Read Now Is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer Online

now-is-the-hour

The year is 1967, and Rigby John Klusener, seventeen years old and finally leaving his home and family in Pocatello, Idaho, is on the highway with his thumb out and a flower behind his ear, headed for San Francisco. Now Is the Hour is the wondrous story of how Rigby John got to this point. It traces his gradual emancipation from the repressions of a strictly religious farmThe year is 1967, and Rigby John Klusener, seventeen years old and finally leaving his home and family in Pocatello, Idaho, is on the highway with his thumb out and a flower behind his ear, headed for San Francisco. Now Is the Hour is the wondrous story of how Rigby John got to this point. It traces his gradual emancipation from the repressions of a strictly religious farming family and from the small-minded, bigoted community in which he has grown up during a time of explosive cultural change. Transforming this familiar journey from American Graffiti to On the Road into something rich and strange and hilarious is the persona of Rigby John himself. Intimately in touch with his fears, hesitantly awakening to his own sexuality, and palpably open to life's mysteries, Rigby John is a protagonist whom readers will fall in love with, root for, and be moved by.Now Is the Hour is a powerful, vastly entertaining story of self-awakening, of the complex bonds of family, and ultimately of America during a period of tremendous upheaval....

Title : Now Is the Hour
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780618584215
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Now Is the Hour Reviews

  • Carielyn Mills
    2019-04-07 07:51

    this is my first spanbauer book. i read a review about it somewhere, maybe the new york times, so i put it on my to-read list a few months ago. i finally got to it about a week ago.it's hard to put down after "Bless us, O fucking Lord, and these Thy fucking gifts", which happens pretty early on.even though it's over 500 pages, it's very easy to read due to the dumbed-down vocabulary and lack of punctuation. it got a little holden caufieldy and it does ramble on at times. but it's very honest and the character tells us things most of us wouldn't dare admit. amazing how brave that is considering he's otherwise a "spineless ass". some of the feelings he describes in a typical teenager sort of way that are so spot-on they make you think to yourself: yeah, i know exactly what he's feeling.some of my favorite quotes were: - "She travels the world looking for something inside." - "Nobody said anything. Each of us stood in a blue tile. Like we were a game of chess, and they were the king and the queen and I was one of those pieces you don't care about" - "Funny, all those years praying to God, and what gets my ass out of Pocatello is the devil." - "But what was an hour late compared to a pregnancy? Einstein was so right on with his theory of relativity."and then when in mid hell breaking loose he stops to steal the rest oatmeal cookies. every time something extremely dangerous was going on the next line was hilarity. i loved it. spoilers and color commentary:i cried every time george said ANYTHING toward the end. i fell in love with him, too.didn't quite get the bipolar leap the mom took from the broom scene to the giving him $200 while acting like a concerned, loving parent. so she loses it because he wants to go to prom, but she's fine with him leaving forever? i know she's a crazy bitch, but c'mon...the bully dies/billie's boyfriend lives part was a bit too happy ending from a romantic comedy. but whatever, billie needed something to keep her busy so she'll quit interfering in rigby's life. i found her too high-maintenance and overbearing.i don't understand why the dad was so shaken by russell's death when he was a cold and callous jerk to his other kids all their lives.also, is it just me or did the blowjob at the end kill the romantic mood?and lastly, when he starts repeating the first chapter verbatim toward the end i wondered if he had been reading survivor by chuck palaniuk, lol.

  • Yossi
    2019-04-11 06:53

    "Different"- dirían los Klusener, huir del aparente calor de hogar, de lo que te inculcan de pequeño y te ciega y durante la huida topar con muros insalvables. Ahora es el momento de doblegar nuestro miedo, ahora es el momento de respirar. Un Bildungsroman que empieza en aguas apacibles, las de la inocenccia de la infancia y que se vuelve tumultuoso por la propia exposición a la vida. La del protagonista, la de todos.Supongo que lo desarrollaré más en el blog, llevo un rato dándole vueltas al porqué del vuelco que me produce cada libro de Spanbauer, se me ocurren mil comparaciones que se contradicen, llego al "casi" pero nunca al "todo" y en el fondo prefiero que sea así.He de admitir que esta lectura me ha arrancado un trozo de mí mismo y me lo ha devuelto en forma de recuerdos y sensaciones, el estilo extremadamente sensorial ha conseguido que pueda tocar el producto resultante con las manos y aquí estoy, acariciando mis propios recuerdos al son de Billie Holiday mientras hojeo un libro de poemas de e.e.cummings... fumando, rezando y esperando a la luz tenue de una lámpara que refleja en la pared una sombra cabizbaja, "se puede saber el estado de un hombre a través de su sombra"

  • Nicole
    2019-03-28 04:54

    Original review August 31, 2009:I'm not going to lie, this book took a solid 100 pages to really get into. But once I was in, I was IN. All the way. I cried to have to turn the last page. It's like a cross between Steinbeck and Kerouac with some SE Hinton thrown in for good measure, a YA version of _East of Eden_.The setting (rural Idaho in the late 1960s) seemed pitch-perfect, the character was believable and engaging (once we got over our initial hump), and the emotional development was well done. I'm always a sucker for a Bildungsroman. Rigby's relationships are the heart of the book: with Billie, with George, with his mother. The ending is a little to "happily ever after" for real life, but by then I loved the characters so much that I would have been heartbroken had it turned out any other way.A book well worth the effort, I think. (Unless you take issue with male genitalia. C*ck and balls are two essential and oft-described supporting characters.)_________________________________________________Reread review August 1 2011:I didn’t remember all the details of the story, but I did remember very clearly how emotionally invested I was. So when I set out to reread Now is the Hour I was disappointed…at first. I remember crying over the ending the first time around and yet couldn’t seem to relate to any of the characters. Until.Until George Serano makes his “real” appearance in the book, technically his third appearance when he comes to work the farm. What I realize now is not that I loved the book, though it was well stylized and coherently written, that I loved so much as the relationship between Rigby and George. I love Rigby and George. And Grannie Queep. The last 100 pages of the book are far and away the best part. From now on, when I might just stick to rereading those last pages when I get a hankering for complicated relationships.

  • Oliver Twist & Shout
    2019-04-08 04:46

    Redactas una historia más de coming of age (o bildungsroman para los culturosos) porque total, ocho millones de historias de coming of age no son ya demasiadas.Escribes a base de frases cortas porque no quieres que el lector se canseRepites sin parar un puñado de diez o doce coletillas porque tampoco tú quieres cansarte a inventar.Tu personaje principal tiene tanta personalidad como una coliflorInundas el libro de pasajes superfluos, por puro amor al relleno. La mitad, por descontado, son descripciones de cosas que no importan como el color de la ropa o cómo va peinada la gente o notificar cada uno de los cigarrillos fumados por los personajes.Cuelas un puñado de referencias literarias o musicales de gratis sólo para decorar: se podrían eliminar y eso no cambiaría nada. Pero así queda más chachi. E incluso consigues que cierto tipo de lector se sienta más culto.Te obsesionas con las tetas más que el propio Russ Meyer y cada vez que aparece tu personaje femenino principal remarcas cien veces que tiene unas berzas como camiones. Y eso que el narrador narrado es homosexual.Y aún y así, después de todo eso, todavía consigues el aplauso de lectores mayores de 19 años. Ostia puta. Ovación cerrada. Vítores enloquecidos para míster Spanbauer, vendedor de humo del mes.No sé en otras novelas suyas (puede que incluso estén bien, quién sabe), pero en ésta tendrían que pegar en la portada una gran etiqueta advirtiendo bien claro que es literatura para adolescentes. O para gente que lee muy poco. Venga, que no pare, qué es lo siguiente? Cuadros para ciegos. Música para sordos. Comida para perros muertos. Cine XXX para toda la familia. Porqué no, ya puestos.

  • Erika
    2019-04-11 06:46

    ❤️

  • Jim
    2019-03-29 02:44

    Rigby John endures a lot on his family's Idaho farm: his mother's mood swings and Catholic obsessions, his father's stoic silences and anger, and the exhausting repetition of labors, occasionally broken by emerging '60s pop songs. His self-questioning nature, though, helps him find escape, with his 'girlfriend' Billie, and his budding sexuality blossoms with the help of a few farmhands who change his life. Spanbauer employs poetic repetition like mantras; cigarettes, dinners, hay-stacking and driving all take on an almost spiritual aspect. Several things happen with dramatic and violent results, but the tone of the book is woven into explaining why he's hitchhiking to San Francisco to escape all the pain of rural life. Because he's 'differnt.'I didn't care for the artistic decision to not use quotation marks for dialogue, but I endured it for the overall beauty of the prose and compelling story.

