Read the man who wouldn t stand up by Jacob M. Appel Online


Arnold Brinkman is a shy and retiring botanist; he loves his plants more than his country. But when his refusal to stand for the national anthem at a baseball game causes a major media incident, he is thrown into a world of pushy patriots, preachers, and press. And it's not going to get any easier when he refuses to apologize. A hilarious bullet into the heart of modern AmArnold Brinkman is a shy and retiring botanist; he loves his plants more than his country. But when his refusal to stand for the national anthem at a baseball game causes a major media incident, he is thrown into a world of pushy patriots, preachers, and press. And it's not going to get any easier when he refuses to apologize. A hilarious bullet into the heart of modern America, this novel mixes the literary sensibilities of Jonathan Franzen with the raucous satire of D.B.C. Pierre, and was the recipient of the Dundee International Book Prize....

Title : the man who wouldn t stand up
Author :
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ISBN : 17226807
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 212 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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the man who wouldn t stand up Reviews

  • Allie Riley
    2019-05-13 06:58

    Enjoyable satire. Arnold Brinkman, a liberal botanist from New York finds himself labelled a terrorist and traitor, a non-patriot (where patriot is construed as a moral virtue) because he fails to stand and sing "God Bless America" in tribute to two fallen soldiers at a baseball game. His failure to apologize means that things rapidly escalate and he eventually finds himself on the lam with a $500,000 reward being offered for his capture. This novel started off scarily believable and remained so for the most part before becoming slightly ridiculous. In all honesty that's part of what made it so enjoyable. The upholding of a particular brand of patriotism as a virtue and the decrying of those who failed to comply was taken to its most extreme conclusion in order to expose some of its flaws. Worth reading.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-22 08:03

    I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.As usual, Appel's characters are always so unique and eccentric and I loved all of them. The only thing I didn't quite like was how absurd it got in the middle/end. It went a little too crazy.Overall, I enjoyed it and it was another solid work of fiction from Appel.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-05-10 03:56

    A darkly comedic vision of the cost of blind patriotism, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up still manages to be tasteful, but takes a more lighthearted view of tragedy.

  • Jared Della Rocca
    2019-05-03 08:11

    Two copies of this book was sent to our academic library by the author. We rarely get unsolicited works, and so the technical services librarian dropped the extra copy on my desk, knowing how much I read. I took a quick perusal of the back cover and asked her about it, since I didn't remember ordering it. She told me we had gotten two and thought I might want to read it. The premise looked interesting enough, so I thought I'd give it a try.Well I'm glad I did, it's a really amusing story! Yeah there are some really far-fetched sections, and it's in desperate need of a copy-editor (grammatical errors, extra words where a sentence had been changed) but the story itself was really quirky and drew me in. It's a pretty quick read, but definitely enjoyable and something I would recommend for a trip to the beach or a flight.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-01 07:14

    Arnold Brinkman, a botanist living in New York City, is a pretty good guy. He "recycles scrupulously and overpays his taxes," he's a loving husband, and he manages to live a pretty normal, low-key life. But then he refuses to stand up at a baseball game while "God Bless America" plays as a tribute to two local soldiers killed in action. He becomes the talk of the town immediately, labelled everything from a loser to a nutcase, and eventually a traitor and a terrorist. Arnold soon becomes the most wanted man in the country and is forced to go into hiding, shacking up with some unlikely characters to avoid jail time or worse for his "crime."This book was a great satire that made some fantastic points regarding patriotism, mob mentality, and the media and sensationalism. I loved that this book managed to be a fun and interesting read while still raising some serious questions about our society.I really enjoyed reading this book overall. I only had a couple of issues with this book -- there were quite a few grammatical and punctuation errors (I read an e-book copy that I won free in a giveaway, so I'm not sure if these issues have been fixed in print copies) and I really hated the ending. (view spoiler)[I was honestly disappointed that he apologized in the end. I liked how he stood by his actions despite the fact that most of America considered them disrespectful or worse. At the end of the day, what he did was not deserving of the consequences he faced. His decision to apologize in the end made the whole story almost pointless. To me it felt like a cop-out and an easy way to end the story, especially since there's no closure and you don't get to see what his final fate was. Probation? A few years in jail? Death penalty? The fact that we don't know whether or not apologizing, the thing he said he'd never do, ended up helping him or not, was disappointing to me. (hide spoiler)] Problems aside, I really liked this book, but it isn't the kind of book I'd recommend to everyone I know. I think only a certain type of person will enjoy the combination of farce, wit, satire, and the slightly pretentious vibe that the main character gives that make up this story, but I would recommend it to those who enjoy sarcasm and have a politically incorrect sense of humor.

  • Amy
    2019-04-24 06:18

    Wow. Not really sure where to start. I gotta admit, the main character of this book is pretty awesome. I could completely relate to his predicament. I always hated being made to say the pledge of allegiance in school and I can't stand patriotic anthems. I've always thought that being forced to be patriotic is about the most unpatriotic thing you can inflict upon someone. Although I don't have a problem with other people's actions, it really bothers me when they try to impose their systems on me. I leave them alone, I'd like the same courtesy in return. So yeah, I get this guy. I was totally behind him and his outrage. Which means you go on a really weird ride with him when he processes his own reactions and follows the domino trail. Feeling sympathy for him you just can't hate him for his own bad decisions. It's a very strange place to find yourself. Not sure I've felt so thoroughly connected throughout such a train wreck before. Must be a sign of brilliant story-telling. This review is based on a free copy obtained through GoodReads First Reads.

  • Harry Maier
    2019-05-10 06:20

    Good start to this book by a man accomplished in many fields (law, medicine, journalistic reporting, and fiction). This won him a big literary award for humour, which is why I decided to read it. it is a satire on post 9-11 America and the "man who wouldn't stand up" becomes an invocation to do just that. However, the happy ending as well as the camp treatment of the protagonist's unlikely alliance with an eccentric criminal derails the book and reduces its capacity to be the satire it wants to be. It is truly disappointing that more is not made of Cassandra, whose name promises to add complexity to the plot, but ultimately goes nowhere. Further, one can't help but wonder whether the casting of the protagonist as a gardener who has effectively retreated from life isn't a gloss on Voltaire's Candide: in this day and age, it no longer suffice merely to tend your own garden. But again this goes nowhere and left me thinking I was making things up. if you want a diversion, this is a good read. If you are looking for thoughtful satire, take a pass.

  • Lori
    2019-05-15 07:17

    I won a goodreads first reads copy of the book " The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up" by Jacob M. Appel. This story is about a man named Arnold Brinkman, he is in his late fifties, Arnold is a Botanist and has written many books on the subject of plants. Arnold Brinkman led a quiet life until the day he went to a baseball game with his nine year old nephew in New York. In between innings the audience was asked to stand up while "God Bless America" Was played. It was in honor of local soldiers. Arnold Brinkman chose to sit instead of stand up. This may have gone without notice but the stadium camera decided to focus on Arnold sitting and his image was shown on the big screen for all to see. When Arnold noticed himself on the screen instead of standing up he stuck out his tongue. this one second brought on a backlash for Arnold Brinkman. He had insulted a nation and America wanted an apology. For the next two to three months Arnold's quiet life had Terrible consequences. His life was turned into a hell he was unprepared for. now the press was on his block with hundreds of angry protester who are demanding that apology. They wanted Arnold's head on a platter. He could not leave his home.yet one night Arnold escaped his home and for the two months he was on the run. finding a way to survive, including hanging with people who he never thought possible. bad decisions along the way. I do not want to give too many spoilers. I felt sorry for Arnold in the beginning, he was an ass for sticking his tongue out but did not deserve the backlash and unwanted media circus that he and his wife endured. I also thought some of later chapters with Arnold on the run with the bandit is far fetched. For the most part I enjoyed this book. by Jacob Appel.

  • Angie
    2019-05-09 04:14

    This book felt less like a satire and more like a farce to me. And in general, I don't enjoy farces. It wasn't a witty farce -- there are no real laugh lines. But the plot is ridiculous, the main character a charicature, and much of it doesn't make any sense. I felt like it started out with the potential to be a satire -- indeed the first 50 pages or so felt like they might develop into something really interesting. But then it fell short.In one line, the character mentions Rosa Parks and compares himself to her with a scoff. In one sense, the comparison works at the beginning. Rosa Parks was also an accidental protester -- she has often said that she wasn't planning a national movement, she was just tired that day. But her movement was meaningful enough that it was turned into a national movement, and she was dignified enough to make it work. This guy isn't. In fact, for all his education, he really isn't very smart. At all. In fact he's so stupid that I lost interest in him.All right, so what was the author trying to say with this? I have some guesses. Maybe:"No matter how respectable we seem, we are all one tiny mishap away from our lives falling apart enough for us to expose the selfish, violent cad inside."And then some ancillary points:"Ethticists are amoral.""People who like plants should not be trusted.""We might all be surrounded by closet criminals." "A good woman will love you even though you don't deserve it in any way."So, not my cup of tea. I was hoping for more from the book description. But that being said, there are probably lots of people out there who will enjoy the humor in it.I got a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

  • S.
    2019-05-12 10:17

    I had a lot of mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, the characters were very well developed and believable and the plot is funny and fast paced. On another hand, however, the plot is also so unbelievable in some parts that it's really hard to feel like it could be real.The writing is very fluent and consistent, very much like all the short-stories the author usually writes, the only difference is that this one's a novel. It feels like a short story but much longer.The dark humour and the fact that the narrative is coherent, even though unbelievable, make for an enjoyable read.Note: I've been kindly sent this book by the author, but that fact hasn't influenced my opinion of it. My review would probably be exactly the same if I had bought the book myself.Full review at my reading blog:

  • Connie
    2019-05-10 06:12

    I really enjoyed this book that I won from Goodreads First reads. It made me think about whether we do things because it's expected or because we actually want to. The book had a huge variety of unusual characters all connected to a quiet guy who just wanted to do his own thing, which was mainly caring for his beloved plants. When life threw him a curve at a baseball game, his world was turned upside down. Some events were funny and some were sad and many reminded me of public figures that always turn up at happenings to further their own agenda. I had guessed about what the ending might be but it was not what I expected. I think that the story was very good and I would certainly suggest reading it. (I think that it's also begging for a sequel!)

  • Anne
    2019-04-25 02:17

    Fantastic! Kafkaesque, it reminded me of so many things. I suppose Jonathan Swift with 'A Modest Proposal' springs to mind, and Christopher Fowler's Disturbia. The satire is perfect. The nightmare complete. I loved every minute because it was so crazy. Who the hell reacts this way over one man not getting to his feet. It makes you put a lot of things into perspective. I think twice before getting aeriated about anything now. Does it really matter? In then grand scheme of things who cares? Will the world stop if someone doesn't sing or tears a flag? It's just a song or a piece of fabric - in the words of the late Michael Winner "Calm down, Dear!"

  • Cindy
    2019-05-09 03:53

    When Arnold Brinkman refuses to stand up for the National Anthem during a baseball game all hell breaks lose. And when he refuses to apologize for his non action Arnold becomes America's most hated and wanted man. Jacob Appel's book is satire at its finest. It's outrageous and over-the-top comical with unbelievable situations that made me shake my head and say what's next!. I absolutely loved this story and smiled while reading. Thank you, Mr. Appel, for sending me a complimentary copy. Love your writing and all your crazy and fascinating characters!

