Book Review: Waking Up Again- Joshua Ferris



In Waking Up Again, Paul O'Rourke is a dentist who lives his life in automatic mode. He works because he needs to work and leads an empty and even bitter life. Because he respects his privacy, the dentist does not have his business website, social media accounts or even e-mail in his name - both his e-mail account and his interactions on baseball forums are made under a false name.

Paul lives his offline life well, until the day someone steals his identity online, creating accounts in his name and a website for his company. This person starts tweeting and e-mailing an account with Paul's name, making the majority believe that the controversial manifestations of these accounts are from the dentist. Paul, who is not exactly a social person, starts to freak out about this situation and needs to find out who is guilty of these acts at all costs.

Joshua Ferris delivers a very different plot, with a unique language. The author uses a lot of humor, usually acid, and many trips to the past to tell this different story. It is an interesting analysis of life, as far as we are just watching our life go without actually enjoying the small pleasures.

However, this analysis would be better used without the long didactic dialogues on religion. It is clear that the path to change in Paul's life ends up being religion, since he is an Atheist, but the author hits this key so much that the book becomes a great sermon, relieved only by criticism of society in a comic tone. These sermons, along with the Baseball narratives, demonstrate that the narrative is very American, being well accepted by them and not so much by Brazilians.

Waking Up Again it is a reading with good morals, but for a restricted audience. Those who are not very religious (regardless of religion, as many are dealt with here) may be irritated by the long descriptions and the most straightforward may be irritated by Ferris' fickle narrative.


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