*** Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2014 and Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014 ***
'The Catch-22 of dentistry' Stephen King
Joshua Ferris's dazzling new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is about the meaning of life, the certainty of death, and the importance of good oral hygiene.
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 . . .
'Frenetic, very funny, it confirms Ferris as a rising star of American fiction' Mail on Sunday
'Glorious . . . A very, very funny novel' BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review
'Dismayingly funny in the way that only really serious books can be' Guardian
Joshua Ferris was born in Illinois in 1974. He is the author of Then We Came to the End (2007), which was nominated for the National Book Award and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and The Unnamed. In 2010 he was selected for the New Yorker's prestigious '20 under 40' list. In 2014 To Rise Again At A Decent Hour won the Dylan Thomas Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Joshua Ferris lives in New York.
Funny, thought-provoking, and touching. One hesitates to call it the CATCH-22 of dentistry, but it's sort of in that ballpark. Some books simply carry you along on the strength and energy of the author's invention and unique view of the world. This is one of those books
Smart, sad, hilarious and eloquent . . . a writer at the top of his game and surpassing the promise of his celebrated debut
This is one of the funniest, saddest, sweetest novels I've read since Then We Came to the End. When historians try to understand our strange, contradictory era, they would be wise to consult To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. It captures what it is to be alive in early 21st-century America like nothing else I've read
Very funny [and] highly entertaining . . . Josh Ferris is a gifted satirist and very much in touch with the fear and paranoia that undercut US society
Joshua Ferris has proved his astonishing ability to spin gold from ordinary air . . . As brave and adept as any writer out there
Geek-smart prose and wry humour . . . hilarious
Genuine, funny, tragic and never dull. It'll also leave you flossing with a vengeance
It's a pleasure watching this young writer confidently range from the registers of broad punchline comedy to genuine spiritual depth . . . There's a happy side effect to reading the novel, as well: If you're a backslider like I was, it will guilt you into flossing again
An engrossing and hilariously bleak novel about a dentist being shook out of his comfortable atheism . . . This splintering of the self hasn't been performed in fiction so neatly since Philip Roth's "Operation Shylock'
Ferris [is] a Virgil of the disaffected . . . This is the novel's peculiar brilliance, to uncover its existential stakes in the most mundane tasks