  • Kasa Cotugno
    2019-04-22 03:09

    Arnold Brikman is described as a "shy and retiring botanist," but his insistence on standing by his principles gets him in more trouble than he'd bargained for, making him the center of attraction as well as a fugitive. Hilarious. Written by a botanist, there is much insider info about making flowers the center of a diet as well as how to survive on the run in plain sight.

  • Carlos Mock
    2019-04-26 01:52

    The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up by Jacob M. AppelThis is a satirical farce of what life has become in America post 9/11. Arnold Binkmann is a liberal botanist living in New York City. He's married to Judith and lives a quiet life amongst his plants, nursery, and books. He does not like children. One day, Arnold is forced to take his nephew, Ray, to a game at Yankee stadium. On the 7th inning, as they play God Bless America, Arnold refuses to stand up. He's captured by the giant video screen on the stadium and Arnold defies the crowd by sticking his tongue out.That's where things go south for Arnold. He's accused of being unpatriotic. His house is surrounded by the press and a religious fanatic: the reverend Spotty Spitford, all of them who insist that Arnold apologize. The story could have ended here, if Arnold had apologized, but instead, Arnold refuses to do so. Things get nasty after this: Arnold's beautiful garden is vandalized, he goes to Reverend Spitford's church and insults him with a racial expletive, breaking a window from the church with a bible. The manager at Arnold's nursery business turns out to be Fidel Castro's man in Caracas - a famous terrorist who blew up a plane. Arnold is now wanted as a terrorist, and must hide from society. There's a possibility he may face prison time.Out of options, Arnold is forced to share Cassandra's studio apartment in Brooklyn - the reporter who wanted an exclusive interview with him. As Cassandra reveals that she was the one who vandalized his garden, he storms out of her apartment and ends up being homeless on Central Park. There he meets the scandalous Bare Ass Bandit and joins him in his crime spree. Arnold loses all sense of humanity.Finally, as Arnold is rejected by the Bandit, Arnold has a complete awakening. He realizes that: "Ordinary life is what he longed for more than anything. That and his wife.” So he decides to go home and face the consequences of his actions.The book is narrated from Arnold's third person point of view. Filled with insightful dialog, Appel exposes the sad state of our country. The right wing media has made a farce of being a patriot. Much like Becket's Waiting for Godot, Appel creates a story so absurd that the only reason we're drawn to the plot is because it seems so "real." Anyone who's listened to Fox News gets a daily dose of the absurd. Arnold expresses his sentiment best when he states: "Better to be uninformed that regularly demoralized." A wonderful and easy read! I recommend it highly….

  • Caroline
    2019-05-11 07:52

    This is the type of book I wish I would have written. There is an art to satire and absurdity, especially when it involves so many sensitive subjects and plot points. While not perfect, I thought the author did an admirable job of 1) demonstrating how self-righteous we can be about patriotism (how ironic given that after Vietnam our veterans were more likely booed than heralded) 2) presenting a plausible scenario that gets overblown by a groupthink mob and 3) making fun of just about every person, type of person, background of person without being offensive. Appel has a true talent.I especially enjoyed the foray into the absurd. I loved how the public's assumption of Brinkman's treachery became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The nicknames "Tongue Traitor" and "Bare-Ass Bandit" were catchy and their partnership was laugh-out-loud funny. However, I loved how, in the end, Brinkman was humbled and consider new options for his future (although his passion for defending himself was admirable and correct).To me, the ending was very open-ended as it does not show if Brinkman got away with his capers or was punished in any way. It simply showed that he had received a dose of his own medicine, in a quantity strong enough to concede his staunch position. The only pieces I felt were weak were some areas around the supporting characters. For example, his wife, Judith, welcomed him back without qualms, in a scene that was a bit too pat to be believed. (If my husband came home in another person's dirty underwear, looking deranged and smelling of feces, I'm not sure I would have rushed to kiss and forgive him.) What happened to Cassandra? She could have easily turned him in. What about Willie Vargas?However, I read the book quickly, I laughed out loud, I learned about botany, and I rooted for the character. All-in-all, a book I'd recommend for humor and provoking thought.

