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My Name is Joe

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  256 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
When Joe’s doctor advises him to get his affairs in order, he faces two choices: leave this world full of regrets, or seek forgiveness for a life unlived.

An unexpected thing happens on Joe’s path to redemption. He meets Rebecca, a young, single mother struggling with guilt over the death of her own mother. They soon come to realize that the other may hold the key to forgiv
Kindle Edition, 156 pages
Published November 3rd 2010 (first published September 25th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,799)
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Aug 29, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely loved this book! I would classify this as literary fiction because of the eloquent prose, attention to character and detail, and the proper motivation to make me think and feel.

Essentially "My Name Is Joe" is about a middle-aged man who has no family of his own, and working from home has kept him isolated from the outside world. He is relatively without ambition or motivation and is just going through the motions of the daily grind when he learns he has cancer of the terminable nat
Aug 28, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-kindle
A short and emotional book, you'll likely be left with a renewed appreciation for life.

This is a short quote that I liked from the book:

"You are not dying, and perception might lead you to believe there is still plenty of time for experience later. Someday you'll visit the Grand Canyon. Someday you'll find a job that you actually love to do. There will be plenty of time for the love of a puppy for the love of a good woman...someday.

"I was a man who had walked through his somedays and had not ev
Oct 30, 2011 Jojo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book about one man's search for redemption and recognition before he dies. He finds solace and a family when he meets a women and her son.

Stefan Bourque does a great job touching all our emotional buttons. It's very sad but also inspirational and sweet. The pace is slow and meandering, but in a good way, imitating a man's contemplation of what his own death would mean. The characters are realistic and powerful. They each have their weaknesses but try their best to overcome them.

As I
Feb 26, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads (a fact I am required to disclose). Although I had no previous exposure to Bourque's writing, I am looking forward to reading more of his work. Bourque has written a beautiful book with My Name Is Joe. Despite its heart breaking subject, the story both inspired me and restored my faith in the potential for human kindness.
René Olivo
Sep 09, 2013 René Olivo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I'd ever recommend a book, it has to be this one

I read this book as part of a personal project to search for books in the 3 stars range, but which actually should be 5 stars, at least for me.

After rounding up a couple of books, I wouldn't have imagined that I'd find the perfect book matching my criteria right off the bat. This is definitely a hidden gem.

What I liked the most about the book is how believable Joe is as a character. How the author can convey such complex emotions and yet one ca
Jul 04, 2012 Jakki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult to review this book without giving out spoilers. Suffice to say, I enjoyed the beginning or first third to half of the book when the character pontificates about the ironies of life, the growing loneliness of the digital age, the feelings of having a lack of a social circle and strong family relationships. I thought it was all fascinating and well-written. You knew from the beginning something would change for our dying character, Joe, but I wasn't a fan of how it came about and f ...more
May 09, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly moving story about a man told he was about to die and the power of human kindness. Stefan Bourque wrote a beautiful, heartwarming story. It was a wonderful read - in the first part of the book, you just read Joe's thoughts as he faces his dying alone - you really understand what it was like for a person facing a terminal diagnosis. Then he gives himself a going away party and in the process found a wonderfully caring individual that truly helped Joe through his final days, but she ...more
Julianne Rhone
A quick little feel good read. Joe has just been told he has terminal cancer, and he's looking back on his life, regretting choosing his career over any personal relationships to speak of. There is redemption, of course, as Rebecca and her son enter his life, and give him a reason to find joy, purpose, and love (not really romantic) in his final days. It's not exactly the most realistic scenario, but it's still nice to have hope that people can still care about others even though they have nothi ...more
Oct 16, 2011 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't get good until the middle and then the end was so sad even though you knew the whole time it was going to be sad.
A Book Vacation
Jan 26, 2014 A Book Vacation rated it really liked it
To see my full review:

This relatively short read takes an in-depth look at one man’s life once an end date is unceremoniously stamped upon it. Like Queen Latifah in Last Holiday, Joe has just learned that he is going to die. But unlike the comedic movie, Joe does not have a happy ending—there is no mistake made here. Suffering from pancreatic cancer, he is instructed to get his affairs in order, sending him on a spiraling journey that surveys his contribut
Jessica Ashe
Feb 16, 2015 Jessica Ashe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
heartbreakingly sad, but very thought provoking

Currently, I'm caught up in the emotion this book provoked. I won't go too in depth as I don't want to give away the ending, but I will say be prepared for an emotional ride. How can you be so heartbroken and elated all in the same moment?

Stefan Bourque has a beautiful way with words that will make you think about your life and how you are making it count and also how you want to be remembered when your time on this earth is done.

