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3.38  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Did she jump? Did she fall? Will she wake? On an ordinary Friday afternoon in the office, talented young lawyer Joy Stephens plummets forty feet onto a marble floor. In the shadow of this baffling event, the lives of those closest to her begin to collide and change in unexpected ways. There is Dennis, her disgraced husband, who finds consolation in books; her colleague Pet ...more
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Published July 12th 2016 by Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio (first published June 7th 2012)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  161 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed Jonathan Lee’s, “High Dive,” I was keen to read his earlier books and came across this one. Joy is the name of the central character of this novel; a successful lawyer who, from the very beginning of this book, we are aware has just plummeted forty foot from a viewing platform in her Central London office block to land on the marble floor in front of the assembled staff…

It took me a little while to get comfortable with the style of this novel. Some of the chapters are told directl
Pewnego dnia Joy, ambitna prawniczka pracująca w korporacji, spada z biurowego tarasu widokowego na nie mniej biurową posadzkę. Co doprowadziło do tak nieszczęśliwego wypadku? Czy istnieją choć najmniejsze szanse na happy end?

Książka była szumnie reklamowana jako „satyra na współczesne życie w biurze prawniczym, z kilkunastogodzinnym dniem pracy, olbrzymim stresem, tragikomicznymi rytuałami, flirtami i konfliktami, ale również do bólu prawdziwy obraz życia współczesnych trzydziestokilkulatków.”
Helena Halme
As well as the title of the book, Joy is also the name of the main character in this London based novel. She’s a successful lawyer who one day plummets forty feet to a marble floor.

Joy’s story is told from several perspectives and two time-frames. We follow the final 24 hours in Joy’s joyless life before she falls. Her story is interspersed by monologues of the people close to Joy, who – on the insistence of the City Law Firm Joy works for – afterwards talk to a therapist about the incident the
Kelly Furniss
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was picked as our May book for book club. In an office in London's square mile a talented young lawyer falls forty feet to her death. In the shadow of this event, the lives of those closest to her begin to collide and change as her life & death are examined. A good strong story, humour, intriguing characters and twists and turns make this a page turner. ...more
I picked this up in a charity shop because of the title (!) But it was just too weird and strangely written for my taste and so I could not finish it.
Tolkien InMySleep
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: want-to-own
Clever, funny and very human
Victoria Evangelina Allen
The characters are vividly developed; the writing is talented and engaging; but overall I found this book quite depressing: I guess, the author goes too deep into small-ish thoughts and motives of his people, and while it's a great skill and an overall plus, it left a very downing impression on me. I enjoyed the unconventional ending. I almost want to give it four stars, although, initially, I settled for three. ...more
David Hebblethwaite
Joy Stephens would appear to have everything to live for – she’s a successful City lawyer, about to be made a partner at the age of 33 – but she is planning to commit suicide before the day is out. When we first meet her, we get an insight into the sorts of fractures that riddle Joy’s ostensibly perfect life, as she arrives home in the early hours to find Dennis, her husband of five years, with the couple’s regular Thursday-night call girl, whom Dennis was supposed to cancel this week.

It soon be
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kat's Review

Reading this book was like watching a train wreck happen in slow motion, in the sense that the storyline jumps from Joy's story to the narratives of several others, drawing out the telling of Joy's tale. We know from the start that Joy is suicidal, and that in fact she intends to take her life the following day, the day of her promotion to make partner in the law firm where she works. The novel takes the reader through that day in a manner that some will love, and others will hate.
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Jonathan Lee adopts quite a brave prose style of different characters talking to a counsellor with the counsellor's voice edited out and/or internal monologues. This prose style takes a while to get used to, but ultimately I think it works very well. The perspective of each character shifts over time as does the reader's perception of each character. Considering that the novel is only 308 pages long and it is only Jonathan Lee's second published novel, I am very impre ...more
Mar Dixon
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent novel by Jonathan Lee. Wasn't really sure where the book was taking me at first as it seemed to be laid out like a script but I soon recognized my role as a reader. The characters flip from talking to a counsellor and talking diary entry form. It sounds confusing but it truly does work and honestly, I can't see the book written any other way.

