A Patchwork Planet (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Random House LLC, Jan 13, 2010 - Fiction - 304 pages
223 Reviews
In this, her fourteenth novel--and one of her most endearing--Anne Tyler tells the story of a lovable loser who's trying to get his life in order.

Barnaby Gaitlin has been in trouble ever since adolescence. He had this habit of breaking into other people's houses. It wasn't the big loot he was after, like his teenage cohorts. It was just that he liked to read other people's mail, pore over their family photo albums, and appropriate a few of their precious mementos.

But for eleven years now, he's been working steadily for Rent-a-Back, renting his back to old folks and shut-ins who can't move their own porch furniture or bring the Christmas tree down from the attic. At last, his life seems to be on an even keel.

Still, the Gaitlins (of "old" Baltimore) cannot forget the price they paid for buying off Barnaby's former victims. And his ex-wife would just as soon he didn't show up ever to visit their little girl, Opal. Even the nice, steady woman (his guardian angel?) who seems to have designs on him doesn't fully trust him, it develops, when the chips are down, and it looks as though his world may fall apart again.

There is no one like Anne Tyler, with her sharp, funny, tender perceptions about how human beings navigate on a puzzling planet, and she keeps us enthralled from start to finish in this delicious new novel.


From the Paperback edition.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
51
4 stars
84
3 stars
64
2 stars
17
1 star
7

Good character development. - Goodreads
Also loved the ambiguity of the ending. - Goodreads
This book had a really unique plot. - Goodreads
She has a soothing writing style. - Goodreads
I found myself confused by the ending. - Goodreads
Great characterizations. - Goodreads

Review: A Patchwork Planet

User Review  - Jude Bittner - Goodreads

Having lived in the Baltimore suburbs for a good many years, I read all books by Anne Tyler. This book was just OK; I didn't get how two of the mis-matched characters ended up together....perhaps that was what the whole idea given the name of the book. Read full review

Review: A Patchwork Planet

User Review  - Kate Millin - Goodreads

Barnaby Gaitlin is a bad boy turned good who works for a cool company called Rent-a-back doing odd jobs for those who cannot manage themselves Read full review

Selected pages

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis in 1941 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University, and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is also the author of If Morning Ever Comes, The Tin Can Tree, A Slipping-Down Life, The Clock Winder, Celestial Navigation, Searching for Caleb, Earthly Possessions, Morgan's Passing, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, The Accidental Tourist, Saint Maybe, and Ladder of Years. Tyler is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore.


From the Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information