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Lapham Rising

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  305 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Harry March's troubles begin when Lapham, a self-aggrandizing, ostentatious multimillionaire, commences construction of a 36,000-square-foot house (complete with a cutting-edge air-conditioner that cools his entire eight-acre property) directly across the creek from Harry's island home in Quogue, in the Hamptons. Harry, an island himself, is something of a wreck and half-n ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Ecco (first published February 1st 2006)
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Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dawgs
Picked up on a whim more or less, and glad of it. This is the first novel by Roger Rosenblatt, a guy familiar to me as an essayist on public radio. I opened and skimmed it and could see that it would be a smooth read, and I liked the premise as gleaned from the jacket. The male competitive element blended with acid comedy and local color seemed to remind me of another book I just finished, Thomas McGuane's The Sporting Club.
The title, Lapham Rising is a play on the famous
Book Concierge

Harry March has lived on Quogue, Long Island for his entire life. In fact, generations of Marches have inhabited the house on the small Tennessee-shaped island in the middle of the creek. In late middle-age, he’s become quite the misanthrope, however, and somewhat of a hermit. His children are grown and gone, his wife left him, and now he’s alone with his Westie, Hector and the natural surroundings he enjoys. At least until multi-millionaire Lapham begins construction of his mega mansion ju
John W
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you like cynicism and sarcasm then read this book. Going through a rough time in my life, I enjoyed escaping reality by reading this book as it made me literally laugh out loud. Favorite part of the book that made me laugh the most was when Harry got to tour the Lapham house and was taken to the room where Lapham's guests, whether they be creationists or evolutionists, would feel at home with the rendition of Michelangelo's painting of God reaching out to not David but a pollywog! He wanted t ...more
This is a cleverly written, satirical look at the obsessive ostentation of Life in the Hamptons and IMHO, addresses the crux of what ails America. The funniest character is Hector, the talking West Highland Terrier, unapologetic capitalist and evangelical proselityzer. So it is really addressing two problems which are the crux of what ails us. Parts had me laughing out loud! Good quick read.
Susan Rothenberg
May 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Wanting a light book after a serious one, and liking Roger Rosenblatt's writing, I chose this one, which though funny in parts, didn't do it for me.
Kim Maltempo
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book. I picked it up at the library used book sale. But, I was pleasantly surprised. It's a fun book to read, all told from the perspective of Harry, the main character, who is definitely a character, in every sense of the word. I would love to go to a dinner party with Harry, knowing that he would most likely make an utter fool of himself, piss off everyone in attendance, and quite possibly cause some sort of harm and destruction. If you'd like t ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I heard about this book because it is about to be made into a movie. I was curious so I got it from the library. I enjoyed it. Am looking forward to the movie. It is worth the read.
Linda C
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pseudonymous d'Elder
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Mad As a March Harry

Harry March is quite mad. He was once a brilliant, best-selling writer, but now he does little but watch Murder She Wrote reruns all day and hold two-way conversations with his dog Hector. Harry is a recluse who lives in a small house on a tiny secluded island in a river in the Hamptons, avoids other people whenever possible, and keeps his life's savings piled on the floor of a spare room, not knowing how much is there and seldom spending any of it. Harry was happy with his l
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very clever, funny and outrageous read. Our book club read it and laughed all through our discussion. One example: Harry is a hermit who lives on a small island in the Hamptons. He has named his island Noman. He waits for people to ask him where he lives and he replies Noman. Then he wants them to ask "Where is Noman?" and he can reply "No(man) is an island." When a young girl finally asks the right questions and Harry gives her the answers she doesn't get the joke. He is sorely disapp ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I feel terrible that I am giving this book one star, as I think Rosenblatt's Making Toast is one of the best books I've read in recent years, but I could not get into this novel at ALL. I read a hundred pages and just couldn't force myself to go any further. There is nothing wrong with the writing, per se, but the entire plot is irritating, the protagonist is rather unlikable (even to his dog), and I couldn't bring myself to care what happened next enough to pick it up yet again to continue it. ...more
Ginger Price

