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WE'RE ALL DAMAGED
Andy Carter was happy. He had a solid job. He ran 5Ks for charity. He was living a nice, safe Midwestern existence. And then his wife left him for a handsome paramedic down the street.
We’re All Damaged begins after Andy has lost his job, ruined his best friend’s wedding, and moved to New York City, where he lives in a tiny apartment with an angry cat named Jeter that isn’t technically his. But before long he needs to go back to Omaha to say good-bye to his dying grandfather.
Back home, Andy is confronted with his past, which includes his ex, his ex’s new boyfriend, his right-wing talk-radio-host mother, his parents’ crumbling marriage, and his still-angry best friend.
As if these old problems weren’t enough, Andy encounters an entirely new complication: Daisy. She has fifteen tattoos, no job, and her own difficult past. But she claims she is the only person who can help Andy be happy again, if only she weren’t hiding a huge secret that will mess things up even more. Andy Carter needs a second chance at life, and Daisy—and the person Daisy pushes Andy to become—may be his last chance to set things right.
Reviews & Praise
“In We're All Damaged, Matthew Norman has crafted a fast-paced, funny, and touching story. Comparisons to Tropper and Hornby will be made, and deservedly so, but Norman's voice and characters are fresh and all his own. A winning novel that is sure to make you laugh, cry and nod in recognition as all the best books do.”
—Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Hidden and Smoke
“We’re All Damaged is explosively funny and fast-moving; a wild whacked-out romp that travels from New York to Omaha and back again. In the end, though, Matthew Norman has written a sweet story about family and love and how they sustain us.”
—Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Trouble With Lexie
“In We’re All Damaged, Matthew Norman takes humor and heartache, pathos and pop culture, love and loss, family and friends, Cubs and Cornhuskers, marriage equality and male blow-up sex dolls; blends them into a sublime literary margarita; and serves it on the rocks with salt. There’s just so much to savor here, it’s impossible not to enjoy.”
—Greg Olear, author of Fathermucker and Totally Killer
“A smart, funny, and surprisingly emotional tale about letting go and moving on.”
“Matthew Norman’s whip-smart, hilarious dialogue will dazzle you, even as his characters crack your heart with their humanity and their in-spite-of-everything love for one another. I laughed, I cried (sometimes simultaneously), and, with every page, I wished like mad I’d written this book.”
—Marisa de los Santos, Author of The Precious One and Belong to Me
“We’re All Damaged is a brilliantly textured anthem for anyone who’s ever nursed a broken heart."
—Allie Larkin, author of Why Can’t I Be You
"In Matt Norman’s We’re All Damaged, just about everything that could happen to a guy happens---a divorce, a new city, a dying grandfather, a mother who's angling for a commentator gig on Fox News. And somehow I was laughing every page. But the tenderness with which he writes his characters and their worst moments is what really lingers long after you've finished reading. I've always thought we needed a Nick Hornby on this side of the pond, and I finally think we've found him."
—Jen Michalski, The Summer She Was Under Water and The Tide King
“All this misery makes for good comedy charmingly drawn.”
“Norman’s debut novel is funny and incisive, and hard on sacred cows.”
“Norman controls his complicated story and handles its chaos and plot twists with a steady, funny hand...This is a thoroughly entertaining, light, but thoughtful read.”
“Reminiscent of Richard Russo’s earlier work, Norman’s refreshingly witty style is perfectly suited to articulating the trials of a middle-aged cynic. Wonderfully fast-paced, hilariously genuine, difficult to put down, Domestic Violets is an ideal first novel.”
“Timing, so important in comedy, is also exacting in Mr. Norman’s expert hands...Domestic Violets leaves the reader satisfied by the intriguing plot written in a comic spirit; it also endears the author and hero to the reader for maximum poignancy.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Norman’s hilarious debut novel is a tale of a man’s middle-age quest to differentiate himself from his father and decide what’s worth changing and what’s worth keeping in his life.”
—Washington Independent Review of Books
“Domestic Violets is a fast, fun, hilarious read.”
—Jessica Anya Blau, critically acclaimed author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Drinking Closer to Home
“Domestic Violets is a wonderfully readable, riotous story...told with humor and surprising intimacy.”
—Susan Richards Shreve, author of A Student of Living Things
“Matthew Norman has written a dastardly fun satire of contemporary domestic life [with] surprising twists on all the old conventions and a fresh perspective on a literary foundation that hearkens back to Philip Roth, John Updike, and John Cheever. An astoundingly good read!”
—Joshua Gaylord, author of Hummingbirds