Customer Reviews for

Ordinary People

Average Rating 4.5
( 96 )
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5 Star

(49)

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(35)

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(7)

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(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Perfect!

This has to be my absolute favorite book of all time. Anyone can relate so well to this, it is such an adaptable book. I feel that the author talked about and explained psychiatric and social problems so honestly that it wasn't exploiting anyone. The characters are so r...
This has to be my absolute favorite book of all time. Anyone can relate so well to this, it is such an adaptable book. I feel that the author talked about and explained psychiatric and social problems so honestly that it wasn't exploiting anyone. The characters are so real and relatable, Judith Guest is an excellent author.

posted by TipsyInCT on January 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A very bipolar book

This book was hard to follow due to the constant switching of perspectives, point of view (1st and 3rd), and present to past tense. Also, there was not very good character building at all. On top of that, the book is overly, unnecissarily descriptive when it comes to u...
This book was hard to follow due to the constant switching of perspectives, point of view (1st and 3rd), and present to past tense. Also, there was not very good character building at all. On top of that, the book is overly, unnecissarily descriptive when it comes to unimportant details. I don't recommend this book at all and give it a zero of five stars, though i gavebit a one above just because it wouldnt let me post if i didnt give it a rating.

posted by 3612692 on December 31, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2000

    Pretty Ordinary

    Sadly but truly this is pretty ordinary in todays world. I thought that this was a very interesting book. I liked how everyone had their own set of problems just like in real life. Calvin, the dad worries, but not excessively. Beth, the mom does not worry at all and has a total aversion to feeling. Conrad, the protagonist and main character has issues with suicide, setting goals he can't make, and second guessing himself. Everyones problems get less and less severe at the end of the book except Beth's. Calvin worries less and less but still enough to be a helpful parent. Conrad still sets goals but now ones he can make, and he no longer second guesses himself. Beth just gets worse and worse. Overall an excellent book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 1999

    Inspiration

    Judith Guest is excellent at portraying her characters. This is a book for ordinary people, because it is simple to understand yet can touch you very deeply.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 1999

    Common People with Uncommon Problems

    The characters in Ordinary People are faced with common, everyday problems. The lives of the Jarret family were turned inside-out after the death of Jordan, also known as Buck Jarret. Each character dealt with the pain and loneliness of losing Buck in a different way. However the one thing they all had in common was that the death of Buck completely destroyed everything they knew to be true, and influenced every aspect of their lives. Their grief and despair made it difficult for them to form new relationships or maintain ones they already had. Once Buck died, the family fell apart, and the complex relationships they each had with one another began to become corrupt and transformed them into less of a family and more of enemies. It seemed as if Buck was the joining force of the family and when he was gone the family lost cohesion. Cal, whose life revolved around making sure his family was content and satisfied found that he felt incompetent and lacking when he couldn't provide them with what they really needed: closure, happiness, a sense of complacency that no longer existed once Buck was gone. He spent most of his time wondering who he was, how he could define himself, and what he could possibly do to make everyone sane again. His constant obsession drove his wife crazy. A perfectionist, she had to have everything go smoothly. Buck's death not only put a wrinkle in her concept of the perfect family, it put a glitch in her social life. After Conrad is admitted to the mental institution for trying to commit suicide, she deals with it by taking trips and she falls into a spiral of denial. Conrad, of course, is hurt and offended by his mother's apparent apathy towards him. He finally realizes that he can't change his mother, and with this realization comes a sense of acceptance. Conrad, after he comes home, is faced with the task of being 'ordinary' again. He deals with his problems one at a time. He sees a psychiatrist and makes attempts at getting back his life. He is still unsure of himself and insecure, but by talking to his analyst, he slowly learns to be comfortable with who he is. His conflict is internal. He has trouble with the guilt of Buck's death, and is hurt by his mother's lack of concern. His finally is able to gain control of his life after he quits the swim team. By taking that decisive action, he took the reins into his own hands and took control. However he doesn¿t tell his family and Beth is mortified to hear the news from her friends. Beth is not concerned that he quit the team, merely with how it might look to others that she is unaware of her 'crazy' son's activities. Conrad finally snaps and accuses her of not caring. This is Conrad's turning point. He is able to express his emotions instead of bottling them up. Ironically, Conrad, the one most affected by Buck's death, comes to terms with it before his parents ever even acknowledge the fact that they are having problems. Conrad moves on, still grieving and still in pain, but stronger, and more in control. In my opinion, this book was quite enjoyable. It makes you think about how you would react if you lost someone you loved. It shows the true nature of ordinary people who are faced with tragedy. It¿s an intimate view of a family's battle with misfortune.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 1999

    Loving Mother

    The book Ordinary People is the stroy of a broken family trying to mend the problems. There was many problems and conflicts in this book but i feel that the most intreaging conflict was the relationship between Conrad (the son of Beth and Cal), and Beth his mother. What is the role of a mother? I feel that she should be loving, caring and support to her children. The book Ordinary people depicks the mother figure, Beth, as the opposite. I feel that she loved her son Conrad but coundn't deal with the problems assoicated with him. I also enjoyed the caring of Con by his father, Cal. The cared for Con and tryed his all to help his son there the problems of growing up. This book is read to the fullest if it is read by a adaulessent because it deals with many problems assoicated with growing up. I give it four stars for its insight into the relationships within the family. I think the mother was my main focus because my bond with my mother is weak and I could relate with Conrad in every aspect.

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    Posted March 11, 2011

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