This Book Will Save your Life

This Book Will Save your Life

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
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Penguin Putnam
From the author of Music for Torching-an uplifting and apocalyptic tale set in Los Angeles about one man's efforts to bring himself back to life

Since her debut in 1989, A. M. Homes has been among the boldest and most original voices of her generation, acclaimed for the psychological accuracy and unnerving emotional intensity of her storytelling. Her keen ability to explore how extraordinary the ordinary can be is at the heart of her touching and funny new novel, her first in six years.

Richard Novak is a modern-day Everyman, a middle-aged divorcé trading stocks out of his home. He has done such a good job getting his life under control that he needs no one- except his trainer, nutritionist, and housekeeper. He is functionally dead and doesn't even notice until two incidents-an attack of intense pain that lands him in the emergency room, and the discovery of an expanding sinkhole outside his house-conspire to hurl him back into the world. On his way home from the hospital, Richard forms the first of many new relationships: He meets Anhil, the doughnut shop owner, an immigrant who dreams big. He finds a weeping housewife in the produce section of the supermarket, helps save a horse that has fallen into the sinkhole, daringly rescues a woman from the trunk of her kidnapper's car, and, after the sinkhole claims his house and he has to relocate to a Malibu rental, he befriends a reluctant counterculture icon. In the end, Richard is also brought back in closer touch with his family-his aging parents, his brilliant brother, the beloved ex-wife whom he still desires, and finally, before the story's breathtaking finale, with his estranged son Ben.

The promised land of Los Angeles-a surreal city of earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides, and feral Chihuahuas-is also very much a character in This Book Will Save Your Life. A vivid, revealing novel about compassion, transformation, and what can happen if you are willing to lose yourself and open up to the world around you, it should significantly broaden Homes's already substantial audience.

Baker & Taylor
Disconnected from the outside world until a health scare and a sink hole in his yard force him to forge new relationships, middle-aged everyman Richard Novak finds his life changed by a doughnut shop owner, a kidnapped woman, a counterculture icon, and others. 40,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Richard Novak is a modern-day Everyman, a middle-aged divorce trading stocks out of his home in the surreal promised land of Los Angeles. Having done such a good job getting his life under control, he now needs no one - except his trainer, nutritionist, and housekeeper. He is functionally dead and doesn't even notice until two incidents - an attack of intense pain that lands him in the emergency room and the discovery of an expanding sinkhole outside his house - conspire to hurl him back into the world.
On his way home from the hospital, Richard forms the first of many new relationships: He meets the owner of a doughnut shop, an immigrant who dreams big. He adopts a weeping housewife he finds in the produce section of the supermarket, and later befriends a reluctant '60s counterculture icon. Simultaneously Richard is brought back in closer touch with his family - his aging parents, his brilliant brother, the beloved ex-wife whom he still desires, and finally, before the story's finale, his estranged son, Ben.

Baker
& Taylor

Richard Novak is a modern-day Everyman, a middle-aged divorcGe trading stocks out of his home. He has done such a good job getting his life under control that he needs no one--except his trainer, nutritionist, and housekeeper. He is functionally dead and doesn't even notice until two incidents--an attack of intense pain that lands him in the emergency room, and the discovery of an expanding sinkhole outside his house--conspire to hurl him back into the world. He forms the first of many new relationships on his way home from the hospital. In the end, Richard is also brought back in closer touch with his family, including his estranged son. The promised land of Los Angeles is also very much a character in this novel about compassion, transformation, and what can happen if you are willing to lose yourself and open up to the world around you.--From publisher description.Disconnected from the outside world until a health scare and a sink hole in his yard force him to forge new relationships, middle-aged Richard Novak finds his life changed by a doughnut shop owner, a kidnapped woman, and a counterculture icon.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2006
ISBN: 9780670034932
0670034932
Characteristics: 372 p. ; 24 cm

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WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

A lonely rich guy finds his life coming apart at the seams as a big sinkhole grows in the front yard of his Beverly Hills home. A panic attack propels him along on a new path –befriending a donut shop owner, an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom and a formerly famous writer, as well as trying to connect with his estranged son. This is a midlife crisis in the style of Steve Martin – funny-sad and pure theatre of the absurd.

d
DonnaKirby
Mar 21, 2011

Comment on Comments from theraag:
The dialogue is ackward because the characters are.

Otherwise this book is enjoyable and fun read if you are familiar with Los Angeles. This book is not a psycological guide or self-help book, which one might have guessed according to the title.

d
dumbghosts
Jan 19, 2011

Awkward dialog, one dimensional characters and overused ideas do severe injustice to the rather dramatic title that Homes has chosen for this book. If only Homes could write about the mid life crises of a disconnected LA businessman the same way she can write about a pedophile (see "The End of Alice", which is a disturbing and brilliant book).

n
nightowlgirl
Jul 16, 2006

I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time. It's very original...so you must have an open mind. The characters are likable and richly developed, the plot moves quickly along, and the author grabs your attention and keeps it. However, the book did make me somewhat fearful of living in Los Angeles! Highly Recommended.

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