Andy Carter was happy. He had a solid job. He ran 5Ks for charity. He was living a nice, safe Midwestern existence. And then his wife left him for a handsome paramedic down the street.
We're All Damaged begins after Andy has lost his job, ruined his best friend's wedding, and moved to New York City, where he lives in a tiny apartment with an angry cat named Jeter that isn't technically his. But before long he needs to go back to Omaha to say good-bye to his dying grandfather.
Back home, Andy is confronted with his past, which includes his ex, his ex's new boyfriend, his right-wing talk-radio-host mother, his parents' crumbling marriage, and his still-angry best friend.
As if these old problems weren't enough, Andy encounters an entirely new complication: Daisy. She has fifteen tattoos, no job, and her own difficult past. But she claims she is the only person who can help Andy be happy again, if only she weren't hiding a huge secret that will mess things up even more. Andy Carter needs a second chance at life, and Daisy - and the person Daisy pushes Andy to become - may be his last chance to set things right.
©2016 Matthew Norman (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
one of the best books I have encountered in the last decade. really. I laughed so loud people were giving me looks.
"Another Manic Pixie Dream Girl Story"
It was just ok. The excessive use of profanity was off putting, since I like to listen around the house and I have young children. The story was OK, but the main character never did anything. Life just happened to him. He never becomes proactive about any problems that face him. Luckily, a manic pixie dream girl comes along to fix his life. But at the end he remains as passive and unimpressive as ever.
Very believable character. Simply entertaining. One of those books that you are sorry when it's over. Going to check to see if author has any other titles.
"Funny, Sad, Really engrossing."
"We're All Damaged" is a story about Andy Carter, a guy who was divorced a few years ago, and is still fucked up from it. She's with a new guy and everyone around him is telling him to move on, but he just can't. Meanwhile, his grandfather is dying back in his hometown, so he had to go down there to be with his family and unfortunately, that means being near the woman that broke his heart.
What follows is a series of alternately and sometimes simultaneously funny and sad misadventures as Andy tries desperately to work through his shit, and with the help of a mysterious girl named Daisy, possibly even be happy again.
What makes this book so great, to me, was the way it acts as a story, but also a snapshot of the citizens of Omaha, Nebraska. It checks in on different characters in Andy's life, characters that seem to be one note cliches, but actually turn out to be layered people that, by the end, you feel like you're best friends (or worst enemies) with. Every character had their quirks and their damages, hence the title.
Funny, sad and anchored by a fantastic cast of characters. This book is amazing, and I recommend it to anyone who liked Apatow's Love on Netflix. 5/5
"loved this book!"
Great story! It caught my interest within 20 seconds. hated for it to end. ♡♡♡♡
Cool storytelling about a 30s something living life and just being normal. Relating everything to movies and 90s television shows. The jokes come fast
"Wasn't too sure..but so glad I did!"
I wasn't sure to be completely honest about getting this book because I typically don't read male authors, weird I know....but this book was thoroughly enjoyable and the narrator did an excellent job! if you're on the fence, go for it!
"This book compelled me to...."
...seek out more titles from its author! Listening to this book felt as if the narrator and I were sitting comfortably on a sofa somewhere as he told me about his life. Narration was natural and spot-on. Story was very well-written, kept my interest from the start, and I love the way it unfolded. The profanity was natural to the events and not excessive as one reader mentioned. She needs to get earphones if she plays adult books in front of children! Look forward to listening to more from Matthew Norman.
I was a bit skeptical about this book from the cover art and the description, but the sample audio hooked me. The narrator is perfect for this the laugh out loud story with sentimental pieces. This is a solid piece of work and is a good value for the price or a credit. Don't let the cover art fool you. This is a quality book.
"Damage in the Eye of the Beholder"
So here's the set-up: Guy who has left his Midwest home town for New York after life has gone horribly awry is forced by a family illness to come back to face it all over again. His mother is a famous and controversial something or other, his brother and best friend have unresolved issues, his ex has taken up with an insufferable guy, and he gets help dealing with all of this by a smart, sassy, sexy young woman.
All that is made clear early on, so I'm not giving anything away there. If that doesn't sound at all familiar to you, then by all means give this comic novel of family dysfunction a try, there is a good chance you will enjoy it.
But maybe it sounds uncomfortably familiar. I'm sure there is more than one example, but I was immediately reminded of Jonathan Tropper's novels (exactly like Book of Joe and to a lesser degree his better known This Is Where I Leave You, which happen to be two of my favorite books of all time, which I read in print and then listened to in audio and which I would read or listen to again in a heartbeat).
Now, normally I get extremely ticked off when something I love that much is so obviously redone. But that is not the case here. I really liked this, despite the unmistakable parallels. I don't think Matthew Norman was trying to rip off Tropper. I would even guess that he never heard of The Book of Joe. I think he just came up with a similar idea, possibly based on his own personal experience.
I always say in analyzing books that cover well-worn subjects that to successfully reinvent a familiar trope, the writer must add something new and fresh, and that is best done through humor or characterization. I believe Norman has accomplished both. The humor is definitely fresh, and especially the character of Daisy makes it all work (though that character is open to criticism as the manic pixie dream girl that one finds in the work of John Green).
But the real differentiator is the mother. In Tropper's TIWILY, the mother is a famous author of books about raising children, and it's funny that her own children are so dysfunctional. In this book, the mother is a right wing talk radio star, her main cause the sanctity of marriage. Which makes the whole affair more topical, this having so recently been adjudicated and still a subject of controversy in some quarters.
Anyway, it all worked for me, despite the similarity to Tropper's work. This was a Kindle Free to which I purchased the discount audio companion, so I knew nothing about it going in other than it was a cheap listen. I'm glad I took a chance on it.
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