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The Office of Desire: A Novel
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The Office of Desire: A Novel

2.74  ·  Rating details ·  367 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Alicia, Brice, and Caroline are the ABCs—three close friends who have been brought together while working at the cozy medical practice of Drs. Markowitz and Strub in Midburg, Ohio. But when Alicia and Dr. Strub begin an affair, a dramatic chain of events ensues that gradually but drastically alters the office environment—ultimately requiring all five coworkers to redefine ...more
Published August 27th 2007 by Tantor Media (first published 2007)
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Rating details
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Jul 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this whole book to be just blah--the characters, the storyline, the setting. I don't even know what to write in this review to describe the blahness.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: midwest, religion
I couldn't imagine why I had put this mediocre novel on my list until one of the characters got religion a third of the way through, but even then I didn't like the way the author handled it. The book is set almost entirely within the office of a pair of internal medicine doctors over the course of a year when the relationships among the people who work there fall apart. One of the doctors, a Jew, handles some of the first-person narration, but a larger portion is taken by the receptionist, who' ...more
Jul 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can count on one hand how many books I have not finished reading. Even if it's not a good read, I will read it until the end. I could not do that with this book. I started it a couple of weeks ago on a flight up north, bought a book in NorCal for the ride home because this one wasn't holding my interest. Fast forward two weeks -- I've probably read 3-4 books in that time -- and decided I would try to get into this book on a flight home last night. It was painful! I almost left it on the plane! ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
BORING! I kept reading thinking it would get better and it never did.
Aug 15, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Erin (NY)
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I really disliked the book. The characters were unlikable and the storyline was boring!
Jun 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
boring, depressing.
DNF. The book started out boring, so I skipped to the end, which I guess was supposed to be shocking? And despite the “whoa, what led to that” vibe - I didn’t have any interest in reading it to find out.
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: fiction
The Office Of Desire by Martha Moody - Penguin Books / 978-1-59448-949-5 / 107
pps. / $24.95

It begins where it ends. The unraveling of a tight-knit group of employees in a medical office is given in near play-by-play detail, smothered in emotional turbulence. The cast; Caroline, the free-spirited, one-legged (cancerous loss),
receptionist core and co-narrator; Brice, the closet-gay mama's-boy financial manager; Alicia, the nurse-cum-Doctor's wife and mother of "brilliant" Jesse, who, as a sidel
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
Martha Moody's keen observations on the human condition make The Office of Desire an entertaining read as she takes us through a year in the life of the doctors and staff of a small Midwest medical clinic... the trials and tribulations of marriage and family... the pitfalls of office romances and the re-examination of one's own life life amidst the rise and fall of others. She writes inter-personal relationships quite well and the unraveling of office unity when those relationships falter.

The Of
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read "Best Friends" by this author and really liked it, so I wanted to read this, her next book. I really liked it, but then again, I think I could relate to the disfunctional office in the novel having worked in one myself! I really think that gave me a different perspective (I read some of the other reviews on this site and I think it got a 2.79 rating). It's about 5 people who work in a doctor's office: the two doctors who are very different but went to med school together, the office m ...more
Aug 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to figure out exactly what to say about this book because I don't really know how to put my impression of it into words. It struck me as a book that was often sad, the way I find Hemingway or Fitzgerald sad, though you could probably make the argument that sadness wasn't the point. There is an underlying message of hope in this novel about five average people working at a small doctor's office in Ohio, but that wasn't what I focused on. Part of what I liked so much was that they wer
Aug 12, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Martha Moody's Best Friends and loved it, so I think I was expecting more from this book. Because of this, I had to finish the book but I kept wondering if there would be more to it. Moody brings us 5 people that work together in a medical office, narrated by 2 of the characters through their perspectives. Caroline and Hap talk about their lives and the lives of those in the office; Alicia (the nurse), Will Strub (the other doctor) and Brice (the office account). Alicia, Brice and Carolin ...more
Mar 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karen, I got this book from the library based on your review, and I found it intriguing. I didn't particularly like the way Moody simply gives a character's name and then tells a part of the story from that person's point of view (sometimes I'd have to page back, asking myself, now who is telling this part?) , but I loved the complexity of their lives and especially the yearning for religion to fill the emptiness in lives. Moody pulls in so many aspects of current society that the book struck me ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has been sitting on my "to read" shelf for a long time and perhaps I should have left it there.
It is the story of 5 people who work together in the internal medicine office in a midwest town. The story is told from the viewpoint of the main charactes and this does get confusing at times.
With all that happen to these people, it is no wonder it is confusing.
I have worked in doctor's offices and certainly didn't get involved with my fellow staffers as much as these people. (of course
Aug 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. I read the jacket & thought it sounded promising. Co-workers having affairs. Co-worker who don't like each other. Co-workers were are friends just because they work together & would never be friends in real life outside the workplace. That sounded like a great book.

