H Greeley, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by H Greeley)
This was by far the most memorable book of 2012 for me. It had me wondering whether it was truly a memoir or possibly fiction. To migrate from the author's experiences to a place where one would have either the inclination or ability to tell such a story is a remarkable evolution and achievement. Knowing the geography where the book takes place added additional color for me, but the author also brought forward a broader sense of directionless that permeated growing up in the 1970s in a way that was new to me but felt very real.
Jill Kinkade, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by Jill Kinkade)
This is a great book by and about a "reformed thug." For anyone who loves a well written book, likes a good story, and is fascinated about the role the family plays in a child's development, this is an excellent read. For those of us who often ponder the "nature or nurture" question, we'll come away from the book understanding a little bit more. I can't wait to get my hands on more of Dubus' writing.
W. W. Norton & Company -
by Kim S.,
Townie is a riveting, intense, and compassionate memoir in which Andre Dubus III offers readers an intimate understanding of his life and the challenges he faced as a child and young adult. Despite the odds, you'll be cheering for Dubus to succeed with the turn of every page. Don't miss this unforgettable book!
by Kim S.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Long before he became the highly acclaimed author of House of Sand and Fog, Dubus shuffled and punched his way through a childhood and youth full of dysfunction, desperation, and determination. Just after he turned 12, Dubus's family fell rapidly into shambles after his father — the prominent writer Andre Dubus — not only left his wife for a younger woman but also left the family in distressing poverty on the violent and drug-infested side of their Massachusetts mill town. For a few years, Dubus escaped into drugs, embracing the apathetic 'no-way-out' attitude of his friends. After having his bike stolen, being slapped around by some of the town's bullies, and watching his brother and mother humiliated by some of the town's thugs, Dubus started lifting weights at home and boxing at the local gym. Modeling himself on the Walking Tall sheriff, Buford Pusser, Dubus paid back acts of physical violence with physical violence. Ultimately, he decided to take up his pen and write his way up from the bottom and into a new relationship with his father. In this gritty and gripping memoir, Dubus bares his soul in stunning and page-turning prose. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Dubus chronicles each traumatic incident and realization in stabbing detail. So chiseled are his dramatic memories, his shocking yet redemptive memoir of self-transformation feels like testimony under oath as well as hard-hammered therapy, coalescing, ultimately, in a generous, penetrating, and cathartic dissection of misery and fury, creativity and forgiveness, responsibility and compassion."
by Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review),
"[P]owerful, haunting....[Dubus III's] compassionate memoir abounds with exquisitely rendered scenes of fighting, cheating, drugging, drinking and loving. A striking, eloquent account of growing up poor and of the making of a writer."
by Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls,
"I've never read a better or more serious meditation on violence, its sources, consequences, and, especially, its terrifying pleasures, than Townie. It's a brutal and, yes, thrilling memoir that sheds real light on the creative process of two of our best writers, Andre Dubus III and his famous, much revered father. You'll never read the work of either man in quite the same way afterward. You may not view the world in quite the same way, either."
by James Lee Burke, author of the Dave Robicheaux novels,
"The best first-person account of an author's life I have ever read. The violence that is described is the kind that is with us every day, whether we recognize it or not. The characters are wonderful and compassionately drawn. I sincerely believe Andre Dubus may be the best writer in America. His talent is enormous. No one who reads this book will ever forget it."
by Hold All,
An acclaimed novelist reflects on his violent past and a lifestyle that threatened to destroy him — until he was saved by writing.
Won Book of the Year Adult Non-Fiction--2012 Indie Choice Awards Amazon Best Book of the Month February 2011
An acclaimed novelist reflects on his violent past and a lifestyle that threatened to destroy him--until he was saved by writing.
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