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Wake Up, Sir!: A Novel

by

Wake Up, Sir!: A Novel Cover

 

Staff Pick

Wake Up, Sir! is a brilliant work of fiction that just happens to be laugh-out-loud funny, to boot (though it also has a stirring underlying sadness). Jonathan Ames is a daring and deeply honest writer whose work abounds with tender and heartbreaking observations about the modern (or is it post-modern?) human condition.
Recommended by Nichole, Powells.com

This is one of the funniest novels I have ever read. The protagonist wins a lawsuit after breaking both elbows when he slipped on ice, and hires a butler named Jeeves. The novel starts with him deciding he needs to clean up and strike out on his own after living for a time with his aunt and uncle. The events that ensue are hilarious. This book does involve some sex and drugs, so if you're looking for a "clean" funny novel, this one might not be the best.
Recommended by Genevieve, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alan Blair, the hero of Wake Up, Sir!, is a young, loony writer with numerous problems of the mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and physical variety. He's very good at problems. But luckily for Alan, he has a personal valet named Jeeves, who does his best to sort things out for his troubled master. And Alan does find trouble wherever he goes. He embarks on a perilous and bizarre road journey, his destination being an artists colony in Saratoga Springs. There Alan encounters a gorgeous femme fatale who is in possession of the most spectacular nose in the history of noses. Such a nose can only lead to a wild disaster for someone like Alan, and Jeeves tries to help him, but...

Well, read the book and find out!

Review:

"Ames's (My Less Than Secret Life) latest over-the-top offering concerns a week in the life of Alan Blair, a 30-something novelist and booze hound coasting along thanks to a fall on the ice that netted him a hefty lawsuit payout. Said quarter-million means that Alan can avoid employment and hire a valet named Jeeves, who inhabits the spare bedroom in the modest Montclair, N.J., home of Alan's uncle and aunt ('the old flesh and blood'). After Alan refuses to go back to rehab, Aunt Florence and Uncle Irwin have no choice but to oust him, so Alan and Jeeves hit the road, heading for an artists' colony in Saratoga Springs where 'careworn' Alan might finish his second novel, a roman à clef based on an elderly playwright he'd roomed with in Manhattan years ago. Varied ruminations on human sexuality (mostly Alan's obsession with homosexuality) and the nature of men's room wall graffiti follow. One night, looking for a good time, a very drunk Alan calls a number scribbled in a gas station phone book and gets mightily punished for it, but he arrives at the Rose Colony in one piece. Surrounded by the nutty residents at the picturesque retreat ("'It's glorious, Jeeves,' I said. 'Like Brideshead.'") Alan tries to write, but excessive drinking and passionate lovemaking to sculptor Ava steals his time away. An accusation of theft and a bout with pubic lice complicate matters, but good-natured Jeeves escapes unscathed with his reliable retort: 'Very good, sir.' Ames's tale zips along, brimming with comedy and wild details, proving him to be a winning storyteller and a consummate, albeit exceedingly eccentric, entertainer. Agent, Rosalie Siegel. (July) Forecast: There's a whole host of folks out there wishing P.G. Wodehouse had written a few more Jeeves novels; no doubt they'll snap up this zany homage. With a nine-city tour and an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (Ames is a regular guest) scheduled for the month of publication, this book should be Ames's biggest yet." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Ames's inventive romp follows its hero into very un-Wodehousian territory....But Jeeves remains faithful throughout; no amount of bad behavior can wring from him a sterner rejoinder than 'Very strange, sir.'" The New Yorker

Review:

"Ames's fourth novel strings readers along in a madcap adventure complete with a lively and varied set of characters. There is something for everyone here." Library Journal

Review:

"A demented picaresque....Pungent and hilarious, if completely off the deep end: Ames is like a perpetual undergraduate jokester, whom you either love or hate on first sight." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Ames's book pits the self-lacerating gush of alcoholism-in-transition against the cool detachment of the English hospitality industry; Wake Up, Sir! is a Wodehouse novel for the recovery era." Henry Alford, The New York Times

Review:

"Wake Up, Sir! has the broad outline of a classic Wodehouse farce....But Wodehousean as Ames' plot and language may be, the book has a dark side that its model never approached." Polly Shulman, Newsday

Review:

