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We're All Damaged

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  18,858 ratings  ·  1,506 reviews

Andy Carter was happy. He had a solid job. He ran 5Ks for charity. He was living a nice, safe Midwestern existence. And then his wife left him for a handsome paramedic down the street.

We’re All Damaged begins after Andy has lost his job, ruined his best friend’s wedding, and moved to New York City, where he lives in a tiny apartment with an angry cat named Jeter that isn’t

Kindle Edition, 284 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Little A
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a. Does it matter to the story line or change it in some way?
Alex It depends on how you look at it. I mean, it is entirely possible that one could read it and learn something about 'moving on' after a difficult break…moreIt depends on how you look at it. I mean, it is entirely possible that one could read it and learn something about 'moving on' after a difficult break up. Personally, it has helped me. (less)

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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,858 ratings  ·  1,506 reviews

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Pouting Always
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Andy has to go back home from NY after his grandfather dies which he really does not want to do because it means facing the life he left behind after his divorce. The plot was a little lack luster but I think the voice makes up for that. The writing was funny and witty and so many hilarious things happen in the book that kept me reading. Especially everything that happens between his mother and the gay people angry at her. A little ridiculous but if youre in the mood for funny then this is a goo ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humorous-fiction
Poor Andy!

He was dumped by his wife, in Applebee's, of all places, with Wham playing in the background! Tragic, eh? His mother is now a right-wing radio pundit - Nancy Knows - Always Right, Always Right! - and his befuddled dad is shooting squirrels with a paintball gun. Just when he thinks life can't get any worse . . . well, you know IT DOES!

Poor Matthew Norman!

His book will be compared ad infinitum to This is Where I Leave You . There are similarities: two male main characters recovering fr
There wasn't much sparkle here for me. It's a perfectly nice story about a man who continues to pine for his ex-wife a year after their divorce. She blindsided him at Applebee's over dinner by announcing she was tired of it all, finished with him. She moves on with her life, while Andy flounders miserably.

This was a Kindle First for the month of May, and I chose unwisely. It was just a little lighthearted and saccharin for my taste, although the garden gnome fiasco was amusing. The cover reminds
Larry H
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-first
Matthew Norman aims for full-on Jonathan Tropper territory with his newest book, We're All Damaged . He doesn't quite hit that target, but the effort is still both funny and bittersweet.

"I don't have a problem with Applebee's per se. But I think we can all agree, as a civilized society, that lives shouldn't change there. Significant things should begin or end at Applebee's. You shouldn't walk into Applebee's as one thing and then leave as something else entirely."

When Andy Carter's wife ends th
Jessica Jeffers
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
I know that everyone’s family’s got issues. But sometimes it feels like it’s just you, like your family’s complicated baggage outweighs whatever anyone else has going on. I have definitely felt that way. I have had three different therapists throw up their hands in defeat when discussing my relationship with my father and say, “I don’t know what to tell you. I’m at a loss.” And yet, it was only relatively recently – over way too many margaritas with the half-sister who entered my life as an adul ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016, humor, contemporary
Yet another Kindle First book, from a while back. This was the most appalling book I've read in a while. I have read about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl but this was my first encounter in the wild, as it were, and I now understand how obnoxious the trope can be. The plot is about a man whose wife cheats on him and then divorces him so he moves to New York City to be Hapless and Pathetic although he is a Nice Guy, don't you know, who doesn't really deserve to have his heart broken by those Cold and ...more
May 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
I appreciate what the author attempts to show, but I expected better. The idea that everyone is (at least a little) fucked up resonates with me. I liked the writing style and the humor...but there's something about this book that irritated me. Perhaps it was the ballsy, tattooed heroine who comes to the narrator's rescue. She's the nerdy guy's femme fatale. I've seen her before, and I'm a little tired of it. Like a knight in shining armor, she devotes herself to the lonely, lame dude through no ...more
Catherine McKenzie
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Matt Norman does it again! Funny, thoughtful, fast-paced. Loved it.
May 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Wow, talk about a book written rigorously to follow the Nice Guy and Manic Pixie Girl trope to a T.
I'll give Norman the advantage that a) his writing style is funny and b) there was an interesting plot somewhere buried all the terrible faux poetic analogies and Daisy's entire plot and purpose.
But this book was so...tepid. I am so tired of this narrative of "quirky" girls "saving" loser guys like our protagonist. Also, girls don't talk the way Daisy talks. Girls don't act the way Daisy acts. Only
Kit Vogler
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was getting kind of worried these last few months with the Kindle First picks. I seemed to have picked the duds of the bunch month after month. Now, BOOM! This book! I was about a third of the way in and started to get annoyed because I realized that I now have another author I will be putting on me "Keep Tabs on this Author" list.