  • Raül De Tena
    2019-04-13 07:49

    Hace no mucho, en cierta conversación, confesaba que sí, que la mayor parte de productos culturales que me han producido un inefable vacío en el estómago tienen la peculiaridad de estar protagonizados por homosexuales. Al fin y al cabo, no podemos dejar las emociones en la mesita de noche cuando nos enfrentamos a determinadas historias... Esto es lo que me ha ocurrido precisamente con el libro de Tom Spanbauer. Pero, ¡ojo!, que un libro te toque de forma tan directa no significa que anule tu capacidad crítica. Y en casos como el de Ahora es el momento, es inevitable acabar con la sensación que la calidad emocional y la calidad literaria se han dado la mano.Resulta que Tom Spanbauer es el "maestro" de Chuck Pahlaniuk. Y eso, teniendo en cuenta que acabé por encallarme en el estilo repetitivo del autor de Fight Club, podría no ser del todo positivo. Así que, antes de abordar Ahora es el momento, intenté informarme sobre la llamada "dangerous writing": la escuela de Spanbauer enseña que hay que escribir sobre lo que nos avergüenza. Por ahí vamos bien. Pero también enseña que los personajes deben ir definidos por un conjunto de frases o conceptos recurrentes que se repetirán con frecuencia. Y eso es precisamente lo que me irrita, al fin y al cabo, del peor Pahlaniuk. Ahora bien, llegados a este punto es dónde se nota quién es el maestro y quién es el alumno, porque la pericia de Spanbauer reside en que sabe aplicar esta regla sin resultar simplista, ni repetitivo, ni efectista. Más bien todo lo contrario.Ahora es el momento es un libro autobiográfico, aunque Spanbauer no practica el género como algo autocomplacitente. La visión de su juventud es, más bien, visceral e incómoda. La historia se estructura como un puzzle al que te ves arrojado de forma violenta: en el primer capítulo se plantean todos los recuerdos de juventud en forma de vómito narrativo, de forma que estos sucesos desconocidos se quedan en tu cabeza hasta que, en el resto del argumento, poco a poco, se van desarrollando de forma natural y cronológica. La historia de Rigby John Kluesener está narrada con una transparencia desarmante: la voz narrativa, absolutamente genial, se pone al nivel del joven que, supuestamente, está explicando sus recuerdos más recientes. La palabra "difrente", así, mal escrita, por ejemplo, adquiere una importancia vital desde el principio de la trama: Rigby John reacciona con aversión al hecho de que sus padres utilicen esta palabra de forma incorrecta, sin ver (o sin querer ver), que es una palabra que jugará mucha importancia en su propia vida.En conclusión, Ahora es el momento narra eso que tantas veces hemos leído: el proceso de crecimiento de un niño que pasa a ser adolescente y ha de enfrentarse a ciertas decisiones y definiciones. En esta ocasión, sin embargo, habrá un componente añadido de lucha contra convenciones sociales y religiosas de la america profunda muy cercano a La Biblia de Neon (J.K. Toole). Spanbauer, sin embargo, en vez de optar por el autismo narrativo, se pone al nivel de los ojos de su protagonista (de él mismo, al fin y al cabo) y firma uno de esos libros que se te quedan dentro para siempre.

  • Núria
    2019-04-07 05:38

    Si hay algo que no perdono nunca a un libro es que me dé la sensación de que estoy perdiendo el tiempo. No soporto estar leyendo un libro y estar todo el rato pensando que podría estar leyendo otra cosa, algo que me llenara más, o si me apuráis algo que me diciera algo. Creo que su principal problema es que es demasiado largo y acaba siendo repetitivo. Hay páginas y páginas describiendo minuciosamente escenas y más escenas indestriables las unas de las otras que no aportan nada: ni hacen que la historia avance ni dan más profundidad a los personajes. No es un libro malo, pero tampoco me ha parecido para nada memorable. La historia es la de un niño que crece en un pueblo rural perdido en medio de ninguna parte y en una familia ultra-católica. La novela se inicia cuando el protagonista tiene 17 años y ha decidido marcharse de casa, porque la única forma de ser él mismo que tiene es romper con su familia. A partir de ahí nos cuenta cómo ha llegado hasta allí, cómo la amistad lo cambió y le sirvió para conocerse mejor a él mismo, cómo descubrió que era homosexual y también que de hecho dos hombres podrían quererse, y finalmente también por supuesto cómo se enamoró. Sobre el papel no está mal, pero para mí la cosa se alarga y se alarga y se alarga y se alarga innecesariamente. Me ha gustado más la primera parte, la infancia llena de soledad y palizas de los abusones, el ambiente ultra-católico en el que todo es pecado y rezar el rosario, la relación del protagonista con su madre y su distanciamiento a medida que él se va haciendo mayor. Y la mayor pega que he encontrado al libro es el estilo. Es tremendamente repetitivo y si al principio en teoría puede tener su gracia, las últimas 200 páginas se me hizo insoportablemente engorroso. En un libro más corto puede resultar, pero en uno tan largo repetir incansablemente las mismas imágenes y las mismas descripciones, palabra por palabra, es agotador, totalmente superfluo y altamente irritante.

