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Perfectly Broken
Robert Burke Warren
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Perfectly Broken

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  35 reviews
His rock star days may be behind him, but stay-at-home dad Grant Kelly's life is getting more interesting by the day. It's the beginning of the post 9/11 era, and he and his wife and four-year-old son have traded a New York City apartment for a Catskills farmhouse, where ghosts from the past, worries for the future, and temptations in the present converge to bring about dr ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Story Plant
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4.29  · 
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 ·  55 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life after the words “I do.” Grant Kelly finds the reality of life when the fairytale happy ending doesn’t come bursting with hearts and flowers, sunshine and dreams fulfilled. A has-been rocker, now a stay-at-home father, Grant faces his life, the life he has built with his wife and son as they leave the familiarity of their urban apartment for the country living of the Catskills. This is their story, as seen through Grant’s eyes, from the arguments filled with anger to the revelations that may ...more
Heather Fineisen
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tlc-tours
This is one of those books where you have to separate your distaste for the characters' choices from the the writing. Characters' choices are bad and the writing is good. This novel centers around anesthizing feelings post 9/11 through self medication, prescription medication or work and parenthood or some combination. The longed for result may be the numbness the characters are temporarily seeking but it leads them to a path of loss and pain and maybe regeneration. The friendships are real, the ...more
Perfectly Broken by Robert Burke Warren is a 2016 Storyplant publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, I must confess, the nineties decade is not my favorite and I don’t look back on it with a bittersweet fondness, like I do with other decades in my rearview mirror. However, this author will have many of you waxing nostalgic, as the characters here emerged from the nineties, and are now coping with the post 9/11
Diane Moyle
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grant and Beth Kelly’s life is on a downward slope. Grant, a former rocker who hasn’t played in a band or had any interest in his songs in ten years is a stay at home dad. Beth is currently in between jobs as a publicist. Due to a money crunch, they are forced to move from their familiar life and New York City apartment. Due to the generosity of old friends, they move into a farmhouse in the Catskill Mountains. Grant feels his life is falling apart. Tragedy from his childhood has him feeling lik ...more
Jack Warren
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In his debut novel, Perfectly Broken , Robert Burke Warren spins an infectiously compelling yarn about growing older, raising kids, and reckoning with death. From Katie, a belligerent Chinese toddler, to Ricky Schulz, a goodhearted libertarian countryfolk, to Grant Kelly, our depressed, neurotic, and ultimately heroic protagonist, these electric characters brim with soul and wit. Their lives twist and turn with each chapter, begging you to keep reading into the small hours of the morning. Ever ...more
Patricia (Pat)
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grant Kelly remembers. He was a rock star. He had a band of his own, STEREOBLIND. He even has the aches in his thighs from when he jumped off the speaker cabinets during his concerts. Now he is broke and moving from an apartment in the Big Apple to a loaned farmhouse in the sticks. Rural St. Marie, in the Catskill Mountains, will be his new address for he and his wife, Beth. He is a stay- at -home dad, bringing up their 4 year old son, Evan. Financial woes follow them and new temptations await, ...more
Barbara Mansfield
These characters felt so familiar that I was surprised to be surprised by them. But, I was. I was also thrilled, and ultimately comforted by them. This is very Gen X tale, but one that will have wider appeal.
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review at:

Perfectly Broken by Robert Burke Warren is a debut novel about Beth and Grant, a couple who leaves New York City after 9/11 when Beth loses her job at a magazine. Grant, whose days as a rock star are behind him, has been staying home with their 4 year-old son Evan, growing increasingly numb, medicated and depressed. With no income to pay the rent on their East Village apartment, they reluctantly move upstate, where they move into a farmho
Certain people are cut out for certain things, while others are not.
People don't get to have all of their dreams fulfilled.
Stuff happens.
Lives change.
But even when we feel we've been broken, there is hope.
Sometimes, we move on. Sometimes we carry on.
If we can forgive each other our flaws & our mistakes, we can build from there.
The past doesn't need to define our future.

Grant Kelly had a tough childhood. He feels like he's a failure as a musician. He so afraid of not being a good father to h
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
Grant Kelly, the novel's narrator, is a stay at home dad, and a has-been would-be punk rocker. Post 9/11 he, his unemployed publicist wife and 4 year old son move from their lower east side apartment to the Catskills. Before long ghosts from the past seep into their lives in the form of betrayal, revenge and tragedy. The characters are strongly written in this compelling first novel and the story proceeds flawlessly. I didn't want to finish the book. Especially memorable is the character of the ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The "between the lines" of the author's bio make me wonder if he always wanted to be a rock star, got stuck at first base (hey, getting on base is still a worthy achievement) and decided to take up writing as a fallback option. And his first novel is about an also-ran rocker facing life after the end of the dream, so you might wonder if the high rating for this book comes primarily from the realism of first-hand observation rather than any actual writing skills.

If any of these thoughts threaten
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heard the author interviewed on Woodstock Radio and knew I had to read this book. It would be easy to dislike the characters due to bad decisions but they are so well written you can't help but to root for them. Relationships are messy, life is messy. This book is great.
Shannon L. Gonzalez
It’s a story of what is; what could be and what will never be
Perfectly Broken

By Robert Burke Warren

Unemployed musician Grant Kelly finds his life turning upside down. His landlord raised the rent of their New York City apartment forcing Grant, his wife, Beth, and their son, Evan, to take up the offer of their friend’s to live in the Shulz farmhouse. The catch- it is in rural St. Marie in the Catskills of New York. Forcing city dwellers to become country dwellers gives an entirely different adven
Gus Glen
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel slightly inhibited about writing a review for this book. Mainly because I know the author, we worked together for a few years back in the 90’s and, despite the Atlantic being in the way, we’ve managed to stay in touch via the wonder that is Facebook. He’s a fine writer and I have enjoyed many of his articles and reviews.

