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Amy Gallup is an aging novelist and writing instructor living in Escondido, California, with her dog, Alphonse. Since recent unsettling events, she has made some progress. While she still has writer's block, she doesn't suffer from it. She's still a hermit, but she has allowed some of her class members into her life. She is no longer numb, angry, and sardonic: she is merely numb and bemused, which is as close to happy as she plans to get. Amy is calm.
So, when on New Year's morning she shuffles out to her backyard garden to plant a Norfolk pine, she is wholly unprepared for what happens next. Amy falls down. A simple accident, as a result of which something happens, and then something else, and then a number of different things, all as unpredictable as an eight-ball break. At first the changes are small, but as these small events carom off one another, Amy's life changes in ways that range from ridiculous to frightening to profound. This most reluctant of adventurers is dragged and propelled by train, plane, and automobile through an outlandish series of antic media events on her way to becoming - to her horror - a kind of celebrity. And along the way, as the numbness begins to wear off, she comes up against something she has avoided all her life: her future, that "sleeping monster, not to be poked."
Amy Falls Down explores, through the experience of one character, the role that accident plays in all our lives. "You turn a corner and beasts break into arias, gunfire erupts, waking a hundred families, starting a hundred different conversations. You crack your head open and three thousand miles away a stranger with Asperger’s jump-starts your career." We are all like Amy. We are all wholly unprepared for what happens next. Also, there’s a basset hound.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jessica Robertson on 03-04-14
Not contemporary fluff
The author has a superb tone and style--wonderful command of language. Intelligent but also very accessible. The story steps outside of the same old plot-driven grinders--not that I don't like the old plot driven grinders. I do. But, if you are looking for something refreshing, honest and generous, this will do the trick.
This is not "chick lit." I'm sure this is a derogatory term... I'll rephrase: this is not a story of a twenty something girl living in Manhattan torn between a pair of lovers and a pair of shoes--nothing like that. I'm a man. I enjoyed this story. It's big on guts and skill.
The narrator does a great job matching the humor and tone.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful
By Daniel on 04-07-14
Too much fun
This is not normally my cup of tea. I'm sort of a military fiction/science-fiction/thriller/mystery kind of guy. I like a lot of action in my books and I don't like a lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo or romance or sex. Philosophy? OK. I can handle some of that, and there is plenty of philosophy found in this work. It's dished out in un-subtle slaps to the mug too, though not unkindly.
Plus, it's a very funny book, sort of in a "Stephanie Plum" funny way. However the protagonist, Amy, isn't young and fit and beautiful. She's in her 60s and sort of dumpy; and very anti-social, especially at the start of the book. When we meet her she has a basset hound and a couple of friends and teaches writing on-line and has a very messy house which she rarely leaves and which is filled with books she hasn't read.
In chapter one, she falls down. She's hit on the head and suffers a mild concussion.
What happens from there... Well, listen to the book. You'll enjoy it. I did, and I was surprised. Honestly I never would have bought this book but it was one of those books recommended by the narrators.
And, speaking of the narrator, Amy McFadden did a wonderful job on this book, catching the character's voices just right; hitting the proper ironic notes and also deadpanning the slapstick in the funniest ways. I laughed out loud while in inappropriate places, such as the grocery store, the pet store, the gas pump and one or two other public places I can't think of right now.
For me, this book was sort of like falling down and being hit on the head and suffering a mild concussion, metaphorically, and... I suppose... philosophically speaking.
This book is laugh out loud funny, I recommend it highly.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful