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Couch: A Novel

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Couch: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9781931520546
ISBN10: 1931520542
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 07:30 PM
In drought-stricken Portland, Oregon, a Robin Hood-esque water thief is caught on camera redistributing an illegal truckload of water to those in need. Nicknamed Maid Marian, Renee, a 20-something barista and eternal part-time college student, is an instant folk hero. She rides her swelling popularity and the public's disgust at how the city has abandoned its people, raises an army... and secedes a quarter of the city. Benjamin Parzybok's Sherwood Nation (Small Beer Press) is the story of the rise and fall of a micronation within a city. It is a love story, a war story, a grand social experiment; a treatise on hacking and remaking government, on freedom and necessity, on individualism and community.

Staff Pick

Are you looking for a page-turner that's humorous but substantive enough to remember and maybe even tell your friends about? Well, I wasn't when I came to read Couch — but I still found myself getting up in the morning and immediately continuing to follow Thom, Tree, and Erik on their quest while I waited for my first cup of coffee to brew! (And my bed doesn't even have a right-side!) So, if you think you can handle the slight suspension of disbelief that a couch odyssey naturally requires, I'll tell you what I've been telling everyone else: Go for it! Couch is magic.
Recommended by lizv, Powells.com

Three Portland, Oregon, slackers lose their apartment, their jobs, and everything they own except a bright orange couch. This is no ordinary couch, however; it seems to have a will of its own. Soon the roommates are hauling the couch where it wants to go. Who knew furniture had a destiny? Laugh-out-loud funny with a bittersweet ending.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this exuberant and hilarious debut reminiscent of The Life of Pi and Then We Came to the End, an episode of furniture moving gone awry becomes an impromptu quest of self-discovery, secret histories, and unexpected revelations.

Thom is a computer geek whose hacking of a certain Washington-based software giant has won him a little fame but few job prospects. Erik is a smalltime con man, a fast-talker who is never quite quick enough on his feet. Their roommate, Tree, is a confused clairvoyant whose dreams and prophecies may not be completely off base. After a freak accident floods their apartment, the three are evicted — but they have to take their couch with them. The real problem? The couch — huge and orange — won't let them put it down. Soon the three roommates are on a cross-country trek along back roads, byways, and rail lines, heading far out of Portland and deep into one very weird corner of the American dream.

Review:

"A lot of people are looking for magic in the world today, but only Benjamin Parzybok thought to check the sofa, which is, I think, the place it's most likely to be found. Couch is a slacker epic: a gentle, funny book that ambles merrily from Coupland to Tolkien, and gives couch-surfing (among other things) a whole new meaning." Paul La Farge

Review:

"Hundreds of writers have slavishly imitated — or outright ripped off — Tolkien in ways that connoisseurs of other genres would consider shameless. What Parzybok has done here in adapting the same old song to a world more familiar to the reader is to revive the genre and make it relevant again." The Stranger

Review:

"Delightfully lighthearted writing.... Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, the enthusiastic prose carries readers through sporadic dark moments... Parzybok's quirky humor recalls the flaws and successes of early Douglas Adams." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"The book succeeds as a conceptual art piece, a literary travelogue, and a fantastical quest." Willamette Week

Review:

"Hundreds of writers have slavishly imitated — or outright ripped off — Tolkien in ways that connoisseurs of other genres would consider shameless. What Parzybok has done here in adapting the same old song to a world more familiar to the reader is to revive the genre and make it relevant again" The Stranger

Synopsis:

Three guys try to carry a couch across the country.

Synopsis:

"The book succeeds as a conceptual art piece, a literary travelogue, and a fantastical quest." Willamette Week

Synopsis:

"Couch hits on an improbable, even fantastic premise, and then rigorously hews to the logic that it generates, keeping it afloat (at times literally) to the end."

Los Angeles Times

"Delightfully lighthearted writing. . . . Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, the enthusiastic prose carries readers through sporadic dark moments . . . Parzybok’s quirky humor recalls the flaws and successes of early Douglas Adams."—Publishers Weekly

"The book succeeds as a conceptual art piece, a literary travelogue, and a fantastical quest."

Willamette Week

"Hundreds of writers have slavishly imitated—or outright ripped off—Tolkien in ways that connoisseurs of other genres would consider shameless. What Parzybok has done here in adapting the same old song to a world more familiar to the reader is to revive the genre and make it relevant again"

The Stranger

A Spring Summer Indie Next Reading List Pick: Top 10 Reading Group Suggestions

"Couch follows the quirky journey of Thom, Erik, and Tree as they venture into the unknown at the behest of a magical, orange couch, which has its own plan for their previously boring lives. Parzybok's colorful characters, striking humor, and eccentric magical realism offer up an adventuresome read."

