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Joe College

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  4,012 Ratings  ·  286 Reviews
For many college students, spring break means fun and sun in Florida. For Danny, a Yale junior, it means two weeks behind the wheel of the Roach Coach, his father's lunch truck, which plies the parking lots of office parks in central New Jersey.

But Danny can use the time behind the coffee urn to try and make sense of a love life that's gotten a little complicated. There's
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 5th 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2000)
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Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess it takes considerable je ne sais quoi to read a writer’s work & enjoy it so much that simultaneously you want to read his other works, in my case “Little Children” (“Election” still being on my queue). Perrotta wrote that one after “Joe College” & it is as serious as this one is fun. Perrotta, I am sorry, surpasses Nick Hornby (his mediocre “Slam” is similar to this in the way our main man must conserve his manhood as soon as his biological function to create new life has been br ...more
Brian Levinson
Oh man, I wanted to like this book so much. I really did. As a working-class kid from North Jersey (OK, Suffern, NY, but that town is essentially in Jersey -- check Google Maps if you don't believe me) who attended Yale as a financial-aid student, I thought it would really speak to me. And it did -- for the first half. Perrotta brings a fresh, outsider's perspective to life at Yale, and his jokes at the expense of rich kids and Whiffenpoofs often had me laughing out loud.

However, the second half
Jul 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Perrotta does a really good job of making you like Danny, the main character. He's got a ton of flaws, and he makes a lot of mistakes, but you know deep down he's a good person. He knows when he's doing something wrong, but he's a young guy in college and does it anyway. I think most dudes can relate.

I've heard people say they don't like how he doesn't ever have to take responsibility for his actions. Fuck that. Smart kids get away with stuff. Some people are lucky and that's the way shit happen
Jul 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sweet on Perrotta, so of course I loved it! Danny, the main character, is kind of a putz--but a loveable putz. Danny is obviously telling this story to the reader from some point in the future, and he could have made himself look better, but doesn't. Danny is unflinchingly honest about his selfish thoughts and actions, experienced during the all-consuming self-centeredness that is young adulthood/college. Perrotta does a great job of portraying the conflict between Danny's working class guil ...more
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Perrotta fans; men and women
Danny is a lucky guy; however, he is also a big weenie who has the gumption to fight the mobsters of his town, but he refuses to face his own demons. That is okay, though, because he does not have to face his demons. He does not have to own up to using his hometown girlfriend Cindy, he does not have to worry about his father's "Roach Coach" that is damaged, and he does not fight for his new interest Polly. Danny is just a static guy who observes life but never reaches deep in his soul to live th ...more
Allan Hough
Dec 30, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book sucks. It's just good enough to keep you reading through to the end just to see what happens, but in my book, a book like that is worse that a fully bad book. At least with a fully bad book you can just put it down right away and forget about it.
Elizabeth K.
This is the same guy that wrote Little Children, and Election, which is probably more famous as a movie. Anyway, according to the author this novel is based on his own college experiences in the early 80s. We've got a kid from a working class background in New Jersey who is at Yale on a scholarship, casually dating a girl from back home whom he doesn't really want to be dating, and hopelessly pursing another classmate who really isn't available. Also, a cast of wacky roommates. I had mixed respo ...more
Pat Herndon
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Preface: I love Tom Perrotta and have already read Little Children, The Abstinence Teacher and The Left Overs. high school boyfriend left me behind as I attended junior college so he could attend Yale. Yikes. Such a ring of familiarity to the plot (but I was NOT pregnant!). The years even match very closely. I am sure my old boyfriend's time at Yale over-lapped with Perrotta's. Thus, I was primed to enjoy this book. I probably would have given this book a 5-star rating, but the main ch ...more
Elizabeth Hesseltine
About 7 months in the life of a college student: he goes to parties, works in the school cafeteria, gets laid, and drinks beer. Not much changed between the first chapter and the last.
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good snap shot of life in college... and life in the 80's. Excellent smooth and quick writing style, but nothing epic.
Having penned Election, a great novel of high-school manners, Tom Perrotta gives us Joe College, a great novel about college mores. In 1982, one Yale junior struggles with George Eliot, dorm blanket bingo, dining-hall dish-line duty, a massive crush on a girl in love with his favorite prof, daily cards and calls from a girl back home in New Jersey, and a lush prof
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Tom Perrotta is the bestselling author of nine works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into Oscar-nominated films, and The Leftovers, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning HBO series. His other books include Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, Joe College, The Abstinence Teacher, Nine Inches, and his newest, Mrs. Fletcher. His work h ...more
More about Tom Perrotta...
“He made me think of all the books I hadn't read, and all the ones I'd read but hadn't fully understood.” 1705 likes
“From a distance, it makes perfect sense that the people and the things you think will save you are the very ones that have the power to disappoint you most bitterly, but up close it can hit you as a bewildering surprise.” 94 likes
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