Holiday Reading – To Rise Again At A Decent Hour

book cover

To Rise Again At A Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris

I’m a bit rusty with Holiday Reading posts as it is so long that I have written one.  Since Mini ATWWAH arrived in late June last year my book reading has taken a dive although I now have a Twitter/Instagram obsession and have developed TV guilty pleasures in the form of Silicon Valley (HBO series which was on Sky Atlantic) and, this one is quite sad, The Daily Politics.

But the chaos of the first few months of Mini ATWWAH’s life has abated a little and blogging and reading both seem do-able activities again.  Hurray.  If anyone asked what I wanted for Christmas I asked for specific books: I have a list on my phone of books that I’d like when I read good reviews.  And, I was lucky enough to get quite a pile.

The first one I have read is Joshua Ferris’ latest, To Rise Again At A Decent Hour.  I’ve read one of his other books, the brilliant Then We Came To The End, which is set in an office.  To steal from the publisher’s blurb it ‘is about sitting all morning next to someone you cross the road to avoid at lunch.  It’s the story of your life and mine.’

So, when I saw that he had written another book all about modern life I had to give it a go.


It centres on Paul O’ Rourke, a New York based dentist who has his identity stolen by someone who impersonates him online.  Suddenly his dental practice has its own website, he has a Twitter account with controversial tweets about religion and he starts to join in online forum debates about his baseball team but goes wildly off topic discussing a new religion.

He’s quite an unsympathetic character at first with very little emotional intelligence but the more you discover about his past love life you realise he just wants to fit in but fails spectacularly at it, trying to ingratiate himself on his girlfriend’s families especially where religion is concerned.  Paul is an atheist but seems drawn to people with strong religious beliefs.  This makes one of his colleagues, Connie, who is also an ex love interest, suspicious that the mystery tweeter may be Paul himself.

The book focuses mainly on the online relationship he forms with the ‘mystery’ Paul O’Rourke, who knows so much about him, and there is a lot of religious stuff in there as well as the meaning of life debates.  I must admit some of it lost me but the people he met along the way to discover more about the person who stole his identity and why was really interesting.  I won’t give anymore away.

Being a book with a dentist as the central character there is a lot of talk of mouths and dental procedures.  I regularly read the book in bed and on more than one occasion had to get up and go and brush my teeth again as his description of tooth decay and procedures was pretty painful to read and scary.  No detail was left to spare.

I’d definitely recommend giving it a go though, just don’t eat any sugary sweets or chocolate as you do.




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