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The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  394 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Arnold Brinkman is a shy and retiring botanist; he loves his plants more than his country. But when his refusal to stand for the national anthem at a baseball game causes a major media incident, he is thrown into a world of pushy patriots, preachers, and press. And it's not going to get any easier when he refuses to apologize.

A hilarious bullet into the heart of modern Am
Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published October 25th 2012 by Cargo Publishing (first published October 1st 2012)
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Allie Riley
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable satire. Arnold Brinkman, a liberal botanist from New York finds himself labelled a terrorist and traitor, a non-patriot (where patriot is construed as a moral virtue) because he fails to stand and sing "God Bless America" in tribute to two fallen soldiers at a baseball game. His failure to apologize means that things rapidly escalate and he eventually finds himself on the lam with a $500,000 reward being offered for his capture.

This novel started off scarily believable and remained so
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

As usual, Appel's characters are always so unique and eccentric and I loved all of them.

The only thing I didn't quite like was how absurd it got in the middle/end. It went a little too crazy.

Overall, I enjoyed it and it was another solid work of fiction from Appel.
Rebecca McNutt
A darkly comedic vision of the cost of blind patriotism, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up still manages to be tasteful, but takes a more lighthearted view of tragedy.
Jared Della Rocca
Two copies of this book was sent to our academic library by the author. We rarely get unsolicited works, and so the technical services librarian dropped the extra copy on my desk, knowing how much I read. I took a quick perusal of the back cover and asked her about it, since I didn't remember ordering it. She told me we had gotten two and thought I might want to read it. The premise looked interesting enough, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Well I'm glad I did, it's a really amusing story! Yeah t
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Arnold Brinkman, a botanist living in New York City, is a pretty good guy. He "recycles scrupulously and overpays his taxes," he's a loving husband, and he manages to live a pretty normal, low-key life. But then he refuses to stand up at a baseball game while "God Bless America" plays as a tribute to two local soldiers killed in action. He becomes the talk of the town immediately, labelled everything from a loser to a nutcase, and eventually a traitor and a terrorist. Arnold soon becomes the mos ...more
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Not really sure where to start. I gotta admit, the main character of this book is pretty awesome. I could completely relate to his predicament. I always hated being made to say the pledge of allegiance in school and I can't stand patriotic anthems. I've always thought that being forced to be patriotic is about the most unpatriotic thing you can inflict upon someone. Although I don't have a problem with other people's actions, it really bothers me when they try to impose their systems on me. ...more
Harry Maier
Good start to this book by a man accomplished in many fields (law, medicine, journalistic reporting, and fiction). This won him a big literary award for humour, which is why I decided to read it. it is a satire on post 9-11 America and the "man who wouldn't stand up" becomes an invocation to do just that. However, the happy ending as well as the camp treatment of the protagonist's unlikely alliance with an eccentric criminal derails the book and reduces its capacity to be the satire it wants to ...more
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book that I won from Goodreads First reads. It made me think about whether we do things because it's expected or because we actually want to. The book had a huge variety of unusual characters all connected to a quiet guy who just wanted to do his own thing, which was mainly caring for his beloved plants. When life threw him a curve at a baseball game, his world was turned upside down. Some events were funny and some were sad and many reminded me of public figures that alway ...more
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I won a goodreads first reads copy of the book " The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up" by Jacob M. Appel. This story is about a man named Arnold Brinkman, he is in his late fifties, Arnold is a Botanist and has written many books on the subject of plants. Arnold Brinkman led a quiet life until the day he went to a baseball game with his nine year old nephew in New York. In between innings the audience was asked to stand up while "God Bless America" Was played. It was in honor of local soldiers. Arnold ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book felt less like a satire and more like a farce to me. And in general, I don't enjoy farces. It wasn't a witty farce -- there are no real laugh lines. But the plot is ridiculous, the main character a charicature, and much of it doesn't make any sense. I felt like it started out with the potential to be a satire -- indeed the first 50 pages or so felt like they might develop into something really interesting. But then it fell short.

