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The Grievers

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  92 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
The Grievers is a darkly comic coming of age novel for a generation that's still struggling to come of age.

When Charley Schwartz learns that an old high school pal has killed himself, he agrees to help his alma matter organize a memorial service to honor his fallen comrade. Soon, however, devastation turns to disgust as Charley discovers that his friend's passing means les
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by The Permanent Press (first published January 27th 2012)
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Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Instead of posting a typical review, I'm going to post the letter that I wrote to Marc after I finished reading The Grievers. I hope he won't mind that I'm doing this.

I finished The Grievers – all in one sitting, five straight hours (with a short pause for dinner). First, I want to thank you for letting me read the book in advance of its release. Second, I would like to share some thoughts that I hope you don’t mind reading.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that this story – some
Jessica Cocita
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Schuster's novel provides readers with a mirror of those aspects of themselves with which they may have trouble dealing. Charley Schwartz, the protagonist, is stuck in a limbo of sorts between childhood and adulthood. He has assumed a variety of adult responsibilities, but he continues to approach them with a very childlike (or at least adolesent-like) naivete. He refuses to take things seriously when he should, and he takes too seriously the very things he shouldn't. While in theory this may se ...more
Like the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, Marc Schuster’s The Grievers blends the post-juvenile humor of adults refusing to grow up with aching pathos and biting touches of genius. By the final memorial service for Billy Chin, the reader knows everything is bound to go wrong, and that somehow it will all turn out right. We’re reading. We trust the writer and driver of this tale. And dysfunctional Charley’s finally taking the wheel.

A satisfying story on many different levels, The Grievers start
Lavinia Ludlow
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. Review over at The Nervous Breakdown:

Katie Hilton
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to a Goodreads Giveaway. I was immediately taken with the subject matter of the story, which is the reason why I entered the giveaway in the first place. “When Charley Schwartz learns that an old high school pal has committed suicide, he agrees to help his alma mater organize a memorial service to honor his friend’s memory…”

This is the first Marc Schuster book that I’ve read and I cannot wait to read any other work he’s ever produce
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every time I start a book there is always a sense of anticipation. This was particularly so for this book. I knew about this book for over a year before it was released. And sometimes when you look forward to something for so long, there is a greater chance for being let down; for the book not living up to the hype that you built for it.
I am happy to say that there was no let down in The Grievers. Marc Schuster tells a great story about the coming of age of Charley Schwartz, a 28 year-old man wh
The Grievers may possibly be one of the best books you’ve never heard of.

This is the somewhat unusual case where I’ve heard of the author before the book. You see, Marc’s a Philly guy and although our paths haven’t (to my knowledge) crossed, I’m thinking I had to have read something of his at one point.

He’s just too good.

The Grievers came to my attention in late 2011, when my friend – and fellow Philadelphia author - Beth Kephart shared some reflections about it on her blog. I immediately added
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting and thought-provoking book, with some subtle and classy humor where you least anticipate it. I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw it advertised as a "coming of age novel about a generation that never grew up" but that is exactly what it is.

Protagonist Charley Schwartz, St. Leo's high school class of 1991, has arrived at 2012 by doing the least amount of work possible, starting but never finishing project after project. Despite the fact that he holds a Master's Degree, his frie
Lena Nguyen
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor-dark-humor
I won this book in the Goodreads giveaway, and this is my honest opinion of the book.

I just finished reading this book today and I think myself of being very fortunate to be able to win the chance to read such a wonderful book. There are so many strong points that Schuster has applied to make this book an unforgetable experience. For one, it was really funny. The entire book was very sarcastic with darkly implied satirical humor. I found myself laughing out loud while I was reading this novella
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A friend of mine had recently won this book in the Goodreads Giveaways and her review of it made me sure I needed to read it. Thankfully, she was kind enough to loan me the book. I read this book in one sitting. The Grievers is a very compelling story, mostly due to its highly relatable content. As a person in their mid-twenties I can only laugh at how accurately Marc Schuster portrayed what I’ve come to realize is my quarter-life crisis. We’re all stuck in our own heads and only perceive things ...more
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarything

Charley Schwartz, the man inside the dollar bill costume, has nothing going for him at all when he receives the sad news that an old school friend has committed suicide. He, along with his best friend, decides to have a memorial service for Billy at their alma mater. Things get out of control when the school decides that such an event would be perfect for their own fundraising. Billy’s death proves to be a catalyst for Charley to see his own failings and to try to set them right before they get
Kasia James
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Grievers' - it's funny, poignant, and flows beautifully. Charley, our protagonist, is someone I think many people will identify with: so much potential, and a good and sensitive heart, and yet he can't stop himself from being a bit of an asshole. He is, however, acutely aware of this, which I found redeemed him as a character.
My only reservation is that I found some of the humour quite American, if I can say that without being insulting. I suspect that there are cultura
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won this book from one of the GoodReads giveaways.

I really did enjoy this book. It was a fairly quick read because of it's number of pages. The tone of the writing was something I hadn't experienced before. It was quite sarcastic and comedic. That was a good thing as well because the subject matter involved frustrating friends and the death of one of them.

