Domestic Violets

Domestic Violets

A Novel

eBook - 2011
Average Rating:
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Tom Violet always thought he'd have a great life, but nothing is going as he had planned. His marriage is burdened with problems, his novel manuscript is stuffed into a desk drawer, his job is mind-numbing, and his dog is suffering from acute anxiety. Now, though, Tom has decided to take control of his own happiness, even if it means making a complete idiot of himself.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins e-books, [2011]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9780062065124
0062065122
Branch Call Number: ONLINE
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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e
eydie11
Jul 16, 2016

Great read. Made me laugh on many occasions. Characters were relatable and smart.

StratfordLibrary Mar 09, 2015

"A feel good book. Enjoyed reading it and the characters are so real. Left a smile on my face." - Blind Date with a Book 2015 comment

jeanner222 Mar 27, 2013

35-year-old Tom Violet thought that his life would be better by now, but it is not. He hasn’t written the great American novel yet. He works as a copywriter for a company straight out of Office Space. And his sex life stinks. Why?

Tom has one problem: his father, Curtis Violet. Curtis is the great writer in the family. Curtis has the beautiful wife and spectacular wealth. Hell, Curtis has just been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The man has it all.

For Tom, the Pulitzer is an awakening. He cannot continue down the same unsuccessful path he’s been blazing for years. He must change course. Now. Of course, hilarity ensues.

This is a really funny and well-written novel. The author cites Richard Russo’s Straight Man as a favorite, and I can definitely see the connection. I loved it!

Ljubica81 Jul 05, 2012

A joy to read, main characters are warm and intelligent.

j
judyshan
Feb 08, 2012

This books is absolutely, laugh out loud hilarious..and thought-provoking at the same time!

AnneDromeda Oct 11, 2011

Since the market freefall in 2008, it seems to me there's been a bit of a shift in prose, creating a new subgenre of literary fiction. It's lighter than Atwood or Enright, but still deals with weighty issues in ways that feel true. It plays with postmodernism and postcolonialism rather than bathing in them. 1st person protagonists flirt with disaster with the kind of ironic glee only generated by the grim knowledge one is likely hooped either which way. <br />

First-time author Matthew Norman's *Domestic Violets* hails from this trend. Keenly aware of its time, it captures a family caught in 2008's rolling fecal storm of bad credit and malignantly inept corporate decision-making. Protagonist Tom Violet is the son of a literary genius, Curtis, who's just won a Pulitzer. A chronic, Porche-driving womanizer and happy alcoholic, Curtis can be read as an aged version of *Californication*'s Hank Moody. <br />

Tom, on the other hand, writes ad copy for a management consulting company by day, and furtively broods over his own novel by night. Superficially, he's living the dream: He's married to a beautiful woman, has a charming daughter and a dog, and lives in a stately home in one of Washington DC's tonier suburbs. The charm of the top layer wears off fast, though – the novel's first scene is a twisted and hilarious psychological battle between a married, middle-aged man and his unwilling virility. The spark is gone in Tom's marriage to Anna, his dog has anxiety issues, and his job requires he artfully rearrange corporate buzzwords in pamphlets. One apt description of office ennui: “Greg is a tie guy, and I am a non-tie guy. This represents the rift among males in our office – Business Casual versus Business Formal – and I'm almost certain it will eventually lead to a choreographed dance fight in the employee lounge.” In the sea of beige Tom refers to as the Death Star, he occupies the lowest rung on the management ladder, overseeing a clever, beautiful and enticingly young junior copywriter named Katie. <br />

Things come to a head when Anna leaves for a conference in Boston. At the same point, Curtis moves in to avoid the fallout from his most recently imploded marriage, and the Death Star begins layoffs in earnest. Tom's big mouth gets the better of him, and in the midst of several crises he goes down swinging, cursing and burning all possible bridges. For an over-networked generation encouraged to see each unique snowflake of a person as a rung to be dynamically trod in the stepladder to the top, it's pure, hilarious catharsis. Will Tom survive his own sass attacks and rise from the ashes? Well, if you're a fan of authors like Gary Shteyngart (*Super Sad True Love Story*), or you enjoy the feel and dialogue of *Californication*, and don't mind a little grit in your fiction, I recommend you find out.

n
nutmeggish
Sep 26, 2011

This is a fine first effort, and manages to be very entertaining. The characters are well developed, and likable. The relationships between the characters seem natural and understandable (particularily between Tom and his father, Curtis). The conflict, however, is where the book could be improved. It started off strong and funny, but once we got a sense of the characters,thier flaws and problems, the momentum is lost. It is funny, and does pick up towards the end. It is a quick and entertaining read, but it is not without its flaws.

t
tegan
Aug 11, 2011

Quite a funny novel. And apparently it is his first. Probably not something I would have regularly picked up to read, but I got a free pre-release copy.

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AnneDromeda Oct 11, 2011

Since the market freefall in 2008, it seems to me there's been a bit of a shift in prose, creating a new subgenre of literary fiction. It's lighter than Atwood or Enright, but still deals with weighty issues in ways that feel true. It plays with postmodernism and postcolonialism rather than bathing in them. 1st person protagonists flirt with disaster with the kind of ironic glee only generated by the grim knowledge one is likely hooped either which way. <br />

First-time author Matthew Norman's *Domestic Violets* hails from this trend. Keenly aware of its time, it captures a family caught in 2008's rolling fecal storm of bad credit and malignantly inept corporate decision-making. Protagonist Tom Violet is the son of a literary genius, Curtis, who's just won a Pulitzer. A chronic, Porche-driving womanizer and happy alcoholic, Curtis can be read as an aged version of *Californication*'s Hank Moody. <br />

Tom, on the other hand, writes ad copy for a management consulting company by day, and furtively broods over his own novel by night. Superficially, he's living the dream: He's married to a beautiful woman, has a charming daughter and a dog, and lives in a stately home in one of Washington DC's tonier suburbs. The charm of the top layer wears off fast, though – the novel's first scene is a twisted and hilarious psychological battle between a married, middle-aged man and his unwilling virility. The spark is gone in Tom's marriage to Anna, his dog has anxiety issues, and his job requires he artfully rearrange corporate buzzwords in pamphlets. One apt description of office ennui: “Greg is a tie guy, and I am a non-tie guy. This represents the rift among males in our office – Business Casual versus Business Formal – and I'm almost certain it will eventually lead to a choreographed dance fight in the employee lounge.” In the sea of beige Tom refers to as the Death Star, he occupies the lowest rung on the management ladder, overseeing a clever, beautiful and enticingly young junior copywriter named Katie. <br />

Things come to a head when Anna leaves for a conference in Boston. At the same point, Curtis moves in to avoid the fallout from his most recently imploded marriage, and the Death Star begins layoffs in earnest. Tom's big mouth gets the better of him, and in the midst of several crises he goes down swinging, cursing and burning all possible bridges. For an over-networked generation encouraged to see each unique snowflake of a person as a rung to be dynamically trod in the stepladder to the top, it's pure, hilarious catharsis. Will Tom survive his own sass attacks and rise from the ashes? Well, if you're a fan of authors like Gary Shteyngart (*Super Sad True Love Story*), or you enjoy the feel and dialogue of *Californication*, and don't mind a little grit in your fiction, I recommend you find out.

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