Great read!
Dec 17, 2012 Bookreaderljh rated it really liked it
Redemption! This book is all about redemption and choices made and friendship and altruism. The book is really more of a novella (I read it in just a couple of hours) and definitely a tearjerker. It is the story of a man stricken with terminal cancer and what he discovers about himself as he prepares to die. Did I truly believe the story about bringing together his neighborhood with a carnival? Not so much. But that was the plot point that enabled him to find his redemption and to connect (final ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Kiessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts with the sentence, "The man who sat across from me might have been a stranger except for the bare intimacy of knowing one another's names and the occasional gloved finger that probed my prostate." With that line, I was hooked.

This writer's style is poetic in places, and concise throughout, leaving the reader to ponder the insights and needs of the dying with each passing page. What I enjoyed most were take away messages such as these: It is never to late to change, everyone has
Dec 14, 2015 Colette rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brenda Gordon
Oct 25, 2013 Brenda Gordon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is a sometimes flippant but often thoughtful look at the various feelings one might have when told to get 'one's affairs in order'...likely to that and much more. I appreciated the author's consideration and poignancy marking various passages that particularly touched me...such as this as Joe considers..."There might still be some purpose to what little remained of my life. A chance to make some kind of difference after all. And in the end, isn't that all that any of us wants?" I also ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Veronica rated it really liked it
I really liked this one.
Miguel Miranda
Jun 10, 2015 Miguel Miranda rated it it was ok
Sloppy dialogue
Jul 12, 2012 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A fifty-ish single man finds out he is dying of pancreatic cancer and begins to reflect on his life which has been pointless and boring. A chance meeting with a woman roughly half his age who has fallen on hard times offers them both an opportunity for redemption. She and her young son move in with him for the final weeks of his life. This book is sappy and predictable with fewer insights into the mind of a dying man than one would hope for.
Jan 02, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very dark and depressing in the beginning. I almost stopped reading it about half way through. But, I kept going because I wanted to see why it had 4.5 stars. I started to enjoy the book and characters when Rebecca was finally introduced. I enjoyed the ending, it was heart-felt and sad. But wouldn't recommend it unless you were in between books and looking for something quick and easy to read. It's only 156 pages.
Jan 10, 2013 Hannah rated it did not like it
This is so drab. I was fully aware it's about a man who is dying but I was expecting it to be more like 'Me Before You', it doesn't have to be completely depressing. I couldn't finish this, I really wanted to get to the part where he met the woman and set all things right but I got halfway through and there was still no sign. So cliched and really heavy going.
Bert Edens
Mar 08, 2013 Bert Edens rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is actually closer to novella length at 156 pages, but it was worth every bit of it. Very emotionally charged, from Joe being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, giving up and planning suicide, meeting Rebecca and her son, everything, all the the through the book. Yeah, this one will make some tears well up for you.
Emily Lomaka
Mar 17, 2016 Emily Lomaka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The dialogue Joe maintained in his head while trying to grapple with the earthly and existential crises he was facing was so compelling, it was surprisingly easy to overlook (what I thought was) an underwhelming climax and sometimes clunky writing. Definitely worth reading!
Oct 03, 2013 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me think, it inspired me, it bored me at times, and it made me cry. There were parts at the beginning that were a little slow- I'm not going to lie, I may have started skimming, however the rest of it was insightful and tugged at my heartstrings.
Jun 22, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
What do I say about this book, really not a lot, I almost gave up on it... but felt for the main character and was semi-curious how Joe met his death. I was disappointed with the content as well, not as "moving" as some other readers posted.
Mar 29, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read...Joe at the end of his life finally found what he wished he would have found long ago..but at least he did get to feel love and give of himself to a very special lady and her son...loved the book from cover to cover!
Feb 23, 2013 Shilpa rated it it was amazing
I didn't think that this book would be much. Boy, was I ever wrong?!
This was an intense emotional journey with surprising moments of tenderness. It just goes to shows that gems do hide in unlikely places. Or covers..
Dec 28, 2015 Marjie rated it really liked it

Sad but well written story of a man's life after a fatal diagnosis. He makes his final preparations then a woman and her child come into his life and change everything.
The first half of the book has Joe pondering about much that is negative in life. The second half does much to redeem the story after he meets Rebecca and her young son Devin.
Dec 30, 2012 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Touching story. The life of a contract IT worker stands as a metaphor for ourselves in community and the need to reach outside our isolated lives.
Bob Rickelman
Decent and quick read. Joe is an interesting and relatable character. The second half of the book stretches things a bit, but overall I'm glad I read it.
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Those fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your philosophy or mood) people to be born under the sign of Gemini are known for their passionate relationships. Passionate is often a euphemism for, as Norman Mailer once put it, that old standby of the headshrinkers, the love/hate relationship. I’ve long since tempered this type of relationship romantically, though it was no small challenge. The pass ...more
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“She'd been pounding her location and thoughts into a device that would send those things to virtually any human with Internet access and yet looking over her shoulder had been a violation of privacy.” 1 likes
“Just as the foamy white edge leads an ocean wave toward the sands of the beach, fear and doubt lead the pounding of pain upon our sandy souls.” 0 likes
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