  • El Buscalibros | elbuscalibros.com
    2019-04-21 03:28

    Tom Spanbauer ha sido mi descubrimiento del año. Así, tal cual. Fan absoluta de Chuck Palahniuk (aunque tengo que reconocer que a partir de Condenada ha empezado a aburrirme un poco), he intentado varias veces leer a sus maestros. Y digo intentado, porque no he podido con ellos. Me faltaba darle una oportunidad a Spanbauer, pero las malas experiencias previas y que la sinopsis no me llamaba mucho, hicieron que este libro se mantuviese en mi montón de pendientes durante bastante tiempo. Hasta hace unos días.Ahora es el momento es una novela que ha conseguido impactarme como hacía mucho que no lo hacía un libro. Y no solo por la historia, sino también por la forma que tiene Spanbauer de contártela.Rigby John Klusener tiene diecisiete años y acaba de escaparse de casa de sus padres. Estamos en 1967 en Pocatello, Idaho, una comunidad ultrarreligiosa, racista y homófoba, automarginada de la explosión cultural que está teniendo lugar en Estados Unidos en esa década. Rigby John sabe que es diferente y también, como bien dice él mismo, que el universo conspira para joderle.Nacido en el seno de una familia de granjeros ultrarreligiosa, con un padre amargado y una madre infeliz obsesionada con rezar el rosario, Rig irá descubriendo, poco a poco, que su lugar en el mundo está lejos de allí. Con una ironía cargada de ingenuidad nos irá contando cómo ha (...)LA RESEÑA SIGUE AQUÍ: https://elbuscalibros.com/ahora-es-el...

  • Sergsab
    2019-04-19 01:32

    Esta novela es una oda a la huida. Al hecho de perderse lejos de donde uno puede ser fácilmente encontrado. Un absoluto festival literario en el que el chico que huye nos cuenta en primera persona todo aquello que lo está empujando hacia direcciones desconocidas. Empujones violentos procedentes de brazos fornidos, corazones rotos y plegarias desatendidas. Un combo de aciertos y fracasos que lanzarían a cualquiera lejos de la palabra hogar.Spanbauer vuelve a hacerlo. Muchos años después de aquel El hombre que se enamoró de la luna llega Rigby John Klusener a contarnos cómo sucede el milagro de encontrarse a uno mismo en el contexto más inesperado. El secreto para tener la valentía de devolver la mirada al espejo que nos refleja.- Sexualidad - Religión - Magia - Fardos de heno - Queso - Embarazos - Tumbas - Cuerpos expuestosCon esta lista de la compra, cualquiera podría llevar al fracaso la mejor de las intenciones. Spanbauer da el Do de Pecho. Tira los artificios y lo que queda es la voz que nos constata una y otra vez: Hoy es un flamante día ¡No dejes de andar!

  • João Roque
    2019-04-01 00:32

    “Agora ou Nunca”, de Tom Spanbauer é um livro que me veio parar ás mãos por mero acaso. Comprei-o por 5 euros numa Feira do Livro, sem quaisquer referências anteriores sobre o livro ou sobre o autor, que aliás desconhecia. Apenas li a contracapa e pareceu-me interessante.Apenas há pouco tempo e em conversa com um dos amigos com quem converso sobre livros ele me referiu que tinha sido este livro um dos melhores que ele já tinga lido.E agora que o li não só o confirmo, como estou pasmado pela pouca divulgação do livro e do autor.Trata-se da história de um jovem americano de 17 anos, originário de uma família muito tradicional e religiosa do Idaho, que se vai descobrindo a si mesmo, e o faz de uma maneira admirável e junto a outros personagens muito bem delineados, quase todos eles pertencendo a um mundo diferente do seu e que lhe vão abrindo os olhos.O livro vai num crescendo de interesse, a culminar no capítulo final e é galvanizante.

  • TR Ryan
    2019-04-06 05:30

    Absolutely stunning, lyrical, literary masterpiece.

  • Curt
    2019-03-31 02:57

    I love Tom Spanbauer. I love his writing, the poetry of his voice, the pace and unfolding of his craft. I read this book slowly because I knew from the first pages that I'd be tempted to speed through it only to find myself saddened by its completion. But today, finally, after months of withholding and rationing, I closed the book, took a deep breath and let it sink in. This is a book that is close to my heart. It's a story of self-discovery in Pocatello, Idaho, my hometown. Much of it takes place in locations I am intimately familiar with. Despite my knowledge of the town and the people and the way of life in that small corner of the world, it is accessible to everyone. It's about growth and struggle, magic, poetry and above all else, love. Spanbauer's voice, written as his protagonist, Rigby John Kluesner, is poetic and straightforward, beautiful and elegant. His description of Idaho and its people is remarkably accurate and painfully truthful. This is a story of hope and salvation against all odds. A true coming of age tale that should not be missed. If you enjoyed THE MAN WHO FELL IN LOVE WITH THE MOON, NOW IS THE HOUR will take you to new heights. Do not turn your back on this book.

  • Karen Germain
    2019-04-17 06:34

    I picked up Tom Spanbauer’s “Now is The Hour” at a Goodreads bookswap in Hollywood. The back cover looked promising and it had praise from other authors that I respect. This book fell flat and was well below my expectations. I felt more than anything, that the story needed drastic editing. It could have conveyed the same point with about a hundred less pages. Spanbauer uses repetition, with phrases and ideas, as a stylistic choice. It drove me nuts. I bogged down the pace. It’s a coming of age story, but after four hundred and fifty nine pages, I still didn’t feel like I had a clear idea of the main character. Maybe Spanbauer was trying to drive home the point that adolescence is confusing? I just felt muddled. Most of the characters felt like larger than life caricatures, but it didn’t fit, because most of the story was not outlandish. The female characters are particularly portrayed this way.I really did not like the ending. Without involving spoilers, the main character is involved in a crime. It should be shocking and should be a turning point. Instead, he just goes about his business, as if this big plot point is not so important or something he should be concerned about. It fizzles and is so frustrating.

  • Renee
    2019-04-09 07:41

    I am always impressed with how frank Tom Spanbauer is in his writing. He doesn't cut the corners when it comes to all the things those rigid Victorians pretended didn't exist about the human body--bowel movements, burps, sex and sweat. I find it really refreshing how wiling he is to build in all these human things into his books. (If you don't like reading about those things, then don't read this book.)Spanbaeur created some key phrases that were repeated in the story, like a chorus for a song. I found it charming and understood the lyricism of it, but ... I also found myself skipping these repeated phrases and paragraphs. You can breeze through the story much more quickly that way. Over all, solid work, Tom!

  • Hillary
    2019-04-02 01:55

    The way Spanbauer writes is almost lyrical, beautiful. His story immediately drew me in from "Parmesan cheese" to the end (he started with Parmesan cheese, what can I say?). It was kind of the classic coming of age, questioning everything type of story, but the unique writing style and narrator's honesty made me glide along with anticipation. I'm not great with the reviews, but I will say that I felt this calm after I finished reading Now Is the Hour and I wanted to meet Rigby John (the main character) as an older man to find out what happened in the next chapter of his life.

  • Jen
    2019-03-29 03:43

    I remember I kept complaining about this book while I was reading it but now I don't remember what the problem was. Something about the prose being... cheesy? Repetitive? Predictable? What was it? But now I only have good memories of the book: it totally swept me up and I wanted to read it all the time. That is what I want in a novel. Also, it was hella gay, which is always a plus. I think it probably made me cry.

  • Lydia
    2019-04-20 01:31

    Honestly I have no coherent words or thoughts right now but I'm emotionally compromised and not okay in any way shape or form. I may write a proper review here later but for now I'm gonna try and cope with the emotional trauma I've just been through.(Bert, I'm looking at you and blaming you for ever introducing me to Tom fucking Spanbauer).

  • Gin Hoffman
    2019-03-24 07:56

    One of the loveliest books that I unexpectedly picked up in my bookshop from the "suggested reading" lists. I highly suggest this coming of age story to everyone. It's unexpected and subtle, and yet it hits you like a ton of bricks.

  • Robyn Jefferson
    2019-04-06 00:53

    this book dug my grave then killed me & put me in it

  • Marta Culí
    2019-04-17 23:29

    Ahora es el momento podria ser l'adolescència de qualsevol. L'època en la qual el teu estat d'ànim passa d'un extrem a l'altre en qüestió de segons, que sents que no encaixes, el distanciament amb la família, la necessitat de fugir, el moment de començar a descobrir qui ets, a vegades amb por. La novel·la és un viatge apassionant per uns mesos decisius de la vida d'en Rigby John Klusener, un noi de 17 anys que és fill d'una família exageradament religiosa i que està a punt de descobrir, o millor dit, assumir i acceptar la seva homosexualitat. Un llibre que parla de relacions, de l'amistat, de les pors, de superació i de llibertat.Em quedaria amb aquesta frase: Lo que acabo de descubrir es que si no estás allí, preparado para recibir el espíritu, listo para lanzarte, para dar el salto y volar, estás perdido. I és que és així, les oportunitats arriben, però si no estàs atent i no et llances, passen de llarg.De nou m'he trobat amb un Spanbauer que juga de manera magistral amb el que és marca de la casa: les repeticions, que fan que els personatges quedin dibuixats fins l'últim detall, sobretot les seves ombres. Per uns dies he tornat a tenir 17 anys i ara, que en torno a tenir uns quants més, penso que encara sóc a temps a llençar-me i volar.

  • Paul
    2019-04-09 03:56

    So I was reading an interview with Chuck Palahniuk recently. In it he mentioned how he learned minimalist writing from Spanbauer. I thought, "Well, there's a writer I'd like to check out."So I did. I had my doubts, though, as I hefted the 450-page volume in the library. Minimalist, eh? We'll see about that.Immediately, and I do mean immediately, I was sucked in, his writing is that good. Sharp, precise. Nothing is wasted. Repetition for emphasis. Characters that step off the page, sit down, share a cigarette with you. A story that breaks your heart even as you laugh.Damn, this is a good book.

  • Daniel
    2019-04-02 02:30

    4.5

  • Ben
    2019-03-22 07:48

    Book Review‘Now is the Hour’ by Tom SpanbauerVintage Books – ISBN – 9780099506959459 Pages - £7.99‘Now is the Hour’ by Tom Spanbauer focuses on the life and times of Rigby John Kluesener. It is 1967, and he is going to San Francisco, with flowers in his hair, and the novel looks at the how’s and the why’s of why he is there.At 459 pages, the novel is a long book, but the energy of the central story, and the way in which it is told does not make it seem like a long read. Rigby is confused, he is Holden Caulfield, but years later. The youth with knowledge, but no experience. It focuses on his platonic love for Billie Cody, his pregnant friend, the relationship that he has with his Catholic and over-bearing Mother, the misanthropy and distance of his Father, and his awareness of his homosexuality, which finds release in a touching relationship with George, an alcoholic Native Indian, who is twice Rigby’s age.The novel contains a lot of detail. There is Russell, the baby brother, who did nothing but cry during his 100 day life, the Sister that he rarely sees, his Mother’s begging of Rigby to take her with him when he leaves at the end of the story. There are the run ins with the school-bully, who picks on everything that makes Rigby John different, then there are the times, with the allusions to hippydom, and the Jimi Hendrix on the radio, that lights up Rigby’s life in his dull town in Idaho. There are elements of a happier past, where Rigby remembers her family standing around, whilst she played the Piano. In the present, the Piano is rarely played, and her musical talent did not pass down to Rigby.Rigby has a number of run ins with the law, and in many ways, his character is akin to Huck Finn’s, or to Vernon Little, where the young are shown to have idealism and energy than is perhaps good for them. It also reads like a lot of American literature, where the road is seen as a metaphor for escape, the journey the shedding of the skin of everything that he was before.Although things move on for Rigby, for the other characters things will stay the same. Billie will be a single mother, struggling to raise her child, his parent’s marriage will continue, but only in its loveless state, nothing will ever happen in the townThe pace of the novel never flags, but that does not mean it is without pathos, or sadness, there is the unspoken grief of Rigby’s parents for the son that they lost, of his mother finding more comfort in her church than she finds within her marriage.All of the characters are well rounded and drawn, there is even some sympathy for Joe Scardino, the school bully, that Rigby beats up, before he is involved in a serious car crash, caused by angry driving.There is a scene towards the end of the book, Rigby is introduced to George’s family at the funeral of George’s grandmother, and the giving out of her belongings to family members. When the house is empty, George has nowhere to go, except for a fake notion of going to San Francisco, and taking Rigby with him, but as always, there are loose ends to be tied up, before Rigby can leave for a future that promises so much more than his past.This book would be a good read for fans of American literature of the past fifty or so years. However, the sex scenes, and some of the more violently explicit scenes may not be for readers of a queasy disposition, but the way in which they are written fits in with the style of the book, and Rigby’s discovery of these things is well drawn.

