Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Lawn Boy

“Jonathan Evison's voice is pure magic. In Lawn Boy, at once a vibrant coming-of-age novel and a sharp social commentary on class, Evison offers a painfully honest portrait of one young man's struggle to overcome the hand he's been dealt in life and reach for his dreams. It's a journey you won't want to miss, with an ending you won't forget.” —Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale For Mike Muñoz, a young Chicano living in Washington...

Details Lawn Boy

TitleLawn Boy
Release DateApr 3rd, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Young Adult, Coming Of Age, Adult

Reviews Lawn Boy

  • Jennifer Blankfein
    A wonderful coming of age story about a 22 year old Mexican man, told with wit and humor, Lawn Boy author Jonathan Evison brings to light the struggles based on race and socioeconomic class. Mike Muñoz mows lawns for a living. He has limited education, lives in a dilapidated home, has no money and although all he wants is the American Dream, he has so many strikes against him. Through trials and tribulations, Mike moves one step forward and two ...
  • Bud Smith
    A working class comic novel that doesn't play tough and put on a show. This novel is loveable and true. Lawn Boy is a look at what it means to start from nothing and simply have the aim of getting some points on the board rather than stay at zero in the weird game of life. Mike Munoz, the narrator, as well as all the characters in the novel (mostly his family and friends), are nobodies striving for success, but their success is something like 'no...
  • Rachel Watkins
    What Jonathan Evison has done in LAWN BOY is give us an unlikely hero in Mike Muñoz, who tells it like it is and just wants a fair shake. Only twenty-two but already beaten down, Mike knows what it means to go hungry, to share a house with too many people, to never get ahead. LAWN BOY covers issues like racism, immigrant rights, and homophobia in the same breath as dating misadventures, Mike's fledgling topiary carving artistry, and the pretenti...
  • Patty
    Another great novel from one of my favorites, Jonathan Evison. I've been fortunate to be hired as proofreader by Algonquin for a number of his books and I always look forward to the next one. This one will go back on my list to read again when the book comes out!
  • Aaron Cance
    Experience has taught me that the release of any new novel by Jonathan Evison is truly a cause for celebration, and this year’s Lawn Boy is no exception. His early opus, West of Here, aside, Evison’s books typically operate around a small constellation of vividly imagined characters, characters so artfully and intricately rendered, they remind you of someone you either know or are related to. Lawn Boy is no different in this respect, but is a...
  • Kayla
    I'm surprised by how much I loved this book! A fictional story about a landscaper wouldn't normally be one I'd be inclined to pick up, but I loved the realistic characters and truth of this novel. Mike Muñoz comes from a complicated family-life, and he is constantly dealing with cultural discrimination, financial issues, and a difficult job market. He is trying to find the secret to living the American Dream as he landscapes for minimum wage, bu...
  • Robin
    As usual, Evison develops his story with appealing characters and clever and hilarious banter. A fabulous "feel-good" story with Evison's love of libraries and librarians front and center.From the advance reading copy: After receiving readers' advisory help from Andrew at his local library, Mike thinks, "Once again, the library had my back. I left feeling a lot less desperate and scared than when I'd arrived. I clung to that security as I walked ...
  • Billie
    It's the relationship that develops at the end that really struck the only false note for me. The relationship itself was actually sweet, but how it got there...just something about it didn't quite ring true. But that was just a single flaw in what is otherwise a small gem of a book.
  • Robin
    In Lawn Boy Jonathan Evison has given his readers another character to care about and remember. The story offers up Mike Munoz' quick-witted first person narrative as he navigates his world - his family, friends, employment or lack thereof, and questions of identity and where he fits in that world. Evison deftly but gently offers trenchant observations on class structure, wealth, social anxieties and finding ones true self. (And for us librarian ...
  • Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
    Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this book. Mike Muniz is a guy who just can't get a break. He's young but already has had a lot of responsibility with helping his mom with money and his older brother has mental challenges. He's a landscaper who loses it one day when his crappy boss asks him to pick up dog shit when that is definitely not in his job description. So he tries other jobs and meets up with an old elementary school friend wh...
  • Brian
    Lawn Boy introduces us to Mike Munoz, a half Mexican 23 year old who has no college experience and has only worked as a lawn boy. He lives with his mother, who struggles to make ends meet and along with his handicapped brother, Nate, who is more than a handful. Mike tries to find his place in the world amidst a cast of interesting and well developed side characters. I really like the voice that the main character has in this novel, as well as the...
  • Tyler Jones
    I know I shouldn't be reviewing books five minutes after I finish reading them. I know I should let that glow fade a bit - let some perspective and rationality seep back into my head...but goddamn! this book is beautiful!
  • Tracy
    This bro-ey book didn't really speak to me.
  • Kerry
    This book just made me happy. It’s as simple as that. Do you want to be happy? Read this book. I love Jonathan Evison’s humor and heart. I’ve always loved his quirky yet relatable characters and Mike Muñoz is a delight of a character. He made me both laugh out loud and well up with tears over the course of his struggle to find himself. And then there are all the little side characters: every one of them distinctly drawn and well developed....
  • Brock
    I think this is my favorite of Jon's books so far. I am buying copies to give to libraries when it comes out. I flat out loved it. I was having a shitty week, and the story made me laugh out loud. The jokes were slapstick to subtle, and I know how it pained him to be subtle. You really should read it. It will lift your spirits. It's a great story and a great read. The story pulled me in and I put everything else aside. The book is transformative.
  • Bookish
    Mike is a landscaper, but his life is stuck in neutral. Will he ever be free to sculpt topiaries and write the great landscaping novel? With masterful style, Evison raises awareness under a cloak of humor. He touches on poverty, immigration, sexuality, and puppy mills, all to surprisingly hilarious effect. Laugh-out-loud funny, yet achingly real.
  • Npaw
    I loved it this book. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving made me put Evison on the short list of favorite locals but he is pure genius with Lawn Boy. Algonquin is Evison’s publisher and anyone who knows me knows I think Jill McCorkle walks on water. There is only one Jill McCorkle BUT I must say that Evison’s ability to make his cast of unusually interesting characters jump off the page shows a depth I haven’t seen in long time. As a Co...
  • Jen
    Lawn Boy is the captivating story of Mike Muñoz and his struggle to make a better life for himself than the one he's been dealt. He grew up poor, has very little prospects, and just can't seem to catch a break. I initially thought this book was only about a young, poor Mike trying to cross the social divide and better his life but it's so much more than that. We watch him struggle with his sexual identity, come to terms with his past, and find o...
  • Michael
    This is my third Jonathan Evison novel. He has become one of my favorite contemporary authors. "Lawn Boy" tells the story of a young man, Mike Munoz, who, against some formidable obstacles, is struggling to find his path in life. Mr. Evison, writing with eloquence and irreverent wit, captures the intense confusion, frustrations, anger and joy of a young man coming-of-age and finding himself in contemporary America. A most enjoyable read that had ...
  • Dan
    Evison always conjures a wild and wonderful cast of characters and Lawn Boy is no exception. This is a big hearted book about class and discovering who you are and how to grow up in the world.
  • Andrew Campbell
    When a book loses me as many times as this one did, I suppose it's some kind of endorsement that I nevertheless finished it.For starters, it opens with an anecdote so similar to a famous Deep Thought (you know, the ones from SNL, by Jack Handey) that a conscientious editor shouldn't've let it off her desk without revision.Other gophers in the greenery:On page 248 of 310 the narrator describes himself as "field independent," a diagnosis which expl...
  • Greg Zimmerman
    First appeared at love Jonathan Evison novels because they're about people vastly underrepresented in fiction — people who are able to keep a sense of humor and self-deprecation despite how much life can kick them while they're down. Evison (The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, This Is Your Life Harriet Chance, and more) is a charming, funny writer who really understands people of all walks of life. ...
  • Jay
    I keep hearing that the American dream is dead. Jonathan Evison’s novel is a story about the state of the American dream, and it appears here still alive and kicking, but changed, and in ways expanded. Our narrator has a knack for lawn care, but is fired from his job near the beginning of the book. He goes through roughly three stages as he finds his own American dream career. The first stage is working for a fellow who represents doing whateve...
  • Gerard Villegas
    Looking at the title, I'm thinking to myself, "Didn't I watch this video online?" You know the one where the hunky Latin gardener gets all sweaty cutting grass and offers his very 'special package' deal to the equally hunky owner of the house. Then they bless the newly cut grass in a spray of natural bodily pesticides. Or there is that one time in bandcamp where some other blessed endowed landscaper gets it on with the big busted cougar owner of ...
  • Paul Demetre
    A beautifully written novel about a landscaper who loves lawn work and wants to write the great American landscaping novel. There are many roadblocks in his way, most being based in class, upbringing and poverty, still this novel feels fresh rather than another iteration of the same story. My only disappointment is that part of the ending feels tracked on and forced.Johnathon Evison was, as am I, a landscaper and you can truly sense the feelings ...
  • Dianah
    Jonathan Evison gives us the feel-good book of the year with Lawn Boy. Twenty-two year old Mike's world is falling apart: his job is toast, he has no money, he can't get a girlfriend, he worries constantly about his overworked mother and his special needs brother. All he wants to do is sculpt his topiaries, read great novels, figure out how to survive, and maybe find some companionship. Falling into one strange job after another, Mike is flounder...
  • Kathleen Gray
    Mike Munoz is the kid we see on the street or at the mall or anywhere else and think nothing about but we should. This funny, insightful novel is about finding yourself when you're really just trying to stay afloat. Nothing in Mike's life has been or will be easy but he plugs along, consistently with a sense of sometimes sarcastic humor. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I don't always enjoy coming of age stories but this one caught my attention.
  • Geonn Cannon
    I still love Evison's writing, but boy was this bleak. Bleak on top of bleak. Hopefully whatever he has on top next will have a little more joy, because this was almost too depressing to finish.
  • Amy
    Best book I've read in quite a while. Loved every minute of it. could not put it down. I really cared about the characters and the book made me laugh at times. wonderful!!
  • Cynthia Archer
    This guy can really write! Great characters and development of ideas fill his books. This is quite a unique story and filled with both angst and hilarity.