That's Not a Feeling

That s Not a Feeling Benjamin arrives with his parents for a tour of Roaring Orchards a therapeutic boarding school tucked away in upstate New York Suddenly his parents are gone and Benjamin learns that he is there to s

  • Title: That's Not a Feeling
  • Author: Dan Josefson
  • ISBN: 9781616951887
  • Page: 473
  • Format: Paperback
  • Benjamin arrives with his parents for a tour of Roaring Orchards, a therapeutic boarding school tucked away in upstate New York Suddenly, his parents are gone and Benjamin learns that he is there to stay Sixteen years old, a two time failed suicide, Benjamin must navigate his way through a new world of morning meds, popped privileges, candor meetings and cartoon brunchesBenjamin arrives with his parents for a tour of Roaring Orchards, a therapeutic boarding school tucked away in upstate New York Suddenly, his parents are gone and Benjamin learns that he is there to stay Sixteen years old, a two time failed suicide, Benjamin must navigate his way through a new world of morning meds, popped privileges, candor meetings and cartoon brunches all run by adults who themselves have yet to really come of age The only person who comprehends the school s many rules and rituals is Aubrey, the founder and headmaster Fragile, brilliant, and prone to rage, he is as likely to use his authority to reward students as to punish them But when Aubrey falls ill, life at the school begins to unravel Benjamin has no one to rely on but the other students, especially Tidbit, an intriguing but untrustworthy girl with a self afflicting personality More and , Benjamin thinks about running away from Roaring Orchards but he feels an equal need to know just what it is he would be leaving behind.

    392 Comment

    • Greg says:

      About midway through my three days at BEA I happened to be walking past one of the big publisher booths and I caught a snippet of a conversation. A middle aged man wearing a badge designating him as working for a publisher was talking to another middle aged man (I didn't catch a glimpse of his badge, nor the name of the publisher the first man worked for, I just caught the color of the badge) and was saying, in the pompous voice of grad students and college professors, there are just no good boo [...]

    • Oriana says:

      Here's a review from Word Bookstore that made me want to read this book so bad:Dan Josefson's debut novel is subtle, hilarious, heart-wrenching, cute, dark, and intelligent. That's Not a Feeling is like Ben Stiller and Co. in the film Heavyweightsif that film took place in a coed school for "troubled teens"d had been directed by Wes Andersond was a novel, not a movie.That was back in 2012 when the book came out, and of course I got real excited and then promptly forgot all about. Then a few week [...]

    • Hannah Garden says:

      This. Was. So. Good. I don't even want to talk about it, it's so perfect. Don't read any of the reviews they all miss the point. Just get a copy, if you're a good reader who loves books and/or is aggravated that so much contemporary stuff is silly and deeply lacking, you will be so glad and rewarded. This was my 600th book since joining in March 2008 and I am happy it was.

    • Evan says:

      Like, I suspect, many readers, I figured that David Foster Wallace's enthusiastic blurb probably meant it was at least OK, and I also have a soft spot for books about troubled kids in weird therapeutic environments. It was OK, at least. I found it too pared back for my taste, the writing too dry and the plot, such as it was, too meandering, larded with information and detail that seemed like it might become important but never actually became so. But some of this may be my problem: For example, [...]

    • Meri says:

      I really expected to love this book and I just didn't. The narration shifts around from first person to third person omniscient, which doesn't really work. Some of the characters are mildly fleshed out, only to disappear into the background without having their stories resolved. I wasn't sure why some of the kids were there, and some situations were not adequately explained. The whole thing lacked authenticity. I kept looking for the author, and I didn't see him. I couldn't find any evidence of [...]

    • Corey says:

      4.5 starsThis smart, clever, fun, and funny debut novel is one of the best books I've read all year. THAT'S NOT A FEELING is set at Roaring Orchards School for Troubled Teens, a boarding school in upstate New York run by an eccentric but charismatic headmaster, Aubrey.Our protagonist, Benjamin, is sent to Roaring Orchards after an apparent suicide attempt, and thus serves as a sort of outsider/stand-in for the reader. As the novel moves on, we are introduced to the philosophy behind the school: [...]

    • Alexandra Finch says:

      I loved "That's Not A Feeling" I usually do not read books like this. My boss, at the bookstore I work at got it before it was released, and she asked me to read it. If I liked it should would get copies to sell at the store. I completley recomend the book. For someone like me who reads mostly paranormal books, and romance books this was a very different change of pace. It was a little hard at frist to understand who's story was being told at what time, but the further I got into the novel the e [...]

