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Couch by Benjamin Parzybok
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Recently added byprivate library, BayardUS, yrizaria, reenathebookworm, diana.n, bobloblaw33, alexmuninn
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Couch strikes me as a book written by Parzybok not because he had a message he wanted to let people know about, or had a story to tell, but because he likes the idea of being an author and writing books is what you have to do to hold that job. There's a hodgepodge of stuff thrown together here, with little resolution and even less thematic coherence. I had originally used the word "ideas" in the place of "stuff" in my last sentence, but I had to make the replacement because despite a bevy of characters, settings, and events being thrown into this book there are few instances where the book makes you think. The writing is competent, even though it is completely devoid of soul or depth, so it gets two stars instead of one. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
It won me over. Couch starts off as a typically Northwestern tale of woe: three underemployed guys - a laid-off programmer, a fey pie-baking hippie boy, and a smooth-talking con artist - share a dismal Portland apartment, down on their luck and starting to feel desperation creeping in around the edges. When they are forced out of their den of lethargy by a flood, they discover that their perniciously comfortable couch may, in fact, be evil, and certainly possesses a mind of its own. As they try to figure out what exactly the couch wants, they are drawn into an epic road trip involving secret societies, hobos, lost civilizations, space aliens, drunken fishermen, revolutionaries, and girls, lugging the couch the whole way. Awesomely ridiculous and strangely profound, a thoroughly worthwhile read. ( )
  paperloverevolution | Mar 30, 2013 |
A hacker, a con-artist, and a commune-grown clairvoyant walk into the Ecuadorian jungle with a magic couch under their arms... Ben Parzybok's debut is a funny, magic, quest story [ full review ] ( )
  markflanagan | Jul 21, 2010 |
Parzybok's debut novel starts as an offbeat and humorous story about three young men, somewhat in the slacker line, who are having a bad day as their apartment is flooded and the local thrift centers refuse to take their old couch. The book remains offbeat to the end and humor continues to well up at regular intervals, but the overall story gradually morphs into a mythic tale as the roommates realize that there is somewhere that the couch needs to be taken. Their simple trip to Goodwill becomes a journey around the world, full of adventure and self discovery.

I really enjoyed the author's language and writing style. They made up for a few holes in the story line and a few awkward moments. I'm not sure if I'd call this book fantasy or magical realism, but it's definitely the type of thing one might expect from Small Beer Press. Recommended. ( )
1 vote TadAD | Apr 9, 2010 |
Three Portland, Oregon slackers lose their apartment, jobs and everything they own except a bright orange couch. It's no ordinary couch, however; it seems to have a will of its own. Soon the roommates are hauling the couch where IT wants to go. Who knew furniture had a destiny? Laugh-out-loud funny with a bittersweet ending. ( )
  fig2 | Feb 13, 2010 |
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From above, from a thousand feet up, an eagle's-eye view, it's a strange spectacle still.
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An exuberant and hilarious debut in which an episode of furniture moving gone awry becomes an impromptu quest of self-discovery, secret histories, and unexpected revelations. Thom is a computer geek whose hacking of a certain Washington-based software giant has won him a little fame but few job prospects. Erik is a smalltime con man, a fast-talker who is never quite quick enough on his feet. Their roommate, Tree, is a confused clairvoyant whose dreams and prophecies may not be completely off base. After a freak accident fl oods their apartment, the three are evicted-but they have to take their couch with them. The real problem? The couch-huge and orange-won't let them put it down. Soon the three roommates are on a cross-country trek along back roads, byways, and rail lines, heading far out of Portland and deep into one very weird corner of the American dream.
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An exuberant and hilarious debut in which an episode of furniture moving gone awry becomes an impromptu quest of self-discovery, secret histories, and unexpected revelations. Thom is a computer geek whose hacking of a certain Washington-based software giant has won him a little fame but few job prospects. Erik is a smalltime con man, a fast-talker who is never quite quick enough on his feet. Their roommate, Tree, is a confused clairvoyant whose dreams and prophecies may not be completely off base. After a freak accident floods their apartment, the three are evicted-but they have to take their couch with them. The real problem? The couch-huge and orange-won't let them put it down. Soon the three roommates are on a cross-country trek along back roads, byways, and rail lines, heading far out of Portland and deep into one very weird corner of the American dream.… (more)

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