Joy is a complicated character that has issues from the start. Peter (Joy's husband) was a bit .. well I didn't quite get him at first but then f
Shriram Sivaramakrishnan
Joy, simply said, was a joy to read. Jonathan Lee had taken great pains in etching out the characters. He had nicely brought to the fore the psyche of a person with suicidal tendency. The book moves in a melodramatic ways, exploring the external environment (including the people with whom the protagonist works) of a suicidal mind. In doing so, the novel moves lacks the 'unputdownable effect' that we've come to expect from novels of this genre.

However, the novel does move in a brisk pace in order
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discuss-it
Does Joy jump, fall or was she pushed?
There were plenty of witnesses and the story of Joy unfolds partly through them talking to a counsellor, with their accounts interspersed with Joy's own story. We find out what happened, what people think happened and the background leading up to and following on from that day.
The construction of the novel works very well and all the characters are realistic, if not particularly likeable. This is more character driven than plot driven, but there is enough pl
Nina Jon
A novel set in a law firm, where no one actually appears to do any work and where everyone is consumed by the past. From its first page we learn of Joy's discontentment. The reasons why this beautiful young woman is so unhappy and whether this is connected with her fall, form the backbone of this novel, told from the various viewpoints of its characters. The reason for Joy’s fall are answered, although not until the end of the novel. However, it's the last few pages of the novel which come as a ...more
Usually I'm not terribly fond of books that change points of view multiple times but in this case, it worked really well. Joy tells the story of well, Joy Stephens and the events leading up to her fall from a higher floor after giving a big work speech. Told from the point of view of her co-workers, her husband, and herself, the author did a great job switching characters from chapter to chapter. It was almost as if you were watching each person on television retelling their version of the event ...more
Karen Rye
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I settled down with this yesterday and then ended up needing to finish it before I could go to bed. The structure is quirky, but not clunky and the story is allowed to unfold beautifully through the course of the novel. It is well written and by turns comical, satirical, honest, heart rending and horrifying. Every reader will recognise parts of themselves and their work colleagues here. Admitting which one you might most closely resemble is a whole different ball game though. But trust me, never ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book largely because it was written by a friend of a friend.

I loved it. The setting in a large City law firm intrigued me because that's been my life for a while. It was over-exaggerated but spot on and so humorous in so many ways.

The book is written from a number of different perspectives and the voices of each perspective were so well developed. I couldn't help but find the voice of Dennis annoying but suspect that you were meant to.

A clever book and a very engaging story, sometim
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Stunning. A wonderfully written, completely absorbing story of Joy, a high-flying young partner about to made a partner. Her near fatal accident at her promotion ceremony is the vehicle for bringing together the voices of the characters closest to her. The story is told through them and Joy’s own voice. A story of love and loss; interwoven with unexpected changes of perspective and meaning. Excellent.
Steven Pilling
Way too long.

The writing is good, he is a great stylist but the story just didnt engage me.

I feel this hangs on me as i reckon the book will be loved by many people. I will try him again as he can write just not this
Bec Pearce
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joy. that's what I felt after reading this book. Yes. the subject matter isn't exactly cheery but the way the author handles it is perfect.
I picked it up because of its blurb but love it because of its unusual and fantastic content.
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, excellent characterisation. Some slightly self-indulgent literary devices used, but no worse for it.
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a beautifully written book. Loved the story. It's so believable, I think in the end I'd picked a bit of Joy's desperation. (For a short period of time, though) ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do like different/original story-lines - very good book
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Dec 31, 2016
Heike Schmidt
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JONATHAN LEE is a British writer whose recent fiction has appeared in Tin House, Granta, and A Public Space, among other magazines. High Dive is his first novel to be published in the United States. He lives in Brooklyn, where he is a contributing editor for Guernica and a regular contributor to The Paris Review Daily.

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