    • Carly says:

      I picked this book up kind of at random, off of either the employee's favorites or local authors shelf at the bookstore when I was rage purchasing books. I had no expectations going in, I wasn't even all that sure what it was about. And I loved it. It's a character driven book about teens at a boarding school for troubled youth in upstate New York. The book is told from a students point of view, and it's immediately clear that the adults here have just as many problems, if not more, than the kid [...]

    • Michael says:

      There was about a year long gap in between me reading the first part and the second part of this book. I’m not sure if it’s because I felt a sense of completion after part one, or if it was just a convenient place to put the book down and forget about it. Getting back into it was easy as I found the characters to be endearing. It has the misbehavior of Catcher In The Rye, but a little more whimsical, and the end left me wanting to know more, but in a good way.Side note: the narrative gets we [...]

    • Lesa Parnham says:

      This book was surreal. In parts it was so hilarious and in others it was sad. The school is supposed to be therapeutic environment for disturbed children, but in most cases it is the adults that are disturbed. This book is brilliant in that it has so many scary boundaries that the adults enforce, including manipulating the children's parents, harsh punishments for the kids and brainwashing for the teachers and room parents. Kind of like Jim Jones and his kool-aid in a book. Very intellectual rea [...]

    • Ashley says:

      is went straight over my head. I just didn't get it- I didn't find anything remarkable about it.I saw it hyped on Tumblr, then saw the DFW blurb, and really liked the title/cover, so I figured it'd be greatbut I really disliked it. Kind of a bummerok me FOREVER to read, just because I absolutely dreaded approaching it after the first half (for some reason, I remained pretty optimistic for the first half, but it never picked up)

    • Noah says:

      Sometimes a pull quote will trick you. Sometimes you'll be elbows deep in the tail-end of Infinite Jest baffled that any writer can pull of an, er, feat(?) of literature that dense and amazing and you'll start to think that anything you see with that author's pull-quote slathered across the page is going to be as stunning and original as that author's most-famed work. Realize now though good readers that pull quotes are, for the most part, nasty tricks and that if you're going to get yourself in [...]

    • christa says:

      Benjamin has agreed to tour Roaring Orchards, not move in. So when it becomes obvious that his parents have duped him, he unleashes his fury all over the windshield of the family car. He kicks out the front window and is eventually restrained by the staff. The upstate home for troubled youth covers the gamut of troubles. Benjamin’s own: two suicide attempts. The wild-child resumes of his peers are more colorful and range from a spending spree with dad’s credit card to the therapist-friendlin [...]

    • Laura says:

      readinglovesDan Josefson's debut novel is an odd piece of fiction set in a darkly wrought juvenile camp for troubled children in upstate New York. Benjamin has been abandoned at Roaring Orchards by his parents and narrates his immersion into the strange community that is made up of unreliable, neurotic adults serving as counselors, and their delinquent young charges. These adults are hinted to have just as serious personal problems plaguing them as the kids at the camp, and multiple even dislike [...]

    • Marija says:

      HmmI think that if I gave this book to the reluctant readers I used to work with, after five minutes they would have thrown it across the room in frustration. This story really plays with unreliable narration. It forces the reader to wonder how is it possible for Benjamin to know all of this. What’s truth and what’s fiction? Even though this is a retrospective story, Benjamin’s narration constantly shifts perspective, describing events from other points of view—events he couldn’t possi [...]

    • Irina says:

      The writing in this was great. The title is based off of the alternative school's belief that there are only 7 feelings, those being; happy, proud, confused, frustrated, scared, angry and sad. Any feeling not on the list is considered "non-existent". There were over 42 characters on my chart, so I'm glad I made a character list. This was a decent book regarding alternative schools and mental health- and some of the issues that may come with that environment. This wasn't on my TBR and I'd never h [...]

    • Aaron says:

      The entire time I was reading this book, I was planning on giving it 2 stars. I was in a hurry to finish it because honestly, it bored me almost the entire time. It hurts for me to say that because I really, really wanted to love this book. My reason, along with many others', for reading it was the DFW blurb on the cover: "a bold, funny, mordant, and deeply intelligent debut". By the end of the book, I was flying through it and picking up on some of the more important lines and observations, whi [...]

    • P. says:

      So, this was pretty great. I'm not sure I've read a boarding school book quite like it. Benjamin is speaking in the first person, but he is also recounting events from the perspective of other former students/teachers as if he were them, and it works well. It also means that the story isn't really Benjamin's story of coming of age. It is, in a background way, but it's more the story of the philosophy of the school, told through small scenes, and it is also just as much Tidbit's story. Not a lot [...]

