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Tepper Isn't Going Out: A Novel

1 rating: 4.0
A book by Calvin Trillin

New York City and America's car culture smash together in Calvin Trillin'sTepper Isn't Going Out, a humorous tale of the urban quest for an open parking space. When a mailing-list broker, Murray Tepper, decides to spend his days plugging meters so he … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Calvin Trillin
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
1 review about Tepper Isn't Going Out: A Novel

Delightfully humorous and intriguing

  • Oct 22, 2010

Tepper is sitting in his car, reading the paper and people-watching. He’s in New York. There are lots of people to watch. But who’s watching Tepper?
Murray Tepper is a very likeable character with a very odd quirk. He seems to like sitting in his car. He seems to enjoy searching the streets, no mean feat, to find a parking space. Then he sits and reads.
Tepper has his some favorite places to stop, and soon there are favorite people to watch; even a young wannabe reporter who writes a newspaper article. And “Tepper isn’t going out.” His car’s staying right where it is, so those drivers waiting for him to move will simply have to seek respite elsewhere.
Tepper’s wife is a little concerned. After all, people don’t usually leave the house to sit in the car. Tepper’s son-in-law seems to doubt his father-in-law’s sanity. Tepper’s co-workers continue to ask about those mailing lists, and the reader is left to ponder other connections… people who need help like talking to strangers in cars perhaps. (Well, kids who need to talk are far more likely to in a car, as parents can tell, but usually it’s moving.)
Then there’s the mayor who seems to feel oddly threatened by many things. Then there’s the altercation between would-be parkers and would-be people watching Tepper watching people. It gets more complicated, and more fun, while Tepper continues to placidly maintain, if there’s money on the meter, Tepper isn’t going out.
The story climbs to amusing heights with gentle irony and a pleasing twist. Not necessarily laugh-out-loud, it’s certainly laugh-quietly and smile-behind-your-book; a really enjoyable, pleasantly wise, and curiously cheerful kind of tale. I really enjoyed it.

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