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Waiting for Pops: A Journey From Boy to Man
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Waiting for Pops: A Journey From Boy to Man

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Waiting For Pops, a mainstream biographical novel, is a tale of a young boy?s appalling mistreatment at the hands of his alcoholic mother. It is a tale of spousal secrets and parental lies. It is a tale of love, friendship, and, above all else, betrayal. Pops is seen through the eyes of an innocent boy growing steadily into manhood in 1950s Chicago. Johnny Ryba tells his s ...more
Published (first published October 27th 2010)
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I absolutely loved this book! I was very shocked. It started out as a great novel about a boy who was dealing with alot of life issues. His mother and fathers arguments, his mother's drinking problems, and the loss of his father. This book took you on a journey back to childhood memories of your own. Through the character Johnny, you see alot of yourself and experiences that you have once experienced yourself as a child in some sort of way. You get so emotionally attached to the characters that ...more
Told in reminiscences, this novel is one person's story of growing up in 1950s Chicago. It is not a very pretty picture.

Johnny Ryba was your average resident of post-war America. Dad worked long hours driving a forklift. He was offered lots of weekend hours, but refused them all, preferring to spend weekends at home. Mom stayed at home, and started drinking. An occasional beer turned into scotch every day. Being the sole care-giver for Rosie, his younger sister who was severely autistic, might h
Johnny's father dies when he is young, leaving his mother to raise him and his autistic sister. She cannot cope and turns to scotch leaving Johnny to parent himself and his sister Rosie (until she can not cope with that either and Palces Rosie in a sanatorium). Johnny's reflections on his life and first love are insightful and sad at times. Then after a large time gap, we find how much his life has been affected by his dysfunctional parents. And the final confrontation at the end of the book is ...more
Karen Funke
Apr 07, 2011 Karen Funke is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I just started WAITING FOR POPS by John Riffice and I can hardly put it down... I wish I didn't have to go to work: it interrupts my read-time! It has brought me back to my high school days. I'll post a comment when I'm finished!
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
"I guess what shocked me the most wasn't what Mom said, but more the fact that she sounded fun, you know, like Pops was." Page 64

Pops was always polite and a great dad...Mom on the other hand started drinking and made life miserable for the entire family. Poor Johnny was difficult to have a mother like he did. He was thankful for his dad.

WAITING FOR POPS is a nostalgic trip back to the 50's with Johnny Ryba and his family. The book is told through Johnny's eyes as he weaves from the
Mayara Arend
Summary from Amazon: Waiting for Pops, a mainstream biographical novel, is a tale of a young boy's appalling mistreatment at the hands of his alcoholic mother. It is a tale of spousal secrets and parental lies. It is a tale of love, friendship, and, above all else, betrayal. Pops is seen through the eyes of an innocent boy growing steadily into manhood in 1950's Chicago. Johnny Ryba tells his story and transports the reader into his small, blue-collar existence - his mother's alcoholism, his muc ...more
Johnny's teenage years growing up in 1950s Chicago involve dealing with many of the rites of passage familiar to all boys, like first dates and kisses. His story though is also one of a boy growing into a man having to deal with his father's death, his mother's alcholism and his sister's admission to a sanatorium as they struggle to cope with her autism. He grows up with memories of wonderful times with his father while being angry with his mother, believing she is the root of all their problems ...more
A Gently Whispered American Family Epic

John Philip Riffice has produced a biography/memoir of his life as a child in Illinois and the family of which he was a part. While there are countless such books published in good faith every year, few of them are as genuinely touching and absorbing as this book WAITING FOR POPS: A JOURNEY FORM BOY TO MAN. While the book does not declare itself to be a memoir, it is so pungent in detail and in emotional appeal that it would be surprising if it were solely


If I had to describe this book in one word that would be it. Bitersweet.

It was such a beautiful book, but at the same time, very sad. Though I think those two kinda go hand in hand. Can’t have on without the other.

You start the book with Johnny as a kid, you see through his innocent eyes his circumstances and his current superhero: his dad. I felt sorry for him a few times, but also sympathized so much with him.

You advance into his teen years a
Biographies are a double edged sword; I find that reading them leaves me with mixed feelings. There’s a special kind of beauty that only they can achieve, but it comes with the price of a special kind of sadness, too. The sort that only true life really brings you

I loved reading this book. I loved all the childhood and growing up moments, and I guess I liked the grown-up moments a little less. Not because they weren’t written well, quite the contrary. It’s a part of life that we never really gr
Oh so where to start with this one. First, the story takes you bake to a time that as an adult you look back on fondly. Memories of the old neighborhood, you know, before things got complicated. Second, you learn about the happenings in the lives of the characters through the eyes of a boy that has learned more than most, keep quiet and you will learn something. If you are looking for a book that takes you back while fulfilling your need for gossip and finger pointing, this is the one.
Joy H.
_Waiting for Pops_ (ebook) (2010) by John Riffice
Added 4/2/11.
On GR list: "Best Teen Books About Real Problems"
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