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The Grievers by Marc Schuster

The Grievers (edition 2012)

by Marc Schuster

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2818389,858 (3.12)5
Title:The Grievers
Authors:Marc Schuster
Info:The Permanent Press (2012), Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Grievers by Marc Schuster



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Unfortunately, this book wasn't written to my taste. Rather than judge it unfairly, I'll just say that I wasn't able to finish it. Sorry.
  cemming | Dec 3, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I thought this book was an interesting one. It does have its potential to be a dark comedy-of-errors indie movie, if such a thing were to be made.

Charley himself is a character with a whole lot of flaws, most of it involving believing his old prep-school chums acted like their 16 year old (crazy) selves rather than their current (if not slightly boring) adult selves. Add to the fact that he tries to have them help out in remembering a fellow classmate who all but committed suicide by jumping off a bridge sometime after a New Year's Eve party.

My feelings for Charley flip-flopped throughout the book. Part of me wanted to feel sorry for the guy stuck in a thankless job as a mascot for a bank, but also wanted to smack him upside the head and tell him to get his priorities straight and realize that maybe these old prep school friends probably don't want to remember Billy Chin as the same person that Charley wants to remember him (even if those memories are fleeting and far between).

Was it all the bullying he had endured through his days at the prep-school? Probably, but no one seems to have figured out why (although it seemed his parents (i.e. his mother) were willing to accept the fact that he was "sick") or what they could've done to stop him during his prep-school days (although he probably didn't want any help at all). ( )
  saint_kat | Jun 27, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In The Grievers, Marc Schuster introduces us to Charley Schwartz, a nearing 30 graduate of a prestigious prep school who seems not to have done much with his life since high school, and is clearly suffering significant angst in the face of that lack. Charley's primary relationships still seem to be with a motley crew of high school classmates, and the book opens with Charley learning that the recent death of one of these "friends" was a suicide. The narrative follows Charley as he spearheads, and gradually looses control of, a memorial service/fundraiser in honor of his fallen friend. This slim volume is a quick read, but overall, I'm not sure that it's worth it. Charley is a singularly unlikable narrator, and his sudden progress in the last couple of chapters feels fake and forced in the face of the outstandingly immature behavior that precedes it. While both his wife and Neil, his best friend, make more charming characters, it is unclear why either of them puts up with Charley at all, and indeed, while it is clear that we are meant to see these two relationships as the most important things in Charley's life, they seem flimsy and foundation-less without any background or real tenderness to support their strength. In fact, throughout, almost all the relationships seem one dimensional and shallow, and the author fails to convince me that such a group of people could have remained friends for so long. Overall, this attempt at moving the coming-of-age novel out of high school to face the protracted adolescence of the current generation fell flat. I just wasn't impressed. ( )
  pursuitofsanity | Jun 22, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Grievers is a stroy about old friendships, rivalries and the coming together of friends following the suicide of an old classmate. The protagonist of the novel, Charley, spends the majority of the book bemoaning the way his life has turned out including being swept up in allowing a simple memorial service to be turned into a festival of sorts. Charley coccmes to realize hoe deep the connnection to his old friends are and makes a resolution to make positive changes in his life.This was a quick read and funny at times. As a recent widow I can appreciate the concept of celebrating a life after a loss
  cdyankeefan | Jun 19, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a quick but fun read. Charley Schwartz, a 30-something graduate of Saint Leonard's Academy (a private school in Philadelphia) has gotten through his life so far by doing as little as possible and never really finishing any projects (including his dissertation for his doctorate). At the beginning of the book, Charley learns that a classmate, whom Charley knew a little bit, from the Academy has committed suicide. The remainder of the book covers his reaction to Billy's death, interactions with his friends (all of them are from the Academy) and the memorial for Billy. It is accurately described as a "coming of age" book, except that this is for middle-aged people. Funny in parts (the dollar sign costume and the musicals for example), difficult to read in other parts (I didn't really care for Charley for most of the book) but a very fun read. ( )
  walterqchocobo | Jun 16, 2012 |
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For Wei Han Chu and Dan Brennan
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The telephone rang a second time, and Karen turned up her hands like a martyr revealing stigmata.
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A memorial service for an old friend that turns into a fundraising event incites the anger of Charley Schwartz, who is also dealing with the stress of a dead-end job, his best friend's upcoming move to Maryland, and a drug addict's intervention.

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