Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir
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Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir

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4.51 of 5 stars 4.51  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A man recalls his life of addiction, abandonment, and anger as he faces death at the age of thirty-four. Told through the voice of one man, but written through the words of his brother – this memoir novelette describes the troubled life who was rejected by one woman at an early age but found solace in another.

Author’s Note:

When I was nine years old I picked up a lead pipe...more
ebook, 82 pages
Published July 13th 2011 by ASD Publishing (first published July 1st 2011)
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deirdre
solid 4.5 stars . . . highly recommend

well written!!
heart felt, emotional short.

mr. allen does a fantastic job pulling a reading into the emotional landscape he has created.
he also does a great job with the POV. first person memoir of a dying man, his brother . . .wow!!

trying to understand what motivates a loved one to do what they do is sometimes an unattainable goal. it appears the author has made some sense here . . . five years separate their births, but their lives are anything but the same...more
Gwen
What a read! The author has created a truly interesting portrait of a complex, confused and sometimes conniving man, who chased the demons inside himself his entire life and often created collateral damage in the lives of those around him. We don't like or dislike him; instead we feel for him. Allen writes in a plain spoken way, much like the family in the book. He constantly reminds the readers through vivid details, which appeal to the senses, that this man and his family lived in a very speci...more
T.A. Webb
Johnny is dying of a brain tumor after years of abusing his body with drugs and anger. As he lay dying, surrounded by those who love him when he wasn't able to love himself, he flashes back and forth across the years, on a life spent on anger and violence and waste.

His mama - actually his stepmother - who loved him when his birth mother left him, features prominently. As do all the members of his crazy, loving bunch of characters who never quite managed to give up on him even when he gave up on...more
David Hallman
Gregory G. Allen has taken on two challenges for an author - writing in another's voice and writing about a life emotionally inter-connected with his own.

He succeeds admirably on both counts with "Proud Pants."

Greg recounts the tortured life of his half brother in vivid description and riveting dialogue and he reflects how that life seared all the rest of the family members.

The most gripping aspect of "Proud Pants" is hearing the story from the lips of the very one whose life was so bruised by c...more
Pamela
As a therapist, I would recommend this book to my clients who are struggling with addiction or who have an addicted family member as well as any person who wants to think deeply about the value of all human beings. This story shows the power of human empathy -- the attempt of one man to understand his older brother, when many people might have given up or said an efficient goodbye to the ne'er-do-well sibling. It illustrates the depth of compassion and profound kindness of a mother in her tirele...more
Books-treasureortrash
Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes

This is a sad but true story about a young man who made some really bad decisions. He ended up dying at the age of thirty-four from a brain tumour after squandering his life on drugs.

Gregory G. Allen is the author and younger brother of John and he tells his brother’s bitter tale. Originally, Gregory G. Allen concentrated on his music and then branched out into short stories and poetry. He has now published this memoir novelette as well as a novel.

Proud Pants is a re...more
Brittany Jedrzejewski
Walking in Someone Else's Pants

Oh, the beauty and courage of perspective, of putting yourself in someone else's shoes (or in this case, purple and yellow striped pants) to help understand another's personal struggles and choices. Gregory G. Allen's unique memoir, Proud Pants, bravely does just this.

In this quick paced snapshot into the mind of Johnny, a troubled, angry and misunderstood boy, we learn of his heartache and confusion at his absent mother and how he is derailed because of this and...more
Candy
I would not call this book a memoir at all. Let me first get that off my chest. I was kind of annoyed after reading about half of it because it doesn't seem fair to me to even have memoir in the title. It's not a memoir, it's a book written from the author's dead brother's perspective in memoir form. But it's NOT a memoir.