This book was confusing. I hated the narration between the two different characters. I hated that it really did not seem to have a story at all.

The first book I read by Martha Moody was Best Friend
J. Ewbank
Nov 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
This book by Moody was a very unusual read in its own way. It covered the doctors office in which there are two doctors and three supporting personnel along with spouses of the doctors, former and past. It covers their relationships with each other and what happens in the office as the relationships between the participants change. Though it does not go too far in completing the story it speaks through the voices of the various participants which was interesting. I enjoyed it.
J. Robert Ewbank au
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no
I was not overly impressed with this book, at all. With such high acclaim for her first novel, Best Friends - which I haven't actually read, I expected Martha Moody's 2nd novel to be a good read as well. I was sadly dissappointed. If you have a disfunctional work place and you like slow, predictable stories then this might be for you. I found the whole tale to be somber and I read to get away from the world, not to be miserable. The end finally picks up with some action, but the rest was almost ...more
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lgbtqiaf
This is the tale of the five characters who work in a doctors' office, told through the eyes of just two of them, Hap (one of the two doctors) and Caroline (the office assistant). The characters learn much about themselves as the once harmonious office dissolves, so the unfolding of the plot allows the characters not just to reveal their pasts to us the readers, but also to gain (sometimes ugly) insights into their own motives and behaviors.

Good pacing and good use of detail (unlike in this book
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
What was that all about?! Slutty office nurse, docs, the slutty, compassionate cripple, the closet homosexual, the competent and incompetent doctors, the born again and dead again, the uber-Christian's homosexual son.

Perhaps much was lost listening to this on a CD. I kept waiting for some sort of revelation, but even at the end, it was nothing more than the banality of the characters' lives.
Jennifer Navarrete
After reading two books by Martha Moody here is what I have decided: she writes character studies, relationship studies, not actual novels. This is frustrating for a reader looking for a story because her novels have only the barest plot lines to encompass the characters while they interact.
I think this author would write tremendous short stories or novellas, but she drags her characters out WAY too much trying to fit them into novel-length books.
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has it all! Religious fanaticism, odd sexual pairings, death, betrayal, amputation... Somehow Martha Moody manages to make all of these elements seem pretty reasonable despite them all happening to a mere 6 people in the course of about a year. Told from the perspectives of two of the characters. Fun read.
May 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At first, the story goes very slow, but it get the speed when one of the main character
gets married.

This book taught me about Americans point of view toward church, gay people,
weith loss products, and being in love in their 40s and 50s.

I heard this story by CD. The voice and the way of telling story is really attractive and it's
fun to listen to the narrator.
Jan 22, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I borrowed this book from a friend and just couldn't get into it. I've vowed to myself I wouldn't waste time on books that didn't keep my attention, because I have too many on my TBR shelf. Maybe I'll give it another try some day. It's disappointing because I really liked her first book - Best Friends.
OMG - this made me weak - the story of a dysfunctional workplace - it rang so many bells for me that I wanted to run away into the bush and live on berries and branches to the end of my life. All in all, I did not enjoy this read; perhaps the dysfunctional workplace was too near & dear to my experience!
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't my style. The story seemed to jump around too much for me to stay completely interested. There were some truly sad and touching moments and some good messages in it that I liked, I just would have liked if the story flowed a bit better. I did really like the ending and the possibility of something happening between two of the characters in the future.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am finally almost finished with this book. I didn't really like it that much, but did not dislike it enough to put it down. Interesting characters and their interactions in the day to day and life changing events- their common link being the doctor's office where they all work. Point of view changes throughout. Kind of dreary.
Jun 12, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
I only read about 50 pages because I didn't think the book was very interesting. This is the story of a small medical practice with 2 doctors and 3 support staff. They all get along great until one of the doctors starts dating one of the support people. Tensions rise and everything seems to fall apart.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating - relationships in a small office - the shifting balance of power - people who know too much about one another's lives, a love affair , death and religion. Dark humor -couldn't stop reading it..
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 - Technically, Martha Moody definitely knows how to write (I enjoyed her novel about womens' friendships called BEST FRIENDS). I read this book, thouh, in one very long flight; while I found it readable, I never really fell in love with it.
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