The Book of Joe

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The Book Of Joe is a 2004 novel by Jonathan Tropper that followed the return of Joe Goffman to his hometown of Bush Falls, Connecticut due to his father's illness. Since he made it rich by writing a disparaging novel in a thinly-veiled version of it, most of the townsfolk hate him. He struggles to reforge his connections with family and friends and move past the events of what occurred in his final year of high school.


Tropes used in The Book of Joe include:
  • Always Second Best: Joe felt his father always felt closer to his older brother Brad thanks to Brad's sporting prowess. Its what makes him finding his father's scrapbook about his literary success so heartwarming.
  • Closet Key: Sammy for Wayne.
  • Cool Uncle: Joe. Called out for being a little too cool by Brad.
  • Domestic Abuse: What Carly suffered during her marriage.
  • Driven to Suicide: Sammy.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Most of the main characters are dealing with significant issues.
  • Gayngst: Sammy and Wayne.
  • Girl Next Door: Carly
  • High School Sweethearts: Brad married his and they're now in an unhappy marriage where he is cheating on her. Joe and Carly were once this too.
  • Hot Mom: So much so Lucy featured in his book and Joe can't stop himself from sleeping with her on his return to Bush Falls after she knows about his teenage fantasies.
  • Jerk Jock: Sean Tallon, to psychopathic extremes and Mouse his sidekick and later town sheriff.
  • Maybe Ever After: Carly and Joe at the end of the book.
  • Missing Mom: Joe and Brad's mom.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: A significant sub-plot follows Joe's attempts to write his next book.
  • Sex with the Ex: Carly and Joe eventually reconnect and it leads to this and an implied relationship.
  • Stacy's Mom: Sammy's mom Lucy.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Wayne.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Some of Joe's issues definitely stem from his perceived inability to win his father's approval.