The Book of Joe

  • by Jonathan Tropper
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In terms of style, wit, and irony, there is no comparison between Peyton Place and Joe Goffman's Bush Falls. But both books stripped away the facade of small-town propriety to reveal the private, indecorous, and unseemly doings underneath. Joe Goffman was fifteen years out from his sleepy hometown when he wrote Bush Falls, a searing critique of its people and institutions. The book was a runaway best seller, and led to an even more successful movie. Now, however, Joe's got a problem. His father has suffered a stroke, and that means that Joe has to go back to his birthplace after having successfully antagonized every person living there. Can Joe survive the reservoirs of hatred that have been waiting to pour down upon him? Just maybe.

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What the Critics Say

"A beautifully crafted book of enormous heart, humility, wit, honesty, and vulnerability. You want to call your friends at 3 a.m. and read whole passages out loud. You want to press it into the hands of strangers. You cannot stop thinking about it because it has rearranged your very molecules. You know that kind of book? This is that kind of book. The Book of Joe is utterly magnificent. I wish I'd written it myself. "(Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors)
"[Tropper] does it with wit, insight, and a lot of fun cultural references." (Booklist)
"The Book of Joe is an elegiac, wickedly observant look at a small town and its secrets. In Jonathan Tropper's highly readable novel, the problem isn't that you can't go home again, it's that eventually you have to, whether you like it or not." (Tom Perrotta, author of Election and Joe College)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Glad I took a chance

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I chose this title - I actually was drawn to it initatilly because Scott Brick is the reader and he has always done a good job on other books I've listened to. This is no exception - his reading brings the book alive.
But I also found myself fully engaged in the story and characters - I laughed out loud too many time to count, and felt moved to tears at other times. Throughout the reading I tried imagining Joe, and I could see John Cusack playing him if it was a movie - kind of a quirky smart aleck but trying to do the right thing.
There is one unfortunate sexual scene that I thought was unnecessary and unrealistic - probably what a previous reviewer meant when she described this as a boy's book. But it was just one scene and not enough to condemn the whole story. Ultimately I'm glad I took the chance on this book.
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- Jannice

Sarcasm Reigns Supreme

What did you love best about The Book of Joe?

I enjoyed the author's sarcastic tone on the journey through Joe's story, laughing out loud and crying at the end. I felt the author turned some stereotypes upside down. It was a thrilling ride.


What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

The narrator embodied the main character perfectly. His voice sounded sardonic, bemused, pleased with himself, and sympathetic at times. Good match.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. The book gave me cause to need to stop and process my emotions. I did enjoy listening for long periods of time.


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- FanB14 "Short, Simple, No Spoilers"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-24-2004
  • Publisher: Books on Tape