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Start Without Me: A Novel by Joshua Max…

Start Without Me: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Joshua Max Feldman (Author)

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3019367,255 (3.32)10
Title:Start Without Me: A Novel
Authors:Joshua Max Feldman (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2017), 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Vermont, Seattle, Piano, Music, Family, Thanksgiving, Kids, Depression, Alcoholism, Pregnancy, Thelonius Monk, Cigarettes, Planes, Airport, Restaurant, Cat, Trees, Sun, Coffee, Jazz, Rock, Doughnuts

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Start Without Me: A Novel by Joshua Max Feldman



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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Two lost souls meet in a hotel coffee shop on Thanksgiving morning and try to avoid spending time with their families. I know that doesn't sound like much fun, but this novel is amazing. Adam is a recovering alcoholic who has come home to spend Christmas with his family for the first time in years. He is so afraid of letting them down, that he is unable to face them. Marissa is a flight attendant who has a few hours in which to drive to her in-laws for dinner before another flight. She has two major problems: her in-laws despise her, and she has just found out she is pregnant with a baby that is not her husband's. Adam and Marissa form a sort of misfit friendship and, as they travel through the day, they learn more about each other. As one misfit to another, it is much easier to reveal these painful episodes and to accept the weaknesses and flaws in the other person, There is a dark humor in this book and a an indomitable hopefulness through the sadness. The writing is beautiful with phrase that make you stop and marvel at their craftsmanship. I would highly recommend this book. ( )
  DrApple | Oct 4, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
If you have seen the Sofia Coppola film "Lost in Translation" you already know the basic plot outline of Joshua Max Feldman's new novel "Start Without Me": A man and woman, who under ordinary circumstances would have little in common, temporarily discover in each other the only person with whom they can communicate and reveal their true selves.

In the movie, the lonely pair are stuck in Japan, relieved to find another American to talk with. In the book, the two people meet on Thanksgiving, which in its own way can produce loneliness in some people.

Adam was once a promising musician whose career was cut short by alcoholism, which also contributed to his strained relationship with his family. Now recovering, he returns East to spend the holiday with relatives. It does not go well, and within hours he flees into the cold, not sure what he will do next.

At the airport he meets Marissa, a flight attendant with problems of her own. She is on her way to spend Thanksgiving with her husband and his family. But she has been unfaithful with an old boyfriend and has just learned she is pregnant. She doesn't want to get an abortion, but her husband is black and the boyfriend is white. To add to her stress, her father-in-law has political ambitions and has had a private investigator tailing her, so he already knows about the boyfriend. When she visits her mother, herself an alcoholic, the situation proves even worse than what she encounters at the home of her in-laws

Adam and Marissa spend most of the day together, revealing to each other both the best and worst truths about themselves. Feldman manages to make it believable that, no matter how many times the two part, they always somehow come together again. He describes them as "a couple of strays." They are two people loose with nowhere to go on a day when everybody is supposed to be somewhere. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Oct 2, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It's Thanksgiving Day and two strangers stumble into each others' lives and each others' demons. Adam, former musician and recovering alcoholic, cannot face his suburban family. Marissa, pregnant from a one-night stand with an ex, is struggling with her situation, her husband, and his wealthy and demanding family. Alcoholism and the residual effects of poverty and loneliness are stark on this holiday of togetherness. This book was sadder than it's marketing suggested. While it sometimes felt a little implausible and overwrought, it was an engaging read and did contain a few surprises. ( )
  strongstuff | Sep 23, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'll say up front that I liked this book. The plot is familiar. Two young people return to their respective families for Thanksgiving.Traditionally, this story describes a recovered, mature individual who returns to the dysfunctional family that made their life miserable. This plot line is turned on it's head. The interesting part is how the author describes how his characters react as they begin to see the reality of their family relationships. There is no big transformation but they are different people when they leave. ( )
  Oregonreader | Sep 22, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I loved this description of this book and wanted to immediately read it once I got my hands on it. However, this book is anything but hilarious as the description states.

It's a really sad story of Marissa and Adam and the way their lives are not what they want. I really like the general idea of what this book is and the story they were telling, but I think there was a lot of filler in it and I really wish that there was some actual humor in it. I also wish you found out what happens with their lives... it sort of just ends.

Overall the book was OK, but it is depressing - so don't think you'll be laughing out loud. ( )
  Maggie.Chavarria | Sep 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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