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  1. molark
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    molark Member

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    Review of A Friends Book

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by molark, Feb 10, 2013.

    New here, I hope it's okay to write about other people's work. This is a review I crafted for fellow writer George Penton's Asleep at the Wheel. /////

    Asleep at the Wheel by George Penton is an excellent and well written tale of a young man maturing almost in the way of Holden Caulfield (A Catcher in the Rye) but in the modern day South and a Catholic frame of mind. The youth has committed his life to being a Catholic and this two main challenges are finding out if he is in love with his girlfriend Judy and adjusting to the US Marine Corp.

    The reading is relaxed and comforting. The characters are nicely and richly drawn. The story takes place during the early 1970s and you get the backdrop of popular songs that ruled in that day.

    Paul, who is 19 and turning on to 20, evolves through a familiar lifestyle blossoming in experiences with community college, working - he's a specialist steak and grill cooker at a restaurant - early enlistment and boot camp training. And love. Christian youth groups serve as supportive and substantial backdrops for social settings. Different flavors of Protestantism permeate across the landscape.

    He's challenged in camp because unlike most others, he's not a runner (although he is an excellent swimmer). He cannot run long distances without petering out quick. I found this interesting because most times we hear of perfect physical types perfunctory going through the rigors of training. But here we have how a person, limited, labors through and meets the challenges in a believable way and builds up a consistent character because of it. This is what is attractive about this tale.

    But so is his measured and meticulous treatment of love. Have you gone out with someone who was virtually silent and whose only contribution to social life was a smile? This troubled me a bit in the novel, because Judy, his woman-in-waiting, characterized with a strange upside-down smile portrayed with an "awkward shyness," seemingly has no mind of her own.

    I don't think this is fair to Judy, but it is credible. Yet Judy has an expansive and practical love for kids. She does not discuss politics and is not concerned. But should this be held against her?

    Paul practically tortures himself to estimate his love for Judy. But he can never find the spark that the Spinners sing in "It Could Be That I'm Falling In Love":

    "You gotta feel it, I thought. Your heart's gotta burst with joy."

    It's an analytical way of looking at love. But many people do this and those that don't, some like me, fall quickly out of love just as they fell instantly in love. We are left with plenty of broken hearts to show for it.

    Love is an important topic in this book. And so are family relationships. George Penton has a svelte pen in drawing out nice camaraderie treatments of characters: the mothers on both sides, the individual friends. We have poignant pictures of lone soldiers, of soldier women. There's plenty of racial diversity, as Paul is waking in a world made new by more African American presence and other races.

    Penton handles the travails of Paul as the flowering of a Southern young American gentleman. Level in his treatment of people and individuals and respectful of women, the book is a plus positive on my list. It is satisfying reading.

    Asleep At The Wheel by George Penton, 2013
    Available at Amazon and iUniverse
     
  2. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    This *is* a book discussion forum, but there's two things that I would shy away from:

    • We can't give you reviews or feedback on your review. As in, the quality of your writing if thats what you were looking for.
    • We should be discussing aspects of a book that we enjoy in a laid-back manner, not like a commercial as you have posted it.

    As it stands now, it looks more like you are promoting the book, rather than discussing it, and that would be against the rules. If that's not what you're doing then I apologize, but you don't need to post an 'offial review' with Amazon footers and everything. It just doesn't look 'above board'.

    With that being said, I haven't heard about this book.

    ~ J. J.
     
  3. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I wouldn't do it. Look at all of the trouble I get into here, and that's by nameless, faceless people who didn't like me to begin with!

    If this guy's a friend, be straight with him. You don't do certain things. You don't sell him a used car. You don't look in on his wife while he's serving overseas. You don't lend him money. And in the extreme, you never, ever, ever let him use your jackknife or date Taylor Swift.

    If a friend came to me and said that our friendship meant more to him than a work of fiction, I'd be flattered.
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    It's self-published, which might be why you've not heard of it.

    I think I'll allow this (I actually find it kind of touching) but please keep in mind this is pretty close to advertising. However, I wish your friend all the best.
     
  5. molark
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    molark Member

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    I am finding my way on the forum, identifying ways in which to make it useful and also the rules it has. Yes, I am promoting my friend's book - strange, it is not the sort of book I would normally read - but I would think there is a place on the forum here where I could get the review criticized and suggestions made. I thought that was here. Now I believe this is the wrong place and there is a "Review" section where I could have posted it for critical responses - after passing my intro period. My apologies.
     
  6. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Actually, you would post it The Workshop under non-fiction, after your intro period is up and you've made a few constructive critiques of others work. Welcome.

    ~ J. J.
     
  7. tionA
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    tionA Active Member

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    ugh.. i dislike it already.
     

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