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Eddie's Bastard

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  782 ratings  ·  89 reviews
"Eddie's Bastard" is William Amos Mann IV, known as Billy -- the son of a heroic pilot killed in Vietnam and an unknown woman. The last in a line of proud, individualistic Irish-American men, Billy is discovered in a basket at the door of the dilapidated mansion where his bitter, hard-drinking grandfather, Thomas Mann, has exiled himself. Astonished and moved by the arriva ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,185)
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Remarkable. One of the best books I've read so far. On rare times, slight repitition, otherwise nothing to complain about. Hilarious, moving and with depth. Although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who aren't comfortable with sexual references, for there are several throughout the book. (To the point of disturbing, in fact.)

Eddie's Bastard is a book about the life of Billy Mann, from the day he was born to adolescence. He was a 'bastard', born illegitimate, his father had died and her mother
His name is William Amos Mann IV, and he is Eddie’s bastard. Billy Mann’s life began with abandonment by his mother, and his story maintains a high level of interest since that moment. Billy, whose father, Eddie, was killed in Vietnam, is raised by his grandfather in the Mann’s ancestral home. This home, you see, is occupied by ghosts and a rich history of the Mann family. As he grows up, Billy learns his history from his grandfather’s stories and the ghosts that haunt his home.

Did I tell you th
Alex Hoshor
This is hilarious. The first ten or so pages, I thought, were very amateurishly written. Like it was a tenth grade creative writing assignment, written by a damn tenth grader! I mean, I thought I was walking into a real shit trap. But then poof (splat?), it just got good. Then pretty great. Then back to good, great, good... I’m flopping around on this one, okay? Oh how I hate it when other people do this, but oh golly I’d probably really give it 3.64 stars but rounded up because besides being an ...more
I don't often rate Reader's Digest's books so high, but then again, I rarely come across one worth reading. Eddie's Bastard was a simple story about a boy who is orphaned on his grandpa's steps as a baby. When he is found by his alcoholic grandfather, it changes their lives. The old man struggles to regain himself and his family, the boy struggles to find himself and his family. Together, they fail and succeed.

What struck me most about this story is that it didn't end on necessarily a happy not
Stephen V.
This was a fun read, with enough depth to make me pay attention and plenty of quirk to satisfy my quirk-tooth. I particularly like the way Kowalski deconstructs stereotypical devices and offers up a fresh take on Willie's coming of age story. It's not without flaws, in that some threads remain underdeveloped, and some drag in the final third, but the excellent final scenes make up for much of it. Recommended. Great voice, interesting characters and a meaningful journey with a nice mix of light a ...more
Dave Venter
A great book detailing the life of a boy abandoned by his mother on the front doorstep of his late father's father (grandfather). It is a very insightful book. Endearing, funny thought-provoking and very mature. Hard to believe it was written by an author who was only 28 years old. A really great debut novel by William Kowalski. I will look out for more of his works. I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story to read.
interesting premise, disappointing finish - or should I say lack of finish. Felt like there was a writing deadline that was more important than completing the story.
This book contains such realistic and well-described characters that you can't help but care about them. Great story and fun to read.
Ian Mapp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Normalyn Espejo
I took a break from reading as you can see from my posts. It was months ago from when I last read. It's just that I got busy, or maybe just got lazy reading. I don't know if this happens to other bookworms too, if not, then I'd feel totally guilty of calling myself as such.

Anyway, as they say, a habit is a habit, so I just suddenly got into reading again! I don't know how it happened but that feeling of me wanting to read just came on suddenly. So, I read the first book I got my hands on and th
Carla Coon
Got a big kick out of Eddie's Bastard and outright laughed in a couple spots. Loved the roughness of the grandfather and the spunk and matter-of-factness of the kid.
Favorite part was when the crotchety neighbor says, "Billy Mann? Oh, Eddie's bastard." and the kid wonders if the guy had read the note left by his mother on the basket he was found in as an infant. "How else would he know my real name?"
I laughed out loud on that one.
Florence Primrose
Eddie's Bastard is the son of a heroic pilot killed in Vietnam. He appeared in a basket on his bitter, hard-drinking grandfather's doorstep as a baby, the last in a line of individualistic American men.

He is raised by his grandfather on love, fried baloney and the stories of their heritage.

This was an interesting delightful novel of discovery and. Young man's emergence in adulthood.
This was an entertaining read by an author I was not familiar with until we read it for our book group this month. The characterizations were excellently done,and the author also does a masterful job giving the reader a sense of place for the upstate New York setting of the novel. We did find a few things slightly contrived, but overall it was a good read and we all enjoyed reading it.
This is one of those books that you just LOVE to read and don't want to stop, even if it's 2 a.m. and you KNOW you should be sleeping. It's a lovely and heartwarming story about family, love, and acceptance in your place in time, home, and person. A parentless child is brought up in the bosom of a family extended in time and a town that encompasses his family's history, and he learns that he's not alone but very much loved on so many levels. His parents' lives and the lives of his ancestors of g ...more
Beth B
"This mesmerizing debut novel explores the meaning of family and the role of the individual in the continuum of time, telling the bittersweet story of an old man who raises his illegitimate grandson as the last proud scion of his family."

