He s a pretty good guy, Robert. Reasonably honest, compassionate, dependable. Okay, maybe a little too sarcastic, but all in all, he s a decent human being. Which is exactly how his effed up family takes advantage of him, and why, since college, he s strived to avoid them. With the surprising death of his father, however, he finds himself being drawn back into his family s horrifying abyss. At its core is Robert s mother Helen the glue that binds them, or rather, the sucking tar pit that entraps them.
Five Star Review on Amazon By Katherine B.
If you’re from a dysfunctional family (and really, who isn’t??), this book will entertain and delight you. Not only is it fun to view another family from the inside, it almost seems wrong to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this book. Mr Woody jumps in with both feet, with Paul minding his own business (or Becky’s business, I suppose) and the troglodytes interrupting at the most inopportune time. The characters feel like people you know, and the description of people and events is succinct. You get plenty of information about the characters and situations, but the story moves at a great pace. “Effed Up!” played out like a movie in my head – it was easy to envision everything that was occurring.
There are moments where I rolled my eyes (in a “been-there-done-that” nod), and other moments where I laughed out loud at the sheer ridiculousness all families apparently share. I genuinely delighted in Paul’s perception of the situations his family was “kind” enough to plop him into. The sarcasm was real – and added a comical twist to the story.
I was afraid I would wind up feeling disappointed with the ending, but just the opposite is true. The story was tied up neatly at the end, allowing each reader to decide what happens to Paul. The final realization sits well – our true families are made up of people who have “chosen to be together. Because there is kindness shared. Because we extend to each other our gentleness.” The flawed characters are lovable – and people you want to choke, at the same time. If your family makes you crazy with their antics, you will feel right at home. I hope Mr Woody gets to work on future books – it is with great interest that I look forward to his forthcoming publications. Easy humor and clear recollections…you won’t find a better read!
About the Author
His first jobs in Hollywood were as a production assistant on Benson and Bosom Buddies, before selling scripts to Benson, Barney Miller and later to Fantasy Island and Webster. In 1984 he was hired to a two-year contract by Mary Tyler Moore’s company, MTM, as a writer. While there he wrote episodes of Newhart, St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues. In 1987 he was hired by Jay Tarses to write and produce episodes of ABC’s The Slap Maxwell Story.
The following year he became a writing producer on Murphy Brown, where he won an Emmy in 1990. After leaving Murphy Brown he worked as producer and supervising producer on Parenthood with Ed Begley Jr, Good Sports with Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett, Room For Two with Linda Lavin, Jay Tarse’s Smoldering Lust, and Mad About You.
After a year and a half as co-executive producer of Cybill, where he won a Golden Globe in 1996, Russ worked on The Jeff Foxworthy Show and then Style & Substance with Jean Smart. From 1998 until 2003 he was co-executive producer of Becker with Ted Danson. The following season he was an executive producer on The Drew Carey Show. He has since produced and written Notes From The Underbelly, Instant Mom and The Middle. While still keeping a hand in television, he is currently working on screenplays and books.