Customer Reviews for

The Abstinence Teacher

Average Rating 3.5
( 60 )
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(15)

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(12)

2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Good Book, Let-Down Ending

The book is about a divorced sex-ed teacher who runs up against some evangelical Christians who do not like the way she teaches her class. It's a pitched battle - that she loses. She is forced to teach abstinence.

Meanwhile, her daughter plays on a soccer team coach...
The book is about a divorced sex-ed teacher who runs up against some evangelical Christians who do not like the way she teaches her class. It's a pitched battle - that she loses. She is forced to teach abstinence.

Meanwhile, her daughter plays on a soccer team coached by one of the evangelicals. A former rock band guy who's a recovering addict. He's married to one of the flock and unhappy. He's fighting to stay sober and wondering whether the "Godly" life is truly for him.

The main characters intersect and, of course, there is a romantic tension between them. It's not acted upon during the course of the book, but it is there.

Overall, I liked the book. I found the ending to be unsatisfying. It wasn't that it left things open. It just seemed like the author got to a point and decided to just stop writing. 20 or so more pages would have not left an impression like he just ran out of gas and left the book on the side of the road as is.

posted by shannongesq on May 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

My thoughts for "The Abstinence Teacher"

I like story line, but my problem was the ending of the book. The author, in my opinion, did a very good job with the characters. I really enjoyed Ruth and Tim. I just think he lost his focus towards the end, to me it was as if he was rushed to finish and that was his f...
I like story line, but my problem was the ending of the book. The author, in my opinion, did a very good job with the characters. I really enjoyed Ruth and Tim. I just think he lost his focus towards the end, to me it was as if he was rushed to finish and that was his final product. In other words it climaxed but it tumbled on its way down.

posted by 1584007 on January 31, 2010

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    A Breath of Fresh Air

    I love Tom Perrotta's books. I read one of his short stories in a compilation of Best Short Stories (2005?) edited by Michael Chabon and knew I wanted to read more. I then read Little Children and this book and was not disappointed. Perrotta's writing is elegant and fluid, easy to read, and hilarious. He writes about ordinary people and his descriptions are spot on. We must be around the same age because I found myself laughing out loud at his very specific dated references. I doubt anyone will understand them twenty years from now but for those of us in their forties, it is perfect. His characters are very likable and I couldn't put the book down. I moved on to Joe College which was equally engaging and clever. The unique aspect of Perrotta's work is that his writing seems effortless, easy, light but is actually very sophisticated and often profound.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    Definately Worth it

    This is an excellent, fun, funny, thought provoking and quick read. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys satiracle social commentary and unbiased insight into faith or lackthereof and sex.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    great

    Another great book from Tom Perrotta. If you like your stories driven by strong characters that seem so real, then this is your book.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    I really enjoy Tom Perotta's books (Little Children, Election) and The Abstinence Teacher was no exception. He did a great job of portraying a born again Christian and a liberal sex education teacher. He did portray both characters equally and without judgment. I would recommend this to most people (even evangelicals). Even though I am not a religious person, Perotta's story made me realize the good that can come out of organized religion but he did emphasize the bad. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    Best book I've read in awhile

    I loved this book, finishing it in two days! Didn't expect to like it at all. But Perrotta was so even-handed in his exploration of the topic, I agree with the reviewer who said it was hard to tell what side he was favoring. In my opinion, the best thing about the book were the characters and his ability to get the reader inside the heads of multiple characters. I didn't really see it as a humorous book except for the portrayal of a few characters 'in particular the abstinence proponent Joann Marlowe, who is just like a woman in my community with a similar position' and of the Faith Keepers 'Promise Keepers' rally. I now look forward to reading more of Perrotta!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    The Abstinence Teacher blows the lid off the melting pot! Read everything he's written and you'll find yourself re-reading paragraphs to enjoy yet again his clever turn of phrase. He is chameleon-like in his ability to give a voice to all his characters. Sometimes I think he must have been listening in on a conversation I had with a friend over lunch. I can't wait to see what he'll be up to next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    Tom is a genius!

    This book is just so real, so today and so humorous. Tom develops great characters with lives that just step out of the pages. For a book that is not marketed as humorous it is very subtle but very funny. This book is a delight.

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