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The Grievers is a darkly comic coming of age novel for a generation that's still struggling to come of ageWhen Charley Schwartz learns that an old high school pal has killed himself he agrees to help his alma matter organize a memorial service to honor his fallen comrade Soon however devastation turns to disgust as Charley discovers that his frie Like the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral Marc Schuster s The Grievers blends the post juvenile humor of adults refusing to grow up with aching pathos and biting touches of genius By the final memorial service for Billy Chin the reader knows everything is bound to go wrong and that somehow it will all turn out right We re reading We trust the writer and driver of this tale And dysfunctional Charley s finally taking the wheelA satisfying story on many different levels The Grievers starts with a phone call from Billy s mother telling Charley his old school friend has killed himself Meanwhile Charley is killing his hopes and his marriage with neglect And working at a bank means dressing in a shiny foam dollar sign to wave at drivers from the grassIf you think this sounds depressing you just have to wait for Charley to lose his footing when the sprinklers come on Or listen to his friend uote Marx brothers movies Or ride along on a failed intervention when another friend falls off the rails Comedy travels hand in hand with tragedy in this novel neither any further away than the next page but both singing in tuneIn soaps the dead can rise again saved by mistaken identity In real life true identity might be revealed in the mourning process Billy s death just might help Charley finally recognize himself And the Henry Avenue Bridge in Philadelphia might reveal a different view when Charley learns to follow the road Disclosure I received a free bound galley of this novel from the Permanent Press in exchange for my honest review

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The Grievers

Oing crusade to enforce the proper use of apostrophes among the proprietors of local dining establishments Desperate to set the world right and keep his own life from spiraling out of control Charley rages through his days and nights plotting all the while the ultimate eulogy for his deceased friend and a scathing indictment of a world gone wrong I won this book in the Goodreads giveaway and this is my honest opinion of the book I just finished reading this book today and I think myself of being very fortunate to be able to win the chance to read such a wonderful book There are so many strong points that Schuster has applied to make this book an unforgetable experience For one it was really funny The entire book was very sarcastic with darkly implied satirical humor I found myself laughing out loud while I was reading this novella and half the time I forget that I m reading this novella at all because it felt as if I was watching someone s conversation first hand instead of just reading it on paper I love Charley and his band of old highschool friends Though they are all into their late 20 s sometimes they act like children again This novel speaks to me in so many ways like aside from coping with a classmate s death it s also about growing up and letting go of the child within you All of his characters seem so REAL which is what captivated me and also because of the humor Oh THE HUMOR I know I should feel awful because instead of planning a memorial service for Billy they made it into a festival that looks like some part of Mao s throne room or something My gawd that part was so funny I loved how Charley thinks that Frank is still the same old asshole he knew during highschool but really Charley s the asshole throughout the book because a part of him was still a child while Frank is the one who s grown up All in all this book was a very great experience for me Loved how real and believeable the characters are and also the dark humor I m very grateful that I won this book

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Nd's passing means less to the school than the bottom line As the memorial service uickly degenerates into a fundraising fiasco Charley must also deal with a host of other uandaries including a dead end job as an anthropomorphic dollar sign his best friend's imminent move to Maryland an intervention with a drug addled megalomaniac and his own ong Every time I start a book there is always a sense of anticipation This was particularly so for this book I knew about this book for over a year before it was released And sometimes when you look forward to something for so long there is a greater chance for being let down for the book not living up to the hype that you built for itI am happy to say that there was no let down in The Grievers Marc Schuster tells a great story about the coming of age of Charley Schwartz a 28 year old man who spends his time not working on his dissertation not taking his menial job seriously not doing a very good job of helping his wife rehab their home and not being a very good friend Schwartz begins his journey when he finds out that an old friend from high school had killed himselfThe story is well told the writing is tight the characters are true and the dialogue is contemporary without being gratuitous to the reader or the characters The narrative flows easily Any time I had to put the book down it was out of necessity and never because there was a lull in the tellingI mentioned in my review of Schuster s first novel The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom Party Girl that I have the pleasure of knowing Marc personally I will say again that knowing him only guarantees that I will get the book and start it If it isn t well done if I don t enjoy it I wouldn t finish it and I certainly wouldn t endorse it or mention it here This book exceeded all of my expectations and I am happy to recommend it to anyone I knowWhat I enjoyed most about the book was the sense of fulfillment when I finished it There are some books that leave you hanging whether it be loose ends or just a poorly executed finish the most glaring example of this to my mind is Get Shorty by the inimitable and always enjoyable El Leonard Other books leave you wanting the story to continue Yes we ve some to the end but there is so much farther the story could go And there are those books that leave you sated When you come to the last period the story is finished This is one of those books


10 thoughts on “The Grievers

  1. says:

    Instead of posting a typical review I'm going to post the letter that I wrote to Marc after I finished reading The Grievers I hope he won't mind that I'm doing this Marc I finished The Grievers – all in one sitting five straight hours with a short pause for dinner First I want to thank you for letting me read the book in advance of its release Second I would like to share some thoughts that I hope you don’t mind reading I’m

  2. says:

    Schuster's novel provides readers with a mirror of those aspects of themselves with which they may have trouble dealing Charley Schwartz the protagonist is stuck in a limbo of sorts between childhood and adulthood He has assumed a variety of adult responsibilities but he continues to approach them with a very childlike or at least adolesent like naivete He refuses to take things seriously when he should and he takes t

  3. says:

    Like the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral Marc Schuster’s The Grievers blends the post juvenile humor of adults refusing to grow up with a

  4. says:

    Phenomenal Review over at The Nervous Breakdown

  5. says:

    I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to a Goodreads Giveaway I was immediately taken with the subject matter of the story which is the reason why I entered the giveaway in the first place “When

  6. says:

    Every time I start a book there is always a sense of anticipation This was particularly so for this book I knew about this book for over a year before it was released And sometimes when you look forward to something for so long there is a greater chance for being let down; for the book not living up to the hype that you built for itI am happ

  7. says:

    An interesting and thought provoking book with some subtle and classy humor where you least anticipate it I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw it advertised as a coming of age novel about a generation that never grew up but that is exactly what it is Protagonist Charley Schwartz St Leo's high school class of 1991 has arrived at 2012 by doi

  8. says:

    The Grievers may possibly be one of the best books you’ve never heard ofThis is the somewhat unusual case where I’ve heard of the author before the book You see Marc’s a Philly guy and although our paths haven’t to my knowledge crossed I’m thinking I had to have read something of his at one pointHe’s just too goodThe Gr

  9. says:

    I won this book in the Goodreads giveaway and this is my honest opinion of the book I just finished reading this book today and I think myself of being very fortunate to be able to win the chance to read such a wonderful book There are so many strong points that Schuster has applied to make this book an unforgetable exp

  10. says:

    A friend of mine had recently won this book in the Goodreads Giveaways and her review of it made me sure I needed to read it Thankfully she was kind enough to loan me the book I read this book in one sitting The Grievers is a very compelling story mostly due to its highly relatable content As a person in their mid twent

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