I do like to encourage my friends and acquaintances in their artistic endeavours, from musicians doing local ‘songwriters nights’ to struggling actors doing ‘profit-share’
Lori L (She Treads Softly)

Perfectly Broken by Robert Burke Warren is a highly recommended novel about dealing with marriage, parenting, friendships, uncertain futures and devastating secrets.

Grant Kelly is currently a stay-at-home dad who used to be in a successful rock band. Now he cares for 4 year old Evan while his wife, Beth supports them. They are struggling, though, and deep in debt. When Beth loses her job, they have to accept the offer from their friends, Trip and Christa, and they leave NYC to move into an old f
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was originally posted on [] cooldadgif

I was unsure how I was going to rate Perfectly Broken. I loved the first half, so emotional and full of true characters. Then something happened. Something that is usually a full stop for me liking a book, movie, show, whatever. It is my thing and I just don't care for it. But, bugger all, the writing was just so good, I was sucked back in and really enjoyed the end of the book. Beth and Grant are a way cool couple living in New York City
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

When Grant Kelly was living the rock star life, he surely never saw this sort of future. Not only is he not on tour or making music any longer, he's a stay-at-home dad, his wife Beth the wage earner in the marriage.

No, this is not the life Grant thought he would have.

It is, though, most assuredly, a real life. He and Beth have a four-year-old son, Evan, and they live in a meager apartment in New York City. Their city, as they think of it. In 2003, though, New York is still reeling from
Ricki Treleaven
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The oxymoronic title Perfectly Broken is the first thing that intrigued me about this novel. The second is the main character Grant Kelly. Grant is a fantastic husband and father, yet he struggles with anxiety and self-doubt about his parenting skills. He suffered as a child at the hands of selfish, stoic parents, and clearly children are not resilient: Grant is proof of this fallacy (many of the main characters espouse to this lie as they quote this several times in the novel).

The story is told
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, for-review
Perfectly Broken is a great title for this book. Everyone in the book was broken in one way or another. The book focuses on Grant who is a former rocker, stay at home dad and uncertain about the future. His wife has lost her job and they have decided to move out of the city to try to get back on their feet. I was a little wary of this book. I wasn't sure if I would like the story. But in the end, I found that Grant's story relatable in some ways.

This book isn't exactly uplifting throughout most
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Perfectly Broken by Robert Burke Warren is a riveting novel of family, friendship, loss and ultimately, healing.

Years after quitting his band over creative differences, Grant's life has not exactly turned out as he expected. He's a mildly depressed (and slightly neurotic) stay at home dad whose friendship with fellow rocker Paul Fairchild reminds him of everything he never achieved. Forced to rely on the goodwill of longtime friends Trip and Christa Lamont after wife Beth loses her job,
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, fiction
I chose this book because I was told that if I liked Jonathan Tropper then I would like this book. That held true, although Robert Burke Warren definitely has his own voice and is not a Tropper copycat.

Perfectly Broken is an apt title for this book. Every character in it is broken in some way. Told in first person by Grant, it’s the story of a group of people who have been friends since the 90s. Some, like Grant’s friend Paul have made it big. Grant has not. He quit his band and tried for a sol
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In his wonderfully embracing debut novel, Robert Burke Warren leaps onto the literary terrain with an authentic story of life after rock & roll that proves without a doubt his command of language is equaled by his knowledge of the music world tilted to reality. To understand his protagonist Grant Kelly is to look rebirth and redemption straight in the eye and bet again on the love of family life. Grant's band Stereoblind may be in the rear view mirror, but the challenges ahead for this stay- ...more
Jay Phillippi
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a debut novel, from musician and writer Robert Burke Warren. And it's a stunner. The author creates excruciatingly real people in real life situations. Excellent story telling continues to carry you along until there are about 100 pages left. At that point Warren takes a 2x4 to the story and your expectations. Up to that point, "Perfectly Broken" has been a good book and a creditable first novel. From there to the end, he shows the chops of a really outstanding writer and story teller. T ...more
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. From the very start I felt like I knew these people- I could have hung out with them back in the city years ago when I lived there. The characters and the relationships developed and lived through experiences that I could feel taste and touch. I lived in Woodstock when Irene came through and brought the Wallkill River up out of her banks and into the streets and houses in the area. I could so relate to the flood in Mount Marie. Thank you for sharing your story and bringing us ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read! 1990s East Village rockers move with their toddler to upstate NY near some old friends. The ensuing antics, airing of dirty laundry and catastrophic aftermath are like that night in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? or The Ice Storm. Rollicking and juicy! I also like the way it examines the highs and lows of long-term relationships.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I galloped through this novel, a vivid window into a marriage, fatherhood, coming to terms with who we are, as opposed to who we wanted to be. The voice of Grant is unique but also someone to relate to in his humanness. The appeal and occasional natural peril of the Catskill Mountains were really fun to read - as I too am a city refugee . Great job. What's the next book ??
Interesting perspective on shift into another phase of adulthood.
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing writing. Beautiful story. If I were a better writer myself, I would write a review worthy of this book. Congratulations to Robert Burke Warren. This is a success well-earned.
Ginny Tata-Phillips
Excellent debut novel. Read more at when I review this for TLC Book Tours 3/21/16
Billie Raven
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unique and entirely engaging. Loved it.
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Robert Burke Warren is a writer, performer, and musician. His work has appeared in Salon, The Weeklings, Akashic Books, Texas Music, Brooklyn Parent, The Woodstock Times, longform, Vulture, Paste, The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, The Bitter Southerner, Chronogram, and the Da Capo anthology The Show I ‘ll Never Forget. He's ghost written for Gregg Allman and his liner notes appear on the award-win ...more