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Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,386 ratings  ·  242 reviews
In this tour de force of imagination, Ron Currie asks why literal veracity means more to us than deeper truths, creating yet again a genre-bending novel that will at once dazzle, move, and provoke.

The protagonist of Ron Currie, Jr.’s new novel has a problem­—or rather, several of them. He’s a writer whose latest book was destroyed in a fire. He’s mourning the death of his
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published February 7th 2013 by Viking
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  1,386 ratings  ·  242 reviews

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Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
if you like your love stories unconventional and ultimately sad (ach, don't wave that spoiler-finger at me - that is a page-19 spoiler), then this is probably a good match for you.

it is about the frailty of human romantic love, the power of the written word, the difficulties that "truth" faces in our works of fiction, how to leave someone for their own good, what the living have to witness in the slow death of another, and the possibilities of the singularity.

i know, right?

this is my first ron
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, ebook, islands
I did not read any of Currie’s earlier works, so I did not know until now that his previous novels were so well received. But I could tell upon beginning this book that this was someone who bumped up hard against sudden celebrity—those moments when everyone seems to think they know you intimately. Not so fast, Currie seems to say.

The book tells of a character named Ron Currie who is perpetually “in recovery” over the love of a woman, Emma, who returns his love but marries another. The book’s na
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
"Emma tried to run away..."

This song keeps running through my head when I think of this book. Or the first part of it anyway.

"Another theory I find appealing is that the Singularity could and likely will render the body, and therefore sex, and therefore by extension romantic love, as obsolete as a Walkman personal stereo."

For various reasons this novel was difficult for me to read.

The novel itself isn't written in a difficult manner, I just had a hard time getting through some of the sections.
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. I liked it, a lot. But I am not sure that I can explain why, or maybe, I'm not willing to explain. At least not about how it resonated with me, or how I related to it. Maybe I’m a coward, but so be it.

Moving right along...I've been a fan of Currie's since I stumbled across his first book of stories God Is Dead and his great novel Everything Matters! so it was only natural that I pick up his third book right away.

The first thing you’ll notice about this book is how the text i
I'll never get postmodern fiction, ever. I like my novels nicely organized, with neat transitions. It's weird. I enjoy chaos in the form of stream-of-consciousness, but I don't enjoy postmodern. That was one of the main reasons for my intense dislike of this book. It speaks more of my tastes, rather than of the novel, but as aptly put by the author-protagonist, we are perception machines. But, that's not my only reason for loathing this thing.

The plot which finds, at the beginning, the protagon
Allen Adams
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing

“Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles” is a whirlwind of imagination and insight. It’s the sort of novel that not only openly challenges the reader, but does so with grace and gusto. What Currie has created is a fictional memoir – a sort of unauthorized autobiography – that blurs the line between life and literature. Could it be that the book being written in the book is actually the book that we are now reading? That it’s even a question speaks volumes about Cu
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In one of my favorite movies, "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey attempts suicide on a Christmas Eve when all seems hopeless. He jumps off a bridge into a near freezing river, only to be saved by an angel. After the angel shows George how his life mattered to those around him (by showing what would have happened to them had he never lived), George is resurrected into his old life with all of its messiness and heartache only to realize that no matter what, his life is filled with wonder.

Feb 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. After 10 pages I thought it might be okay. 50 pages into it I decided the main character was a jerk alcoholic and his girlfriend was selfish and didn't really love him. It was so dark. I skimmed the rest of the book. Why? I'm not sure. I feel like I need to apologize to myself for staying up until midnight reading this garbage. The chapter on computers taking over the world were skimmed over quickly. The chapters about his father dying were sad and the chapter about him, ...more
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Goddammit Currie. You've done it again. I was supposed to get shit done tonight. Not read a couple hundred page book in one siting (on an office chair, a subway, and a recliner). Now I have to contend with having this book in my head. Well done. ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, cover-love
Well. I read on a friends goodreads page that this was a sad love story, and being one of those kinda emotional self cutters, I stuck it on my "to read" list, as well as my "ASAP!" Shelf. I ordered it on amazon and discovered, to my dismay, that it had not been released yet and I would have to wait a month for it! Damn it!