  • Alan
    2019-04-02 23:47

    Pocatello, Idaho... a place much better to be from than to be. According to Tom Spanbauer's 2006 novel Now Is the Hour, anyway:We blessed our roast beef, the canned peas, the mashed spuds, the Wonder Bread, with the same old prayer that came out of us like bad breath from a sick dog, then made the sign of the cross again.—p.14Pocatello probably really wasn't the best place to grow up, back in the 1950s and 1960s, at least for anyone who was, as Rigby John Klusener would say, a little "differnt."Especially if the boy in question likes occasionally wearing his mom's dresses...It's 1967, and Rigby John is on his way to San Francisco, having finally decided for himself that Pocatello is a better place to be from than to be. It took a lot to get him to that point, though—a yellow tulip in an uncomfortable place; Flaco and Acho the migrant workers; George, the drunken Indian; Billie Cody and her wax-stained wedding dress—and Rigby unburdens himself of it all.Now Is the Hour is a classic Bildungsroman: from the vantage point of that lonely westbound highway, Rigby John turns out to be eager to tell us about his own growing up, as soon as he's gained even a few miles of emotional distance. It's a sad story...Sad too, but something nice about the sad. The way you feel after you cry hard, or sometimes after you come. "Now Is the Hour" kind of sad.—p.76As "differnt" as he believes he is, though (you'll get used to him saying that; it becomes obvious that he knows he's doing it), Rigby John strikes me as a pretty normal kid. Sure, being left on one's own so much while growing up can lead to some squirrelly behavior, but... I grew up as an introspective bookworm in a small town too, and much of what Rig experiences—especially being bullied at the hands of uncomprehending muscleheads—rings true to me.My body is ugly. The casket for my smashed-flat roadkill soul.—p.318If anything, Now Is the Hour ends up being too realistic. Sometimes I really missed the magical surrealism that suffused Spanbauer's The Man Who Fell In Love with the Moon; there's very little—if anything—in this novel that couldn't have been echoed in a million other tales of growing up in small-town America. But Rigby John's strong, clear voice lifts up this book and carries it through.All you have to do is listen...

  • Jessica
    2019-04-12 05:51

    I'm drawn to Tom Spanbauer for many reasons. He favors coming of age stories, wrought with questions of gender and/or sexual identity, religion, and race in small Idaho towns, usually seasoned liberally with music, nature, cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs (Now Is the Hour employs the coming-of-age-and-out-of-the-Pocatello,ID-Catholic-farm-closet storyline, with racism directed mostly towards the Native Americans on the adjacent reservation, and sprinkled abundantly with early Vietnam-era radio songs, golden hay fields and poplar trees, Viceroys, Budweiser, and joints). Also, Spanbauer writes sex scenes like no one else (poetic and hot--whether it's Hans Solo, hetero, or gay, or a good old orgy). And his writing style is always catchy, edgy, and unconventional. This includes grammar--this is a man who intentionally spells the word "different" as "differnt" for the bulk of the book and has no interest in the use of quotation marks. But it is the narrative voice and character-driven plot of Now Is the Hour that validates Spanbauer as the creator of "Dangerous Writing," a technique on which he's taught workshops for years (perhaps the most famous "Dangerous Writing" workshop alum is Chuck Palahniuk, who went on to pen Fight Club). Spanbauer's prose isn't flowery, nor is it sophisticated, and only occasionally does it verge on eloquent (this is the beauty of using a 17-year-old male's first person point of view). Rather, Spanbauer's prose is driven by the raw, no-holds-barred, yet sweet voice of his protagonist, Rigby John and the heavy repetition of simple, key words and sentences.Rigby John is endearing, but it's his supporting cast of characters that distinguish this coming-of-age/coming-out story from similar novels I've read. Spanbauer's characters are particularly skilled at blowing up the briefest act or minor indiscretion into the situation's most crazed and seemingly apocalyptic incarnation. Rigby John's dislike of the smell of melted Parmesan cheese at one character's house triggers a chain of absurd and cruel acts that ultimately lead Rigby John to a hot black asphalt highway, trying to thumb a ride to San Francisco with, you guessed it, a flower in his hair. This is where the story begins, and ends. Spanbauer bookends the beginning and ending very well, surprisingly well considering the high use of repetition in the end's content.I do think that Spanbauer could have told this story more economically, and that perhaps he foreshadows all the chaos to come too strongly in the book's opening. These are the dangers of his particular storytelling style, and he bumps into them in this novel more than in his last effort, the wonderful The Man Who Fell In Love With the Moon. But the stories and characters in Rigby John's journey were more than rich enough for me to shut my critical writer's eyes and join Rigby John in retracing the back roads that led him to the side of that southern Idaho highway.

