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Lapham Rising

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  267 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Harry March's troubles begin when Lapham, a self-aggrandizing, ostentatious multimillionaire, commences construction of a 36,000-square-foot house (complete with a cutting-edge air-conditioner that cools his entire eight-acre property) directly across the creek from Harry's island home in Quogue, in the Hamptons. Harry, an island himself, is something of a wreck and half-n ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Ecco (first published February 1st 2006)
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Harry March has lived on Quogue, Long Island for his entire life. In fact, generations of Marches have inhabited the house on the small Tennessee-shaped island in the middle of the creek. In late middle-age, he’s become quite the misanthrope, however, and somewhat of a hermit. His children are grown and gone, his wife left him, and now he’s alone with his Westie, Hector and the natural surroundings he enjoys. At least until multi-millionaire Lapham begins construction of his mega mansion ju
Mar 08, 2010 Evan rated it it was amazing
Picked up on a whim more or less, and glad of it. This is the first novel by Roger Rosenblatt, a guy familiar to me as an essayist on public radio. I opened and skimmed it and could see that it would be a smooth read, and I liked the premise as gleaned from the jacket. The male competitive element blended with acid comedy and local color seemed to remind me of another book I just finished, Thomas McGuane's The Sporting Club.
The title, Lapham Rising is a play on the famous
This is a cleverly written, satirical look at the obsessive ostentation of Life in the Hamptons and IMHO, addresses the crux of what ails America. The funniest character is Hector, the talking West Highland Terrier, unapologetic capitalist and evangelical proselityzer. So it is really addressing two problems which are the crux of what ails us. Parts had me laughing out loud! Good quick read.
Pseudonymous d'Elder
Nov 12, 2014 Pseudonymous d'Elder rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, satire
Mad As a March Harry

Harry March is quite mad. He was once a brilliant, best-selling writer, but now he does little but watch Murder She Wrote reruns all day and hold two-way conversations with his dog Hector. Harry is a recluse who lives in a small house on a tiny secluded island in a river in the Hamptons, avoids other people whenever possible, and keeps his life's savings piled on the floor of a spare room, not knowing how much is there and seldom spending any of it. Harry was happy with his l
Jun 23, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
This is a very clever, funny and outrageous read. Our book club read it and laughed all through our discussion. One example: Harry is a hermit who lives on a small island in the Hamptons. He has named his island Noman. He waits for people to ask him where he lives and he replies Noman. Then he wants them to ask "Where is Noman?" and he can reply "No(man) is an island." When a young girl finally asks the right questions and Harry gives her the answers she doesn't get the joke. He is sorely disapp ...more
Susan Bazzett-griffith
May 06, 2014 Susan Bazzett-griffith rated it did not like it
Shelves: great-fiction
I feel terrible that I am giving this book one star, as I think Rosenblatt's Making Toast is one of the best books I've read in recent years, but I could not get into this novel at ALL. I read a hundred pages and just couldn't force myself to go any further. There is nothing wrong with the writing, per se, but the entire plot is irritating, the protagonist is rather unlikable (even to his dog), and I couldn't bring myself to care what happened next enough to pick it up yet again to continue it. ...more
Barbara Melosh
Aug 31, 2014 Barbara Melosh rated it it was ok
Satire of rapacious wealth vs. neighborhood curmudgeon, but the tight compass didn't allow much development, and the focal character's voice became wearisome. Plus, I didn't like his dog...
Jul 04, 2014 Denise rated it it was ok
Not so much.
Jul 10, 2008 Ab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book. VERY funny. Roger Rosenblatt was my creative writing professor at Southampton College and I can see his sarcasm and dry wit in every word. A very satirical novel about the ridiculous extravagance of the Hamptons, the people who live there year round versus the people who have their third mansion there for the summer. Just to give you an idea of the hilarity, the dog of the main character is a born-again Christian.
Nov 16, 2012 Jody rated it liked it
I'd call this novel cute, a term I'm quite sure would send Harry March, the protagonist of Lapham Rising, into a curmudgeonly (and funny) rant. Rosenblatt is ruthlessly satirical about modern culture--or what passes for it--and manages to make his arguments funny and pithy at the same time. I don't know that I'd advise anyone to run out and buy it, but its not a bad book to spend a couple of days with.
Jul 02, 2008 Tyler rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fiction
This was loaned to me by a friend who thought I'd enjoy it, and I sort of did. Problem was I didn't much care for the main character, who is a crotchety old writer who lives on an island and despises his neighbors. His talking Westie (who's also a born-again evangelical) is a hoot, but I don't think he makes this book worth recomending. If he'd been the main character, that would have been a lot more fun.
Aug 20, 2010 Holly rated it did not like it
Story of a dried up writer living in the Hamptons who attempts to sabotage his annoyingly affluent and ostentatious neighbor.

