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Good For Nothing

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In this dark, comic satire, Flip Mellis believes his recent past would be best described as: a man with his feet planted on terra firma. As a husband and father he was a consistent breadwinner. As a business professional, he was a go-getter. For twenty years he did all that was expected of him, if not much more.

But a job loss in his middle years, in the midst of a nationa
Paperback, 324 pages
Published February 6th 2014 by Skyscraper Publications
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Eric P
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An Outstanding Dose of Literature!

In Good For Nothing, we meet Flip Mellis. A middle-aged, overweight under-achiever. Good intentions or none at all, he’s given up and made a decision: one more week and he will end his nightmare.
Faced with unemployment, a failing family life, and a court-appointed psychologist appearing more smug than accredited, Flip promises to “turn it around” in seven days, believing this adequate time for him to plead his macabre case and gain their approval to end his ow
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Full disclosure: I'm friends with the author and I read a lot of escapist fiction. With that in mind, I wasn't sure I could honestly review this book nor escape into the characters or situations. But after 30-40 pages, I was surprised to find myself forgetting I know the author. I also was surprised that I was interested in what was happening to this sad sack character, despite a lack of empathy towards him at first.

The pratfalls device at the beginning of the book did little to endear the main
Rita D.
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brandon Graham's novel is a masterful blend of despair and hilarity. The main character, Flip Mellis, is a middle-aged family man who is unemployed, overweight, disgusted with himself and his circumstances, and spiraling deeper into clinical depression.

Graham's characters and dialogue are rich, real-life, and evoke a visceral, visual glimpse of a life gone awry - some through situations beyond their control, but others through rash, ill-conceived decisions born of desperation. This novel felt li
Trent Rosecrans
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brandon Graham's debut novel is an entertaining and all-too-relatable story of modern America.

Flip is who we all could end up being and hope we don't. Downsized (a euphemism that we've all gotten way too comfortable with), Flip knows what he's doing wrong, but is powerless against the natural inertia -- the world is telling him he's 'good for nothing,' and it's easier to believe that than to fight against it.

Flip's plight is what happens when we know what to do, but we'll start changing tomorrow
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me laughing out loud at times! The writing was so realistic, that I could see what was happening as if it were right in front of me. I was pulling for Flip from the line "Then he tried as hard as he can to be dead". I'm glad his nostril didn't rip! I love that he got to see his gay evil twin. As upset as I was with the book ending the way it did, I realize now that it ended in a way that the door is open to many possibilities.
Great book! I've recommended it to EVERYONE!
Julie Wallace
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved the book. I could picture the scenes in my head as Brandon described them. A must read. Pre-order it on Amazon.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A little bit of a disappointment for me, personally. I really like the concept, and where it was trying to go; Plus I understand the beginning of the novel was supposed to drag a bit and really flesh out that Flip can do absolutely nothing right. But I genuinely find someone being THIS much of a screw up hard to believe. I mean, he'd have marginally good intentions, then mess it up a ton and then intentionally mess up a bunch of other stuff. Repeat this about a dozen times for the first 100 page ...more
Tom Taylor
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Delightful book about a guy who loses wife, job, fitness, and health as he falls into alcoholism and despair. In spite of it all, this novel has its comic moments and is written so well that it is a page turner from start to finish!
Deron Denton
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This may be the author's first published novel, but it is evident that Graham has been honing the craft of storytelling for decades. It took a few chapters for the story to hook me, but once it did, I was utterly engrossed with Flip Mellis, an Everyman facing a critical juncture of mid-life. When we meet Flip, he has lost his job and his marriage is on life-support. He can't seem to catch a break - no matter how small.

It NOT a spoiler when i tell you that his wife asks for a separation, setting
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“Good for Nothing” presents a deeply conflicted portrait of humanity in middle class America. I found this book completely engaging. It reminded me that everyone has a backstory. Whether they are stories of delight or heartbreak, they still hide behind the masks we wear in public.

Graham touches on an honesty that is both brutal and comic. The characters are real in a way that we don’t often want to accept. The protagonist, Flip, embodies a human spirit that is simultaneously deeply flawed and
Danielle Morency
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brandon Graham's first novel, of hopefully more to come, shows us the real, often blunt, unapologetic present day American. His writing is never flowery, but bold, fast-paced, and keeps the reader eagerly turning the page.

In this darkish comedy, Flip Mellis isn't the typical hero- he's inept, sweaty and luxuriating in a bath of self-pity for far too long. As we read, Flip grabs hold of us with his damp, meaty paw, and pulls us along the path to discovering the answer to the old question, "To be
Benjamin Chandler
Brandon's real talent is being able to put the reader right inside the head of the story's characters. In the case of this book, it's poor Flip Mellis, the most earnest loser I have ever encountered in fiction. Flip is a klutz, a self-medicater, a bit of a hypochondriac, and compulsive overeater. But beneath all that, he has a deeply etched sense of duty—there is a person he feels he must be—and a good heart.

