Steven Hayward

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6+ verk 52 medlemmar 4 recensioner

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Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest (2015) — Bidragsgivare — 46 exemplar


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Don’t Be Afraid by Steven Hayward
315 pages


This is from the point of view of 17 year old Jimmy. His older brother is killed in a freak accident; he drops out of school to care for his little 4 year old brother when his mother loses all sanity. As if the loss of his brother isn’t enough, he forced to become an adult even quicker. It’s a story about loss, grieving, and how each family member deals with the loss.

A couple months ago I went to a book reading for an author, but also there was this author, Steven Hayward. I have never heard of him. He’s mostly been published in Canada (his home country) but currently resides and is a professor in my city. When he read from his book, it piqued my interest just enough to check out from the library.

Looking at other people’s reviews it seems to be one of those love it or hate it kind of books. But watch me be a rebel and give a neutral rating of 3 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the premise of the book. I enjoyed the resilience and the dark humor found in the book. I couldn’t stop reading it because I just wanted to know where it was going. I could relate to the amount of grief. However, even with all those great things, I had trouble connecting to the characters and it sort of wrecked my experience. I didn’t too much care what happened to them. The only character that I liked much at all was the father. It had potential but it just felt like something was missing that left me feeling letdown.
… (mer)
UberButter | 2 andra recensioner | Feb 9, 2016 |
I am always surprised to find silly nuances from my life reflected in literature. No doubt if I didn’t read, I would never give these items a second thought but because I do, I find myself pondering these things. And that isn’t a bad thing; to reflect on one’s existence. That is why I enjoyed reading Steven Hayward’s collection of short stories called To Dance the Beginning of the World so much.

http://tinyurl.com/k3shuvd… (mer)
steven.buechler | May 4, 2015 |
Loved this one. Funny and charming and outrageously plausible.
maribou | 2 andra recensioner | May 6, 2013 |
I have to be honest, was looking forward to and dreading to read this one. I went to High School with Steven and he was super intelligent, so I was worried that his writing would be over my head or worse depressing and dull. I didn't know him to well even though we hung in the same group for a while. But let me tell you if I knew he could write like this I would have had a crush on him instead of Michael (now known as Tobias) Tinker.

The Good Stuff

* As the description states so beautifully and bang on - This IS a "darkly comic novel" that deals with family members separately lost in their own grief
* Extremely darkly funny, my type of novel
* Steven really understands how grief affects us all so differently and when something tragic happens how it affects the family as a unit
* Loved that he gives the History and Geography Teacher the names of our respective teachers at Richmond Hill High School (BTW, they were both OUTSTANDING teachers)
* Description of the library brings back memories of my old public library - man I miss card catalogs
* The discussion about the James James poem is hilarious - sort of reminds me of some of the conversations around our dinner table
* Mentions the town of South Porcupine in Northern Ontario where we drove through every year when visiting my mom's family
* Loved the scenes with the mommies from the daycare because they are so very true to life. Trust me I'm a Mom
* Wonderful witty writing and just real and honest -- my review cannot not due this book justice, just go buy the damn think ok

The Not so Good Stuff

* The character of Vivian isn't very strongly developed in my opinion, I wanted to hear more of her voice
* A Library is blown up -- hmm a little sensitive about that since - well - I'm a Librarian and work in a library : )

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I call Mike my dead brother because he is, and so there won't be any weirdness later. Otherwise there'd be this awkward moment when you'd have to nod and say how sorry you are, just like you'd done if you'd been at the funeral home and had to stand there with me in front of Mike's casket. I'd thank you for being sorry, and maybe you'd say it again, say how really sorry you were, but eventually you'd walk away, leaving me there while you took off somewhere else, anywhere else, relieved it's not you in the middle of this, that it's my dead brother in that coffin, not yours."

"It didn't even look like she could hear us but I guess she might have caught on to the fact that what was happening was the mothering equivalent of having her driver's license revoked."

"I've come to think of the mothers of the other children as the Mothers, like they're a street gang with a ringleader, a bunch of henchmen and also a couple of loser sidekick characters who you know are going to end up being killed early in the movie because of a botched robbery."

"It's libraries, she maintained, that show us what heaven will be like. Look at these books, she'd say, how can there be so many books and no eternity in which to read them."

"I don't want a gun. In the country I'm from"-this was one of my father's favorite things to do, to refer to Canada as if it were a distant other world in the far reaches of the galaxy - "we don't have guns."

What I Learned

* Damn, who knew the boy I mostly remember for singing Rock and Roll, Hoochie Coo in those tight spandex pants(sorry Steve when I think of you that is the outfit I remember the most) could write something so outstanding
* Some facts about Jim Morrison that I never knew

Who should/shouldn't read

* For those who enjoy dark comedies
* Anyone who grew up in the 80's (especially Richmond Hill in the 80's) will enjoy
* Fans of Mordecai Richler will appreciate Hayward's writing
* Honestly I think pretty much anyone could find something to enjoy in this one

4.5 Dewey's

I received this book from Random House in exchange for an honest review
… (mer)
mountie9 | 2 andra recensioner | Jan 25, 2011 |



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