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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Ferris Narrator: Campbell Scott Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is a big, brilliant, profoundly observed novel about the absurdities of modern life and one man’s search for meaning, by National Book Award Finalist Joshua Ferris, one of the most exciting voices of his generation.

Paul O’Rourke is a Manhattan dentist with a thriving practice leading a quiet, routine-driven life. But behind the smiles and the nice apartment, he’s a man made of contradictions, and his biggest fear is that he may never truly come to understand anybody, including himself.

Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name. What begins as an outrageous violation of his privacy soon becomes something more soul-frightening: the possibility that the online “Paul” might be a better version of the real thing. As Paul’s quest to learn why his identity has been stolen deepens, he is forced to confront his troubled past and his uncertain future in a life disturbingly split between the real and the virtual.

At once laugh-out-loud funny about the absurdities of the modern world, and indelibly profound about the eternal questions of the meaning of life, love, and truth, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is a deeply moving and constantly surprising tour de force.

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Quotes & Awards

  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is beautifully written. It’s also funny, thought-provoking, and touching. One hesitates to call it the Catch-22 of dentistry, but it’s sort of in that ballpark.”

    Stephen King

  • “Patient readers will find that when the author pulls the story from out of the woods, the things Ferris has to say about humanity are curiously and devastatingly observed.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “[Ferris] shrewdly stages a kind of theological symposium in [an] uncomfortably intimate place, conducted halfway between levity and overeager sincerity... It's a pleasure watching this young writer confidently range from the registers of broad punchline comedy to genuine spiritual depth. The complementary notes of absurdity, alienation, and longing read like Kurt Vonnegut or Joseph Heller customized for the twenty-first century.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Enjoy the first great novel about social-media identity theft…It’s an atheist’s pilgrimage in search not of God but of community …O’Rourke’s search feels genuine, funny, tragic, and never dull.”


  • “The author has proved his astonishing ability to spin gold from ordinary air…Ferris’ third novel falls somewhere between the voice-driven power of the first [novel] and the idea-driven metaphor of the second…[He] remains as brave and adept as any writer out there.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Brilliant...Ferris has managed to blend the clever satire of his first book...with the grinding despair of his second…The result is a witty story. At his best, which is most of the time, Ferris spins Paul's observations and reflections into passages of flashing comedy that sound like a stand-up theologian suffering a nervous breakdown.”

    Washington Post

  • “Ferris’ trademark blend of dark satire and ominous absurdity suits his subject, and his focus on one character allows him to perform a psychological excavation of his subject in conjunction with his examination of modern life...The result is a stimulating, bittersweet read.”

    Huffington Post

  • “A novel that raises questions about meaning and belonging, even if the only answer is that we will never know...This is the novel’s peculiar brilliance, to uncover its existential stakes in the most mundane tasks...[a] curiously provocative novel.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “An engrossing and hilariously bleak novel…This splintering of the self hasn’t been performed in fiction so neatly since Philip Roth’s Operation Shylock.”

    Boston Globe

  • “[An] alternately sad and hilarious new book...Showcases the wit, intelligence, and keen eye for workplace absurdity…A welcome outlet for Ferris’ enormous virtuosity as a philosopher and storyteller. Ferris raises profound questions about the role of faith, not just in belonging, but in living.”


  • “A bizarre case of identity theft forces a dentist to question his beliefs in this funny, thought-provoking return to form by Ferris…Smart, sad, hilarious, and eloquent, this shows a writer at the top of his game and surpassing the promise of his celebrated debut.”

    Kirkus Review (starred review)

  • “The protagonist’s sharp inner dialogues are laugh-out-loud hilarious, combining Woody Allen’s New York nihilism with an Ivy League vocabulary…Ferris’ unique voice shines.”


  • “Narrator Campbell Scott’s understated performance is a perfect match for the protagonist of this introspective novel…Scott’s subtle inflections reflect O’Rourke’s narrow emotional range, bringing listeners along as the dentist’s initial discomfort at his stolen identity slowly morphs into curiosity about why he’s become a target…Listeners will appreciate Scott’s skill at transitioning between conversation, thoughts, and religious texts.”


  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for May 2014
  • Shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2014
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About the Author
Author Joshua Ferris

Joshua Ferris received a BA in English and philosophy from the University of Iowa and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. His fiction has appeared in the Iowa Review, Best New American Voices 2005, and Prairie Schooner. He was born in Danville, Illinois, grew up in Key West, and now lives in Brooklyn.