Finally I got it, aaaand read thru it in about a day. The format was unique; the pages were separated like thoughts. It didn't read straight thru like a normal novel, but rath
Jessica Jeffers
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
I never know quite how to respond to uber-postmodern novels, with the blurred lines between author and character, the unreliability of the narrators embroiled in identity crises. Despite the fact that I've taken lit theory classes, I never know quite how to describe the stories and structures and whatnot in everyday terms.

Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is an existential crisis and a troublesome love story wrapped together with musings on truth and Singularity (the concept of machines developing
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Wow! Talk about breaking the mold. This is the most unconventional book I've ever read. There are no chapters, no “quotations”, and some pages only have one paragraph or one sentence. However, I ended up liking it in spite of all the weirdness. The writer is very passionate and even though it was told in an odd storytelling kind of way, it was grabbing.
The character Ron reminded me of Ernest Hemingway. Ron is a writer, a drunk, and bitter about love. The story jumps around a lot but the one in
Jenn Ravey
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
t’s important that you understand, from the very outset, here, that everything I’m about to tell you is capital-T True. Or at least that I will not deliberately engage in any lies, of either substance or omission, in talking with you here today.

The truth is that just like Huck Finn, who also mostly tries to tell the capital-T Truth, Ron Currie (the character, that is, not the author) is on a journey. Yes, we’re all on a journey, but Ron is on a journey unlike the philosophical or figurative one
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, adult
Well, I didn't expect to love this book. When I started reading it, I was expecting something else. I liked Currie’s thoughts on live, love, loss, Singularity but I was still expecting something else. I didn't know what.
And then, I got to the end of the book. And hell, I realized that Currie got to me. That all the things he had said had changed me. And I wasn't sad for how how the book ended. Because the book maybe had ended, like Currie says, but life doesn't end. Life doesn't end, it’s just
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really didn't care for this book. I just... did not get it. I also found it kind of.... sexist and not in a way that served the plot in any meaningful way. So many sections just made... no sense. There's ambition here but the overall project isn't realized. It's like, there's this big statement trying to be made.

The writing is fine. There are even some really nice moments but man, I do not understand.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
A long time ago, I wrote a detailed review on this book for a site that doesn't seem to exist anymore. So I'm reposting here:

One of the hardest things to do these days is to convince people that what they’re seeing and consuming is actually a real and true thing. Plastic surgery, photoshop, autotune, genetically modified foods, easy access to video editing software, and news organizations that don’t even pretend to report the facts anymore have all fostered a culture in which authenticity is a
It is beginning to look like Ron Currie Jr. may never exhaust his two favorite topics - the death of his father, and his undying love for his childhood sweetheart. Because Flimsy Little Miracles begins by semi-fictionally referencing the author's previous book, I read Everything Matters! first. Though the two books are very different - Everything Matters is quasi-science fiction, and FLPM is quasi-memoir - both books centre around these two obsessions, sometimes to the point of redundancy.

If you
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Waaaaaaaaaay too self-conscious...
The fictional version the author creates for himself comes across as a big "but seriously for real bro I'm super smart too" dude-bro, the kind of person that Ron Currie Jr. looks like in his dust jacket pictures (bulging biceps, shaved head, Clockwork Orange T-shirt). The shtick with this book is that Currie creates a thinly (?) veiled fictional version of himself to write a work of fiction that revolves around his fictional character fictionalizing himself and
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
If you like navel gazing, then have I got the book for you. Our narrator is living on an island (presumably somewhere in the Caribbean), obsessing over the woman he loves. He also talks a bit about his father who died of cancer, the idea of machines becoming sentient, and then more about the woman he loves and their often violent relationship. In between he does a whole hell of a lot of drinking and driving and fighting and moping. And, to be perfectly honest, it's just not all that interesting. ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This might be called a "quasi-memoir." Yes, Ron Currie, Jr. is the name of the protagonist. Yes, Ron Currie, Jr.'s father died. Yes, Ron Currie, Jr. believes, to a degree, in the singularity. (All this I know from a book reading where he told us!) But, as Ron Currie, Jr. explained in an interview available at, "at the end of the day, according to most people's standards it is a novel, it's definitely not a memoir."