  • Dana
    2019-04-16 04:51

    I think I need to stop reading coming of age stories. The main characters are too melodramatic for my taste.I read Now is the Hour for the first time my freshman year of college. I remember devouring this book and singing its praises. With my second read through, I found the book a bit tougher to get through and found myself skimming full sections. It's not that it's a bad book, really, it's just not an amazing book either. Spanbauer likes to repeat phrases a lot, especially the line "I love God so much right now". This line, in fact, was repeated so much, that it has stuck with me in a not so good way. The first time it was mentioned, it was powerful and effective. I would even argue that the last time it was mentioned, it held the same weight. But all the other times in between? It made me think the character was pretty fickle and fell in love a little to easily. Which, kind of puts a damper on the whole end of the novel. But, that might just be me being nitpicky tonight.Overall, Now is the Hour is a good tale and I like the story as a whole, but I do not like the process in which we got there. It felt cliched at times with the bible thumping mother, the hard assed father, and the knocked up sister. Then, Rig, turned out to be perfect. That dynamic seemed contrived and forced and left me with kind of a bitter taste for the rest of the book. I felt like some of the reactions weren't believable and again, I feel like this may have been a novel about teenagers written by someone who obviously doesn't remember what it was like to be a teenager. I'm not saying that the portrayal was wrong, I'm just saying that it lacked depth.Furthermore, the structure was confusing. I'm all for lack of quotation marks when it works for the story, but more times than I could count, I found myself not knowing if something pivotal was said out loud or said in the characters head. This disrupted the flow of the novel immensely. The presence of a quotation mark wouldn't have detracted from the novel, and in fact, would have probably made it clearer. There was no reason to leave it out other than the desire to be different. Now is the Hour is worth a read, but it is not a book that is going to keep you coming back for more. If you're looking for a coming of age story, combined with a 1960's coming out tale, then this is a novel that I think attempts it with some grace. But, overall, this is a take it or leave it sort of tale.

  • Simone
    2019-04-17 07:38

    Review initially published on my blog, Writing by Numbers,here.Now is the Hour is the tough, heartfelt prayer of Rigby John Klusener, iconic American teenager. He’s by turns scared and rebellious, crammed with feelings, angry and apathetic and hopeful and earnest. Knowing there’s something bigger out there. Wanting and fearing the world at once.Set in the sixties in rural Idaho, this coming-of-age novel takes time to get into. It’s a rhythmic readjustment, slowing down the pace of life and speeding up the heart. But after a few chapters, I was riveted. Rigby John’s a Catholic budding queer, with a racist, taciturn dad and seemingly-bipolar mom. His story is all stolen cigarettes and masturbation in lonely beautiful ugly places. Itchy hay dust and skinny-dipping and greasy makeup on faces. It’s cracked and beautiful.There’s some Magical Negro here – three non-white characters who exist primarily to be exotic and facilitate Rigby John’s self-realizations. Though some might mind it, I didn’t, simply because the whole novel is about Rigby John seeing things as exotic and having self-realizations. That’s what teenagers do.Spanbauer uses repetitive phrasing to great effect. He layers up certain phrases’ significance like musical motifs. They reverberate throughout the narrative, heightening its litanic quality. I’m not sure it would be a good re-read, but as a one-time sensory experience, it was luminous.The 214 in 2014 series chronicles every book I read in 2014. Each review contains exactly 214 words. For more, visit http://www.ararebit.wordpress.com.

  • Rachaell Hilyer
    2019-04-19 23:29

    I have read all Tom Spanbauer's book and this was my last to finish (I'm sad that I don't have more to devour). There's an honesty in Spanbauer's writing that stays with you long after you finish his books. 'Now is the hour,' was like his other books: a man exploring his sexuality, roots founded in Idaho and western religion, a drawn-out and build-up of characterS that promise a smooth finish, and a profound look at love and loss. Compared to his other novels, this book has the most clean and simple portrayal of characters and of Spanbauer's message of love transcending societal norms. Rig's first lover tells him directly before they embrace, "Half of me wants to devour you. The other half wants to run and hide. But I don't do either." Despite the complications of gender, age, religious and family norms, and ethnicity, a 17yr old's passion and heartache are simply 'scintillatingly' gorgeous. I look forward to his next book.

  • Gayle
    2019-03-22 01:35

    At first, this book was slow going for me, hard to get into. I almost didn't make it past the first 50 pages--it may have been my mood at the time--but I hung in there because of Nicole's soaring review. Then, at some point, maybe after I accepted what I felt was an annoying structural device of slipping back and forth through time (it kind of kills the mystery for me, when I know something about the character from the beginning, as he looks back on the past and retells his story--I'd much rather a plot unfold and not know where it's headed or even if the character is going to survive. Of course with first person he has to survive to tell the story, but still). That may be a small peeve, considering the beauty and the intimacy of this book. The characters are unbelievably vivid, and every scene was easy to fall into completely. I was so absorbed in the novel I couldn't stop reading it until I finished it. Moments of utter beauty in the writing. Thoughts so incisively expressed, images so wonderful, I had to put the book down and ponder them. Now, these characters feel like someone I know, or have known; and as I get old with Alzheimer's I'll be asking about what's happened to George and Granny Queep and Rigby John. Spanbauer's slipped under my skin and made me care about these characters. I had other tiny peeves, like sometimes the repetitive tropes worked, and sometimes they got annoying, or one or two scenes seemed over the top; but many times, most times, they worked. Upon a second reading I'll probably get even more from this dense and beautiful creation.