Oriana's Reviews > The Great Perhaps

The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno
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's review
Nov 25, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2009, the-new-new-new-new-thing, i-liked-it-so-there
Read in March, 2009

** spoiler alert ** This is the first time I have ever wanted to do a half star. This book was totally awesome, see, but honestly it is kind of overshadowed by The Boy Detective Fails, which was just one of the all-time greatest books ever, not to mention Demons in the Spring, which was only incrementally less superb, and so The Great Perhaps is definitely not as good as all that. But I guess that really means that The Boy Detective and Demons should have gotten like six stars, and this one merely five. I guess.

What? Oh, The Great Perhaps. Well, it's a perfectly ordinary story about a perfectly ordinary family. You know, a family where Dad has seizures whenever he sees clouds, the pigeons Mom is researching are raping and murdering each other, older daughter is building pipe bombs and giving blowjobs to professors, and younger daughter is kissing girls and trying to find God. Oh, and grandpa is trying with all his might to escape from his nursing home and fly to Japan.

That is nowhere near all, of course. There's also a walking cloud-boy, prehistoric giant squids, the school play, Plato, Doctor Jupiter, internment camps, a spy tailor who does Morse code with stitching, Japanese twins, and more more more more more.

Writing about this book is making me love it even more, retroactively.

Look, Joe Meno is just sensationally good. He deftly creates the most believable, devastating characters, who walk around so sad and hopeful and hopeless, who hurt each other and despair but then do wonderful things instead and have glimmers of joy or at least contentment and then go to sleep gently so they can do it all again tomorrow. Just like life, you know?

Oh and do you want to see lovely Joe Meno reading an excerpt of this on YouTube? Of course you do!
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Comments (showing 1-10)

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message 10: by Tara (new) - added it

Tara I'm so glad that you added this oriana! I love Joe Meno - thanks!

Oriana Awww, thanks guys!!

message 8: by Nick (new)

Nick so, this book is out now?

Oriana Nick, I don't think it's out until like May.

Jason Pettus I've been sitting on this one for awhile, but agreed to the publisher's request not to review it until its official release date (May 11th), and of course have been putting off actually reading it until right before then. But ooh, that's next week -- the date has finally arrived! Glad to see that you liked it so much; I'm looking forward to this one.

Oriana Cooool!! I can't wait to hear what you think of it.

message 4: by Bonnie (new) - added it

Bonnie I have requested it from our library. (It's still listed as "on order".) Unfortunately, they don't have The Boy Detective Fails, but maybe I can find it somewhere else. I hate to admit it, but I hadn't heard of Joe Meno before. So, thanks! :)

Oriana Bonnie, if you read The Great Perhaps first, then you won't have the same reaction I did re: not being as good as The Boy Detective Fails. I recommend doing that! Hope you love Meno as much as I do...

message 2: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber I bought this out of a bargain bin purely because you gave it five stars here, without even reading your review.

Oriana Awesome!! I hope you adore it.

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