The characters were interesting. I was sort of annoyed with Andy's friends and family at first. They all acted like they had their business on the up & up, and
May 05, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: dnf
Well, I'm on page 61, but I'm worried I might be about to fall into a very cliche'd Manic Pixie Dream Girl story... guy meets strange girl after she sends him an anonymous note. she's covered in literary tattoos, drinking out of a hello kitty flask.

Here's the evidence:

"It's official... You, Andy, are now my motivation."
"What does that mean?"
"You've had a tough year," she says. "And I think I can help you."
"Help me with what?"
"Come back to life."

May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Matthew Norman is a new-to-me writer and one whose work I will seek out in the future. He truly knows how to tell a heart-wrenching, heart-rending, heartbreaking and, at the same time, hilarious story peopled with very flawed, human characters you'll come to love.
3.5 stars

I've requested this novel because of its title, as I like obvious truths. ;-) I imagined/expected it to be edgy and angsty. It so wasn't - serves me right for not reading the blurb.

'We're All Damaged' reads like a women's fiction novel, but this time, it's written by a man and the main character is Andy Carter, a recently divorced thirty-one-year-old, who's kind of lost. Andy is from Omaha and is a kind man. Albeit he's kind of boring, without much charm or an interesting personality.
Kate Moretti
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Matthew Norman's voice and this book was the perfect break from suspense for me. I actually read this book while I was listening to Where'd You Go Bernadette. The novels have some parallels: great voice, witty main character, campy/fun/cringe-worthy plot twists, and stellar writing. It was fun without being cutesy, and I wanted to hug and strangle Andy in equal measure (and this was clearly the intention). A really fantastic light-but-not-fluffy read!
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great mixture of hilarity and seriousness. It was like being transported to the good ole days of when sitcoms were the thing ( The Wonder years meets Parenthood). Great MCs and dialogue!!
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Less good than the excellent Domestic Violets, but the honest writing and wonderful one-liners are still here, and all in all this is a very enjoyable novel to read, even with some implausible plot events in it. Some of the same themes from Norman's first novel can also be found here, and the characters are original and well-developed. I will read anything this guy writes.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A tad disappointed with this short little read, especially being a huge fan of Norman’s Domestic Violets. I zipped through this one (his follow-up), lol’d occasionally, but also rolled my eyes quite a bit.

There’s a lot of cliche situations in here: too many to truly endorse this book. A man down on his luck, a “no one’s family is crazier than mine!” family, and a quirky girl who isn’t the love interest but then sort of is. While some of it is done tongue-in-cheek and some of it actually works, i
May 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Judging by the mostly glowing reviews and 5-Star ratings 'We're All Damaged' received on both Amazon and Goodreads, I started to feel like maybe I was missing something when the book and its main characters left me rolling my eyes in annoyance. I waited about a week before writing this review (and a few months before posting it because I forgot about it) in order to truly process my thoughts. Am I being unnecessarily harsh with my 2-Star rating? Why is everyone raving over a book that I honestly ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
I am clearly not the target audience for this book. Self-absorbed, immature, 30ish boy-man starts putting his life back together a year after his divorce in the midst of his self-absorbed, immature mother; his self-absorbed, immature brother; a father whose character is seriously underdeveloped; and, of course, a quirky, equally self-absorbed and in the end, equally immature, not-quite-hooker with a heart of gold. Maybe I'm too old to have any patience with these characters. Maybe they are so ut ...more
Book Riot Community
I am so excited for this book, because I am a HUGE fan of Domestic Violets, and I think Matthew Norman is one of the funniest writers out there. His new novel is the story of a man named Andy, who is flailing around in his life after his wife leaves him, he loses his job, and he relocates to NYC, where he leads a sad, drunken existence. A trip back home to visit his dying grandfather in Omaha puts a new path in front of him – but can Andy pull himself together enough to follow it? A funny and to ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
We're All Damaged by Matthew Norman is a sublimely funny book. The story is told from the perspective of Andy Carter, an (un)intentionally unreliable narrator whose perception of reality provides the source of the majority of the book's humor. Andy is one of those friends you drink with at the bar who tells stories that just when they reach the top of a crescendo, channel Billy Mays - "But Wait, there's more!" This makes for a fantastic read, since just when you think events can't get any more z ...more
Brian Rothbart
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best book I have read this year. It made me laugh out loud and it made me tear up. This book truly hit home. I felt like I was reading a story about my own life. Sure, there are some cliches, and we have seen some of this before in other books and movies but it works so well, even the ending. You really feel for these characters.