But the sarcasm wasn't in the least bit irritating. The ending was satisfying.

relatable, at any age
short satisfying read
easy but
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Are the characters entirely likable? No. But that is what makes them feel so real. Do they do things that make you want to scream? Nearly every minute but that is what makes the plot so realistic. Set in a real city with fictitious details Marc Schuster crafts a story with characters that is at times frustrating but always believable. He subtly tackles a plethora of topics by weaving them in through mood, dark and humorous.
Though his first novel had me laughing more this one did what great art
Hal Halbert
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Schuster's novel does something that far too many books try and fail to do: it raises awkward questions about our innermost fears and dark reactions to the often insane way the world wants us to act while providing absolutely absurd humor that only amplifies the theme. A must read for anyone who has ever struggled with the death not of a loved one but an acquaintance, someone you should have cared about, but didn't really. A must read.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Entertaining and thought provoking read about a bunch of friends in their late 20s dealing with a death of a former schoolmate set in and around Philadelphia. Good quick read dealing with the very relatable life conundrums such as friendships, growing up and maturing, since the last two can be totally different actions. The best thing here is the author's terrific sense of humor, evident throughout the book.
Che'rei Holley
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, free
The Grievers are a group of men (high school buddies) that are struck dumbfound and confused by the death of a classmate. The confusion leads the classmates through ups and downs of emotions ranging from disbelief, anger, guilt, depression, and then... thrust to find a way to cope. I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didn't love this book, got about half way through and thought "is this thing going any where?"
I am from the periphery of the generation the characters in the book are about, but I found them all kind of frustrating. I wasn't very happy with it. I thought it would be a book I would love, it just reminded me of too many people I know that piss me off.
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
A quick read but very thought-provoking, as well as funny. THe characters are almost over-the-top crazy, but it's the kind of craziness that's also realistic? So that was nice. I could relate to all of the characters in one way or another as well. Charley cracked me up but made me want to cry at the same time. That's kind of how I felt throughout the entire book. Well worth my time.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved the dark humor and dialog in this book. Several moments had me laughing out loud. A great way to forget your worries when, as I was, you are waiting in a dentist chair for your mouth to become filled with many sharp pointy instruments.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
A gem of a short novel about loss and remembrance and the effect it has on those around it. Some boys from a private school organize a memorial for a classmate that they realize they never really knew. The results are both funny and sad in almost back-to-back paragraphs. Big thumbs up.
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. It's a tribute to Schuster's skills as a writer that he always wrings some emotion out of me in spite of my best efforts to keep them under wraps.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Good work Marc! Loved it!
Jessica Emigdio
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book! Very entertaining, very humorous, yet heartfelt.
I really enjoyed reading this book.
Michelle Lancaster
By Steve Sherwood
Texas Review Press, 214 pgs
Rating: 3.75

Hardwater has so much going on it can be difficult to keep track. In this case, that's not a bad thing. Peter Hoback is a newspaper editor in Hardwater, Wyoming, a small town that has seen better times, before the uranium mines closed. Pete fled Denver for Hardwater with his son Bart following the violent death of his wife at the hands of a psychopath. And wouldn't you know it: up pops another psychopath.

Hardwater begins as Pet
Julie H.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Grievers is part coming of age novel and part indictment of the hard facts of life (e.g., that life is hard, often unfair, that people who are jerks will often achieve success whereas folks who are decent will climb the ladder comparatively slower, etc.). Based on a clever conceit, the premise of the book is that Charley Schwartz is a doctoral candidate whose dissertation has stalled, whose summer job with a bank requires that he wear an anthropomorphic dollar sign which has him slipping in ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it liked it
When I picked up this particular book I was under the impression it was a YA book. How wrong I was. Regardless, I stuck with it, and tried my damnedest to make the most of a story that I thought I would identify with. How could I not? The main character went to an all boys parochial school, he was roughly the same age I am, and he was married, and he was exploring his options in a career world, working on his dissertation, etc., etc. It wasn't so much that I didn't identify with Charly, it was t ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book as a first reads giveaway on goodreads.
I was really excited by the description when I entered the giveaway.
However, the book was much different than I thought it would be. For some reason I thought it was going to be sarcastic and funny in the style of say Sedaris.. and it was sarastic and funny, but not in the way I was suspecting. The part about the cat made me die laughing and there were a couple laugh out loud parts of the book I really enjoyed.
I am having a hard time puttin
Ryan Mac
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-giveaways
This was a quick but fun read. Charley Schwartz, a 30-something graduate of Saint Leonard's Academy (a private school in Philadelphia) has gotten through his life so far by doing as little as possible and never really finishing any projects (including his dissertation for his doctorate). At the beginning of the book, Charley learns that a classmate, whom Charley knew a little bit, from the Academy has committed suicide. The remainder of the book covers his reaction to Billy's death, interactions ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Charley Schwartz is stuck in a bit of a rut. He is ABD (all but dissertation) with no ambition to finish, working as a costumed dollar sign to promote a bank, and slacking on home repairs with his overly patient wife, Karen. When a fellow prep school classmate dies, Charley has an opportunity to break out of his rut.

An amusing story about a man-child who wants to be a man and some of the missteps he takes along the way. Schuster does a nice job of exploring the thought process of Charley and exa
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Who By Fire Onlin...: Marc Schuster, book reviewer, author, teacher 1 7 Jun 17, 2013 07:04AM  
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