  • Derek
    2019-05-16 10:12

    This is one of those books I had really hoped to win through a Goodreads giveaway, but it never happened. I am glad, however, that I chose to purchase this book.Arnold Brinkman, a famous botanist, decides during "God Bless America" at a baseball game not to stand up. On principle, on anger, or whatever, he refuses. A somewhat all-star cast of characters then show up and decide to make his life worse than what it was. If he doesn't stand up at a baseball game, he decides to stand up for whatever belief he is trying to demonstrate.Except, with each new step, he continues to mount a failure's ladder.For as funny as the book is in spots, it does raise some important questions about what it means to be patriotic, where respect begins and where it ends, and how many times we so easily throw stones and forget the real problems in and around us.At no point did I ever feel this novel was going to be predictable. Just when I thought something was going to happen that would confirm my thoughts about the direction the novel was going to go, the protagonist does something completely different. And although it greatly annoys me at the movie theatres when screenwriters do it, the ending of the novel begs the reader to ask "What happens next?"The only thing that annoyed me with my e-copy is the copious amount of typos. I really wish the copyeditor or proofreader would have spent some time on this important detail. That's easily forgiven and forgotten, though.What won't be forgotten is this novel. Although a relatively short one, it will beg numerous questions for a long time to come.

  • Craig Evans
    2019-04-25 04:14

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author courtesy of an give-away.I sympathized with the central character, Arnold Brinkman, and see several similarities between him and me. Arnold is 55 (I'm 53), a botanist (I was a biology major at university) and gardening enthusiast (ditto) who enjoys foraging for wild and natural plants as food sources (I dabble), and he has a need to feel liked and trusted and respected by those around him (guilty) while at the same time he is a bit dis-social (also guilty), and the author gives him a wide range of knowledge of historical events within the culture and society and he displays a bit of intolerance and is critical toward what he considers injustices (ummmm... maybe that's a shared characteristic as well).Unlike me, Arnold find himself embroiled in a 'scandal' that rips his daily life to shreds, forces him into hiding, and leads him to a life of crime... if you call extreme measures to embarrass others a crime. The author covers a lot of ground in his descriptions of the protests against Arnold, and Arnold's reaction to the protests... from Sacco and Vanzetti to Rosa Parks to 9/11 to pets and manners, the social and political landscape is satirized and critically examined within a somewhat whimsical framework.A fast, fun read. Not 'literary' fiction but an interesting diversion from the mundane.

  • Brent Soderstrum
    2019-04-22 10:18

    I won this book through GoodReads First Read programThis was a fun book showing what can happen to your life if you refuse to follow the crowd. Arnold Brinkman has taken his nephew to a Yankees game when during the 7th inning stretch they play "God Bless America". Arnold refuses to stand and when he appears on the jumbotron he sticks his tongue out. The crowd boos and yells at him. It doesn't end there. A group of protesters show up at his house to demonstrate demanding an apology. Arnold refuses and the tale really begins.Arnold ends up on the run with a price on his head for his arrest. The book covers his adventures with Cassandra who is a free lance reporter who he hangs out with for awhile. Minister Spotty Spitford who is leading the protesters. His annoying neighbor Ira Taylor. His supportive wife Judith. And my favorite character the Bare-Ass Bandit who he participates in becoming a duo of desperadoes with. In the end we find out that it is never to late to apologize which is a good lesson for all of us to learn without having to go through what Arnold went through.

