Jennifer's Reviews > The Book of Joe

The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
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Sep 23, 11

bookshelves: read-2011, bad-ass-bookclub
Recommended to Jennifer by: Bad Ass Book Club
Recommended for: anyone who has mixed feelings about their hometown
Read from September 12 to 19, 2011

This rating isn't based on literary merit (though I think this is a well-written novel), but rather my sheer enjoyment while reading it. If Richard Russo were younger and Jewish, he would be Jonathan Tropper. In this novel, Tropper tells the story of Joe Goffman, a writer in his 30's who is coasting on the success of his first novel--a highly autobiographical tale set in his small Connecticut hometown. Joe fled Bush Falls to go to college and has not been back since--a good thing since his novel casts aspersions on many a town resident. When Joe gets a phone call from his sister-in-law, telling him his father has had a stroke, he learns that you CAN go home again, but people are not going to be happy about it.

Tropper writes prose that one minute has you guffawing out loud and the next crying like a baby. You root for Joe and his attempt to mend fences even as you cover your eyes in embarrassment to avoid seeing the results.

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