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Compelling , gritty , earthy like a really good wine difficult to put down and utterly absorbing. The characters were real as was the environment and the action. Brilliant writer who has crsfted a wonderful book about life and the underclass.
I wept through this book over a three day business trip. I was a 68 year old man, sitting in the window seat on a cross-country flight, using drink napkins (I only had coffee!) to wipe away the tears and blow my nose. (On Southwest, which I love and hate to criticize, we were packed in to tightly to reach for my handkerchief.) In the evening, in the motel I was sobbing. In my house, as I finished the last 150 pages on my return, I was sobbing so loudly my family came to check on me! Whatever the author intended--and his story is not really, sad, it's merely a true story, an honest one--it touched unmourned issues in my own life like no other book I've read. I doubt another reader would have this experience. I'm not sure I would if I read it again. It's insightful and touching, truthful and non-judgmental--even those who do terrible things--and there are a number of them--don't elicit our hate. The author doesn't go for that revenge motive. One merely looks on, perplexed, at the needless violence of abusive parents or street gangsters or unfeeling employers, and feels a loss for the tortured psychological development that made them what they are. And one hopes for healing and forgiveness in each situation. For those who've suffered needless hate, this book may be a healing read, or it may seem far afield--not all of us, after all, have rich relatives. But anyone who has suffered will at least feel a resonance in their own experience and be touched for the better.
This book is so beautifully written and full of sadness and true joy, love, truth of life. I have read this book at least ten times and I love it more each time I read it. My only disappointment is in how this book was converted to electronic form. Does no one read the pages after it's converted? There are SO MANY BLATANT errors that are not in the hard copy of the book. I looked forward to being able to store this book on my phone and re-reading it whenever and wherever I felt like it... I feel like these errors are an offense against the author and the readers. People pay for the e-copy of this book and it's littered with errors that should have been corrected! Apologies should be made to the author and to every person who has spent their money on the disappointing electronic version of this book. This beautiful book deserves better than the treatment it got when turned into an electronic copy.
I love this book, I've read this novel around five times. I even purchased a copy for a dear friend of mine. I had to recommend it to her, she loves it as well. I'm just now getting ready to start it again.
Get a copy and you, too will fall in love with it,.
First--this is the first Kindle edition that had TYPOS on EVERY OTHER PAGE. What?? Reallly?? 2.5 stars, maybe. Really ambitious, a bit amateurish. Story was interesting enough to get me far enough that I decided not to jump ship. Def started skimming at the end just to get through.
I am REALLY impressed by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I loved 'Aristotle and Dante...' and 'Carry me like Water' is a great story. BUT the Kindle edition of this book is littered with typographic mistakes that I'm guessing came from the use of optical character recognition software on a printed book, and an obvious absence of good proof reading. The consequence is that "shirt" becomes "shin", "born" becomes "bon", "like" becomes "tike" and "lake", "take"... etc etc. I'm nearly half way through, and it does seem to be improving, but at 43%, "overinflated tire" became "overinflated lire" (which is quite funny really). "You begin to stop needing..." became "you need to slop needing..." which isn't funny. Benjamin Alire Saenz deserves better.