—Christian Crider, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

A January 2009 Indie Next List Pick

"This funny novel of furniture moving gone awry is a magical realism quest for modern times. Parzybok's touching story explores the aimlessness of our culture, a society of jobs instead of callings, replete with opportunities and choices but without the philosophies and vocations we need to make meaningful decisions."

—Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

"A lot of people are looking for magic in the world today, but only Benjamin Parzybok thought to check the sofa, which is, I think, the place it’s most likely to be found. Couch is a slacker epic: a gentle, funny book that ambles merrily from Coupland to Tolkien, and gives couch-surfing (among other things) a whole new meaning.”

—Paul La Farge

"One of the strangest road novels you'll ever read. It's a funny and fun book, and it's also a very smart book. Fans of Tom Robbins or Christopher Moore should enjoy this."

—Handee Books

"It is an upholstered Odyssey unlike any other you are likely to read. It is funny, confusing in places, wild and anarchic. It is part Quixote, part Murakami, part Tom Robbins, part DFS showroom. It has cult hit written all over it."

—Scott, Me and My Big Mouth

Benjamin Parzybok on tour: http://booktour.com/author/benjamin_parzybok

In this exuberant and hilarious debut reminiscent of The Life of Pi and Then We Came to the End, an episode of furniture moving gone awry becomes an impromptu quest of self-discovery, secret histories, and unexpected revelations.

Thom is a computer geek whose hacking of a certain Washington-based software giant has won him a little fame but few job prospects. Erik is a smalltime con man, a fast-talker who is never quite quick enough on his feet. Their roommate, Tree, is a confused clairvoyant whose dreams and prophecies may not be completely off base. After a freak accident fl oods their apartment, the three are evicted—but they have to take their couch with them. The real problem? The couch—huge and orange—won’t let them put it down. Soon the three roommates are on a cross-country trek along back roads, byways, and rail lines, heading far out of Portland and deep into one very weird corner of the American dream.

Benjamin Parzybok is the creator of Gumball Poetry, a journal published through gumball machines, and the Black Magic Insurance Agency, a city-wide mystery/treasure hunt. He has worked as a congressional page, a ghostwriter for the governor of Washington, a web developer, a Taiwanese factory technical writer, an asbestos removal janitor, and a potato sorter. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with the writer Laura Moulton and their two children.

About the Author

Benjamin Parzybok created a journal published through gumball machines (Gumball Poetry) and a city-wide mystery/treasure hunt (Black Magic Insurance Agency). His previous jobs include: ghostwriter for the Governor of Washington state, web developer, Taiwanese factory technical writer, asbestos removal janitor, potato sorter, and congressional page. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with the writer Laura Moulton and their son.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Alisha C, September 11, 2011 (view all comments by Alisha C)
While Couch requires a very willing suspension of disbelief, the story is familiar and light-hearted enough to enjoy. Parzybok has taken an old tale and made it more familiar to the present. The adventure is engaging, rewarding and sprinkled with thought-provoking moments. With Couch driving the plot, the story’s magical realism and humor will hold your attention.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
artifitz44, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by artifitz44)
Tom Robbins for Twenty-Somethings and set in Portland (until the couch sets sail for South America). Quirky and surreal.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
pnichols, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by pnichols)
A magical couch defies gravity and reality to lead a group on an existential journey worthy of Ram Das. Memorable.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781931520546
Author:
Parzybok, Benjamin
Publisher:
Small Beer Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fantasy - Contemporary
Subject:
Voyages and travels
Subject:
Self-actualization (psychology)
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Humor : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
November 1, 2008
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.48x5.50x.68 in. .74 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Contemporary

Couch: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Small Beer Press - English 9781931520546 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Are you looking for a page-turner that's humorous but substantive enough to remember and maybe even tell your friends about? Well, I wasn't when I came to read Couch — but I still found myself getting up in the morning and immediately continuing to follow Thom, Tree, and Erik on their quest while I waited for my first cup of coffee to brew! (And my bed doesn't even have a right-side!) So, if you think you can handle the slight suspension of disbelief that a couch odyssey naturally requires, I'll tell you what I've been telling everyone else: Go for it! Couch is magic.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Three Portland, Oregon, slackers lose their apartment, their jobs, and everything they own except a bright orange couch. This is no ordinary couch, however; it seems to have a will of its own. Soon the roommates are hauling the couch where it wants to go. Who knew furniture had a destiny? Laugh-out-loud funny with a bittersweet ending.

