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Toward You

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  80 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Bob has spent the past several years maintaining a successful upholstery business, but in between re-covering sofas he’s also been working in a sporadic fashion to build a machine that will communicate with the dead. Along these lines, he’s gotten more or less nowhere. Then two surprising things happen: He receives an important message from a dog, and next, his old girlfri ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by Tin House Books (first published March 11th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 208)
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Apr 18, 2015 Tosh rated it it was amazing
I bought this book years ago, and didn't read it at the time, because I wanted to save it for the future. I'm that way with a lot of my favorite authors - I try to read their works slowly and not completely. Unless a doctor or wife or something calls me and tells me that I'm dying, and I better start reading that book, because time is very (for me) short. So I finally read this book, and funny enough, it is sort of about death - but mixing with life. Jim is sort of the combination of Boris Vian ...more
Anthony Chavez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
Toward You completes Krusoe’s trilogy about resurrection. In this tale Bob is trying to build a machine to enable him to communicate with the dead. When his ex-girlfriend’s daughter dies from rabies, finishing the Communicator becomes his foremost task.
John Pappas
Jul 27, 2011 John Pappas rated it liked it
Jim Krusoe's new novel isn't quite an allegory, but it doesn't have the fully-fleshed out sense of realism that other writers of quasi-speculative fiction, like Steven Millhauser, pursue. Conceptually, the conceit of this novel is intriguing: a lonely furniture re-upholsterer spends the majority of his time attempting to contact the afterlife using a machine of his own design called the Communicator (something, not incidentally, that impressed his long-lost love from college years ago). Practica ...more
May 10, 2011 Kevin rated it it was ok
For some reason I really enjoyed the first book, Girl Factory, in this sort of trilogy better than the second two. Krusoe spins what I would describe as tales of comic absurd-ism. Little lives not quite connected to reality tempered with a connection to or a desperate need to connect to the afterlife.

In this volume, a furniture upholsterer named Bob has been working his whole life on a "communicator" that would allow the living to hear from the dead. But the communicator seems instead to be taki
Apr 28, 2011 Keri rated it liked it
Really torn between two and four stars. I know, I know. There were parts that I really quite liked and I found it to be an engrossing read...if only to find out what Bob (Human Bob, as I had to come to think of him--but that's a whole other issue) would do next.

The characters rode a pendulum of believability. One moment I felt as though all of our very human desires and dreams and secret selves were wrapped into these characters, and then the next one showed a turn of personality that surprised
Aug 30, 2012 Seth rated it really liked it
I'll just point to my review of Erased, with two modifications: (1) I thought Toward You's ending was less sentimental but (and I'm still debating this), perhaps, a bit too writerly and (2) this review of the book ( quotes my favorite line from the book (the one about Bob's attempts to rekindle a love interest), which I enjoy so much that it makes me wonder if I should bump the rating to five stars.
Aug 03, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
I think this is my favorite of Krusoe's afterlife trilogy. It seemed have both more focus and more heart than the other two. There are still the coincidences and unlikely events so crucial to Krusoe's stories, not to mention the resistance to "easy" allegories that insists readers take the absurd at face value. But the introduction of multiple voices opened up the possibilities of the story in an unexpected way that kept resonating after I'd finished, whereas as the other two felt novels felt mo ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
Almost gave it 3, but there was just enough poignancy to push away the cheesy. Could use a bit more editing here and there. Some redundant things that need not be, but it's a very speedy read, so there's no sense of a slog here. I read the other two in the "trilogy," but I remember zilch. Just that I liked them as well. I'm finding my choices to grade many books with 4-out-of-5s troubling. Some 4s are much better than others. Some 4s really deserve 5s. Some 5s probably don't. But that's moods fo ...more
Uwe Hook
Sep 02, 2011 Uwe Hook rated it really liked it
I'm not a mystery/fantasy guy. But, since my parents died, I'm in the Green Room, dealing with the possibility of death. And, this book kicked me in the butt in weird ways. The story is fine, the premise interesting, the writing dry. But, the topic of being able to communicate with the dead, kept me interested. That's why I love books. As a move, 20 minutes in, I would have given up. As a book, 50 pages in, you want to know how it ends. So, it takes you on a journey. One that I enjoyed.
Vanita Nemali
Aug 30, 2011 Vanita Nemali rated it did not like it
So I don't believe in this talking with dead people business but this author has three books in this surrealism genre that I wanted to explore.

NYT review link below if you are interested:

Didn't like the book, the main character is too depressing.
Feb 16, 2011 Danarae rated it really liked it
Great book. Full of elements of magical realism, quirky characters and spot-on dialogue. And it's hilarious, too. I can't wait to read more by Jim Krusoe. Check out my full review in the March/April edition of ForeWord Reviews.
Jamie Grefe
Apr 02, 2012 Jamie Grefe rated it really liked it
Beautiful, warm, uplifting, sad, and funny. My first encounter with Mr. Krusoe, but certainly not the last. Already, I can feel this book lingering inside and the end alone is worth the price of admission, even though the entire journey is what makes it so special.
Jason Walker
Jun 02, 2011 Jason Walker rated it liked it
I enjoyed the author's first book so much that each one after has only been good. I woul recommend this book to anyone who like serious/comic fiction. There are many great moments in this book, I just wanted another "Iceland" and this wasn't it for me.
Jul 06, 2011 Rupert rated it liked it
I devoured the first fifty pages, I could't put it down, but I felt like it petered out some after that. Felt like a lot more could have been done with the police officer and "The Wagonmaster". Definitely will continue to explore this author, though.
Marco Kaye
May 08, 2011 Marco Kaye rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a great closer to Jim Krusoe's triology on the afterlife and communication. Here is my full review at the Rumpus:
Jan 23, 2013 N.T. added it
Krusoe's got an original premise here, with characters that will surprise and bring you in. A good, humorous, touching, playful read
Jan 11, 2011 Matthew rated it really liked it
Hyper-stylized dialogue in a subdued setting make for some disarming comedy. Jim Krusoe's wheelhouse, really. Quite a book.
Mar 18, 2016 Sarah added it
This is highbrow bizarro fiction (nothing less than what I aspire to myself).
Erin Robinson
Apr 23, 2012 Erin Robinson rated it liked it
very, very funny.
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Jim Krusoe is an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. His stories and poems have appeared in Antioch Review, Denver Quarterly, BOMB, Iowa Review, Field, North American Review, American Poetry Review, and Santa Monica Review, which he founded in 1988. His essays and book reviews have appeared in Manoa, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and The Washington Post. He is a recipient of fell ...more
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