Not funny and not interesting, no compelling characters (the talking dog is the best, but even that is riddled w/ holes). Goes to show that who you know can be everything to getting published. Read early Hiaasen instead for some mind candy.
Jun 12, 2010 Patricia added it
Recommended to Patricia by: Library blog
Shelves: didn-t-read
There's good quirky (Wonderboys) and then there is a bit too quirky. This fits into the latter category. The sculpture of the ex-wife sitting at the kitchen table; the bazillionare's mansion being built across the street with a device that air conditions the entire property; the skinny-dipping Realtor; the dog that actually speaks? It was just too much.
Mar 07, 2008 Meri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a good sense of humor
Shelves: glad-i-read
It's rare to find such a solid, entertaining satire in the 21st century, especially for a former non-fiction writer! If I didn't respect and admire Rosenblatt so much, I'd be pissed he's crossing genres so successfully! But this book is great, especially if you're familiar with the geography or social politics of the Hamptons. GREAT book.
Megan Breaux
Jul 24, 2008 Megan Breaux rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really hate to give books bad reviews, but I just could not get in to this book. When I picked it up in the store, I read the first few lines and laughed, but I need dialoge at some point and this book has hardly any. And the main character is absurd. The book has good intentions, but it just wasn't for me.
Apr 23, 2009 Cara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm...I feel like I SHOULD have enjoyed this book but for some reason I found it a chore to even finish it. I just didn't seem to care about what was going on, and though I was looking forward to a hilarious read, I didn't laugh out loud once! Disappointed but maybe it was just me!
May 03, 2010 Joanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
My friend recommended this book to me and I really did get quite a kick out of it. The author uses humor to "kid on the square".....ridiculous situations to get across a serious comment on American culture. Quick read with some laugh out loud moments.
Oct 24, 2007 Vivian rated it really liked it
This is chock full of sarcasm, so I appreciated every page. This is a perfect book for a book club as you will want to discuss it with someone when you're finished. One of my favorite books of last year. You will love it or hate it. It's one of those...
Gina Whitlock
Apr 05, 2014 Gina Whitlock rated it really liked it
A fun book if you can get beyond a crotchety old man who hates all his neighbors, talks constantly to his dog who he believes is a born-again Christian, this book's for you. I did enjoy it. Funny and sad commentary on wealth in America.
Jul 09, 2013 Sharon rated it liked it
A satiric novel about a curmudgeonly author who objects to the large houses and obnoxious people taking over the Hamptons. A quick read. The narrator has a rapid-fire delivery and a talking dog, both of which I enjoyed.
Jason McKinney
Aug 12, 2008 Jason McKinney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Luddites
Recommended to Jason by: Myself
An anti-pretentious book that goes so far in its campaign that it ends up becoming a bit pretentious itself, this short novel about a man railing against modern society and its vapidity is still quite entertaining.
Jake Ratliff
Clever, funny. Good commentary on what wealth is in America. The narrator's eccentricity is established early and leads to many humorous moments. The ending may or may not satisfy, but I thought it worked well enough.
Jan 20, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it
Shelves: autographed
Very funny, so long as the jokes don't go over your head ("No man is an island"). Even funnier for those who live on Long Island and are familiar with the landscape and the locals who are parodied.
Feb 17, 2008 Claire rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2007 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2006, library
What do a sandbar, a cottage, a mansion, and a talking West Highland White Terrier have in common? You'll have to read to find out, clever and witty I laughed out loud.
Aug 23, 2007 Dorothy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people on islands or boats or beaches, etc
really great if you are into making fun of the fancy pants lifestyle... what more could you ask for in a summer read than an evangelical capitalist dog?
A hilarious, satirical, cynical book about one man's fight with progress. SO well-written and so funny. I highly recommend it to cheer you up.
I read this for book club. It is a quick read and pretty entertaining. No great but good.
Jun 30, 2008 Jenn rated it liked it
Fun little story about rich idiots. Tries too hard to be hysterical. But it is funny.
Feb 22, 2009 Adrian rated it it was amazing
Irony in its most comical sense. I fun quick read written with great diction and style.
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Roger Rosenblatt’s essays for Time magazine and PBS have won two George Polk Awards, a Peabody, and an Emmy. He is the author of six Off-Broadway plays and 13 books, including the national bestseller Rules for Aging and Children of War, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written two satirical novels, Beet and Lapham Risi ...more
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