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Carousel Court

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,027 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Following the breakout success of his “searing” (The New York Times Book Review) debut novel The Delivery Man, Joe McGinniss Jr. returns with Carousel Court: a bold, original, and exhilarating novel of marriage as blood sport that reads like Revolutionary Road for the era of The Unwinding.

Nick and Phoebe Maguire are a young couple with big dreams who move across the
ebook, 368 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,027 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Felice Laverne

“He was a thirty-two-year-old, college-educated father drowning his family in debt but energized by a simple prospect: proving to Phoebe that he alone, not a New York banker or some handsome young physician, was the winning play still.”

Oh, my God. I can’t remember the last time I was so satisfied with a read and applauding of its ending! It was so well done; the writing was just phenomenal. It never came off as corny or cliché,
Larry H
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
If you're feeling the slightest bit down or depressed with the direction your life is currently heading, I'd suggest you skip this book. While certainly well-written, Joe McGinniss Jr.'s Carousel Court is a tremendously dark, almost brutal depiction of how the American Dream can slip out of your fingers, and its effect on a marriage and the psyches of both parties.

Phoebe and Nick Maguire are tired. They're tired of slaving away at their jobs, they're tired of their Boston neighborhood, and
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Carousel Court by Joe McGniniss Jr. is a 2016 Simon & Schuster publication.

This novel absolutely nails the dark, depressing, and desolate desperation that befell the upwardly mobile college educated classes after the economic fallout of 2008.

Phoebe and Nick are parents to a toddler named Jackson, living in a home at Carousel Court, both working night and day, to keep their heads above water, but drowning, just like their neighbors who are taking desperate measures too, while Jackson spends
Sara Nelson
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is, or at least should be, a sleeper hit this summer. It has shades of Gone Girl (but, boy, am I sick of making that comparison. Enough already with Gone Girl!) but is a much more relatable story of a marriage that frays and frays and frays. . .Ok, the couple in question here is a little off to start with -- the wife works for a drug company, and will do just about anything to make a sale to a doctor; the husband is so desperate for cash he basically becomes a criminal -- but the way ...more
Rae Meadows
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable is not the word I would use to describe Joe McGinniss's second novel, Carousel Court. It is dark, seriously dark, and the characters are, for the most part, odious. But, man was I impressed. This is a story of a couple that goes completely off the rails in the housing crash/financial collapse. The setting is a new-construction community (exurb of Los Angeles) that feels like an apocalyptic wasteland. The story of their spiral into a moral cesspool is told with remarkable tautness and ...more
♡ Kim ♡
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, arc
This is one raw and real read! The ending was great!
Mike W
Sep 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Nick and Phoebe Maguire have a beautiful home on Carousel Court, a property they had plans to flip in the ultra hot housing market of the mid-aughts. Having uprooted their young family from Boston and used all of their savings on that property, the Maguires have had nothing but trouble since. First, the job offer for which the family relocated was rescinded before they even made it to Southern California. Then, Phoebe, a very successful pharmacy rep in Boston finds herself in the bottom third ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Carousel Court by Joe McGinniss Jr. is a bleak, unflinching look at a contemporary marriage falling apart. It is recommended for only a select group of readers - those who appreciate dark, disturbing literary fiction with overtones of hopelessness and plenty of self-medication. It was a so-so read for me, but the writing is very good.

Nick and Phoebe Maguire are a young married couple who have relocated with their young son from Boston to Southern California to live their dream. Instead Nick's
Sep 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Before I polish my thoughts; who slipped me the hallucinogenic? This book feels like coming out of a drugged dream state, running barefoot over crushed glass just a half step ahead of snarling demons. Reality is a hazy scene on the other side of a veil of graffiti, smoke and flames. Is this reality somewhere? Have I just been sitting with Alex and his droogs at the Korova Milkbar ?

Carousel Court reads like a dystopian action film more than the story of a young couple trying to make it through
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
2.5 because i can see if i had stuck it out i would agree that the writing is good and the story probably unfolded in a satisfying way but I'm just finding it too hard to keep picking it up. It's just not for me. Sorry book... i will not lead you on as an attentive reader... Also I have been cheating on you with Larry McMurtry. He's great in bed....great to read in bed, i mean.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hype, hot-mess
I must secretly be a sadist because why else would I have continued to read and finish this book when I realize there was nothing worthy to glean from it?

Warning!!! Adultery abounds within these sordid pages!

Carousel Court tells the tale of Nick and Phoebe Maguire, a couple with a son who are drowning in debt and fail to meet their own high expectations of life, love and living.

They are also morally abject, detestable and pathetic.
Phoebe is a closet drug addict who whores herself out to a
Christine Zibas
Capturing the fall-out from the foreclosure crisis in Southern California, Author Joe McGinniss, Jr., takes readers deep into the unsteady relationship of Nick and Phoebe, two of its victims. Worse, this couple has just moved there from Boston in order to re-start their rocky marriage. With dreams of house flipping and time off for Phoebe to enjoy their young son, it soon becomes clear that the hostile economic environment will offer up nothing to help their dreams prosper.

Before they've even
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A contemporary domestic thriller of the 2008 real estate crash, Carousel Court follows a young couple, Nick and Phoebe, whose plans of living large spring a leak as the market spirals down. Nick moves the family from Boston to Los Angeles to work in the film business, buying a house with the intention of flipping it. But when that job fails to materialize, and foreclosure stalks the land, he becomes a trash-out man, one step from home breaking, cleaning out foreclosed houses with a team of ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the view of The Big Short from inside one of the families affected by the 2008 crisis. Millennials Nick and Phoebe move with their young son from the Boston area to Southern California, thinking their problems will be solved but finding themselves in the hottest of hot waters. I wont give away any more of the plot because the real story is within their characters and their all too human reactions as life and circumstance collapse around them. Outside forces come into play, but also their ...more
Jessica Sullivan
This is a book about failed investments. Not just one couple's doomed investment in a suburban California home, but the different ways that we become invested in the various aspects of our lives—whether it's a marriage or a career—and the ease with which it can all fall apart.