That's not to say it's a bad book. It was actually very well written and my heart ached for the author, his brother and the entire family. The main character (I want to say aut...more
Itsjustme-wendy
While I liked this book enough, the problem with it for me was that it was too short (about 90 pages). I really wish it had been 250 - 300 pages, then I think I would have seen more detail and the emotion I felt I was missing. I do understand why, the Author was not who this memoir was about - it was about his brother. It was brilliantly written in first person as though it was about the Author himself, and I had to seriously double check in the beginning to make sure I was correct, it was done...more
Jack Urquhart
Billed as an "unconventional memoir," Gregory G. Allen's moving Proud Pants dives headlong and heart-first into the difficult territory of the novelized biography. In undertaking to tell the story of his half-brother John's troubled life, and in first person no less, Allen charts a path into risky territory; territory that in the hands of a less skilled, less feeling writer can easily make the author an impediment--an impediment between the reader and the suspension of disbelief critical to the...more
Nancy Silk
Laying on death's bed from longtime drug addiction and a brain tumor, Johnny is 34 years old, and thankful that his step 'Mama' is there to hold his hand in love. Johnny's life story is written through the heart and mind of his half-brother, author Greg Allen. As a step-mom myself of four boy, I really felt that I was the real 'Mama' in this story; especially having difficulty with our oldest boy who was much like Johnny. Like Johnny, our son, at the same age, was taken to the barber for a crew...more
Jeannie Walker
I loved the way the author told this moving story in first person. The title refers to a favorite pair of purple pants, which was a boyhood school gift.
In the novel, the author gives his own words to his older brother, Johnny, who feels unwanted and abandoned. He feels he was unloved and cast off by his birth mother, which hurt him deeply and produced an everlasting hole in his heart. He gets into trouble all the time. He smokes, drinks, steals, goes truant at school and fights with everyone he...more
Joye
In a life filled with young children, I don't get as much time to read as I would like but this was one book I couldn't STOP reading. From the beginning, Allen draws you in and makes you care about a character who made himself difficult to care about during his own life. Through his beautiful writing and vivid storytelling, the author manages to bring a real humanity to a man who had a hard time with his own humanity. Even though you know from the beginning what the outcome is going to be, you c...more
A Book Vacation
This is a beautiful memoir detailing the life of Johnny, the author’s brother, who struggled throughout his life to find his place in the world and, ultimately, pushed everyone away in the process. This novelette is very interesting and had me captivated from the very first page as Johnny explains his thoughts from his death bed—unable to speak to those around him, his mind drifts between the past and present, jumping back and forth to allow the reader to view the whole spectrum of his life.
I r...more
Lori Grillo
I was so moved by this story. So sad what addiction can do someone and the people who love them. You can feel the authors pain and disappointment in his relationship with his half brother. I have to wonder if Johnny's life would have been different if his mom would have wanted him to stay with her. What an amazing tribute this book is to the authors mom who for most of Johnny's life tried so hard to show him he was loved and accepted. I have someone I care about in my life that is an addict and...more
Gsand1804
Everyone has grown up with or knows someone in their family (alive or dead) that they didn't understand. I think PROUD PANTS, Allen's successful attempt to give a prideful man peace during his last moments of life is touching, yet remains honest (or as honest as one can be remembering one's childhood in a pain killer-induced haze).

It is very difficult to create a character that is hateful, sympathetic and sorrowful all at the same time, yet Allen's main character is created with depth and captiv...more
Caesar P
I saw this title go by on twitter this morning and thought I'd give this 99 cent book a try. First off, I wish there was more. This is a quick read as I finished it in no time, but was left feeling somewhat melancholy. 2nd off, the story of this man sucks you right in. I'm somewhat older than the man in this book, but the memories of his 70s took me to my own childhood of the 60s. The author has managed to turn what seems like an unlikeable person into a sympathetic one. A really moving story ti...more
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
A great little novelette that took the reader deep into a family's heartache as they watch a son and father die at the young age of 34. From page 1 to the end, the reader becomes a family member and aches for this family as they fall apart piece by piece.

Written by the step-brother of the main character, I am not sure that I would completely put this in the genre of memoir, but I would say this dramatic novelette is worth picking up. It is emotional, but filled with truth - I definitely liked th...more
Jeffrey Ballam
Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir, but Gregory G. Allen is just that; unconventional. This is a very touching memoir of a man recalling his difficult life; a life filled with addiction, abandonment and anger issues. He recalls his life, slipping back to the past, returning to the present, like a patient slipping in and out of consciousness. It is gripping and at times difficult to read, but very moving and deeply touching. All in all, a must read.
Kelley Forester
I could not put this down until I had finished it. I really liked how the author told it from his brother's point of view and how it goes back and forth in time throughout the story. The last few lines literally gave me chills - not an easy thing to do as I read them while waiting in a noisy room and uncomfortable chair while my son was getting his hair cut. The way the story was told was very powerful and drew me in completely.
Kathy Biehl
A powerful and believable story, told with great perception and compassion. The dialogue rings absolutely true, and well-chosen details of clothing, aromas, activities and locations place it accessibly and authentically. The author's descriptions conjured up many of my own memories of growing up in northeast Texas. A great work of coming to peace, on par with the ending scene of Places in the Heart.
Scott Morgan
This book is how a memoir is done. It's courageous, it takes chances, it's painfully blunt, and it hits all the right notes for a story that's less about easy answers than about finding the moxie to handle a situation that has no easy answers. Read it, especially if you've had a brother.
Kim
Wanted more! Especially more in-depth about the step-matriarch...mama...she's interesting
Brandon Shire
Touching, poignant and well written. Solidly recommended.
Jbf
Excellent, fast-moving and touching.
Andrea
Andrea marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2014
Julia Mathew
Julia Mathew marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2013
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Gregory G. Allen was raised in Texas, but now calls New Jersey home. His mother (an avid reader) passed on the love of written words to Gregory. He loves to tell stories of adversity & diversity - no matter the medium. He is an award-winning author & composer, a playwright, and theater manager. He has had several short stories published, a musical theater writer with over ten original musi...more
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