"Imagine watching the saddest scene of the saddest movie you can think of. A real tearjerker. . . . Now imagine watching that scene over and over aga
Jul 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Absolutely hated it. I have no idea how it has good ratings, it's the most generic sad boy meets manic pixie dream girl story ever. Took me so long to read because I didn't want to pick it back up and the only reason I decided to finish it was so I could write a review saying what crap it was. Main character is a dick, whose wife leaves him for another man (I would too). So he throws a big hissy fit destroying other people's property and goes to NYC. He has to come back to Omaha when he finds ou ...more
Heather Fineisen
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tour, tlc-tours
This a short, amusing novel that has it's moments of poignancy. There is political commentary, marriage turmoil, failed and rekindled friendships , suburban satire and a blind date. For a quick read, the dialogue flows and the timing between lines and scenes is nearly perfect. Norman's writing is so tight I can see this as a screenplay. There are even cute little squirrels with obscene paw gestures. If you want to read something that will put a smile on your face but is also heartwarming, this i ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was ok

A Johnathon Tropper-esque tale of nice guy gets dumped and mopes about until put back on his feet by alt-punk girl with a heart of gold--undermined by an unnecessary and for the reader unwanted political backstory pitting the guy's far right, attention seeking mother against a gay rights Glitter Mafia. Excise the latter elements and the story was pretty good. With them in, irritating at times.

2.5 stars. On Buy, borrow, skip scale: Nothing to miss here--skip.
P.S. Lots of review comments
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A few years back I read Matthew Norman's hilarious novel, Domestic Violets, which made my list of the Most Compelling Books of 2011. It tells the story of a man stuck in a soulless copywriting job, the son of a Norman Mailer-like father, married to a woman he fears will leave him, father to a young daughter.

He is writing a novel, but he will always be compared to his successful father, an alcoholic with a wandering eye who comes to stay with his son. It is a family story, a workplace comedy (ala
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2016
I read Matthew Norman's debut book, "Domestic Violets" and really enjoyed it so I was looking forward to reading this book. "We're All Damaged" is another story about family ties. Andy changes his entire life after his wife cheats on him. He leaves everything behind in Omaha to make a new life for himself in NYC. He may be done with the past but the past is not done with him.

Poor Andy can't catch a break! The book follows him as he goes back home to Omaha to see his dying grandfather and contend
Joe Murolo
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Norman's style of writing and type of story reminded me very much of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.
Katrine Austin
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Damage can be good

While slow to grab me, I ultimately liked the theme of the book. If we could remember every one is struggling, the world filled with compassion would be a kinder place.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the quirkiness of this book! Characters had depth and I really cared about most of them. Totally relatable story. Definitely recommend!
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2016.23: We're All Damaged 1 24 Jun 03, 2016 12:34PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
Matthew Norman is an advertising copywriter. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Baltimore. His first novel, Domestic Violets, was nominated in the Best Humor Category at the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards.
“We’re all damaged. Every single beautiful, stupid, precious one of us. Damaged, damaged, damaged.” 9 likes
“That’s the thing I hate most about my brain, the way it stores and catalogs things, all this dumb shit on a giant hard drive in my head, so I’m forced to obsess over it all like a crazy person.” 4 likes
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