Book 225 – Bush Falls by Jonathan Tropper

Book – Bush Falls
Author – Jonathan Tropper
Year – 2004
Pages – 245
Genre – Fiction
Bought for me by Bob and Michelle

Joe receives a call from home – his father has had a stroke and he needs to get back as soon as he can.  Trouble is, Joe has not been back home to Bush Falls in seventeen years, and in that time he has made his fortune off the back of a tell all novel he wrote about everyone he grew up there with. Now he must go back and deal with all of the awkwardness he has avoided for so long.

Bob and Michelle got me this book for Christmas, and after Bob’s stellar recommendation of Tropper’s brilliant How To Talk To A Widower I was pretty excited for this one.  Whilst it does not quite live up to the dizzy heights of this previous recommendation, it was still very definitely worth the read.

Tropper has a great ability to just about make you just about start to hate a character, and then just drawing it back in time to appreciate them more.  This is constantly in evidence with Joe who is often self pitying and annoying, but is also very much aware of it.  This means that all of the little threads that the author creates manage to just about come together to make a great story without winding you up too much.

Which is good, because there are definitely some clunky characters here who need this excellent story.  The love interest is just a little on the nose, and other stock characters such as the gruff dad and the hard nosed basketball coach, have all of the potential to make this a book of stereotypes, but luckily, Tropper is a skilled enough writer to be able to absorb this into his work and still come out with a great book.  It is obvious that this is early writing by him, but the potential shines through easily, and is well worth a read.

As a side note, this seems to be called The Book of Joe in America, but I can’t find out why if anyone has any ideas?


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