Every Open Mouth a Grave

Thomas Jones

  • BuyTo Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
    Viking, 337 pp, £16.99, May, ISBN 978 0 670 91773 0

The narrator of Joshua Ferris’s new novel is a rich, white, garrulous, sexist, misanthropic New Yorker with a troubled childhood, now in early middle age, wondering what the point of it all is. But Paul O’Rourke has one redeeming feature: he’s a dentist. Which means that rather than pondering the mysteries of the universe and his place in it while staring into space, he instead thinks about the meaning of life, or more often the lack of it, as he’s peering into the brightly lit mouths of his patients:

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