After getting kicked out of the house by his estranged wife—her last straw involves a h
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this book for my book club and although I didn't hate it, I didn't quite enjoy it - this seemed to be the general consensus when we met.
Flip is obese, depressed and without a job. He has given himself a week to turn his life around and get back his family. However, his poor judgement makes this an impossibility.
The novel is a series of gags and farcical acts where Flip keeps going from bad to worse. There are glimmers of something that could have been insightful and brilliant but they ne
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
If Murphy’s Law could, by magic, be transformed into a human being, that person would be Flip Mellis. After years of a happy life with his family and a successful career, Flip loses his job and slowly but surely, his world crumbles around him. The more he tries, the less he can do, no matter what it is. A new job? Not happening. Helping out around the house? Too busy eating himself out of fitting into his clothes. Painting the home office? A Rube Goldberg disaster. But wait! Flip has a plan to f ...more
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Good For Nothing is a story about a middle aged man who, overwhelmed by life, has basically stopped participating in it. He has lost his job and is well on the way to losing his family. Brandon Graham’s writing made me empathize with the main character to an uncomfortable level. By the end of the first chapter, with a wonderfully written scene that takes the main character through an unlucky chain of well-intentioned but ill-fated happenings culminating in a suicide attempt that felt like how on ...more
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just finished the book last week! It was soo good! For the last week or so I've been narrating my own thoughts in my head because of how I was influenced by Brandon's writing style - the way he lets the reader really get into the head of his main character, Flip. It was all a bit cringe worthy, like watching Meet the Parents, but by the end of the first chapter I was really drawn in because I just felt so bad for Flip! I will say it did take me a while to really "get it", but by page 200 or so ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked it also made me anxious and unhappy. Thus the rating. I really liked the voice and style it was written in and in general I'm not afraid of dark fiction. At some point I started being depressed by what was around the corner and inhabiting this guys life became difficult. I think it's because in many ways it's a little too real. There are a lot of people out there leading a life that runs like something out of the Lemony Snickets Series of Unfortunate Events novels.

So loved the
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'd read some good reviews about this book, but was left feeling a bit disappointed with it. I didn't think there was really much of a story at all, and nothing memorable happened that captured my interest and made me want to continue reading it. I was determined to finish the book though and give it the benefit of my doubt. In fairness, the story comes to life in the last few chapters but it's just a shame the whole book wasn't as good. There were several characters who all had the potential to ...more
Jen Hibben
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Since I left college and have had a family, reading a book is the last thing I have time for or doesn't keep me interested enough to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and never wanted to put it down. Between laughing out loud in public really hard and near tears, I had to share some of the amazing lines from the main character, Flip, to whomever was sitting next to me. Then the end of the book wasn't what I expected and I wanted the story to keep going. I look forward to many ...more
Karen Rye

To start with I just didn't find it funny. But I did pity Flip. It certainly got better as it progressed. At times slapstick and at others heartrendingly painful. I loved the scene with his dad at the restaurant and we've all had the kind of job interview described.

Flip's voice was pretty good, but some of it was just too bizarre and coincidental for me.

Overall a diverting and enjoyable read, but lacking something more to make it spectacular.
Janice Deal
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Job loss has left middle-aged Flip Mellis rudderless, fat and desperate. In Brandon Graham’s Good for Nothing, we follow Flip during one pivotal week that just may determine the trajectory of the rest of his life. A highlight for me consists of the colorful cast of characters informing Flip’s journey, from his neighbor at the motor court to an amiable barista. Graham employs dark humor to underline Flip’s efforts to tap into the resilience we all carry within us.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
An impressive debut novel that takes the form of an acerbic and largely downbeat tale of a sad loser, struggling to hang on to his family after losing his job and self worth in a recession hit America. It's a clever and beguiling mix of tragedy and black humour with a lead character that it's difficult to warm to at first.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book covers a short period of time in Flip's life. He is the luckiest guy ever. Unluckiest and at times the most lucky guy ever. Until the last page I couldn't even predict the outcome. Well done Brandon Graham!
Gordon Davie
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A man loses his job, family and a failed suicide attempt. A dark comedy of unfortunate events of a man desperately trying to get his life back on track. A definite thumbs up.

Just a random pick from the library as well.
Paul Holland
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This book is good for quite a lot actually. Great characters across the board and a tale of modern American unemployed life worth looking at. It's portrayal of the struggles of American masculinity to find a place in modern culture is particularly apt for today's struggles.
Carl Graham
May 31, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just don't get it or the reviewing. Bleak and derivative. Not sure I take anything from this book.
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really got invested in the main character. I didn't like him, but I had to keep reading to see what he got himself into.
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
*re-read August 2014
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Goodreads Librari...: Author Split and Rename 11 24 Sep 20, 2014 02:11PM  
A transient Southerner by birth and heritage, Brandon Graham has lived, worked, and studied in eight different states and four different countries. He eventually settled near Chicago where he studied visual and written narrative at Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts.

If one belief has latched itself securely to his core during his travels, it is that narrative is the most powerful brid
“His life had become a pathetic parable of alienation, a self-imposed banishment. Being alone made him feel simultaneously liberated and isolated.” 0 likes
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