    • Alicia says:

      I couldn't quite grasp what the story was about and lost interest around page 150. I get that Aubrey is an odd character with the gift to make the illogical, logical by taking in kids with problems from suicide, willfulness, mental disorders, that their parents can't help and making them into something by showing them the error of their ways. Yet, Aubrey is really the only one who understands what goes on at Roaring Orchards. Students want to escape or are punished, yet they are also given privi [...]

    • Mandy says:

      ***Spoiler Alert***When I saw the blurb from DFW on this book I was expecting it to be spectacular. It was good - probably really good - but my expectations were much higher. Josefson used so many of the elements I loved in a book. He has this way of walking that really fine line between horribly sad and hilariously funny. There are parts of this story that make no sense at the outset, and you wait the entire time for them to be resolved, but they never are. At that point, the only thing left to [...]

    • Mike Young says:

      from NOÖ [14]:Read this in an apartment that has carpet in the kitchen. It’s a novel about a psychotherapy boarding school/cult. Its first person narration is mystically sneaky. You can touch all the characters’ knees under the table. The headmaster has a heartbreaking dream about his first wife. The plot gets dark and smart. Read this if once on the a bus you saw a glum young man in a camouflage jacket and orange cargo pants carefully holding what looked, to you, like a tinfoil-covered pie [...]

    • Emily says:

      This book is something I would recommend to a very specific reader. It's terrifying and sad and utterly bizarre, and it will make your feel like you've lost a little bit of your sanity when you're reading it. The writing has some really great literary moments, especially for a debut novel-- it doesn't feel like it's trying too hard.From a publishing-seller side of things this book could be seen as a tough sell. It's unnerving and unusual. But, with the type of reader who likes books of this vein [...]

    • Roberta says:

      That's Not a Feeling è un libro che mi ha deluso parecchio, anche se credo che la maggior parte di quello che mi è piaciuto sia dovuta più ad aspettative sbagliate mie che ad una mancanza del romanzo. Dan Josefson scrive bene e la sua prosa pulita e piacevole ha reso semplice continuare la lettura fino alla fine anche se non ero soddisfatta (inoltre da altre recensioni mi era sembrato di capire che da un certo punto in poi migliora, il che forse è anche vero, ma non come mi aspettavo)bertabo [...]

    • Gracie Bates-Davis says:

      Having experience working at a residential treatment facility I believe the author uncannily articulates the culture. Although, some aspects of the culture are exaggerated and uncomfortable while reading. The book is well written and presents like a first hand encounter. The characters are life like and are not a distant thought in a fantastical world. I thought the book was an excellent read about teenagers and the integration of psychological processes plus teenage angst. I give this book four [...]

    • Leslie T says:

      Irritating at first, but once I got a little more into their world I liked it more and more Characters could have been fleshed out more (these "kids" seem innocent, but totally aren't! It takes a while to get a sense of that). But then the end! The end! Would recommend it just for that.

    • Aurora says:

      Outstanding. Read this now - this guy's going to be big. Also, I really want a shirt that says PROPERTY OF ROARING ORCHARDS SCHOOL FOR TROUBLED TEENS.

    • Kenneth says:

      The best new book I've read in years. Give it a chance.

    • Mark Matthews says:

      That’s Not A Feeling, by Dan Josefson, is the story of Roaring Orchards, a boarding school for troubled youth, and traces the experiences of Benjamin, a new student who encounters this strange world following two failed suicide attempts. After smashing out his parents windshield in the facilities parking lot, and believing he was ‘just on a tour,’ Benajamin’s parents leave him without a goodbye in the hands of staff who adhere to the school’s philosophy that few can explain or understa [...]

    • Infinite Scythe says:

      Honestly not really how to feel about this book. I really admire how different this book is and the topics/themes that it discussed. It takes a lot of risks but I have to say not all of them paid off. I have a few problems with this book: unreliable narration, undeveloped/ unfinished characters, and its predictability. How on Earth does Benjamin know all the things he is supposedly waxing poetic about? Even if he was older and had talked to some people It doesn't seem believable. The characters. [...]

    • Kaylie says:

      I'm glad I took my time on this seemingly light read. The narration, a former alternative ed kid reflecting on his life at boarding school, is dry at best, winding at worst. I didn't like protag Ben's first person omniscience. And the plot is baffling, especially when discussing therapies like re-birthing (which results in not new life, but death), ghosting (exactly what it sounds like), and cornering (again, literal definition). But, just as the book's title confronts the reader, so too does it [...]

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