Domestic Violets: A Novel

Domestic Violets: A Novel

4.4 73
by Matthew Norman
     
 

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“Hystericaland often touching. . . . Domestic Violets is a fast, fun, hilariousread." —Jessica Anya Blau, critically-acclaimed author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and DrinkingCloser to Home

Inthe tradition of Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta comes Matthew Norman's Domestic Violets—adarkly comic family

Overview

“Hystericaland often touching. . . . Domestic Violets is a fast, fun, hilariousread." —Jessica Anya Blau, critically-acclaimed author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and DrinkingCloser to Home

Inthe tradition of Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta comes Matthew Norman's Domestic Violets—adarkly comic family drama about one man’s improbable trials of love, loss, andambition; of attraction, impotence, and infidelity; and of mid-life malaise,poorly-planned revenge, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062065124
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/09/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
102,547
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Matthew Norman is an advertising copywriter. He lives with his wife and daughter in Baltimore. Domestic Violets is his first novel.

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Domestic Violets 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really liked it. Very humorous at times and a good story overall. I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found, after I had purchased this book and waded through all the bratty kids playing their infantile games, most of the reviews were not only plot spoilers, but book retellers. The book was ruined for me. It was like reading a reun, I had seen ten times before. This book was first person, had a lot of profanity and if you want to save money, just read the reviews, they are like cliff notes. For adults, around 180 pages. I bought this book before I read the reviews. I only read them to find out, which was not told, how many pages this book had, so I would know if it would cover my time, on an airplane. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific! Funny, moving snapshot of a man at a crossroads. Clever and witty, Tom Violet is a guy I'd like to know in real life. Hope to see more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing and is deeply insightful.
bolgai More than 1 year ago
Tom Violet has problems. He has erectile disfunction, a mind-numbing job he hates, an arch-nemesis who'd love nothing better than to have Tom fired, a wife who he thinks is having an affair, a novel in his desk drawer that nobody apparently wants to read, a crush on his beautiful and too-young coworker, a father who's just won the Pulitzer and is getting yet another divorce, and a dog with acute anxiety. Anybody would go off the deep end, which Tom does, with true Violet flare. When I started reading this book I immediately thought that the beginning did not bode well - the protagonist, Tom Violet, kept going on and on about his erectile disfunction in the most descriptive fashion and I just could not imagine reading a whole book of that. Tom did prove to be a funny guy with an off-beat sense of humor and a hilarious comeback for whatever life throws at him and ED soon stepped off the center stage so I kept reading. In no time at all Norman charmed me with all the characters in Tom's life - his beautiful and intelligent wife, his budding artist daughter, his excitable dog, his brilliant philandering father, his too-good-looking subordinate, his agent and even his mental mother-in-law. They are all so alive and so far from being cliché that it's impossible to remain indifferent especially since they all do something unexpected or funny on a regular basis and the story never gets boring. While there is a lot of humor in this book it's not a literary romp. Things are never that simple in the Violet family and while their relationship with the truth has always been touch-and-go, as Tom himself admits, they make it work because they love each other. The value of family is up-front and center here and all the funny parts aside it's a thoughtful and thought-provoking book that is mainly about Tom's relationship with his father and it had me reeling on a number of occasions from Tom's actions and their consequences. The only thing that was a bit off for me is the ending. It seemed long with a number of instances when the story could have ended right then and there and wouldn't have been any less satisfying. There was even that "the end" type finality to the paragraphs and yet Norman kept going, wrapping everything up neatly and giving us a promise of a happy future for the Violets despite all the difficulties. Then again, there's nothing wrong with that, is there? This is a very good debut novel, well-written, funny but not slapstick, profane but not vulgar, sad but not depressing, and best of all when I turned the last page I was smiling. A word of caution: it is most definitely not appropriate for younger audiences.
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
This book was a “freebie” for my eReader from an online dealer. As a result of it being free (“if it does cost you something, it is of less value”) I started reading it sporadically after it had been sitting in my library for months. Not reading this gem when I first got it was a mistake, but served as a pleasant surprise when I got to know Tom Violet and his world. Tom Violet has been working as a copywriter for a public relations firm for seven years. The company is a small cog in the machinery of a multi-national conglomerate ran by a soulless billionaire; Tom refers to his work place as “The Death Star,” his supervisor, Greg, is a corporate “drone” and is the focus of Tom’s constant Passive-Aggressive assertions. Tom is good at his job because writing is in his genes – his father, Curtis, has just won a Pulitzer for a collection his short stories, the last of multiple national and international awards. Fortunately, Tom is far more successful in his relational life than is his father. The reader is made aware of this when Tom comes home to find his father hiding in his house from his current wife. In the interview at the end of the novel, Mr. Norton denies having writing “in his genes,” but this novel reveals a talent for building a good story with a good plot, a good balance of pathos/humor, while having depth hidden under the presented trivialities. The author is deft at painting Tom to be emotionally vacant and shallowly connected with a flippant cynical outlook toward life but his actions show he is anything but emotionally vacant. This helps the “reality” of these characters more easily to connect with. As is true for all novelists, the proof of their abilities is to be found in the writing that follows initial success. I hope Mr. Norton’s sophomore effort at least matches his first novel. If it does, Mr. Norton’s writing could be positively compared to Welty, Parker or McMurtry and that is heady company.
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Loved every page. This author is talented. He's the male version of Jen Lancaster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Funny light read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What I enjoyed about this book, was that it had some pretty solid moments, I liked hearing a male point of view, from a male author, who is introspective, but not obsessive... a change of pace from the YA world of relationships where everyone is pretty much a stalker in the name of love. I felt like I was getting inside information; into a marriage, into guy thoughts. I actually felt edgy for him, when his wife put him on the spot about the cute, young woman he supervises. Or his struggles with his own impotence, and his actual perceptions about it. His relationship with his famous Father was interesting. His father who wasn't around for Tom's childhood, and has gone through a series of wives, is often drunk, but always charming and charismatic. The author did well bringing out all the flaws, but also the connection, you could feel the charisma, while also the disappointment that maybe he wasn't a better Father or husband. This book was a really smart and good read, but there were some parts that felt a little too wrapped up easily. Tom, the main character, is introspective, but sometimes lacked a little emotion. I think. I know I read emotions described aplenty, maybe I'm the one that lacked emotion, I just didn't connect on some things at a deep level with me, where I was thinking - YES! This has described humanity in a new way that has forever changed my perspective. It didn't do that...but it did make me think about things, and added some information that I can carry over from non-fiction into fiction and apply. I felt like I saw every character in my mind pretty clearly, with the exception of Anna his wife. There wasn't anything that made me like her or dislike her, one way or the other. Just all the other women in the book were so much more definite characters, his Father's current wife, his Mother, Katie the girl he works with, had much more depth and description.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though the story deals with emotionally packed subject matter, the author keeps everything rolling along at a nice pace with loads of humor. Fun reading! Great for a vacation read or a rainy day!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PennyE More than 1 year ago
In all fairness I didn't even finish the first chapter, the language was too graphic and the story line not interesting to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
velocireaderLC More than 1 year ago
I just finished Domestic Violets and I rank this among my favorite books; on a par with Wally Lamb, Mary mcGarry Morris, Anna Quindlen and Barbara Kingsolver. It will be a tough act to follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book! Wish there were more by this author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I honestly thought this was a fantastic book, would recommend to anyone. Funny, touching, realistic.
Jecasan More than 1 year ago
Great novel. Funny, real interesting. As a young mother and wife, I could identify with the author's struggles in all aspects of his life. He made it an easy read and super funny. I highly recommend it !!