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Lawn Boy

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,806 ratings  ·  332 reviews
For Mike Muñoz, a young Chicano living in Washington State, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work—and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew—he knows that he’s got to be the one to shake things up if he’s ever going to change his life. But how?

Jonathan Evis
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Algonquin Books
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Jeff Zach, is that the Paul Auster book? Thanks to all of you for replying.
I've read The Jungle and enjoyed it and started The Octopus but really couldn't…more
Zach, is that the Paul Auster book? Thanks to all of you for replying.
I've read The Jungle and enjoyed it and started The Octopus but really couldn't get into it. So I thought I'd try some of the others.(less)
Jonathan anyone can live on the port madison res (suqamish), though not everyone can own their house due to tribal land leases . . . rents are generally…moreanyone can live on the port madison res (suqamish), though not everyone can own their house due to tribal land leases . . . rents are generally cheaper than on bainbridge or poulsbo . . .(less)

Community Reviews

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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,806 ratings  ·  332 reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I saw something somewhere comparing Evison’s latest main character to Holden Caulfield, so I probably should have known immediately that would equate me hating it. In my defense, I held off reading it for eternity due to this fear and despite my unfortunate reaction to this selection, I remain 100% smitten with all things that are The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. But then I was just hankering for something of the Evison, Troppe
Jennifer Blankfein
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful coming of age story about a 22 year old Mexican man, told with wit and humor, Lawn Boy author Jonathan Evison brings to light the struggles based on race and socioeconomic class. Mike Muñoz mows lawns for a living. He has limited education, lives in a dilapidated home, has no money and although all he wants is the American Dream, he has so many strikes against him. Through trials and tribulations, Mike moves one step forward and two steps back as he makes choices to better his future ...more
Bud Smith
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A working class comic novel that doesn't play tough and put on a show. This novel is loveable and true. Lawn Boy is a look at what it means to start from nothing and simply have the aim of getting some points on the board rather than stay at zero in the weird game of life. Mike Munoz, the narrator, as well as all the characters in the novel (mostly his family and friends), are nobodies striving for success, but their success is something like 'not having to pick up dog shit for minimum wage' or ...more
Rachel Watkins
What Jonathan Evison has done in LAWN BOY is give us an unlikely hero in Mike Muñoz, who tells it like it is and just wants a fair shake. Only twenty-two but already beaten down, Mike knows what it means to go hungry, to share a house with too many people, to never get ahead. LAWN BOY covers issues like racism, immigrant rights, and homophobia in the same breath as dating misadventures, Mike's fledgling topiary carving artistry, and the pretentious writing MFA candidates produce. It is just this ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Maybe the biggest lesson I’ve learned, in art and in life, is that when the questions become too numerous and the considerations begin to feel a little overwhelming, you just have to look away for a minute and regather your vision for the thing, try to see it the way it originally came to you. Ask youself, how did I arrive here? What was I trying to accomplish?

Mike Munoz, landscaper extraordinaire, was born with few opportunities but stacks of responsibilities. His narration is funny, sarcasti
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mike Munoz is a skilled lawn crew member in Washington State; his edges are immaculate, his mowing perfect. What he doesn’t like about his job is that some clients expect him to do non-lawn services like picking up St. Bernard dog-poo in the rain. Not cool! He loses his temper and his job! And so, he is back looking for work—any work. It doesn’t help that his truck ‘dies’ and his mower gets stolen.
His mother works fifty-five hours a week to support herself, Mike and Mike’s older brother Nate. M
Aaron Cance
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Experience has taught me that the release of any new novel by Jonathan Evison is truly a cause for celebration, and this year’s Lawn Boy is no exception. His early opus, West of Here, aside, Evison’s books typically operate around a small constellation of vividly imagined characters, characters so artfully and intricately rendered, they remind you of someone you either know or are related to. Lawn Boy is no different in this respect, but is arguably Evison’s most politically charged book to date ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great novel from one of my favorites, Jonathan Evison. I've been fortunate to be hired as proofreader by Algonquin for a number of his books and I always look forward to the next one. This one will go back on my list to read again when the book comes out!
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm surprised by how much I loved this book! A fictional story about a landscaper wouldn't normally be one I'd be inclined to pick up, but I loved the realistic characters and truth of this novel.

Mike Muñoz comes from a complicated family-life, and he is constantly dealing with cultural discrimination, financial issues, and a difficult job market. He is trying to find the secret to living the American Dream as he landscapes for minimum wage, builds bobble-heads, or constantly gets turned away f
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Evison develops his story with appealing characters and clever and hilarious banter. A fabulous "feel-good" story with Evison's love of libraries and librarians front and center.

From the advance reading copy: After receiving readers' advisory help from Andrew at his local library, Mike thinks, "Once again, the library had my back. I left feeling a lot less desperate and scared than when I'd arrived. I clung to that security as I walked down the hill to town, clutching my five books." T
Kimberly Dawn
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mike was not born with a silver spoon and faces many obstacles in life, but the reader quickly sees Mike has determination and hope in abundance, more than enough to match each challenge and disappointment as he comes of age.
As he struggles to make his own way in life, he discovers his values as well as his self worth and proves to be the unlikely hero of his life. A hopeful, thought provoking, thoroughly enjoyable read.
Tyler Jones
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I know I shouldn't be reviewing books five minutes after I finish reading them. I know I should let that glow fade a bit - let some perspective and rationality seep back into my head...but goddamn! this book is beautiful!
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's the relationship that develops at the end that really struck the only false note for me. The relationship itself was actually sweet, but how it got there...just something about it didn't quite ring true. But that was just a single flaw in what is otherwise a small gem of a book.
Brady Jones
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Just... don’t.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lawn Boy introduces us to Mike Munoz, a half Mexican 23 year old who has no college experience and has only worked as a lawn boy. He lives with his mother, who struggles to make ends meet and along with his handicapped brother, Nate, who is more than a handful. Mike tries to find his place in the world amidst a cast of interesting and well developed side characters. I really like the voice that the main character has in this novel, as well as the perspective of being a lower class narrator. I re ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was such a big fan of, This is Your Life, Harriet Chance (you can see my interview on this one here), so I couldn't wait to get my hands on Evison's latest novel, Lawn BoyThis YA coming-of-age story is a great one to hand to a teen to help illustrate the struggles of our different social classes and also illustrate some of the hot button topics that are happening right now in politics.