  • Rubery Book Award
    2019-05-03 10:18

    1st Prize Winner in the Rubery Book Award 2013This is the story of Arnold Brinkmann, a shy botanist from New York, whose interests are his garden centre and his writing about edible plants – his first book is entitled Please Do Eat the Lilies. He and his wife, Judith, are liberals who support open immigration, with friends who claim to enjoy being attacked by right-wing lunatics. When Arnold is filmed sitting down during a rendition of God Bless America at a baseball match, the story is picked up by the media and he becomes an object of contempt. The situation escalates until he gradually becomes America’s most wanted man and he is forced to go on the run. With much humour, the book explores modern attitudes in America and gently mocks both extreme left-wing thinking and the insular thinking that leads to paranoia. It maintains a pitch-perfect light touch, while never descending to the level of preaching. A wonderful, warm, laugh-out-loud book.From the judges at RBA

  • Julie
    2019-05-07 03:13

    I have wanted to read this book since I first saw it listed on Goodreads. The synopsis got my attention. Despite entering to win it each time it came up, I never won. But Dr. Appel emailed me PDFs of his books and I have just finished this one. By the way, if you want any of his books, send me your email here on Goodreads and I'll get them to you.This book is at times funny, heartbreaking, gross, and touching. What happens when a man refuses to stand up for God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch of a Yankees game that he didn't even want to go to? I won't spoil the story by telling you the reasoning nor what happens from that moment on.Makes me wonder if Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers read this book before taking his "stand" against the National Anthem this season to protest gun violence in America.Read this book!

  • Elaine Roberson
    2019-05-14 04:18

    Very enjoyable satire. Arnold is a timid liberal botanist whose life is thrown into turmoil because he refused to stand for "God Bless America" at a ball game. He is accused of being anti-American and protesters surround his house demanding an apology. Since Arnold does not believe he has done nothing wrong, he refuses to apologize. Things go from bad to worse as events spiral out of control. The story kept me entertained for the entire time I was reading. It is not the type of book I usually read (I prefer mysteries), but it sounded like a book I would enjoy. I'm glad I tried this book. I really liked it. I was given a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

  • Jay R. shepard
    2019-05-07 07:07

    I read the kindle edition of this book and found it a very engaging and entertaining read. The book is about a man, Arnold Brinkman, who wouldn't stand up for the singing of the National Anthem at a ball game. From there, the story takes the reader on a hilariously outrageous and satirical journey of a man on the lam, running from the collective and patriotic mindset of a post 9/11 society. Recommend this book to anyone with an open mind, a sense of humor and in want of a great read!

  • Donna Bresnak
    2019-05-01 04:06

    I received a digital copy of this book in return for a review.I loved this book. the story revolves around a man who refuses to stand up to sing god bless America at a baseball game, the reaction of the crowd, his family and friends and snowballs from there. there are unexpected turns in the story and some fairly predictable ones. I recommend the story. I asked my husband to read it too so we can discuss it, it was that much fun.

  • Katie
    2019-04-26 06:17

    The author of this fantastic novel sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, Jacob Appel!I absolutely loved this book! I found myself relating to several moments and characters and definitely laughed out loud more than several times! I was definitely hooked from page one and would recommend this book to anyone!!!

    2019-05-11 08:13

    This is by far the strangest book I have ever read.....but I really liked it! Oddball and offbeat characters at every turn. I wasn't sure if I should feel sorry for Arnold or think he was an idiot! I honestly couldn't put this book down because I was anxious to see how it would end.

  • Jan
    2019-05-09 01:58

    Satire vs allegory.A sidewise look at life and the media. A shy man is placed in the limelight. Then it all goes sidewise, and we find ourselves laughing to excess!I received the book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.

  • Diana Petty-stone
    2019-04-30 07:58

    Satire at it's best with America as its target. You will laugh out loud!

  • Kat Mehrer
    2019-04-24 06:16

    The premise of The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up intrigued me - it's a book that claims to be about a man who refused to stand during the playing of God Bless America at a baseball game, and continues into a satire about patriotism in modern America. This is not what this book delivered. Although the book is set up as a satire at the beginning, it completely details itself by veering off into distracting plot lines that muddle whatever the point of the book was supposed to be. For a novel presented as satire, the book focuses almost exclusively on the growth (I use this word lightly) of the extremely dislikeable main character, Arthur, and very little on the society it's supposed be satirizing. One of the biggest faults of this book is the characters. Arnold, our narrator and main character, is a crotchety, middle aged man, who is pretty much entirely despicable. He spends the entire book angry and whining, when his inciting action in the novel was pretty much just him being a jerk. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for shirking compulsory patriotism, but Arnold's backing for his actions make him difficult to sympathize with. He's racist, violent, and disgustingly privileged. The author makes you sympathize with the group of people he's trying to satirize by choosing such a selfish and gross main character. Everything that happens to him is his fault, not the result of a sickened society. Personally, I couldn't shake the feeling that Appel supported a lot of Arnold's more despicable actions. The writing was very apologetic towards his use of racial slurs and violence against women.The supporting characters are flat and unbelievable. While I'm willing to accept an over the top plot for the sake of satire, it needs the characters to pull it off. Judith, Arnold's wife, is a flat character with motivations that have no support in the text. Cassandra, however, is the worst offender. She literally has no life outside of Arnold. Furthermore, readers are asked to believe from the get go that this young girl is somehow attracted to a middle aged, not particularly attractive man who is horrible to her. Their entire relationship reeks of make fantasy and ends offensively. Arnold's friends are caricatures, as are the rest of the people in the book. Other than the bare ass bandit, no one has believable or at all complex motivations throughout.The end of the novel is absurdly neat considering the chaos of the book. It gives no satisfaction for the reader. The epiphanies that Arnold has give no insight into what point the book was trying to make, the reactions are characters are anticlimactic and incredibly unbelievable, and there is no sense of consequences.Frankly, and I don't say this lightly, this may be the worst book I've ever read. I have no idea what book the other reviewers were reading, but then again, I seem be one of 3 people who didn't win the book in a giveaway.

  • Judie
    2019-05-19 08:57

    What’s more important: Standing with the crowd for a song or standing for your principles? Arnold Brinkman, a quiet New York City botanist, took his nephew to a baseball game. Arnold did not like baseball but took him anyway as a special vacation treat. Things went along relatively normally until the crowd rose to sing God Bless America. For many reasons, Arnold didn’t rise, raising the ire of the people seated near him. Soon he saw himself on the giant screen which had been scanning the crowd. The camera fixated on him and he eventually reacted by sticking out his tongue. As a result he became an instant sensation. Reporters and crowds gathered at his home condemning his action, calling him a traitor, and demanding an apology. Arnold refused to give it to them and found himself becoming the hottest news item for weeks. It drove him from his home and everyday routine, eventually hiding out with a $250,000 bounty on him. THE MAN WHO WOULDN’T STAND UP is a dark satire exploring how people react to someone who does not go along with their ethical or personal beliefs. While it is exaggerated, the book reminds us of the Salem Witch Trials, the confinement of Japanese in America during World War II, and the hunt for communists in the 1950s. Since then the victims are distinguished by race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or economic status. In a comical manner, the story encourages us to think about what we are capable of doing when confronted with someone with different standards and ideas and how we react to those actions. Does calling someone a terrorist make him one? Under what circumstances, if ever, should we capitulate? Can we make a difference? Jacob M. Appel has a wonderful command of words: “Arnold found the stadium claustrophobic. It was like riding in an airplane, only warmer–and accompanied by a hostile soundtrack.” “But what I find most frustrating is the Bible-thumping, gun-slinging, sexually-repressed, intellectually-stunted and utterly backwards country of ours is that you can no longer sent live plants through the mail.” “Just as the followers of Calvin had once measured their heavenly value in earthly goods, the Spitfords of the world used pain as a benchmark for human worth. The more they suffered, the happier they were.” “Discretion is one of my two virtues....My other virtue is indiscretion.” THE MAN WHO WOULDN’T STAND UP makes readers think about ourselves and our society while laughing and shaking our heads. I received a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads.