Joe Jones

( 3 )

Overview


"If love is details, so is storytelling, and Anne Lamott excels at it. Her way with analogy, metaphor, and evocative detail is subtle; her ability to shift from the specific to the general to the specific again, superb."—The Nation

Joe Jones is Anne Lamott’s raucous novel of lives gathered around Jessie’s Café, "a restaurant from another era, the sort of broken-down waterfront dive one might expect to find in Steinbeck or Saroyan." Jessie, "thin, stooped and gorgeous at seventy-nine," inherited the café years ...

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Overview


"If love is details, so is storytelling, and Anne Lamott excels at it. Her way with analogy, metaphor, and evocative detail is subtle; her ability to shift from the specific to the general to the specific again, superb."—The Nation

Joe Jones is Anne Lamott’s raucous novel of lives gathered around Jessie’s Café, "a restaurant from another era, the sort of broken-down waterfront dive one might expect to find in Steinbeck or Saroyan." Jessie, "thin, stooped and gorgeous at seventy-nine," inherited the café years before and it has become home to a remarkable family of characters: Louise, the cook and vortex, "sexy and sweet, somewhere on the cusp between curvaceous and fat"; Joe, devoted and unfaithful; Willie, Jessie’s gay grandson, ("I thought he just had good posture," said Jessie); Georgia, an empress dowager who never speaks; and a dozen others all living together in the sweet everyday. Lamott’s rich and timeless themes are also here: love and loyalty, loss and recovery, staying on and staying together, the power of humor to heal and to bind.

Centered around a group of eccentric characters who congregate in Jessie's Cafe, this is a story of loss, recovery, and the humor that heals.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Lamott has written before about copingwith death in Hard Laughter , with life in Rosie. But Joe Jones is about nothing else; coping seems to fill the hearts and minds of the characters at Jessie's Cafe, and it certainly dominates their epigrammatic, italic-studded conversation. Not that theirs isn't a lot to cope with. Louise, cook and philosophical earth mother, pines for Joe, the faithless lover she sent away, and he, a hypochondriacal drifter, longs for her. Willie, Jessie's gay grandson, loses a lover to a distant job and his grandmother to heart failure. And those are only their current trials. Lamott's spare prose can sing, but here it too often sounds forced. ``Life is hard and then you die,'' as these characters note more than once, is too trendy and insubstantial a framework for the fine work Lamott can do. Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Library Journal
Jessie's Caf , a tired waterfront restaurant, provides the focus of this latest Lamott novel. Jessie inherited the caf years ago and at 79 visits daily, chattering away to her mute friend Georgia. Life is hard for the frequenters of Jessie's, and their attempts to cope form the story line. Louise, the cook and mother figure, misses Joe, her faithless former lover whom she threw out, and he still pines for her. Willie, Jessie's gay grandson, tries to stay away from drugs after his lover takes a job in a distant city. Then Louise meets Eve and invites her to the caf . Alone and suffering from a terminal illness, maybe AIDS, Eve joins the "Caf family," bringing a quiet dignity as she copes with her failing health. Lamott's characteristic humor shines through the pain. Although this book lacks the more defined plot of Lamott's earlier works (Blue Shoe and Rosie), listeners will enjoy the warmth, love, and compassion these imperfect people display. Barbara Rosenblatt, one of the most accomplished audiobook narrators around, reads with clarity, making each character distinctive. Recommended for large public libraries.--Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593760038
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 687,987
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Lamott

Multiple Audie® Award winner Barbara Rosenblat has been named a "Voice of the Twentieth Century" by AudioFile magazine. The New York Times writes,"Watch Ms. Rosenblat work...and you get the sense that even an Oscar winner might not be able to pull this off." She created the role of "Mrs. Medlock" in the Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical The Secret Garden.

ANNE LAMOTT is the best-selling author of Operating Instructions, Bird by Bird, and Blude Shoe. She lives in Northern California with her son, Sam.

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    1. Hometown:
      Fairfax, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Education:
      Attended Goucher College in Maryland before dropping out to write

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2010

    One of my Favorites

    Anne Lamott's talent for drawing her characters so completely leaves the reader feeling that these are people we know in our own lives.Set in a restaurant in California, the diner itself is a character as well as the eclectic group of customers who are more like family to one another.The relationships are the story. At the end of the book, I wanted to visit them again just as I would any friend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    Wonderful Writing

    This book is at times, laugh-out-loud funny, poignant, hopefull and uplifting. Anne Lamott's character development and descriptive writing are absolutelly wonderful. In your minds eye, you can clearly visualize each character, see the cafe, view the boats out on San Fransico bay and even smell the salt air! Joe Jones is only one of several characters, but not the main one. He seems at times almost to be a background player, which leaves me intrigued by the book's title. I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. It's not going to change your life, but it will leave you feeling good. It's like a snap-shot of a group of folks, who's lives revolve around a little rundown cafe, overlooking the water. When you've finished reading, you'll put the book down and feel like you've had a brief vacation at the shore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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