I almost gave this book 3 stars but was swayed by the other good reviews. The first half of the story moved rather slowly for me. There was definitely a male feel throughout the book. Hoping not to sound sexist, the parts of the book that were somewhat violent a
This book was okay. I do a lot of reading, and I so hate when a book doesn't offer some thing that stands out. The book was an easy read, but I'm sure that I will be hard pressed to remember it. Not sure what the message of this book was or if there even was a message. The style of writing was typical--individual narrator. The one thing that I did find interesting was that "You can't always get what you want, you get what you need" has been a theme in my life as of late, and that quote was print ...more
Jun 18, 2008 Sharon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sharon by: book club
I loved this book. Billy and grandpa make quite a pair! Abandoned on his grandfather's door step and tagged with the moniker "Eddie's Bastard," Billy experiences a lonely, isolated childhood, wandering around in the empty old house with only his grandpa and the Mann family ghosts to keep him company. Eventually, Billy befriends Annie Simpson, a 7-year old girl whose poor white trash family is the antithesis of the proud but poor Manns.
Rich oral histories and family storytelling keep the Mann fa
Mike  Davis
This is a thoroughly enjoyable novel about a young man coming of age, raised by his alcoholic grandfather. His father a war hero, his mother abandoned him and disappeared, the protagonist deals with life's deck of cards in a small town. The writing is good, there are nuggets of philosophy, but it's just a really good story, well told and unique enough to hold your interest.
I found the story to be a little bit strange but it kept you hooked to find out the whats and whys of it until the end. A little boy ends up on the doorstep of his Grandfather's house and he takes him in to raise him since his son Eddie was killed in the war. Growing up with a drunk storytelling Grandpa and a small town and its characters weaves a mighty strange story including the feeling of ghosts from the past in his presence. If you are looking for something a little bit different when it co ...more
I didn't expect much, but the title was intriguing. Eddie was the local football hero who shipped out to Vietnam and was shot down. Months later Eddie's Dad found a newborn in a basket on his porch with a note attached which read simply "Eddie's Bastard". Eddie learns many stories of his family's history and comes of age within the book. Eddie's Great Grandad, Willie, provides some of the best lines in this book through a long lost diary. Overall, I think just about anyone can find a character i ...more
An engaging story about a young boy who was raised by his alcoholic grandfather after his father is killed in Vietnam and he is abandoned by his mother (in a basket on the doorstep with a note "Eddie's Bastard). First person narrative lends itself to the memoir type style of writing and there are some touching, often funny, sometimes sad, coming of age moments throughout the story. I read this almost is one sitting - it's not profound or provocative, but engaging and heartwarming without being o ...more
Mare S
Just re-read this...yeah, I have a pile of books to read for the first time and I've been re-reading things. I was going through books this weekend and found it, started skimming and was hooked.

This is one of those books that based solely on the summary I didn't think would be my cup of tea, but it is so well written and the main character is so endearing in all those imperfect ways, that it became one of those books I just wanted everyone I know to read. Because I almost didn't and what a trave
Janice Cox
A classic page turner about family. A reminder that all families have their secrets, difficulties, disappointments, and stories that explain why.
My husband is best friends with the librarians at our local library, and they recommended this book. I was skeptical when I saw the title and cover (although I should know not to judge...), but this was a good story. It's an easy read. I don't know how to describe it without making it sound dumb, so just give it a try if you just want a good story. I have to say it does have a bit of a fanciful twist (ghosts and such), so if you like your stories firtmly based in reality this is not for you.
Jul 01, 2007 Barbara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Shelves: absolutefavs
I overhead two ladies in Chapters talking about this book and I knew I had to read it and I could not put it down.

The main character Billy is the son of US pilot killed in Vietnam and his left as a baby on the front step of his Grandfather house. He raises the boy himself. Billy tries to find out where he's come from and the history of his family.

An amazing story and you cheer Billy on through each challenge and event in his life.
Jackie Gilbert
Ok, I'm a sucker for a book that starts out with an abandoned baby. Blessings and a tilted world are two of my all time favorites. This "abandoned baby" book did not disappoint. What a great story! I can't wait to read the sequel and others by this author!
I found that the book was well written and reads at a medium pace. I wasn't absolutely hooked but enjoyed the book for the most part. It had elements to it which reminded me of The Catcher In The Rye. I would rate it at about 6.7 out of 10. Overall, it wasn't amazing, but it had lovely parts to it and some really special components to it.
Fantastic story about an abandoned boy who lives with his grandfather. The relationship they have makes you realise that it is often the little things in life that count the most.

I was disappointed that the book had to come to an end, however, the sequel did not live up to the same standard and was a little disappointing.
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