Next book



One man’s appreciation for curious experiences, portrayed with self-effacing wit; best suited for fans of the author’s work.

An acclaimed novelist’s cross-country, “Great American Book Tour,” woven with quaint recollections of teaching in northern Vermont as well as enthusiasm for trout fishing.

Following radiation treatment for cancer, the then-65-year-old Mosher (Walking to Gatlinburg, 2010, etc.) embarked on a road trip inspired by a childhood promise that also coincided with the publication of a new novel. Forays in cities included stops at notable independent bookshops, from Prairie Lights to Powell’s; near-escapes with wildlife; anecdotal encounters with Oliver Sacks as well as Harry Potter fans; musings on landscapes; and conversations with locals characterized by humorous, occasionally larger-than-life traits. In three sections (“Faith,” “Hope” and “Love”), Mosher threads the uncertainty of his pre-novelist days with the foibles of now being an accomplished yet realistic, humble author. Rather than presenting a linear career story, he refreshingly alternates chapters between past and present. With equal aplomb, Mosher also looks back at challenges such as moving a piano, raucous motel patrons, rest-stop brawlers, limited audiences that included only the staff that organized the event and being mistaken for homeless. He also skillfully highlights memories that emphasize neighborly relationships. Chapters on Vermont are noteworthy for the recurrent theme of discovering simpler pleasures and searching for stories amid colorful lives. Fleeting conversations with imaginary characters may strike some readers as overly whimsical, and the digressive story about an inheritance is distracting. Still, Mosher provides a genial reminder that adventures are possible at any age.

One man’s appreciation for curious experiences, portrayed with self-effacing wit; best suited for fans of the author’s work.

Pub Date: March 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-45069-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

Next book


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Next book



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview