Saul and Patsy

Saul and Patsy Five Oaks Michigan is not exactly where Saul and Patsy meant to end up Both from the East Coast they met in college fell in love and settled down to married life in the Midwest Saul is Jewish and

  • Title: Saul and Patsy
  • Author: Charles Baxter
  • ISBN: 9780375709166
  • Page: 226
  • Format: Paperback
  • Five Oaks, Michigan is not exactly where Saul and Patsy meant to end up Both from the East Coast, they met in college, fell in love, and settled down to married life in the Midwest Saul is Jewish and a compulsively inventive worrier Patsy is gentile and cheerfully pragmatic On Saul s initiative and to his continual dismay they have moved to this small town a place soFive Oaks, Michigan is not exactly where Saul and Patsy meant to end up Both from the East Coast, they met in college, fell in love, and settled down to married life in the Midwest Saul is Jewish and a compulsively inventive worrier Patsy is gentile and cheerfully pragmatic On Saul s initiative and to his continual dismay they have moved to this small town a place so devoid of irony as to be virtually a museum of earlier American feelings where he has taken a job teaching high school Soon this brainy and guiltily happy couple will find children have become a part of their lives, first their own baby daughter and then an unloved, unlovable boy named Gordy Himmelman It is Gordy who will throw Saul and Patsy s lives into disarray with an inscrutable act of violence As timely as a news flash yet informed by an immemorial understanding of human character, Saul and Patsy is a genuine miracle.

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      Published :2019-01-03T13:00:53+00:00

    One thought on “Saul and Patsy”

    1. Saul and Patsy are in love. (Maybe too much so, according to Saul's mother, who thinks it's show-offy to be so in love and that it makes other people uncomfortable). They live in a small town in Michigan, off a dirt road, where they have moved from the east coast because of Saul's whim to be a teacher. "Saul and Patsy": yet another sigh-inducing and pleasant Charles Baxter novel.Saul is neurotic, in his own head, and wishes the rest of the world was like Patsy. Meanwhile, she is the voice of rea [...]

    2. Ya know what? I didn't particularly care for a single person in this book. Maybe including so many character flaws was an attempt to invoke sympathy due to extreme realism, but I found it hard to enjoy following through when I didn't really give a damn about anyone.

    3. This book had a very unique story line. Saul and Patsy are a happily married couple that moves out into the middle of no where for Saul to become a high school writing teacher. Soon the couple becomes parents to their new daughter Mary Esther. The couple had two very different personalities. Saul was always worried about something, no matter how minor it may be opposed to Patsy being happy and care free. Perhaps Saul does have real problems to fret over when one of his troubled students begins t [...]

    4. There's a sort of twee tone to this, which I found a bit off-putting. The pacing is unusual: it never seems to vary, with the dramatic and the mundane narrated in the same off-hand way. Initially, this is a problem as it meanders too much, but it does get better – around the 100 page mark – and then seems to find its stride, but it never manages to be gripping or moving.

    5. quite possibly one of the most annoying books i have ever readul is a really forced cliched character. baxter does a horrible job of attempting to create a realistic "neurotic jewish" guy. it's been done before, by far better writers.

    6. Saul wins MABC (most annoying book character) award due to his relentless self-absorption and his offensively stereotypically "Jewish" intellectual and cultural traits. Charles Baxter is among my favorite short story writers but, well, not so much at long-form fiction.

    7. Although there are parts of this novel that shine, in the end, it seems to meander and simply fade out without resolution of any issues. Perhaps as a slice of life, a plotless set of events that occur to a couple, it holds together. Here is how people live--in the midwest--and some of the odd events that occur even in such a plain and rather boring place. Baxter captures some very human moments--the intimacy of a married couple and the growth of their relationship.So, why was I disappointed with [...]

    8. I have no doubt that Charles Baxter will be noted as one of our most thoughtful and philosophic American writers of this time period. He has moved impressively from short story collections (my experience with his work started with _A Relative Stranger_) to a full-blown novelist. Even from his first novel, _First Light_, Baxter has shown a great mixture of a kind of old-school character depth, with high school teachers able to discuss railroad companies and quote classics in normal conversation, [...]

    9. This is a beautifully drawn portrait of a young couple who have moved into a midwest town unlike any place they have ever lived. What is Gordy in this novel? Everyone expresses confusion over why he kills himself in front of Saul and Patsy's house (except for the one's who think they drove him to it). But it is very clear why--he needs someone to be a witness to his death as no one was willing to be to his life. Saul, by expressing the smallest bit of interest in Gordy, has made him real to hims [...]

    10. If I bothered to give stars to books, this one would receive all five. Toni Morrison says write the stories you want to read, which is thrilling and inspiring advice until you read the story you want to read.And, of course, I would find a way to complain about discovering a great novel. Personally, I was most interested with the novel’s focus on adolescence, and adolescent violence and suffering. Refreshingly, the novel sought no easy answers in the wake of Gordy’s death. Characters espoused [...]

    11. It was a gigantic MEH. I'm gonna articulate the exact reason, lest I become what I condemn. Saul and Patsy are a married couple who've moved to middle America to undumb the dumbness that's been done. It's not the most enticing premise, but I think Baxter's great so I gave this a chance, 61 pages to be exact. Here's my problem. Characters do things for reasons. People operate under the laws of cause and effect. It's simple. My problem is that Baxter broke this rule. Saul's this very rational teac [...]

    12. Although the first hundred pages had me evocatively remembering summer '09 (for reasons I can't quite quantify, although I tried to in the big review), the last two-thirds go to something simply good. It's the Midwest, it's the story of a couple and their building of a family - what more could it really be? We've all read so many stories like this, what makes this one different? The thing that makes this one different is the character of Gordy, who only appears for a short while but impacts the [...]

    13. This is my first novel by Charles Baxter, but I'll certainly try another.The first third of the novel I found a little tedious. A lot of navel-gazing and "precious" writing and not much going on--a kind of "watch me write about digging deep into the meaning of life using all my writerly powers." In my mind, I had given it three stars.But--the book got better and better. The storyline about schools, kids and classrooms grew more real, and the introspection began to be meaningful, and then startli [...]

    14. As an avid admirer of Baxter's work, this promising novel was a bit of a let down. I'd just read the short story that introduced Saul and Patsy earlier this year, and they are very interesting characters, a transplanted Jewish intellectual and his free-spirited wife who find themselves settling in the outskirts of suburban Michigan. The first half of the novel is engaging and mature, as it traces the development of their relationship from insatiable newlyweds to the challenges of early parenthoo [...]

    15. This was my second Charles Baxter book, and while I didn’t like it as much as A Feast of Love, I liked it a lot. Saul and Patsy are a young couple from the east who end up in Baxter’s mythical town of Five Oaks in Michigan. Saul, who is Jewish, is a high school History teacher, and Patsy is a loan officer in a bank. In large part, the book focuses on how out of place Saul and Patsy are in this Midwestern town, and especially so, Saul because of his Jewishness. Baxter plays with the contradic [...]

    16. Although Saul and Patsy both came from the east coast, they are living in Michigan and have settled into a fairly typical midwestern life style. Saul is a teacher and Patsy is a loan officer in the local bank. They have a baby daughter and are very much in love.Then Saul is assigned to teach a remedial class and Gordy Himmelman comes into their life. Gordy is learning disabled, lives with an aunt in very poor circumstances and seems totally hostile in school. But he becomes fixated with Saul and [...]

    17. This book was such a HUGE disappointment compared to one of my favorite reads several years back, Feast of Love. That book, I devoured! This book, I'm glad I only picked up at the dollar store! I nearly didn't bother to finish, but I was hoping for morecertain events did pull me in and catch my interest to see how they'd play out, so that kept me going along enough to finish. I guess my main problem was that I just didn't like EITHER Saul or Patsy. As much as the author tried for their inner-dia [...]

    18. "Saul and Patsy" is a wonderfully compact exposition on so many things in life. Written in a style reminiscent of both Bernard Malamud and Jonathan Franzen, this book unabashedly examines many of modern society's difficult subjects including teenage violence, generational divides, anti-Semitism and social ostracism. All of Baxter's explorations into these topics are thought-provoking and sometimes anger-inducing. All through the flaming barbs and social taboos however, Baxter weaves a charming l [...]

    19. this book is difficult for me to review because i'm still not sure how i felt about it. what i can say is that there is not one truly likable character in the group. i didn't feel like i was rooting for any of them. but that didn't really bother me. usually i'd hate a book that gave me no one to cling to. butr some reason, i kind of liked reading the lonely desolation that this couple felt. even while they were "so in love", the title characters both felt extreme solitude at different times in t [...]

