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Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant Hardcover – Large Print, Jan 1 1983

4.2 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 427 pages
  • Publisher: G K Hall & Co; Lrg edition (Jan. 1 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816134383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816134380
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.5 x 4.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
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Product Description


“Beautiful . . . funny, heart-hammering, wise . . . Superb entertainment.”
–The New York Times

“A book that should join those few that every literate person will have to read.”
–The Boston Globe

“A novelist who knows what a proper story is . . . [Tyler is] not only a good and artful writer, but a wise one as well.”

“Anne Tyler is surely one of the most satisfying novelists working in America today.”
–Chicago Tribune

“In her ninth novel she has arrived at a new level of power.”
–JOHN UPDIKE, The New Yorker

From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

I first read this book back in 1984, long before I was in the publishing business. I was traveling through Greece with a friend and our hotel had shelves of books that other guests had left behind and were free for the taking.. I picked up Dinner.... knowing absolutely nothing about it. What a wonderful surprise and discovery!. I felt I had never read anything quite like it.The characters were so real, so familiar that I felt I did actually know them. In fact, for weeks after I finished the book, I had dreams about Ezra, one of the characters in the book and the owner of the Homesick Restaurant. In the dreams, he was my brother and he was just as sweet and vulnerable as he was in the book. I never re-read books because I'm usually disappointed the second time around because the sense of newness and discovery is gone. But I did read Dinner.... again and loved it as much, and even found new things I hadn't noticed before. This novel is truly a classic.
--Maureen O'Neal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dinner at the Homesick Resaurant engages the reader by sharing a slightly altering story as it is told by each member of the family. Pearly Tull is the initial character of the novel and begins by describing the chain of events, such as her husband leaving, which lead her into single-handedly raising her children. Like a typical family of the 1930's, the Tulls are struggling to financially and emotionally make it. One by one, the children eventually grow up and begin lives of their own: Cody becomes a businessman like his father, Jenny goes to college and marries Harley Baines, and Ezra stays in town to run Mrs. Scarlatti's restaurant. Ezra's dream is to, just once, have his entirely family seated at the restaurant for a content family dinner. However, his mother, Pearl, seems to enjoy a little conflict and constantly instigates one. Once Ezra inherits the restaurant, he decides to slightly alter the menu, by switching to a homestyle variety of foods. He figures that this "home-cooked" meal can ease his homesick customers, but honestly, what does he know about home?
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Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of Anne Tyler, but for some reason, this one slipped by until now, but I don't know why. It is clearly one of her best, if not her best, novel. The story of this dysfunctional Baltimore family is very well done, well-written, well-paced, with a perfect blend of humor and pathos. Pearl is in her thirties with three young children when her husband walks out on her. She does not have it easy, but she tries her best, which unfortunately does not get her family all the way to Norman Rockwell. The children all have their issues. One brother is ridiculously jealous of another, to the extent that her ruins what may have been his brother's only chance at happiness. Pearl's daughter leads an unsettled life which is somewhat reminiscent of the life of the protagonist in Tyler's more recent Back When We Were Grownups. There is a lot in here, a lot going on, but Tyler always manages to get to the point, so there is no time wasted reading endless paragraphs going nowhere. This novel is very well done and the perfect place to start if you have never read her before.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Anne Tyler has to be one of the most gifted novelists I've come across in my many years of reading. For me her greatest strength lies in creating what I think of as 'growth books' ... where, through the author's eyes, you watch seemingly ordinary people gradually become 3-dimensional. Then, as the play of events unfold even further, you find yourself wondering how you could initially have been so blind - for the same folk now seem more like modern day heroes and heroines. Ms. Tyler uses carefully crafted, quirky plots to show you how simple events can transform all of us into much more than we ever dreamed possible.

But to me this book seems more like an experiment she unwisely indulged in. Once again she starts off with her usual 'ordinary people' - only this time she decided to let them all slide downhill while we, the readers, are obliged to follow along dismally as their lives become ever more hopeless and 'Jonah-like' with each new chapter. There simply isn't a cheerful or uplifting moment in the entire book ! To my eyes, the experiment was a complete flop ... because there's just NO FUN in it, anywhere.

In my opinion, if you really want to experience the genius of Anne Tyler, do "NOT" start here. Try "A Patchwork Planet", or "Earthly Possessions", or "Saint Maybe", or "The Accidental Tourist". There are so many, much better books of hers to choose from - most being quite the opposite of this depressing tale .
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Format: Paperback
While all of us are aware of the author's propensity for the development of `quirky', if not fully believable characters, this novel is quite different. For any of us who were reared in a dysfunctional or broken family, you will find bits of your soul strewn here and there throughout the reading of this tragedy. The angry and over-achieving son who harbours the hurt and guilt of his childhood, the flippant and non-committal daughter who stays busy with the life of others such that she does not have to deal with the reality of her own, the favored son who, while initially escaping the brunt of maternal anger, ages into a man-child unaware of life outside of his closely drawn circle of life, the rejected mother who while exuding anger, shame and a lack of control, sees herself as sacrificing any joys she may have had for the sake of raising her children into being something that she could no longer be, and, finally, the father, who left with little forewarning, lives out the rest of his life still psychologically enmeshed by continuing to seek his abandoned wife's approval and, doing so, is unable to venture beyond the front door that he walked out of decades earlier.

Anne Tyler leaves us with no answers and little hope for the enmeshed dysfunction of American families. We all live out our damaged lives with a sense of desperation for what we cannot become while feeling locked into the role and mindset that we were originally cast into through circumstances that were beyond our control..............
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