Harry March was formerly a writer but had not written in years. He lives on a small island in The Hamptons with his Terrier dog who talks to him. He becomes obsessed with the large mansion that is being built on the other side of the bay. Harry watches it being built and the absurdity of the opulence encompasses all of his thoughts. Harry is himself extremely eccentric and he tells his story with much flair. I'm glad I was reading this on my Kindle because his vocabulary was quite extensive a
Apr 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not find this book funny however I did like the afterward when the author interviewed Hector, the dog. I probably missed a lot of the "humor" as I know nothing about Long Island and it's hierarchy. I liked the conversations with the dog. And it was short. Oh I forgot the best part (other than the dog) - this quote close to the end when everything has literally blown up... "Somewhere, I am sure, a calm, quiet place awaits me where I may do something worthwhile again. Another island, perhaps ...more
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
This was loaned to me by a friend who thought I'd enjoy it, and I sort of did. Problem was I didn't much care for the main character, who is a crotchety old writer who lives on an island and despises his neighbors. His talking Westie (who's also a born-again evangelical) is a hoot, but I don't think he makes this book worth recomending. If he'd been the main character, that would have been a lot more fun.
Nov 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I'd call this novel cute, a term I'm quite sure would send Harry March, the protagonist of Lapham Rising, into a curmudgeonly (and funny) rant. Rosenblatt is ruthlessly satirical about modern culture--or what passes for it--and manages to make his arguments funny and pithy at the same time. I don't know that I'd advise anyone to run out and buy it, but its not a bad book to spend a couple of days with.
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book. VERY funny. Roger Rosenblatt was my creative writing professor at Southampton College and I can see his sarcasm and dry wit in every word. A very satirical novel about the ridiculous extravagance of the Hamptons, the people who live there year round versus the people who have their third mansion there for the summer. Just to give you an idea of the hilarity, the dog of the main character is a born-again Christian.
Elly Sands
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
C'mon! A smart ass evangelical dog that talks! A crazy curmudgeon who is really pissed and obsessive over a new neighbor's construction of a mammoth house. Does this make for a good story? You bet it does when it comes from the pen of Roger Rosenblatt! A worthy satire that makes you laugh out loud. A truly fun read with an important underlying message.
Aug 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Story of a dried up writer living in the Hamptons who attempts to sabotage his annoyingly affluent and ostentatious neighbor.

Not funny and not interesting, no compelling characters (the talking dog is the best, but even that is riddled w/ holes). Goes to show that who you know can be everything to getting published. Read early Hiaasen instead for some mind candy.
Megan Breaux
Jul 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really hate to give books bad reviews, but I just could not get in to this book. When I picked it up in the store, I read the first few lines and laughed, but I need dialoge at some point and this book has hardly any. And the main character is absurd. The book has good intentions, but it just wasn't for me.
Dec 31, 2008 added it
Recommended to Patricia by: Library blog
Shelves: didn-t-read
There's good quirky (Wonderboys) and then there is a bit too quirky. This fits into the latter category. The sculpture of the ex-wife sitting at the kitchen table; the bazillionare's mansion being built across the street with a device that air conditions the entire property; the skinny-dipping Realtor; the dog that actually speaks? It was just too much.
Mar 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a good sense of humor
Shelves: glad-i-read
It's rare to find such a solid, entertaining satire in the 21st century, especially for a former non-fiction writer! If I didn't respect and admire Rosenblatt so much, I'd be pissed he's crossing genres so successfully! But this book is great, especially if you're familiar with the geography or social politics of the Hamptons. GREAT book.
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: quirky-humor
A satiric novel about a curmudgeonly author who objects to the large houses and obnoxious people taking over the Hamptons. A quick read. The narrator has a rapid-fire delivery and a talking dog, both of which I enjoyed.
Jason McKinney
Mar 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Luddites
Recommended to Jason by: Myself
An anti-pretentious book that goes so far in its campaign that it ends up becoming a bit pretentious itself, this short novel about a man railing against modern society and its vapidity is still quite entertaining.
Jake Ratliff
Clever, funny. Good commentary on what wealth is in America. The narrator's eccentricity is established early and leads to many humorous moments. The ending may or may not satisfy, but I thought it worked well enough.
Apr 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm...I feel like I SHOULD have enjoyed this book but for some reason I found it a chore to even finish it. I just didn't seem to care about what was going on, and though I was looking forward to a hilarious read, I didn't laugh out loud once! Disappointed but maybe it was just me!
Oct 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is chock full of sarcasm, so I appreciated every page. This is a perfect book for a book club as you will want to discuss it with someone when you're finished. One of my favorite books of last year. You will love it or hate it. It's one of those...
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
My friend recommended this book to me and I really did get quite a kick out of it. The author uses humor to "kid on the square".....ridiculous situations to get across a serious comment on American culture. Quick read with some laugh out loud moments.
Gina Whitlock
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fun book if you can get beyond a crotchety old man who hates all his neighbors, talks constantly to his dog who he believes is a born-again Christian, this book's for you. I did enjoy it. Funny and sad commentary on wealth in America.
Nose Knows
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
My good friend and fellow gr member Tim (he reads, he's a reader, he's reading) sent this book to me. I enjoyed it. Thanks Tim !
Jul 01, 2007 rated it liked it
I was hoping for more.
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Roger Rosenblatt’s essays for Time magazine and PBS have won two George Polk Awards, a Peabody, and an Emmy. He is the author of six Off-Broadway plays and 13 books, including the national bestseller Rules for Aging and Children of War, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written two satirical novels, Beet and Lapham Risi ...more
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“I'm going to kill Fairy Tale Dora and my little dog too.” 1 likes
“Somewhere, I am sure, a calm, quiet place awaits me where I may do something worthwhile again. Another island, perhaps. Or a little cottage near the sea, far removed from developers, removed from Lapham. And, there is always Vermont. For everyone, in every time of despairing optimism, there is always Vermont.” 0 likes
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