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The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving


The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving Cover

ISBN13: 9781616200398
ISBN10: 1616200391
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

my dog freddie, January 6, 2013 (view all comments by my dog freddie)
I really enjoyed this book. The writing wasn't elegant, but the story and the characters touched my heart. It is the story of a man whose life is in shambles, he is divorced, unemployed and haunted by past tragedies. He becomes the caregiving of a teenage boy who has a delibitating and ultimately terminal muscle disease. These two damaged people become good friends and when they take a trip across country to see the boy's dad (who left when his son's illness struck)they have quite a journey, meeting several people along the way who, like themselves, are damaged but struggling. I read this in one day - and was sorry when I finished it. If I had had the author's telephone number I would have called him immediately just to say "I Loved Your Book.!"
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Jim Taone, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Jim Taone)
Ben Benjamin is a mess. He has been dragged through the mud all the way to hell and back. He is the type of person you would expect to draw the curtains, stay inside and slowly let himself go. You expect to see him on an episode of "Hoarders" or "Intervention" and the flashbacks that fill the novel would be the reason that the hoarding or shooting up began. Ben's resilient though. Through it all while not ready to let go maybe he is ready to start moving on.
That is what made this novel the best I read of 2012. This is not a story of a hero saving the day after some conflict that we learn about early on. This story weaves it's way between current day Ben, who is kind of a wreck, and latter day Ben who thought his life was in place until one event shattered it.
We are piecemealed parts of these flashbacks. The reader can guess what this event is as it begins to unfold but that doesn't lighten the shock of it being spelled out on the page.
Evison has done a great job of showing you someone that is imperfect. Makes bad decisions along the way to moving on. The most important decision made by Ben Benjamin, however, is his decision to start moving on. He wants to accept his life and the past that now defines it. He isn't ready to let go and maybe even move on but for that we have a great novel showing someone that is trying. He's doing his best the only way he knows how and I don't know anyone that couldn't learn a little something from Ben.
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CarpBooksFan, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by CarpBooksFan)
Hopeful, uplifting, not sappy. Splendid story, characters, loved it
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Product Details

Evison, Jonathan
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving Used Hardcover
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Product details pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781616200398 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Benjamin Benjamin, the narrator of Evison's tragicomic third novel (after West of Here), describes himself as an 'unemployed stay-at-home schlub whose wife gives him an allowance.' He's actually even more pathetic, which is one of the problems with this picaresque: at 39, getting divorced, Benjamin is haunted by an immense unspecified loss and eking out a living as a caregiver to teenage Trevor, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. He's good at the job, his first after a long stint as a full-time dad. He and Trevor construct a map pinpointing odd Americana ('Mystery houses, vortexes, crop circles, and other unexplained phenomenon'), more of an imaginary itinerary, given Trevor's condition; Ben and Trevor do finally end up on the road, however, allowing Evison to demonstrate his considerable comic gifts, despite the grimness of the situation. Flashbacks reveal Ben's past (a wife; two kids) and Evison builds a palpable sense of doom, but Ben's heartbreaking personal tragedy is revealed too late to make a meaningful impact. Still, Evison is a skilled, perceptive writer: one girl Ben and Trevor encounter en route notices them 'with the expert dispassion of the teenage misfit.' 50,000 first printing, 5-city author tour. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Jonathan Evison is a gifted raconteur with a wicked sense of humor and an unflagging empathy for humankind in all its sad, foible-filled magnificence. In The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, his myriad talents are displayed in full bloom."
"Review" by , "The funniest and most tough-minded novel I've read in a long time....This is his best novel yet."
"Review" by , "Sly and surprising, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is both a goofy road trip and a mission of atonement. Jonathan Evison has the singular ability to make the heartbreaking seem jaunty."
"Review" by , "Engaging....The journey is reckless and wild, infused with the sad rage that makes good comedy great....As this carload of misfits moves east, relationships are broken and forged, and Ben recreates a kind of family. This could be horribly clichéd and yet it isn't, because Evison never bows to what we expect from happy endings."
"Review" by , "Evison's third and most stealthily powerful novel...[is] a book so poignant yet improbably funny....[An] adventurous story."
"Review" by , "A journey back to life...bittersweet....It's moving and funny, and, my God, how refreshing it is to read a story about someone caring for a disabled person that isn't gauzed in sentimentality or bitterness."
"Review" by , "Evison's prose is replete with his gifts for witty imagery and turns of phrase....With its extremely cinematic plot and collection of quirky scenes, the novel might remind you of Little Miss Sunshine meets Rain Man....The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is even-keeled, big-hearted, and very funny, and full of hope. Through Ben, missteps are made, and human foibles are exposed. But we also glimpse that distant shore of hard-earned redemption. For that, Evison's novel is worth the voyage."
"Review" by , "It's a story of heartbreak and healing....This is a novel with a terrific sense of the relationship between comedy and tragedy."
"Review" by , "Evison has given us a salty-sweet story about absorbing those hits and taking a risk to reach beyond them. What a great ride."
"Review" by , "Evison has an easy fluidity with the dashed dreams and disappointments of characters who don't ask for pity."
"Review" by , "The comic novel may be the hardest work of fiction to pull off well....The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is a showcase of what makes a good one tick: Characters just a touch disconnected from reality, a prevailing sense of life's absurdity and a handful of rude jokes....Evison proves that some of the best comedy emerges from lives that have jumped the rails."
"Review" by , "A warm, funny look at recovering from tragedy."
"Review" by , "A zany road trip from grief to grace....[A] sometimes funny, sometimes slapstick, big-hearted novel."
"Review" by , "Luminously moving and very funny."
"Review" by , "Smart and bittersweet and attuned to the absurdity of life — Evison's book is the literary version of a good grunge song."
"Review" by , "Let's not mince words. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is far and away the best novel Jonathan Evison has ever written....It's funny, moving, and lively, the sort of novel that will appeal to avid readers and to people who only manage to read one or two books in a year. The secret, the trick to the book, is in the voice of the narrator, which feels so true that it simply can't be denied."
"Review" by , "Evison manages to find considerable humor in this plaintive story of care giving and receiving....A lively narrative with a poignant core and quirky, lonely characters."
"Review" by , "Sly and surprising, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is both a goofy road trip and a mission of atonement. Jonathan Evison has the singular ability to make the heartbreaking seem jaunty."
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