To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Pdf Summary
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Pdf is a big, brilliant, profoundly observed novel about the mysteries of modern life by National Book Award Finalist Joshua Ferris, one of the most exciting voices of his generation
Paul O’Rourke is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world, but doesn’t know how to live in it. He’s a Luddite addicted to his iPhone, a dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan devastated by their victories, and an atheist not quite willing to let go of God.
Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name. What begins as an outrageous violation of his privacy soon becomes something more soul-frightening: the possibility that the online “Paul” might be a better version of the real thing. As Paul’s quest to learn why his identity has been stolen deepens, he is forced to confront his troubled past and his uncertain future in a life disturbingly split between the real and the virtual.
At once laugh-out-loud funny about the absurdities of the modern world, and indelibly profound about the eternal questions of the meaning of life, love and truth, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is a deeply moving and constantly surprising tour de force.
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To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, Thought Provoking, and Brave
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 4, 2014
Joshua Ferris was a finalist for the National Book of the Year for his novel, THEN WE CAME TO AN END; he was also a finalist for the Man Booker Award for this effort, TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR.
Ferris is an extremely original writer. It takes a lot of guts to make your main character a dentist. We learn all about the frustrations of the profession. Dr. Paul O’Rourke is a Park Avenue dentist in New York City, but he gets his share of eccentrics. He shows one patient three cavities, but the man decides not to have them filled because they don’t hurt. The man religiously goes to the dentist twice a year, because you’re supposed to.
The fact that O’Rourke is a dentist is almost coincidental. This book is really about identity theft and atheism. O’Rourke is down on social networking, although his receptionist and head hygienist would like him to advertise his practice via Facebook etc. One day Betsy, his crackerjack hygienist, shows him his new Facebook page, congratulating him on coming out of the dark ages. Problem is it’s not him, although the page identifies him as the owner.
Okay, identity theft is a serious problem in our society, but that’s still not what this book is about. O’Rourke is a sad man. He had a serious relationship with his receptionist, Connie, who happened to be an Orthodox Jew, apparently in name only. Paul fell in love with her family, especially Uncle Stuart, a father figure. His own father committed suicide. But Connie wanted kids and Paul didn’t want that responsibility. About the only thing Paul has left, besides his practice, is his love for the Red Sox, but even that is hampered when they actually win the World Series in 2004, after an 86 year lapse. These days they’re more like the hated Yankees, adopting some of their methods, buying free agents etc. It’s more fun to pull for a bunch of loveable screw-ups.
Ferris pulls another switcheroo when whoever is harassing the doctor, begins posting weird comments in his name about an ancient religion that was massacred by the Israelites, the Ulms, whose main theology was “doubt” about the existence of God. Paul establishes an e-mail relationship with the man who’s impersonating him and he meets several other people who are supposedly descended from the Ulms. He becomes so absorbed in the Ulms that his practice begins to suffer. Eventually a woman comes to see him who gives him a detailed genealogy which seems to prove that he was indeed descended from the Ulms. And a antiquities expert finds a copy of their holy book, written in Yiddish.
At one point one of the characters claims atheists and agnostics are the most discriminated against group in America. But that’s not what this book is about; Paul O’Rourke, although he is an atheist, is a searcher, trying to find a place or group to belong to. In most respects we all are.
