Quick Review: He’s an opinionated dentist with almost no online footprint until someone else did it for him. Funny, witty, insightful, and highly originally.
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is Joshua Ferris’ third novel, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. I didn’t know a thing about the book when I picked it up, but I knew it was different than what I have been reading lately.
Paul O’Rourke is a dentist in New York City. He’s an average man. He’s addicted to his phone, but abhors people attached to theirs. He smokes, is a fan of the Red Sox, an atheist, has an obsession with religion, falls into obsession with the women he dates, and is alone. Paul O’Rourke has many opinions and a thriving internal dialogue. He keeps his online presence to a minimum hiding behind a different name; his dental practice doesn’t even have a website. He continues leading his rather mundane life until someone hijacks his identity online, which he deems wildly violating. What begins in anger launches him into a full inspection deep into his soul.
Ferris has an incredibly unique style. The majority of the novel is not action based but thought based. He has an uncanny ability to bring the reader into the mind of someone who, otherwise, would be difficult to relate to. He makes the mundane wildly funny. Paragraphs can go on for a brief sentence or several pages.
The novel could have been a complete disaster, but Ferris is very successful. The book is captivating.
Total side note… While reading this book, I was waking up at an age appropriate time. Coincidence? Most definitely.
“To me, a church is simply a place to be bored in.”
“”How could you be a good person and not believe in God?””
Title: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
Author: Joshua Ferris
Publisher: Back Bay Books (Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group)