Carousel Court is a scathing, brutal account of the modern American Dream. At its center is a couple who loathe each other to a truly vicious degree. It sort of has a Bret Easton Ellis vibe to it: in McGinniss's world of
J. Kent Messum
An excellent story about how achieving the American Dream has become synonymous with a fight for survival in this modern age. It's hard look at how people's relationships and quality of life can suffer significantly in the pursuit of happiness. Expectations clash with reality, and reality is something less and less people are prepared to deal with in the new millennium. We've all been told to live our lives and chase our dreams, but no one has mentioned the crippling costs involved. The piper ...more
Julie Rose
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
This one took a little while for me to get into. The author has a stilted way of writing that takes some getting used to. I thought I was going to give up after about 50 pages but I ended up sticking it out. Still not sure if I'm happy about that or not.

Among the many issues that I had with this book was that we're given absolutely no basis for their relationship. At no point is there a mention of a time when Nick and Phoebe were in love, what they saw in each other, how Nick got over the fact
Jaclyn Crupi
If I was meant to passionately hate the protagonists of this book and find it brutally depressing then McGinniss Jr. has been successful. It's another financial crisis book but by far the most brutal I have read. Financial ruin has never been written about with such furious rage and raw humanity. I absolutely hated it but I couldn't stop reading it and I'm now full of anger and fire. I need to sit with this for a while as I'm completely raw. Only read this if you want a harrowing, infuriating ...more
S.E. Anderson
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I feel really torn about this book. On the one hand, it was brilliantly written, and as I step back I realize how much it just captures relationships in such a raw, complex way. But I felt mad reading it. Just full on angry. So I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book as a whole.
Ron S
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A modern day Revolutionary Road, about a marriage crumbling along with The American Dream set on foreclosure alley in California's Inland Empire. Marred, in my view, by a pat ending but otherwise searing, caustic, brilliant.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This relentlessly bleak and grim novel follows Nick and Phoebe as they move from Boston to California where they hope to take advantage of the property bubble. They’re already on shaky ground due to Phoebe’s reliance on prescription drugs and her relationship with her boss, and as the market collapses and they are faced with financial pressures way beyond their ability to cope, their lives and their marriage begin to disintegrate. Set against the searing heat, drought and wildfires of Southern ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I felt the manic tension building in the relationship and knew at some point there would be a monumental event where it all came crashing down, and a large part of it was quite believable. I am disappointed in the pivotal moment with JW. He loses his veracity when he suddenly shifts into being over Phoebe because she asked for something. Things continue to unravel for me when Nick and Phoebe are magically healed as individuals and with each other following her psychosis and brief stint in ...more
Lisa Jordan
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hmmm. I don't know how to explain this one. I love psychological suspense, and this kinda was, but also not. It's more of a dirty unflinching look behind the curtain of a marriage that is falling apart. If you're looking for a fast paced twisty plot, maybe choose something else. This book is a slow burn, an in depth character study about how far people will go when driven to the edge. The characters are pretty unlikable, and this book has a dark tone that some may not appreciate (but l do!).
Oct 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Full review at:

Carousel Court is one amazingly bleak book.

The novel, by Joe McGinniss Jr., is about a couple – Phoebe and Nick – who move from Boston to Southern California in search of a better life. In Boston, Phoebe was a pharmaceutical sales rep and Nick a documentary filmmaker. They lived in a cramped apartment with their toddler, Jackson. Lured by the promise of sunny weather, an easier pace of life, and the untold riches that would come from flipping a suburban LA house, they make plans
Maureen DeLuca
*yawn* 'nuf said
Gerard Villegas
Carousel Court is a difficult book to explain. A bit of surrealism mixed with literary satire, it is either going to be hit or miss with the audience. The best way to describe it is as a metaphorical piece filled with symbolic themes that deal with contemporary issues. It is very similar to Don DeLillio's style of writing where there are plenty of underlying topics that are presented which allows the reader to ponder what the whole purpose of the novel is. Again, this is book for savvy readers ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
This book was just GRIM. The writing was good, but it set up such a miserable world. Two people who may care for each other but are too caught up in their own personal hellish situations to care anymore, living in a dystopian Los Angeles suburb, where fires burn in the distance at all times, hot winds blow, helicopters crisscross overhead, and everyone is going a little bit mad. I couldn't actually tell if any of the characters wanted any part of this life they were fighting to build/save, or if ...more
Stacey D.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sharp, tense and terrifying, it's the American Dream gone bad for a couple of 30-somethings and their family. The Maguires are caught up in living the good life when they move out to SoCal, but what that entails during the end of the 2000's as they face the economic downturn, is basically selling your soul.

I expect this will make an amazing movie one day.
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Electric, memorable. A couple fending off challenges - economically, emotionally. Vivid environment.
Laurel Newsom
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was recommended by the circulation manager at my local library. I was looking for something less political because that was all I seemed to be reading and I needed some mind candy. Well it was quite an easy read and it helped that the author is cute. But let me tell you, this book was so weird and kind of messed up. It was good and I didn't have a hard time reading it because there was constant weirdness and people that are psychotic can help a book move along. I think it is supposed ...more
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