In one line, the character mentions Rosa Parks and compar
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I had a lot of mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, the characters were very well developed and believable and the plot is funny and fast paced. On another hand, however, the plot is also so unbelievable in some parts that it's really hard to feel like it could be real.
The writing is very fluent and consistent, very much like all the short-stories the author usually writes, the only difference is that this one's a novel. It feels like a short story but much longer.
The dark humour and the
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! Kafkaesque, it reminded me of so many things. I suppose Jonathan Swift with 'A Modest Proposal' springs to mind, and Christopher Fowler's Disturbia. The satire is perfect. The nightmare complete. I loved every minute because it was so crazy. Who the hell reacts this way over one man not getting to his feet. It makes you put a lot of things into perspective. I think twice before getting aeriated about anything now. Does it really matter? In then grand scheme of things who cares? Will t ...more
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Arnold Brinkman refuses to stand up for the National Anthem during a baseball game all hell breaks lose. And when he refuses to apologize for his non action Arnold becomes America's most hated and wanted man. Jacob Appel's book is satire at its finest. It's outrageous and over-the-top comical with unbelievable situations that made me shake my head and say what's next!. I absolutely loved this story and smiled while reading. Thank you, Mr. Appel, for sending me a complimentary copy. Love you ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Arnold Brikman is described as a "shy and retiring botanist," but his insistence on standing by his principles gets him in more trouble than he'd bargained for, making him the center of attraction as well as a fugitive. Hilarious. Written by a botanist, there is much insider info about making flowers the center of a diet as well as how to survive on the run in plain sight.
Carlos Mock
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up by Jacob M. Appel

This is a satirical farce of what life has become in America post 9/11.

Arnold Binkmann is a liberal botanist living in New York City. He's married to Judith and lives a quiet life amongst his plants, nursery, and books. He does not like children. One day, Arnold is forced to take his nephew, Ray, to a game at Yankee stadium. On the 7th inning, as they play God Bless America, Arnold refuses to stand up. He's captured by the giant video screen on the
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the type of book I wish I would have written. There is an art to satire and absurdity, especially when it involves so many sensitive subjects and plot points. While not perfect, I thought the author did an admirable job of 1) demonstrating how self-righteous we can be about patriotism (how ironic given that after Vietnam our veterans were more likely booed than heralded) 2) presenting a plausible scenario that gets overblown by a groupthink mob and 3) making fun of just about every perso ...more
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books I had really hoped to win through a Goodreads giveaway, but it never happened. I am glad, however, that I chose to purchase this book.

Arnold Brinkman, a famous botanist, decides during "God Bless America" at a baseball game not to stand up. On principle, on anger, or whatever, he refuses. A somewhat all-star cast of characters then show up and decide to make his life worse than what it was. If he doesn't stand up at a baseball game, he decides to stand up for whatever
Craig Evans
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-novels
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author courtesy of an give-away.

I sympathized with the central character, Arnold Brinkman, and see several similarities between him and me. Arnold is 55 (I'm 53), a botanist (I was a biology major at university) and gardening enthusiast (ditto) who enjoys foraging for wild and natural plants as food sources (I dabble), and he has a need to feel liked and trusted and respected by those around him (guilty) while at the same time he is
Brent Soderstrum
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
I won this book through GoodReads First Read program

This was a fun book showing what can happen to your life if you refuse to follow the crowd. Arnold Brinkman has taken his nephew to a Yankees game when during the 7th inning stretch they play "God Bless America". Arnold refuses to stand and when he appears on the jumbotron he sticks his tongue out. The crowd boos and yells at him. It doesn't end there. A group of protesters show up at his house to demonstrate demanding an apology. Arnold refuse
Rubery Book Award
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-winners
1st Prize Winner in the Rubery Book Award 2013
This is the story of Arnold Brinkmann, a shy botanist from New York, whose interests are his garden centre and his writing about edible plants – his first book is entitled Please Do Eat the Lilies. He and his wife, Judith, are liberals who support open immigration, with friends who claim to enjoy being attacked by right-wing lunatics. When Arnold is filmed sitting down during a rendition of God Bless America at a baseball match, the story is picked u
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have wanted to read this book since I first saw it listed on Goodreads. The synopsis got my attention. Despite entering to win it each time it came up, I never won. But Dr. Appel emailed me PDFs of his books and I have just finished this one. By the way, if you want any of his books, send me your email here on Goodreads and I'll get them to you.