"Ames can produce a pretty good facsimile of Wodehousean badinage, some of it sharpened to a 21st-century edge. You'll find plenty more such quipping in the book, along with graphic sex, ludicrous mishaps and even a few literary judgments." Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"The story line is really a vehicle for Ames' hilarious riffs, spasms of universal recognition, moments of psychological immolation and numerous flights of disastrous fancy." D.K. Row, The Oregonian (Portland, OR)

Review:

"Wake Up, Sir's pair head to a writers' colony, survive a few funny binges, and weather Alan's discovery of his nose fetish, but their antics amount to secondhand cleverness, dandruff on the shoulders of giants. (Grade: B-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Very funny and altogether elegant, this tale of an endearing drunk and his unflappable manservant is a love story of sorts, but with an American twist. Here, a valet is just a friend one pays." Sarah Vowell, author of The Partly Cloudy Patriot

Review:

"Wake Up, Sir! takes on the big themes — the homosexual question, the Jewish question, the great American novel question, and more — in this witty, wild romp about a somewhat disturbed young writer. Comic and incredibly accurate: if anyone ever wanted to know what a writer has to endure in order to produce, Jonathan Ames has made it perfectly clear. Wake Up, Sir! is bound to delight." A. M. Homes, author of Music for Torching

Review:

"A hilarious journey into one man's labyrinthine neuroses, with day trips to compulsion and delusion. The perfect gift for anyone who has ever imagined having a manservant." Colson Whitehead, author of John Henry Days

Synopsis:

One of the most widely reviewed novels of the summer, generating volumes of off the bookpage coverage — the story of a young alcoholic writer and his personal valet, a hilarious homage to the Bertie and Jeeves novels of P.G. Wodehouse — now available in paperback.

Synopsis:

From the author of the much-loved The Extra Man comes a witty, poignant, and subversive homage to the Jeeves novels of P.G. Wodehouse — the story of a young alcoholic writer and his personal valet, who happens to be named Jeeves.

Synopsis:

Alan Blair, the hero of Wake Up, Sir!, is a young, loony writer with numerous problems of the mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and physical variety. He's very good at problems. But luckily for Alan, he has a personal valet named Jeeves, who does his best to sort things out for his troubled master. And Alan does find trouble wherever he goes. He embarks on a perilous and bizarre road journey, his destination being an artists colony in Saratoga Springs. There Alan encounters a gorgeous femme fatale who is in possession of the most spectacular nose in the history of noses. Such a nose can only lead to a wild disaster for someone like Alan, and Jeeves tries to help him, but...

Well, read the book and find out!

About the Author

Jonathan Ames is the author of I Pass Like Night, The Extra Man, What's Not to Love?, and My Less Than Secret Life. He is the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship for prose fiction, but as a boxer he is a loser — he had a singularly unsuccessful amateur career (0-1), fighting as "The Herring Wonder." Mr. Ames contributes frequently to Public Radio International's The Next Big Thing and has been on Late Show with David Letterman more than once, which is nothing to sneeze at. Feel free to visit, especially since it's free, his mildly amusing website: www.jonathanames.com.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743449076
Author:
Ames, Jonathan
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Authors
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Humor : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
July 5, 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in 10.01 oz

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Wake Up, Sir!: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743449076 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Wake Up, Sir! is a brilliant work of fiction that just happens to be laugh-out-loud funny, to boot (though it also has a stirring underlying sadness). Jonathan Ames is a daring and deeply honest writer whose work abounds with tender and heartbreaking observations about the modern (or is it post-modern?) human condition.