"Review" by , "A lot of people are looking for magic in the world today, but only Benjamin Parzybok thought to check the sofa, which is, I think, the place it's most likely to be found. Couch is a slacker epic: a gentle, funny book that ambles merrily from Coupland to Tolkien, and gives couch-surfing (among other things) a whole new meaning."
"Review" by , "Hundreds of writers have slavishly imitated — or outright ripped off — Tolkien in ways that connoisseurs of other genres would consider shameless. What Parzybok has done here in adapting the same old song to a world more familiar to the reader is to revive the genre and make it relevant again."
"Review" by , "Delightfully lighthearted writing.... Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, the enthusiastic prose carries readers through sporadic dark moments... Parzybok's quirky humor recalls the flaws and successes of early Douglas Adams."
"Review" by , "The book succeeds as a conceptual art piece, a literary travelogue, and a fantastical quest."
"Review" by , "Hundreds of writers have slavishly imitated — or outright ripped off — Tolkien in ways that connoisseurs of other genres would consider shameless. What Parzybok has done here in adapting the same old song to a world more familiar to the reader is to revive the genre and make it relevant again"
"Synopsis" by ,
Three guys try to carry a couch across the country.
"Synopsis" by , "The book succeeds as a conceptual art piece, a literary travelogue, and a fantastical quest." Willamette Week
"Synopsis" by ,

"Couch hits on an improbable, even fantastic premise, and then rigorously hews to the logic that it generates, keeping it afloat (at times literally) to the end."

Los Angeles Times

"Delightfully lighthearted writing. . . . Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, the enthusiastic prose carries readers through sporadic dark moments . . . Parzybok’s quirky humor recalls the flaws and successes of early Douglas Adams."—Publishers Weekly

"The book succeeds as a conceptual art piece, a literary travelogue, and a fantastical quest."

Willamette Week

"Hundreds of writers have slavishly imitated—or outright ripped off—Tolkien in ways that connoisseurs of other genres would consider shameless. What Parzybok has done here in adapting the same old song to a world more familiar to the reader is to revive the genre and make it relevant again"

The Stranger

A Spring Summer Indie Next Reading List Pick: Top 10 Reading Group Suggestions

"Couch follows the quirky journey of Thom, Erik, and Tree as they venture into the unknown at the behest of a magical, orange couch, which has its own plan for their previously boring lives. Parzybok's colorful characters, striking humor, and eccentric magical realism offer up an adventuresome read."

—Christian Crider, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

A January 2009 Indie Next List Pick

"This funny novel of furniture moving gone awry is a magical realism quest for modern times. Parzybok's touching story explores the aimlessness of our culture, a society of jobs instead of callings, replete with opportunities and choices but without the philosophies and vocations we need to make meaningful decisions."

—Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

"A lot of people are looking for magic in the world today, but only Benjamin Parzybok thought to check the sofa, which is, I think, the place it’s most likely to be found. Couch is a slacker epic: a gentle, funny book that ambles merrily from Coupland to Tolkien, and gives couch-surfing (among other things) a whole new meaning.”

—Paul La Farge

"One of the strangest road novels you'll ever read. It's a funny and fun book, and it's also a very smart book. Fans of Tom Robbins or Christopher Moore should enjoy this."

—Handee Books

"It is an upholstered Odyssey unlike any other you are likely to read. It is funny, confusing in places, wild and anarchic. It is part Quixote, part Murakami, part Tom Robbins, part DFS showroom. It has cult hit written all over it."

—Scott, Me and My Big Mouth

Benjamin Parzybok on tour: http://booktour.com/author/benjamin_parzybok

In this exuberant and hilarious debut reminiscent of The Life of Pi and Then We Came to the End, an episode of furniture moving gone awry becomes an impromptu quest of self-discovery, secret histories, and unexpected revelations.

Thom is a computer geek whose hacking of a certain Washington-based software giant has won him a little fame but few job prospects. Erik is a smalltime con man, a fast-talker who is never quite quick enough on his feet. Their roommate, Tree, is a confused clairvoyant whose dreams and prophecies may not be completely off base. After a freak accident fl oods their apartment, the three are evicted—but they have to take their couch with them. The real problem? The couch—huge and orange—won’t let them put it down. Soon the three roommates are on a cross-country trek along back roads, byways, and rail lines, heading far out of Portland and deep into one very weird corner of the American dream.

Benjamin Parzybok is the creator of Gumball Poetry, a journal published through gumball machines, and the Black Magic Insurance Agency, a city-wide mystery/treasure hunt. He has worked as a congressional page, a ghostwriter for the governor of Washington, a web developer, a Taiwanese factory technical writer, an asbestos removal janitor, and a potato sorter. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with the writer Laura Moulton and their two children.

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