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Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant: A Novel…
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Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (original 1982; edition 1996)

by Anne Tyler

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2,493472,446 (3.87)119
Member:bibliophileofalls
Title:Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
Authors:Anne Tyler
Info:Ballantine Books (1996), Edition: First, Paperback, 303 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, owned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:R 13, to Connie 1-13 retd 2-13, to Arlynn 11-13

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Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler (1982)

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English (43)  Catalan (2)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
In spite of having read other works by this author, none of which I ever liked, I keep reading her books because they are set in my hometown. In spite of the fact that her portrayal of my hometown Baltimore is often spot on, the characters in her books are always, always, always such down in the dumps, dreary, depressing, discouraging, and miserable human beings that I finish the book and immediately want to burn it.

This one continues the string of misery. It is the story of a woman raising children in the 1950s without the assistance (either physical or financial) of the father of those children. The different attitudes and aptitudes of the three children are sharply drawn, but still depressing. I know there are many who find these well written worthwhile stories. I'm not one of them.

If you're into family tragedy, this one's for you. If you're looking for lighter summer reading this time of year, I'd look elsewhere. ( )
  tututhefirst | Jun 7, 2014 |
Tyler's humor, her sense of place, her eccentric characters, her use of language, and her lyrical descriptions are magnificent. Anne Tyler says that Eudora Welty has been the most influential on her writing and the admiration is mutual, as shown by Welty's comment about this novel: "If I could have written the last sentence in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant I'd have been happy for the rest of my life" (Welty in Salwak, p. 11)

Tolstoy famously wrote that "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." That is certainly true of the Tull family that we meet in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.

"Everything,' his father said, 'comes down to time in the end--to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't sadness wishing time back again? Even big things--even mourning a death: aren't you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos--ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? ... Isn't it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once."
( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Tyler's humor, her sense of place, her eccentric characters, her use of language, and her lyrical descriptions are magnificent. Anne Tyler says that Eudora Welty has been the most influential on her writing and the admiration is mutual, as shown by Welty's comment about this novel: "If I could have written the last sentence in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant I'd have been happy for the rest of my life" (Welty in Salwak, p. 11)

Tolstoy famously wrote that "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." That is certainly true of the Tull family that we meet in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.

"Everything,' his father said, 'comes down to time in the end--to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't sadness wishing time back again? Even big things--even mourning a death: aren't you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos--ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? ... Isn't it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once."
( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Read it couple of yrs and I didn't just enjoy it, I LOVED it, such an amazing brilliant truthful heartbreaking novel, can't remember details but remember how I felt...

I read the Arabic translation and it was really good, and just realized that this novel makes me wannna read it again althou I'm not a fan of reading books more than once, but I'll defiantly read it again..

It would be really interesting 2 find out how I'm gonna feel abt it this time, since 'm older now and might be different so it'd be reaaaaally interesting 2 know wat would I think abt it now...

Highly recommended, will be back 2 review it again 4 the 2nd time ;) ( )
  Samar.Abd-Allah | Feb 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Every other year or so since 1964, loyal readers pick up their new Anne Tyler novel as they would buy a favored brand of sensible shoe. Each of her nine books is solidly constructed from authentic and durable materials. Yet traditional style and comfort do not necessarily mean dullness. Tyler's characters have character: quirks, odd angles of vision, colorful mean streaks and harmonic longings. They usually live in ordinary settings, like Baltimore, the author's current home, and do not seem to have been overly influenced by the 7 o'clock news. An issue in a Tyler novel is likely to mean a new child; a cause, the reason behind a malfunction in an appliance or a marriage.
added by Shortride | editTime, R. Z. Sheppard (Apr 5, 1982)
 

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Leigh-Loohuizen, RiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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While Pearl Tull was dying, a funny thought occurred to her.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449911594, Paperback)

“Beautiful . . . funny, heart-hammering, wise . . . superb entertainment.”
–The New York Times

“A book that should join those few that every literate person will have to read.”
–The Boston Globe


Pearl Tull is nearing the end of her life but not of her memory. It was a Sunday night in 1944 when her husband left the little row house on Baltimore’s Calvert Street, abandoning Pearl to raise their three children alone: Jenny, high-spirited and determined, nurturing to strangers but distant to those she loves; the older son, Cody, a wild and incorrigible youth possessed by the lure of power and money; and sweet, clumsy Ezra, Pearl’s favorite, who never stops yearning for the perfect family that could never be his own.

Now Pearl and her three grown children have gathered together again–with anger, hope, and a beautiful, harsh, and dazzling story to tell.


“A novelist who knows what a proper story is . . . [Tyler is] not only a good and artful writer, but a wise one as well.”
–Newsweek

“Anne Tyler is surely one of the most satisfying novelists working in America today.”
–Chicago Tribune

“In her ninth novel she has arrived at a new level of power.”
–John Updike, The New Yorker

“Marvelous, astringent, hilarious, [and] strewn with the banana peels of love.”
–Cosmopolitan

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:56 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Pearl Tull is nearing the end of her life but not her memory. It was a Sunday night in 1944 when her husband left the little row house on Baltimore's Calvert Street, abandoning Pearl to raise their three children alone: Jenny, high-spirited and determined, nurturing to strangers but distant to those she loves; the oldest son, Cody, a wild and incorrigible youth possessed by the lure of power and money; and sweet and clumsy Ezra, Pearl's favorite, who never stops yearning for the "perfect" family that could never be his own. Now grown, they have gathered together again-with anger, with hope, and with a beautiful, harsh, and dazzling story to tell.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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