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The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving Hardcover – 1 Jun 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (1 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781851751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781851753
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,511,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Jonathan Evison is a gifted raconteur with a wicked sense of humor and an unflagging empathy for humankind in all its sad, foible-filled magnificence. In The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, his myriad talents are displayed in full bloom.' Patrick Dewitt, Man Booker shortlisted author of The Sisters Brothers.

About the Author

Jonathan Evison's debut novel Lulu won the Washington State Book Award, and his second novel, West of Here, was a New York Times Bestseller. He lives on an island in Western Washington.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vanity Fair on 2 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a lovely funny book and I can see where the 'Little Miss Sunshine' comparisons and the beautiful cover comes from but be aware it is a very sad and moving story too. This made it all the more wonderful a read for me.

It's the story of Ben, a loser (no job, no life, no effort with the few friends he has left) who finally gets the pick up he needs when he takes a job looking after disabled teenager Trev, which he does about a thousand times better than he ever takes care of himself.

The two form an unlikely friendship and take a road trip together to visit Trev's Dad, taking in some of the USA's most random tourist attractions (giant pits and the like) and a few new friends too. The whole journey is completely rejuvenating for bored and frustrated Trev and lost soul Ben.

The way Ben's tragic past is revealed is cleverly done so you not only see how he got to the end of the road trip but also what led him there - his life is so sad but somehow leaves you with hope for his future. The book is all about him moving forward, with glimpses to the past and I love books like this that are all about the every day slog of life after a big event. There's something about these protagonists - both ordinary blokes who have been through the runner and whose most tender moments together largely involve barely any words or teasing each other as opposed to break downs and emotional heart to hearts. These are blokes we all know.

Highly recommend a punt on this on - it deserves a wide readership.
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Format: Audio CD
Some rave reviews for this, but I didn't find is exceptional.

A man who has lost his family applies for a job as a carer to a disabled teenager. We know that Ben is estranged from his wife after the death of their two young children, is refusing her a divorce and just generally not coping all that well. Trev is stuck in his wheelchair and also stuck in a bit of a rut, but sees something in Ben and hires him as his carer, even if he's not properly qualified.

Partway through the book, after Trev's deadbeat dad drops into his life again, Trev and Ben end up on a road trip. Yes, it turns into a road trip book. I was listening to an audio version of the book and actually started tuning out a bit from this point onward, I just didn't find it as interesting. They travel over large parts of America and meet various quirky and unusual people, with a few funny scenes but forced quirkiness, in my opinion.

Ben and Trev have a nice easy relationship, Ben makes a chatty and likeable narrator, but the story just didn't grip me as they got into Ben's clapped-out car.

I spent most of the book longing to know what had happened to Ben's kids, hints of the past creep in throughout, Ben's wife sends in someone to force him to sign their divorce papers and we see their happier times. But I never found out what happened to the children. Reading reviews, it sounds like I tuned out for two vital lines that explained it all. And now I can't find them again (if you know what did happen, please send me a private message!!).

At the end I was left feeling that I've read (and seen) this kind of redemptive plot done before, but better. Such as the wonderful French film Untouchable.

Left feeling frustrated that I didn't catch the vital sentences , but wonder if they would justify the build-up anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chrisd on 13 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book. It's sad and funny and everything in between. I have no idea why I bought it, but I'm very glad I did. I was drawn into the story quickly and completely. All the characters are beautifully drawn and feel very real. Ben and Trev, the two main characters are a joy. I recommend this book very highly
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Banasam on 1 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy to read though story a little humdrum in places. Something to read on a train or plane journey perhaps!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By anneclarke on 20 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Will review when had time to read what I am anticipating to be a good read; let's hope others do!
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