being born Indian is being born queer, I just couldn't anymore.
Hmmmmm. I truly enjoyed the writing of Spanbauer. I loved the characters. It was cool to read this book after I had been there! I had such a hard time with the outcome. Funny, because the start of the book was where Rigby John ended up (so the reader knew he would make it there). There was just too much fiction with how he made it to the exit, especially from the latter part of the book.
I am not sure why but this is my third coming out novel in a row. It must be a year for literary novels about the trials and traumas of being gay in contemporary America. The coming out story is quite muted in this novel and instead this novel is positioned more as a coming of age novel. For much of the book the main character has a girlfriend and both are quite puzzled by the lack of sexual experimentation.

More striking is the fact that all three of the novel I have read lately have featured di
Gin Hoffman
One of the loveliest books that I unexpectedly picked up in my bookshop from the "suggested reading" lists. I highly suggest this coming of age story to everyone. It's unexpected and subtle, and yet it hits you like a ton of bricks.
I am always impressed with how frank Tom Spanbauer is in his writing. He doesn't cut the corners when it comes to all the things those rigid Victorians pretended didn't exist about the human body--bowel movements, burps, sex and sweat. I find it really refreshing how wiling he is to build in all these human things into his books. (If you don't like reading about those things, then don't read this book.)

Spanbaeur created some key phrases that were repeated in the story, like a chorus for a song.
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The Backlot Gay B...: Now is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer 5 26 Oct 27, 2013 01:13AM  
  • Letters to Montgomery Clift
  • What We Do Is Secret
  • The Good Neighbor
  • Good Times/Bad Times
  • While England Sleeps
  • When You Don't See Me
  • Edinburgh
  • War Against the Animals
  • Band Fags!
  • The Married Man
  • Adam
  • Skin Lane
  • The Fancy Dancer
  • A Son Called Gabriel
  • Comfort and Joy
  • Shuck
  • Common Sons (Common Threads in the Life, #1)
  • Avoidance
Tom Spanbauer is a novelist and the founder of Dangerous Writing. As a writer he has explored issues of race, of sexual identity, of how we make a family for ourselves in order to surmount the limitations of the families into which we are born.

His published novels are Faraway Places, The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon, In The City Of Shy Hunters, Now Is the Hour, and coming out April 1st 2014
More about Tom Spanbauer...

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“Her heartbeat was in her hands, her heart beat the way she moved her head, her whole body was her heart beating.” 13 likes
“The universe has always conspired to fuck me up.” 12 likes
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