To Rise Again At A Decent Hour

To Rise Again

Joshua Ferris

First Sentence:     The mouth is a weird place.

Back of the book:

There’s nothing like a dental chair to remind a man that he’s alone in the world . . .

Paul O’Rourke – dentist extraordinaire, reluctant New Yorker, avowed atheist, disaffected Red Sox fan, and a connoisseur of the afternoon mochaccino – is a man out of touch with modern life. While his dental practice occupies his days, his nights are filled with darker thoughts, as he alternately marvels at and rails against the optimism of the rest of humanity.

So it goes, until someone begins to impersonate Paul online. What began as an outrageous violation of privacy soon becomes something far more soul-frightening: the possibility that the virtual ‘Paul’ might be a better version of the man in the flesh . . .

Quotes from the book:

‘I guess it was like any other funeral ceremony that way, a periphery of noise surrounding a nucleus of grief.’

“To you, young couple overlooking the river,” I said, “here’s to your frittatas and sex tapes. To you, picture taker with the endless flash,” I said, “here’s to your personal-brand maintenance with every uploaded image. To you, beautiful youth, wasting your life behind your me-machine,” I said, “here’s to your echo chamber and reflecting pool.”

* * *

Last Sentence:     What the hell, I thought, what the hell, and without any expectation or understanding, doubtful of any hope of success, I swung, one eye on the ball, and one eye on heaven.