While the main story line is about Ron an
Jennifer Arnold
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a strange, oddball, hard-to-define, yet lovely little book. I was a tad concerned about where it was going when I started - a writer writing about a writer (himself no less), the unconventional structure - despite the fact that I'm a huge Currie fan (I fell hard for Everything Matters). In a lot of other writer's hands, this would be a meandering disaster of random thoughts, but in Currie's it's something else. What I'm not exactly sure, but it sure as hell is interesting.

Randy Ray
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ron Currie Jr. has been compared to Kurt Vonnegut elsewhere, and I suppose that Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is his most Vonnegut-ish book. I didn't enjoy it as much as Everything Matters, but I did like it better than God Is Dead.

The protagonist, who is also named Ron Currie Jr, is in love with a woman named Emma. In fact, that might be understating his feelings for her. He actually seems obsessed with her. They have an on-again, off-again romance over the course of the years.

He also spends
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, fiction
This book succeeds for its unapologetic honesty and its refusal to conform to narrative standards. Ron recalls the events of his life not in a linear plot, but in short bursts, from his father’s death, to his relationship with Emma, his brawling and boozing, his fake suicide, his exile, and his return. And the Singularity. Ron is particularly fixated on this topic. The book as a whole is excellent, self-deprecating, masochistic, funny, and raw. I adored the manner in which Ron chose to tell this ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A father's messy death, the Singularity, a perfect, violent love, and capital-T Truth. Why is it that a book that makes me think so hard and feel so much is impossible to describe? Ron Currie manages to accomplish things on the page (gymnastic feats of logic, associative speculation, alienation, abject confession, contrition, enduring love, aching loss) that I can only manage in my mind--and sometimes not even there. The best thing about Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is that the author takes yo ...more
Tammy Lee
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was one of those random, unexpected, brilliant reads I just love!! For instance, the format - the pages separated like thoughts, the whole story like a flowing stream of consciousness. He writes this account as he is self-exiled to an island, where he is either in touch with his feelings, grieving the death of his father, his reoccurring loss of the woman he loves, or obliterates them with drink and the escaping life in general, after the novel he had been writing was lost in a fire. Instea ...more
Robert Gasperson
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was a story about a man who really didn't do anything but complain and hide from his life. I kept waiting for something to happen, but it never did. The one moment something exciting happened, the MC just ran away, disappeared and did nothing but complain again.

There was an entire part of the story scattered throughout the book that never got used. He kept talking about what would happen if the machines took over the world, but then never used that information. I think he was trying to use
The Lit Bitch
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Here is a post modern novel after my own heart.

Though this is not a memoir but rather a work of fiction it doesn’t mean that the feelings and thoughts are not real….that was one of the things Currie explicitly points out to readers and one of the reasons I loved the novel….just because something isn’t the “truth” doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

This novel is begging to be deconstructed and analyzed. It’s hard for me to describe in normal terms how rich this novel is and why….it just simply is.

See my
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ron Currie's strong and distinctive voice, along with his customary elegant storytelling, carry his protagonist (also named Ron Currie) through a landscape of loss and longing. I'm always an easy mark for Currie's father-son stuff, but the difficult and sad relationship between the character Ron and his lifelong love Emma is also fine. ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Quickly read, quickly forgotten.

I wonder if he records his little obsessive rants and then goes back and polishes the dictation. That was a recurring thought while reading... wondering about his writing process. And I kept wishing that he'd write about someone else besides himself.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't love this book. I wanted to love it since I loved his debut so very much, but for some reason I just couldn't connect with this one. It's not a bad book, not at all, just not to my taste. ...more
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Ron Currie, Jr. was born and raised in Waterville, Maine, where he still lives. His first book, God is Dead, won the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library and the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His debut novel, Everything Matters!, will be translated into a dozen languages, and is a July Indie Next Pick and Amazon Best of June 2009 sele ...more

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“Neither of us looking for an apology, or to be proven right at the other's expense. No anxiety to make it better than it was, no yearning towards something more. No dramatic conclusion at all. Just an array of loose ends, wrapped in a bundle of memories, all tied together with a sinew of regret - regret that we could both ultimately live with.” 9 likes
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