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My Father's Guitar and Other Imaginary…

My Father's Guitar and Other Imaginary Things

by Joseph Skibell

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3818298,882 (3.64)4



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I've only read a couple stories so far, but the title story "My Father's Guitar" is amazing! I'm considering getting the Kindle version just so I can keep it with me. Excellent book! ( )
  PandoraKnits | Aug 17, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Read a couple of the essays, skimmed through one or two more. They weren't terrible, the writing wasn't bad, but the stories just didn't keep my interest, so I gave up. Too many other books to read. ( )
  Milda-TX | Jul 23, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love these short stories. The authors prospective, and wording made me smile each time. In addition, the stories are short enough that you can read them on the go. ( )
  chwest | Jun 6, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A fun and sometimes quite thought-provoking read. Memory is a zephyr, and this collection of odd and often unsubstantiated recollections proves that. I've had similar experiences, where conversations I've had get denied later - "I never said any such thing!" and throw my world for a loop.

Some of the essays are very funny. Loved the one about turning the tables on telemarketers and the bizarre conversations that ensued. ( )
  runeshower | May 25, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A surprisingly varied, thoughtful collection of personal essays in the vein of Calvin Trillin or Anna Quindlen. Joseph Skibell's humane intelligence guides his writing and turns even the briefest of stories into morsels to savor. This type of book isn't usually my preferred genre, but I thoroughly enjoyed tearing through these pieces. ( )
  wevans | May 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156512930X, Paperback)

“Like a literary Louis C.K.--Skibell is not shy about exposing the foibles of the man he has become, or his clumsy pursuits of happiness.” —Bret Wood, writer/director
Did Joseph Skibell’s father trick him when he offered his beautiful guitar and then delivered a not-so-beautiful one? Can it be that the telemarketer calling at dinnertime is a thoughtful, sensitive person also looking for a Utopian world? Can a father have any control over his teenage daughter’s sex life? Can a son have control over his father’s expectations? The award-winning writer ponders these and other bewildering questions in his first nonfiction book.

Joseph Skibell is a dreamer, an innocent. As a professor, he may spend time on Big Thoughts, but it’s the small moments in life that he addresses in these essays. With disarming honesty, he gives us an intimate glimpse into his life. True, some of these incidents might make him look like a fool, but that only serves to make him more human. The pleasure in these pieces is accepting, with Skibell, that life is made up of little annoyances, fantasies, imaginings, and delusions--and these are what make us who we are.

“The voice is so beguiling, the tone so sweet and hilarious, you quickly realize that you are in the hands of a master . . . Mr. I. B. Singer, meet Mr. Twain. This is a book to be prized in the way readers prize the work of Charles Portis.” —James Magnuson, author of Famous Writers I Have Known

“These wise and humane offerings aren’t stories; they’re musical notes, from a master composer . . . that will linger in your memory long after reading, as the best music always does.” —Jeremy Dauber, author of The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem


(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 04 Aug 2015 10:35:44 -0400)

Often comic, sometimes tender, profoundly truthful, the pleasure in these nonfiction pieces by award-winning novelist Joseph Skibell is discovering along with the author that catastrophes, fantasies, and delusions are what give sweetness and shape to our lives. As a writer," Skibell has said, I feel about life the way the people of the Plains felt about the buffalo: I want to use every part of it." In My Father's Guitar and Other Imaginary Things, his first nonfiction work, he mines the events of his own life to create a captivating collection of personal essays, a suite of intimate stories that blurs the line between funny and poignant, and between the imaginary and the real. Often improbable, these stories are 100 percent true. Skibell misremembers the guitar his father promised him; together, he and a telemarketer dream of a better world; a major work of Holocaust art turns out to have been painted by his cousin. Woven together, the stories paint a complex portrait of a man and his family: a businessman father and an artistic son and the difficult love between them; complicated uncles, cousins, and sisters; a haunted house; and-of course-an imaginary guitar.… (more)

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