In this story, Mike struggles to keep steady employment after a short stint working as a lawn boy for a land
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great quick read that had a direct story telling approach that I miss -- great message and insight into the struggles of lower classes in a brutal and cruel world.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc
Mike Munoz is a 22-year old Chicano living in the Seattle area with his overworked mother and severely autistic older brother. Mike is smart and driven. His goal is to build his own landscaping business---he's just not sure how. Surviving the day-to-day seems to be all he has time for anyway (and he's not doing a good job of that either...). It doesn't help that everything seems to be going wrong lately:  his brother's mood swings are out of control, his car won't start, and his landscaping equi ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mike Munoz is in his early 20s and the only thing he likes to do is cut lawns and do other landscaping duties, but these menial jobs barely pay the bills and when he is fired from his lawn service company, he has to really decide what to do with his life.
This is a fine story about a young Chicano man, trying to make his way, in Washington state, as he deals with poverty, a mentally-challenged brother and many shiftless, friends and family, who weave their way through his life.
It is funny and p
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book just made me happy. It’s as simple as that. Do you want to be happy? Read this book. I love Jonathan Evison’s humor and heart. I’ve always loved his quirky yet relatable characters and Mike Muñoz is a delight of a character. He made me both laugh out loud and well up with tears over the course of his struggle to find himself. And then there are all the little side characters: every one of them distinctly drawn and well developed. I felt like I knew them all. Once again, Jonathan Evison ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In Lawn Boy Jonathan Evison has given his readers another character to care about and remember. The story offers up Mike Munoz' quick-witted first person narrative as he navigates his world - his family, friends, employment or lack thereof, and questions of identity and where he fits in that world. Evison deftly but gently offers trenchant observations on class structure, wealth, social anxieties and finding ones true self. (And for us librarian readers - a sweet love letter to libraries:).
Dawn CM
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a book like this - Evison's writing was hilarious and effortless. I was snort laughing by the 25th page. A ridiculously honest book with crazy likeable characters. Who hasn't imagined life like this (shudder)? I'll re-read this one in years to come, and definitely want to read all of his other books. This was a random pluck from the library shelves and gah! What a great read.
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this book. Mike Muniz is a guy who just can't get a break. He's young but already has had a lot of responsibility with helping his mom with money and his older brother has mental challenges. He's a landscaper who loses it one day when his crappy boss asks him to pick up dog shit when that is definitely not in his job description. So he tries other jobs and meets up with an old elementary school friend who he shares a past with who is now a hot shot real ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
After abruptly quitting his job, twenty-something-year-old Mike Muñoz searches for employment, and the elusive American Dream.

A humorous coming-of-age novel with thoughtful socioeconomic commentary.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook for most of this one and loved the voices and the characters. Then I had to switch to the ePub in time to finish before my book club. I will be re-reading this when the actual hard copy of the book comes in to the library for me. And I look forward to it. This was fantastic, multi layered and the Great American Landscaping Novel.
Tracy Miller
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: listened
This bro-ey book didn't really speak to me.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this is my favorite of Jon's books so far. I am buying copies to give to libraries when it comes out. I flat out loved it. I was having a shitty week, and the story made me laugh out loud. The jokes were slapstick to subtle, and I know how it pained him to be subtle. You really should read it. It will lift your spirits. It's a great story and a great read. The story pulled me in and I put everything else aside. The book is transformative.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Lawn Boy is the captivating story of Mike Muñoz and his struggle to make a better life for himself than the one he's been dealt. He grew up poor, has very little prospects, and just can't seem to catch a break. I initially thought this book was only about a young, poor Mike trying to cross the social divide and better his life but it's so much more than that. We watch him struggle with his sexual identity, come to terms with his past, and find out who he is as a person without other people in hi ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mike is a landscaper, but his life is stuck in neutral. Will he ever be free to sculpt topiaries and write the great landscaping novel? With masterful style, Evison raises awareness under a cloak of humor. He touches on poverty, immigration, sexuality, and puppy mills, all to surprisingly hilarious effect. Laugh-out-loud funny, yet achingly real.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Evison always conjures a wild and wonderful cast of characters and Lawn Boy is no exception. This is a big hearted book about class and discovering who you are and how to grow up in the world.
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Jonathan Evison is the New York Times Bestselling author of All About Lulu, West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, and Lawn Boy.

In his teens, Evison was the founding member and frontman of the Seattle punk band March of Crimes, which included future members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

Born in San Jose, California, he now lives on an island in Wes
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“Friends,” Andrew says, the candlelight hitting his braces just so. “It’s true, we all rage. We all hate. We all fail. But . . .” And here, he raises a finger, pausing for dramatic effect, something he learned at his Toastmasters group. “That rage and contempt, that disappointment, that’s what makes us yearn so hard. Those deficits, they make us reach, they stretch us. They make us fight back when it matters.” 5 likes
“Maybe the biggest lesson I've learned, in art and in life, is that when the questions become too numerous and the considerations begin to feel a little overwhelming, you just have to look away for a minute and regather your vision for the thing, try to see it the way it originally came to you. Ask yourself, how did I arrive here? What was I trying to accomplish?” 2 likes
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