    20. This book was a huge disappointment, especially after reading all the reviews. I found it trite and unimaginative. Every stereotype was in play here and there really was no story other than angst. And yes, in and of itself that can make for a good story- especially when characters are multi-dimensional and interesting. If Saul and Patsy were my neighbors, I'd abhor them and stay away too - there is a reason that they have no friends and aren't that well liked. And for the record, an unlikeable c [...]

    21. "Don't try to figure out why you love some guy. You'll only figure out that you shouldn't." "The spaces between them could be measured in millimeters, infinitesimal spaces expressing an inexpressible failure of desire." "You could sometimes love someone, as it turned out, after that person was gone, though not before. One of life's larger ironies, its habit of making what was absent, visible." A stranger plot than I had anticipated, but not in a bad way. A strange, stupid high school dropout sho [...]

    22. Saul and Patsy move from the city to a small town in Michigan, where Saul teaches high school and Patsy works as a bank teller. The book tells their story, including ups and downs and at least one shocking event. None of the characters are very likable, many events are dubiously portrayed (lacking the feel of authenticity) and the book seems disjointed and dated in parts. All of that said, there was some really excellent prose and interesting insights from the author. I was not entirely satisfie [...]

    23. I almost didn't finish this book, but I'm glad that I did. Elements that seemed random and, perhaps, indulgent while I was in the middle of the story came together at the end. It's not that loose ends were tied, exactly -- more that the weight and variety of the story's events adds up to something once you've completed the journey. In my opinion, it's an interesting and affecting love story, especially since the traditional central drama of a romance, the hooking up, happens before the book begi [...]

    24. Saul is an idealist and a romantic. He sees it as his political responsibility to be a teacher to help in "the great project of undoing the dumbness that's been done." When a disturbed student of Saul's commits a desperate act, Saul and his wife Patsy's lives are changed forever. One of Baxter's many strengths as a writer is his ability to make you believe in the love shared by his characters, to accept their quirks and to like them, even with their many flaws. I have been a fan of Baxter's sinc [...]

    25. i really love charles baxter's writing, in this and in feast of love. But i just didn't connect to this novel as much. i hated patsy. it bothered me that it was mostly from saul's or patsy's POV but then all of a sudden there was a chapter from some random-ass girl in the town, or howie, right at the end. it made the plot feel extremely disjointed.i also found the end rather anti-climactic. i actually have no problem with the climax of the book being in the middle; i've read a few books like tha [...]

    26. I have read books that I have not liked all that much but still the characters or story left me with something to think about, Saul and Patsy did not. I don't know why I finished this book. I guess I got to a point of no return. I wanted to give the book a chance to draw me in. Even though I did not particularly like or understand the characters, I was so far into the book, I was determined to finish and find something good about it. The story seemed as though it was finally going somewhere at t [...]

    27. I'm giving this an "I really liked it" four star rating, although I'm not quite sure why. Baxter's characters, including the title couple, are wonderful-- sharply drawn, idiosyncratic and all a little off-kilter. His prose is mesmerizing. But the story meanders along, leading this way and that, and just when you think it has found a center or a unifying theme, it goes off in another direction. We're shown an array of people, some with severe problems that are never resolved. It is all kind of li [...]

    28. I suppose it is fashionable to brood and complain about being happy as the Saul character does, but I found him to be extremely boring. Throw in the suicide, the philandering pedophile mother (don't even get me started on that sub-plot), the illusive brother and the teen vandals and the boring becomes preposterous!I can relate to a tortured soul as well as the next guy, but at least give the character some authentic source of torture. Saul has a loving and patient wife, healthy happy children, a [...]

    29. I don't know quite what to say about this book. It's very well written, and the story is strangely engrossing. I just don't know what the "point" was. I guess I'd say it's about the anatomy of a marriage -- starting out strong, then declining, but then building back up again to something more durable and satisfying. And in the background is this strange kid who is obssessed with them, and lingers rather like a bad penny (or maybe a good one .who knows) throughout the entire story. But Baxter nev [...]

    30. I like Saul and Patsy. As characters and a couple, I REALLY liked Saul and Patsy. Unfortunately the novel as a whole never quite took off for me. And I normally LOVE character driven books where, essentially, little happens.Somehow the whole tone of the novel is trapped somewhere between coming-of-adult-age and a middle aged reflection.There are fleeting glimpses of social satire, but it never really fully elevates itself above the small town midwest ennui our protagonists inhabit. Maybe that's [...]

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