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» » The Man in the Window: A Novel
The Man in the Window: A Novel

The Man in the Window: A Novel

Jon Cohen
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1410 kb
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1129 kb
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4.5 of 5
Grand Central Pub; F First Edition edition (February 1, 1992)
Humor and Satire
Disfigured since he was sixteen, Louis has spent years in the confines of his mother's home until he accidently meets Iris, a tough, efficient nurse, cursed since birth with a repulsive appearance
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7 Reviews
  • Absolutely loved this book--it was quietly engaging and truly different from so many stories! My book club had a meeting with the author, Jon Cohen, as he is a local author. The evening was warm and full of laughter and discussion. Jon even read excerpts from his current work in progress. Loved the choice of characters in The Man in the Window, the attention to detail without being too wordy, and Jon's take on the many faces of human nature. I can honestly say that as I read the book I was not tempted to skip over parts to move things along (as I usually do when reading a novel.) Every word counts in this book and I savored every bite! Great read...highly recommend it and am looking forward to Jon's next novel.

  • Our first glimpse of Louis Malone is him sitting at the top of the stairs listening as his mother Gracie insists to the funeral director that her recently deceased husband Atlas be buried in his flannel workshirt, courduroys, and Hushpuppies. (The final score was Gracie: 1, Rose Funeral Home: 0, by the way.) And upstairs still, Louis watches the procession of casseroles and baked goods droppped off at the front door by friends and neighbors sympathizing with the newly widowed Gracie and even (maybe, just maybe) hoping to get a glimpse of Louis as well.

    Now thirty-two, Louis has not been seen in Waverly in the sixteen years since the accident that left him horribly disfigured. He has watched the seasons meMan in the windowlt into years from the upstairs windows of his parents home, only sometimes creeping out in the dark of night to touch a spot in the yard he had only seen from two stories up.

    And now, face muffled in his trademark purple scarf with Pirate's ball cap pulled low, Louis rides in the limo to the funeral home, waits until the service ends, and then watches the graveside service from the safety of the back seat. As the service wraps up, a woman taps on the window. She tells Louis there are "worse things than death"--and she's not the least bit nonplussed to be talking to a man covered head-to-toe save for his eyes. She's a nurse, she tells Louis, on her way to the hospital and thought the funeral might have been one of her patients.

    That nurse, Iris Shula, was horrible in her own way: overweight, abnormally short, and (even Iris herself would admit) just plain ugly. Iris works in critical care and not much surprises her. Not a blood splatter shaped like a perfect Valentine heart. Not even the dying Tube Man who every so often speaks one impossible word at a time: The. Man. In. The. Window. Is. Loose.

    And then the worlds of these two misfits begin to collide. Iris's elderly widowed father Arnie crosses paths with Atlas's funeral procession; Louis falls from a window and meets Iris in the emergency room; Arnie, lost and confused, enters Louis's home one night and is befriended by Gracie.

    And then Iris, drawn to Louis who inexplicably touches her heart, reaches out to him--the unloved to the unlovable--and he reaches back.

    This is a world beautifully conceived by writer Jon Cohen--where a hardware store can fix all of life's ills, where the comatose offer up talismans, where falling two stories is really an ascent.

    I read the last paragraph at least five times. You should too.
    [read more at thisismysymphony.net]

  • I had high expectations for this book. It was whimsical, poignant, and kept my interest...so much so I stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish. Alas, I was disappointed, profoundly by the rather swift end. The wordiness to describe the emotional landscape and interactions for parents and son (Louis) as well as between Iris and Arnie - cut out abruptly - yes, I think I know (I may be dense) but I think I know how this ended, but I hated it. This love story, while beautifully fleshed out between parents and child never satisfied between man and woman. Louis and Iris suffered the barest description and time given. I ended up hurting much more for Louis and Iris than gaining any satisfaction from it. Perhaps I flatter myself that I'm an intelligent reader - but I've been voraciously reading since I was in the 3rd grade - non-fiction to biographies - history and my current obsession - great love stories and human interest - check out Crazy Love by David Martin and The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley (both are five stars in my opinion!)

  • I loved the character; wish I could meet them even Kitty. You get pulled into the story from the first page and it keeps going. I finished the book in two days and was sorry for it to end. Everyone on your list will enjoy this book.

  • I was captivated by this story about a man whose face is permanently and brutally disfigured by a fire during his teenage years. The story is moving, but told without sentimentality. He is "The Man in the Window" since he is hiding from the world outside and people who might see him. He always watches life outside from the window in his room, it is his only connection to the world. When he absolutely has to venture outside, like for the funeral of his dad, he covers his face with scarf.

    Jon Cohen writes this story with sensitivity and a knack for detail, also weaving in a bit a mystery. He keeps us in suspense and wanting more. We wonder if the man in the Window will ever be able to join the world and establish some human contact outside of his window. But, no, I will not give away the answer to this question.

    This book is a great book for people who appreciate a skillfully crafted book and who don't need their reading material to be an actual thriller to enjoy it, readers who are more into the psychological aspects of a person, who wonder what makes them do what they do. I can highly recommend this book. It made me pick up another book by the same author.

  • This was one of those books that seemed too sad to read but too important not to read. Louis suffered so much in his life. A tragic accident propelled him to a life of solitude. You wonder if he had a different set of parents how well he could have coped. He is loved and yet rejected by his father. His very presents scares his neighbors but he is unaware of how much his existence means to them until he falls from the window he hides behind...or does he fall?

    Exposed to the world for the first time in sixteen years since his devastating accident he finds that all he has hidden himself from is not as critical of him as he expected and that he is lovable. Relationships develop that are predictable but not in a condensing manner.

    Character development is ingenious. You'll find redemptive quality in nearly everyone. I really enjoyed it.