4.0 out of 5 stars another workplace wonder from Ferris
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 24, 2015
This novel makes dentistry seem like the grossest profession on the planet, and maybe it is. Paul O’Rourke’s practice has no internet presence, until some unknown entity creates a fairly comprehensive website for him. The only problem is that Paul did not instigate the creation of this site and certainly does not approve of it. This is not a book of action so much as it is a book of conversation and contemplation, as O’Rourke makes it his mission to uncover the identity and the purpose of the organization or person who has become his unwelcome avatar. Before you know it, someone is tweeting on Paul’s behalf and even emailing him. The novelty of this unlikely identity theft (who would go to this much trouble?) begins to wear thin as Paul become increasingly obsessed with unearthing the culprit. Paul soon discovers that his heritage is not Irish, as his last name would imply, but in fact he is possibly one of the few descendants of a persecuted ethnic group, the Ulms, whose “religion” was to doubt the existence of God. I liked this novel, but I became a little weary of the history of the Ulms, and I think his first novel, Then We Came to the End, is superior. Paul is basically a loner, with no life beyond work and watching the Red Sox on TV, so that this unwanted internet activity at least gives him something else to do. The women in his office—his assistant Abby, his hygienist Mrs. Convoy, and his office manager and former girlfriend Connie—make for a colorful trio, alongside Paul’s dreary personality. The book is laugh-out-loud funny from time to time, especially in the beginning, but the author’s descriptions of the insides of people’s mouths are often yucky. Paul has some pretty quirky patients, but my favorite is the guy who declines to have his cavities filled because he just doesn’t feel like he needs to. There’s also the very successful guy, who comes in at the behest of his boss and coworkers, because his dental health has become so repugnant that his breath has become offensive. Eeew.
5.0 out of 5 stars Mental Floss
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 13, 2014
The third novel by Joshua Ferris delves into the world of a man who excels at his profession, dentistry, while struggling to make it as a human. The protagonist’s internal strife is forced into the public eye when an imposter begins to create an elaborate online persona on his behalf, and not to his liking. The “real” Dr. O’Rourke must defend his identity against his online doppelganger – but is his identity worth defending? Is his identity even what he thought it was in the first place?
Dr. O’Rourke, while languishing in his own exclusion, unwittingly explores the concepts of community and beloging through many different channels: the online world, faith communities, sports fandom, business relationships, ancestry, and even the simple act of losing oneself in a shopping mall. Through this character, we are invited to consider our own identities – what we project and what we protect.
Ferris has once again brought a quirky individual to life in order to explore the “normal” around him. Well worth the read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Like so many novels
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 10, 2018
I was going to award three stars for at least a hundred pages of intricate, deeply researched, esoteric detail that did not help with the story one iota but my admiration for writers stops me! Like so many novels, I find, started in a manic, amusing, intelligent way with a comical ‘Whodunnit?’ ie who is impersonating the frazzled, successful New York dentist online and posting philosophical/religious material in his name. I looked forward to finding out and enjoyed the first half. But, the second half of this long book is an exhausting list of Biblical and ancient tribes’ shennanigans which, in some opaque way (to me) relates to the dentist’s ancestry and destiny. The weight of heavy duty detail is mind-boggling and the book I was reading swelled to about four times its size because I kept falling asleep in the bath with it! (Bought a new one on this site to replace it at the library) The protaganst is, for me, likeable in his Victor Meldrew ness ie railing at the world in a confused but angry manner often because it is senseless in its unfairness to him and others (who have awful teeth for example!). Astonishing depth of research it seems to write this but it could have had at least 50 pages edited out and be better. I nearly gave up when it got its last soaking in the bath because print from the other side of he page could be seen on the side being read plus it was soggy and pages stuck together. BUT I DID IT! Vaguely satisfying ending. I have read for around 50 years and only come across two books that I could not read due to boredom or something but this is one of two books lately that started very interestingly but did not sustain momentum ie ‘unravelled’. Very intelligent and amusing. A marathon.
About Joshua Ferris Author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour Pdf Book
Oshua Ferris is the Author of Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour pdf as well as a story collection, The Dinner Party. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize. He was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” writers in 2010. He lives in Hudson, New York with his wife and son.
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
Publisher : Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (May 13, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 337 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316033979
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316033978
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.25 x 9.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,549,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #11,351 in Psychological Fiction (Books)
- #15,236 in Humorous Fiction
- #70,112 in Literary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 3.5 out of 5 stars 548 ratings
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