The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody

The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody

3.4 11
by John Jughead Pierson
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

What if George Bailey wasn’t saved by his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, on that snowy Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls? This reimagining of the beloved Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life (and the Phillip Van Doren Stern story that inspired it) tells the story of Bedford Falls and its inhabitants after the death of their drama’s

Overview

What if George Bailey wasn’t saved by his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, on that snowy Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls? This reimagining of the beloved Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life (and the Phillip Van Doren Stern story that inspired it) tells the story of Bedford Falls and its inhabitants after the death of their drama’s central character.

The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody restores the dark undercurrent of the Van Doren Stern’s short story “The Greatest Gift” to the uplifting plot of Capra’s film, and explores how the familiar characters in it might respond to the dire circumstances created by George Bailey’s disappearance from their lives. The paths of an introspective cab driver, a ruthless henchman, and a wayward daughter collide nearly twenty years later in the town that defined their reputations for better or for worse.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CLARENCE ODBODY:

"John Jughead Pierson's strength as an artist is his seemingly endless ability to find new worlds of meaning in the simplest, most familiar ingredients—it used to be three chords and an attitude; in this new book, it is a plot we all think we know and are sick to death of—and, thanks to his passion, humor, and soul, make it all seem utterly fresh, absolutely vital, and like something we cannot live without. It was a joy to read." — Jim DeRogatis, rock critic, author, co-host, Sound Opinions

"I've always loved John's mind. Almost more than John himself. It's a mind that you can trust and be fdascinated by what it makes his mouth say and his body do. You won't be disappointed by this fascinating piece of work." — Dino Stamatopolous, writer for Mr. Show, Morel Orel, Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, and NBC's Community

PRAISE FOR INCOMPLETE PHILOSOPHY OF HOPE AND NONTHINGS:

"A fiendishly smart writer...intelligent and provocative." — The Chicago Tribune

"Like the best plays of Ionesco, Albee, and Pirandello, Ian Pierce merely hints at the deepest level of truth." — Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader

"Pierce is determined to fashion dense, cryptic works that confound as much as they enlighten us." — Nick Green, Chicago Reader

PRAISE FOR WEASELS IN A BOX:

"Reading Weasels In A Box is time well spent in the company of the quirky, intelligent, funny, talented, eccentric man who plays a mean underwater guitar. You won’t regret or forget it. Trust me." — Graham Rae, The New Review

"Weasels in a Box is revealing, compelling, and a flat out fun time for all to enjoy." — Denis Sheehan, Askew Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780981564333
Publisher:
Agate
Publication date:
09/27/2011
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are not overly familiar with the movie, most of the story will be lost to you. Not a character to love in this one and found it overly depressing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I might have given this book at least 4 stars if it hadn't been for the foul language (very unnecessary) and the confusing epilogue. I reread the epilogue several times trying to figure it out.
SusanJAcosta More than 1 year ago
So John Jughead has really done it this time. You might think that if an author, as the opening of his novel, took one of the most beloved films of all time and changed the ending from happy to tragic, that those who love the film would get very angry at him, right? You probably think it could never work. But it does, and then some. As a lover of Frank Capra’s 1946 It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a movie I, and many others, grew up watching affectionately each year at Christmas-time, I can safely say Pierson’s book, although not quite as innocent as the film, is just as delightful. Written in straightforward yet artful prose, the novel stretches forth its ideas - about interconnectedness and causality, about appearances and attitudes - and frames them in a story peopled with characters, some from the movie, some not, but all well-rounded, believable, and, for the most part, likeable. The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody provokes thought but, above all, following the tradition of it source, has a heart, and thus, although an alteration of the film, is simultaneously a tribute to it. Its details are complex and layered, but, by novel’s close, fit together neatly like a puzzle. Many years ago in Chicago, when I was fortunate enough to catch a production of one of Mr. Pierson’s early plays, I knew he was a talented writer, but he’s really outdone himself here. Read it, especially if you love the film, but even if you don’t. You won’t regret it.
BDJ More than 1 year ago
¿I¿m so dreadfully sorry, Zuzu. Everything that¿s taken place since then happened because I allowed your father to die. I¿m responsible for why we¿re here, for the way things are.¿ This is what Clarence, the one-time Angel Second Class tells George Bailey¿s daughter over two decades after Bedford Falls¿ favorite son went missing that Christmas Eve. The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody reimagines a world in which Clarence failed in his mission to save the distraught, yet warmhearted owner of the Building and Loan. The characters are familiar enough, but things have changed in Bedford Falls. Zuzu drives a beat up ¿65 Ford Mustang. Ernie Bishop, the former Bedford Falls taxi driver is now a renowned author and Frank Hagney, Potter¿s former henchman is racked with guilt and loneliness, trying to make amends for all that he did prior to George¿s disappearance. And poor Clarence, unsure if he did the right thing, is doomed to walk the earth, his worn-out suitcase in hand, trying to piece together the mysteries of life and fate. Keeping with the spirit of the original story, The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody offers readers familiar with the movie a look into the world of ¿what-ifs.¿ Meticulously researched and painstakingly faithful to the original characters, the novel is a breath of fresh air; a completely original take on a familiar story. As one who has made watching It¿s a Wonderful Life a yearly tradition, I was a bit skeptical at first by the premise of this book. It seemed almost blasphemous to mess with such an iconic American story. But The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody does not take anything away from the classic film. If anything, it enhances that story and provides a means to contemplate the philosophical issues brought up in the film. This version is darker, to be sure. But beneath the tragedy and loss, it is a story of hope, forgiveness and redemption. The Last Temptation of Clarence Odbody is one of the best books of 2011.
bugbug50 More than 1 year ago
It had all of the familiar characters from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", and became a 'what if...' sort of story. Was interesting to see the take that the author had, but I found it to be a rather dark story. Probably not to be read as a light and fluffy Holiday read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not understand the epilogue. I did not like the foul language. The movie, "It's a wonderful life," was clean and wholesome. This book had too many swear words. It wasn't needed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's thought-provoking, but I prefer the movie.