"Staff Pick" by ,

This is one of the funniest novels I have ever read. The protagonist wins a lawsuit after breaking both elbows when he slipped on ice, and hires a butler named Jeeves. The novel starts with him deciding he needs to clean up and strike out on his own after living for a time with his aunt and uncle. The events that ensue are hilarious. This book does involve some sex and drugs, so if you're looking for a "clean" funny novel, this one might not be the best.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Ames's (My Less Than Secret Life) latest over-the-top offering concerns a week in the life of Alan Blair, a 30-something novelist and booze hound coasting along thanks to a fall on the ice that netted him a hefty lawsuit payout. Said quarter-million means that Alan can avoid employment and hire a valet named Jeeves, who inhabits the spare bedroom in the modest Montclair, N.J., home of Alan's uncle and aunt ('the old flesh and blood'). After Alan refuses to go back to rehab, Aunt Florence and Uncle Irwin have no choice but to oust him, so Alan and Jeeves hit the road, heading for an artists' colony in Saratoga Springs where 'careworn' Alan might finish his second novel, a roman à clef based on an elderly playwright he'd roomed with in Manhattan years ago. Varied ruminations on human sexuality (mostly Alan's obsession with homosexuality) and the nature of men's room wall graffiti follow. One night, looking for a good time, a very drunk Alan calls a number scribbled in a gas station phone book and gets mightily punished for it, but he arrives at the Rose Colony in one piece. Surrounded by the nutty residents at the picturesque retreat ("'It's glorious, Jeeves,' I said. 'Like Brideshead.'") Alan tries to write, but excessive drinking and passionate lovemaking to sculptor Ava steals his time away. An accusation of theft and a bout with pubic lice complicate matters, but good-natured Jeeves escapes unscathed with his reliable retort: 'Very good, sir.' Ames's tale zips along, brimming with comedy and wild details, proving him to be a winning storyteller and a consummate, albeit exceedingly eccentric, entertainer. Agent, Rosalie Siegel. (July) Forecast: There's a whole host of folks out there wishing P.G. Wodehouse had written a few more Jeeves novels; no doubt they'll snap up this zany homage. With a nine-city tour and an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (Ames is a regular guest) scheduled for the month of publication, this book should be Ames's biggest yet." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Ames's inventive romp follows its hero into very un-Wodehousian territory....But Jeeves remains faithful throughout; no amount of bad behavior can wring from him a sterner rejoinder than 'Very strange, sir.'"
"Review" by , "Ames's fourth novel strings readers along in a madcap adventure complete with a lively and varied set of characters. There is something for everyone here."
"Review" by , "A demented picaresque....Pungent and hilarious, if completely off the deep end: Ames is like a perpetual undergraduate jokester, whom you either love or hate on first sight."
"Review" by , "Ames's book pits the self-lacerating gush of alcoholism-in-transition against the cool detachment of the English hospitality industry; Wake Up, Sir! is a Wodehouse novel for the recovery era."
"Review" by , "Wake Up, Sir! has the broad outline of a classic Wodehouse farce....But Wodehousean as Ames' plot and language may be, the book has a dark side that its model never approached."
"Review" by , "Ames can produce a pretty good facsimile of Wodehousean badinage, some of it sharpened to a 21st-century edge. You'll find plenty more such quipping in the book, along with graphic sex, ludicrous mishaps and even a few literary judgments."
"Review" by , "The story line is really a vehicle for Ames' hilarious riffs, spasms of universal recognition, moments of psychological immolation and numerous flights of disastrous fancy."
"Review" by , "Wake Up, Sir's pair head to a writers' colony, survive a few funny binges, and weather Alan's discovery of his nose fetish, but their antics amount to secondhand cleverness, dandruff on the shoulders of giants. (Grade: B-)"
"Review" by , "Very funny and altogether elegant, this tale of an endearing drunk and his unflappable manservant is a love story of sorts, but with an American twist. Here, a valet is just a friend one pays."
"Review" by , "Wake Up, Sir! takes on the big themes — the homosexual question, the Jewish question, the great American novel question, and more — in this witty, wild romp about a somewhat disturbed young writer. Comic and incredibly accurate: if anyone ever wanted to know what a writer has to endure in order to produce, Jonathan Ames has made it perfectly clear. Wake Up, Sir! is bound to delight."
"Review" by , "A hilarious journey into one man's labyrinthine neuroses, with day trips to compulsion and delusion. The perfect gift for anyone who has ever imagined having a manservant."
"Synopsis" by , One of the most widely reviewed novels of the summer, generating volumes of off the bookpage coverage — the story of a young alcoholic writer and his personal valet, a hilarious homage to the Bertie and Jeeves novels of P.G. Wodehouse — now available in paperback.
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the much-loved The Extra Man comes a witty, poignant, and subversive homage to the Jeeves novels of P.G. Wodehouse — the story of a young alcoholic writer and his personal valet, who happens to be named Jeeves.
"Synopsis" by , Alan Blair, the hero of Wake Up, Sir!, is a young, loony writer with numerous problems of the mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and physical variety. He's very good at problems. But luckily for Alan, he has a personal valet named Jeeves, who does his best to sort things out for his troubled master. And Alan does find trouble wherever he goes. He embarks on a perilous and bizarre road journey, his destination being an artists colony in Saratoga Springs. There Alan encounters a gorgeous femme fatale who is in possession of the most spectacular nose in the history of noses. Such a nose can only lead to a wild disaster for someone like Alan, and Jeeves tries to help him, but...

Well, read the book and find out!

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