This book is at times funny, heartbreaking, gross, and touching. What happens when a man refuses to stand up for God Bless America during the 7th innin
Elaine Roberson
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable satire. Arnold is a timid liberal botanist whose life is thrown into turmoil because he refused to stand for "God Bless America" at a ball game. He is accused of being anti-American and protesters surround his house demanding an apology. Since Arnold does not believe he has done nothing wrong, he refuses to apologize. Things go from bad to worse as events spiral out of control. The story kept me entertained for the entire time I was reading. It is not the type of book I usually re ...more
Jay R. shepard
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book
I read the kindle edition of this book and found it a very engaging and entertaining read. The book is about a man, Arnold Brinkman, who wouldn't stand up for the singing of the National Anthem at a ball game. From there, the story takes the reader on a hilariously outrageous and satirical journey of a man on the lam, running from the collective and patriotic mindset of a post 9/11 society. Recommend this book to anyone with an open mind, a sense of humor and in want of a great read!
Donna Bresnak
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a digital copy of this book in return for a review.

I loved this book. the story revolves around a man who refuses to stand up to sing god bless America at a baseball game, the reaction of the crowd, his family and friends and snowballs from there. there are unexpected turns in the story and some fairly predictable ones.
I recommend the story. I asked my husband to read it too so we can discuss it, it was that much fun.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The author of this fantastic novel sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, Jacob Appel!
I absolutely loved this book! I found myself relating to several moments and characters and definitely laughed out loud more than several times! I was definitely hooked from page one and would recommend this book to anyone!!!
This is by far the strangest book I have ever read.....but I really liked it! Oddball and offbeat characters at every turn. I wasn't sure if I should feel sorry for Arnold or think he was an idiot! I honestly couldn't put this book down because I was anxious to see how it would end.
Satire vs allegory.
A sidewise look at life and the media. A shy man is placed in the limelight. Then it all goes sidewise, and we find ourselves laughing to excess!

I received the book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Diana Petty-stone
Satire at it's best with America as its target. You will laugh out loud!
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up🍒🍒🍒🍒🍌
By Jacob M. Appel

In Part 1, Arnold Brinkman, a middle-aged Botanist, begrudingly agrees to take his nephew, Ray, to a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. During the 7th inning stretch, fans were asked to stand for "God Bless America...", in honor of 2 Bronx soldiers killed in the line of duty. Arnold does not stand and when he realizes he is being filmed, he sticks out his tongue. He is an instant "breaking news" subject and labelled a "terrorizer". We mee
Kat Mehrer
Mar 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up intrigued me - it's a book that claims to be about a man who refused to stand during the playing of God Bless America at a baseball game, and continues into a satire about patriotism in modern America. This is not what this book delivered. Although the book is set up as a satire at the beginning, it completely details itself by veering off into distracting plot lines that muddle whatever the point of the book was supposed to be. For a novel presented ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Page Number Correction Request 5 18 Nov 24, 2015 01:35PM  
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Jacob M. Appel's first novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize. He has published short fiction in more than tw
“Nixon’s offences had been so long in the past, so much part of a different era that he now seemed like some lovable but bigoted uncle you tolerated at Christmas and Thanksgiving.” 6 likes
“One thing led to another. That was the only way to explain how Arnold Brinkman, who considered both professional sports and young children unjustifiable, had ended up at Yankee Stadium with a nine-year-old boy.” 5 likes
More quotes…