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Townie : a memoir by Andre Dubus
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Townie : a memoir (edition 2011)

by Andre Dubus

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5052420,141 (3.94)44
Member:gemfinch
Title:Townie : a memoir
Authors:Andre Dubus
Info:New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2011.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Townie by Andre Dubus III

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English (23)  Piratical (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I recently saw a Nora Ephron quote (somewhere), something to the effect that real life is always more unbelievable than fiction--this book truly attests to that sentiment. Beautifully written, haunting, searing. I think that if Andre Dubus III hadn't become a writer, by now he would either have died a violent death or be in prison.
I was tempted to give this a "5 star" rating, but I think it could have used a bit more pruning, at least in the opening chapters. ( )
  LizHD | Mar 25, 2015 |
I liked the cover, so I bought the book. I am that shallow. This memoir is not shallow in the slightest. I can't believe the life of this man has been laid so bare, for anyone to just pick up and read about. It is so personal, and so reflective and so emotional. Yet the life it describes is so rough and violent and difficult.

This book takes in all the grey-areas, nuances and half-truths that face us in modern society (and inside our own heads) and spits them out as a cohesive and rounded memoir. The conflict of loving parents who do a best that is not enough, of seeing your loved ones hurt and in pain and delivering a retribution that is made of the same, of needing to learn and to write but wondering what good it can really do the world. The big themes are treated like the tangled mess that they are, with the knowledge that there is no single solution.
I read the last third until past midnight, knowing full well I would be awake before 6am by way of a three year-old barrelling into my room at full speed. I read because I could not stop. ( )
1 vote Ireadthereforeiam | Nov 2, 2014 |


The audio book read by the author himself is a great way to experience this gritty memoir. ( )
  lunule | Aug 22, 2014 |
Gritty. At times I found it hard to get through the violence that Dubus and his family were inflicted upon and inflicted upon others. Also, found his parents to be totally into their own worlds. Amazing that Alex turned out to be as nice and good looking as he appeared on his book jacket considering his tough upbringing. ( )
  suzabelle | Aug 14, 2014 |
Dubus spoke directly to the writer in me. He understands the reason I write, the drive and necessity. I feel like portions of this were a little drawn out, but it was good. It made me want to read his books and his father's. So out of one book I found two new authors to read... ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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For Austin, Ariadne, and Elias
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I did not look into the mirror, not yet, not in the morning.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393064662, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2011: Rarely has the process of becoming a writer seemed as organic and--dare I say it--moral as it does in Andre Dubus III's clear-eyed and compassionate memoir, Townie. You might think that following his father's trade would have been natural and even obvious for the son and namesake of Andre Dubus, one of the most admired short story writers of his time, but it was anything but. His father left when he was 10, and as his mother worked long hours to keep them fed, her four children mostly raised themselves, stumbling through house parties and street fights in their Massachusetts mill town, so cut off from the larger world that when someone mentioned "Manhattan" when Andre was in college he didn't know what they were talking about. What he did know, and what he recalls with detailed intensity, were the battles in bars and front yards, brutal to men and women alike, that first gave him discipline, as he built himself from a fearful kid into a first-punch, hair-trigger bruiser, and then empathy, as, miraculously, he pulled himself back from the violence that threatened to define him. And it was out of that empathy that, wanting to understand the stories of the victims of brutality as well as those whose pain drove them to dish it out, he began to write, reconciling with his father and eventually giving us novels like House of Sand and Fog and now this powerful and big-hearted memoir. --Tom Nissley

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:53 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After their parents divorce in the 1970's, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and crime. To protect himself and those he loved from street violence, Andre learned to use his fists so well that he was even scared of himself. He was on a fast track to getting killed, or killing someone else, or to beatings-for-pay as a boxer. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds couldn't have been more stark or more difficult for a son to communicate to a father. Only by becoming a writer himself could Andre begin to bridge the abyss and save himself.… (more)

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