The Shoe on the Roof

The Shoe on the Roof

Book - 2017
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"Ever since his girlfriend dumped him, Thomas Rosanoff's life is on a downward spiral. A gifted med student, he has spent his entire adulthood struggling to escape the legacy of his father, an esteemed psychiatrist who used him as a test subject when he was a boy. Thomas lived his entire young life as the "Boy in the Box," watched by researchers behin one-way glass. But now the tables have turned. Thomas is the researcher, and his subjects are three homeless men, all of whom claim to be messiahs--but no three people can be the one and only savior of the world. Thomas is determined to "cure" the three men of their delusions, and in so doing save his career-and maybe even his love life. But when Thomas's father intervenes in the experiment, events spin out of control and Thomas must confront the voices he hears in the labyrinth of his own mind. The Shoe on the Roof is an explosively imaginative tour de force, a novel that questions our definitions of sanity and madness, while exploring the magical reality that lies just beyond the world of scientific fact."--
Publisher: Toronto : Simon and Schuster, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781501173554
Characteristics: 371 pages ;,24 cm.


From Library Staff

Imagine...meeting someone with the same name, the same history, the same family, the same identity as you. Now, imagine meeting another person making the same exact claim. What would that do to you?

From the Giller Prize–winning novelist of 419 comes the startling, funny, and heartbreaking story... Read More »

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Nov 24, 2018

I loved this book and scratch my head at the poor review given by some. It had love, suspense, humour, sadness, science and religion. I do agree that the character development was fast paced but I felt it was necessary to the story. I thought the author did a good job describing the psychiatric patients and the homeless folks and gave us glimpses into their humanity. The ending leaves some unanswered questions so the reader can draw his own conclusions.

Nov 19, 2018

I really liked 419, but could NOT get into this book. I found it rambling, long winded, and could not stay focussed on it. I gave up 1/2 way through which I very rarely do.

Sep 01, 2018

I got the impression that the book's story and character development was a little rushed. I heard the author speak on a CBC radio program and thought the book's theme was interesting and took note. The book is only an introduction really to these complex subjects and I was a little disappointed. The book was too short. A book about these subjects would have to be a lot longer and better developed. I would rather read something on psychology or a non-fiction to be satisfied with my time spent reading.

Jun 13, 2018

I wasn't able to get past the first several chapters. Although I enjoyed the one liners the protagonist has (quips/his interesting perspective that read as if he knows the reader doesn't want a cliche comment) I was put off by chapter after chapter of how he finds different ways to use his studies of the human brain to sleep with most of the campus.

Jun 03, 2018

This was an unpleasant but good (or good but unpleasant) book that grabbed my interest and made me want to read on to find out what happened. The two Rosanoffs are unsympathetic characters, the one victimized by the other going on to use medical knowledge to manipulate, trick, and bed as many women as possible, aided by another victim of abuse. I am always creeped out by representations of abuse of power by mental health practitioners — I stopped reading Crushed by Kate Watterson because there were no redeeming factors to balance the casual representation of violation of ethical boundaries by a psychologist. But this book explores important questions and issues, and it was worth my Saturday.

ontherideau Jan 28, 2018

The shoe on the roof is a true story of a patient named Maria in 1977. If you are curious about near death experiences google can give you details. For some people there would never be enough proof.
This is one of those books that I thought about when I couldn't be reading it. Science, big pharma, ethics, spirituality and mental health issues- many big issues bravely taken on. I had no problem with the medical terms- they were appropriate to the story and yes there is sadness but I'm guessing the real world of people living on the fringe is much worse.
I couldn't help but compare this book with Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, another book I had a hard time putting down.

Jan 07, 2018

disappointed in this book, especially after reading 419 by the same author. Scientific terms thrown around willy nilly - often not necesary to the story.

Dec 25, 2017

Thomas Rosanoff, a medical student, has been dumped by his girlfriend. He has had an unusual childhood: his father, a psychiatrist, used his son as a test subject for all of his young years. He was observed by researchers via two-way glass and famously became known as "The Boy in the Box". As a means to attract his girlfriend back into his life, Thomas becomes a researcher of three homeless men who believe individually that they are the messiah. One of the research subjects happens to be the brother of his ex-girlfriend. Upon finding out what his son is involved in, Rosanoff Sr. takes control of the experiment, causing more problems for his son. What happens to Thomas makes up the second half of the novel. I held back one star in my rating because the book too often reads like a psychiatry textbook. Also, the book is marketed as being funny but I found most of it to be sad and disturbing. I am happy to have read this book but would not re-read. A good book for students of psychiatry.

Dec 24, 2017

Thomas Rosanoff is a medical student specializing in the study of the brain as the biological source of all emotion and action. His father is a renowned psychologist whose claim to fame is a longitudinal study of Thomas' childhood and detailed in a book called 'The boy in the box'. Thomas meets three men who all think they are Jesus. What an opportunity for him to try an experiment which he hopes will cure these men of their delusion. Thomas brings them to live with him where they will meet and realize they cannot all be Jesus. Of course, Dad comes along, thinks this is great, and before you know it, he has the three living in his son's 'box' with one-way mirrors, cctv, and microphones sprinkled all over, and a command centre for twenty-four hour observation. I felt sorry for them all. Each had problems, those of Thomas and his father just as serious as the three Jesuses. This book is easy to read, and does pull you in to the story. How damaged is Thomas from his childhood? Can the three Jesuses be helped? Are they manifestations of the Holy Trinity? What kind of father would set up his son's life as an observational study? Is human emotion all a matter of neurons firing in specific parts of the brain? Can these characters ever find happiness and peace of mind? I came away a bit sad after this read.

JessicaGma Dec 14, 2017

Another solid book by Will Ferguson - I like the set-up of the main character being in psychology where he was also a project in psychology set up by his father. It's a great story!

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