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Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick

Heading Out to Wonderful (edition 2013)

by Robert Goolrick

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4824221,353 (3.63)18
Title:Heading Out to Wonderful
Authors:Robert Goolrick
Info:Algonquin Books (2013), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick

  1. 10
    The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich (Limelite)
    Limelite: Shared atmosphere and tone. And it's about butchers and knives.
  2. 00
    The Round House by Louise Erdrich (tangledthread)

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I loved this novel by Robert. I have become a huge fan of his after reading The Reliable Wife. This book was just as good. I would highly recommend. ( )
1 vote lacey.tucker | Mar 10, 2016 |
I've read all three of his books, he's a great writer, however his books are sad. He's right, childhood is a dangerous place. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
I've read all three of his books, he's a great writer, however his books are sad. He's right, childhood is a dangerous place. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
The premise of this book sounded interesting: a man comes to a small town and no one knows who he is or where he's from. As the townspeople start to open up to him, Charlie Beale becomes integral to their lives, including an involvement with a woman, and things are downhill from there. The writing is straightforward, not beautiful yet not sparse. Still, the first portion of the book was so much backstory, with little to no action or emotions, that I wasn't sure I would make it through. Nothing really stood out for me, but every time I decided to stop reading, I'd come back to it. I had to know what happened with Charlie and the woman. This book is worth sticking with. I had several options in mind for how the story would play out, and the actual ending was none of them. The emotions are more prevalent in the second part of the story, and the characters seem more real. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
When Charlie Beale arrives in Brownsville, Virginia in the summer of 1948, his background is a mystery. All that we (and the townspeople) know is that Charlie is trained as a butcher. He goes to work for Will Haislett at the town's only butcher shop and gradually is accepted by the townspeople and by Will's family, especially his 5-year-old son Sam. But a series of events, some caused by Charlie and some outside of his control, set Charlie and the whole town on a path that will upset the delicate balance of their lives.

This story kept me turning the pages of this book, but I felt that more could have been done to develop the characters and make their motivations clearer. I was especially disappointed by the ending, which didn't seem to fit with the characters actions up to that point. ( )
  porch_reader | Sep 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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Book description
"Let me tell you something, son. 
When you're young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand-new penny, 
but before you get to wonderful you're going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good, long look, because that may be as far as you're ever going to go."It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village of a few hundred people, nestled in the Valley of Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money. A lot of money.Finding work at the local butcher shop, Charlie befriends the owner and his family, including the owner's son, Sam, who he is soon treating as though he were his own flesh and blood. And it is through the shop that Charlie gradually meets all the townsfolk, including Boaty Glass, Brownsburg's wealthiest citizen, and most significantly, Boaty's beautiful teenage bride, Sylvan.This last encounter sets in motion the events that give Goolrick's powerful tale the stark, emotional impact that thrilled fans of his previous novel, A Reliable Wife. Charlie's attraction to Sylvan Glass turns first to lust and then to a need to possess her, a need so basic it becomes an all-consuming passion that threatens to destroy everything and everyone in its path. Told through the eyes of Sam, now an old man looking back on the events that changed his world forever, Heading Out to Wonderful is a suspenseful masterpiece, a haunting, heart-stopping novel of obsession and love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.
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In 1948, a mysterious and charismatic man arrives in a small Virginia town carrying two suitcases; one contains his worldly possessions, the other is full of money. He soon inserts himself into the town's daily life, taking a job in the local butcher shop and befriending the owner and his wife and their son. But the passion that develops between the man and the wife of the town's wealthiest citizen sets in motion a series of events that not only upset the quiet town but threaten to destroy both him and the woman.… (more)

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