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The Testing of Luther Albright: A Novel
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The Testing of Luther Albright: A Novel

3.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  115 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Luther Albright is a devoted father and a designer of dams, a self-controlled man who believes he can engineer happiness for his family by sheltering them from his own emotions.

But when an earthquake shakes his Sacramento home, the world Luther has constructed with such care begins to tilt: his son's behavior becomes increasingly bizarre and threatening, his loving wife se
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published July 1st 2005)
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It is amazing, from my point of view, how a woman author writes in a first person male protagonist.
The story reverberates of how many trials a father can be.

I choose this book in the store over the book The Beautiful Boy: the Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff, because it almost the same in topic--parental love and other things we perceived wrong about their love but it is not good to compare books.

It will remind you of your/ the role as a father or parent, spouse and
May 08, 2014 Hilary rated it really liked it
I think it's pity when good books frequently get low star ratings because some readers want a conventional 'plot' with lots happening.

The 'story' can be the unfolding of consequences of characters' actions and/or events that have happened to them. A good writer will detail emotions, regrets and lessons learned, often too late.

In the case of Luther Albright over- thinking, second guessing and repression add up to the loss of both family respect and his own self worth. As the book progressed, I
Elise Hamilton
Jul 06, 2013 Elise Hamilton rated it liked it
My rating for this book was a tough choice. MacKenzie Bezos is a very talented writer, and the story was well crafted and told. But my 3-star rating is a reflection of my not liking the narrator, nor the effect of his actions, and what Bezos puts us through to understand the character.

I encountered Mackenzie Bezos for the first time when she was interviewed in mid-June by Charlie Rose. I was fascinated listening to her describe her process, and intrigued by her as a writer because she was so pa
Jun 05, 2014 Ferris rated it liked it
I think the best way to describe this novel is as a series of tests. Stability tests are run on dams after earthquakes. Just so are parents tested as children become adolescents and young adults. Just so are couples tested as they change over time. Tremors and after shocks test the stability of relationships. In this story, Luther Albright tries to fit his emotional world into his engineer's orderly framework. Frankly, the reader's patience is tested a bit too by Luther's/the author's pedantic p ...more
Jan 24, 2009 Eric rated it liked it
I read this book sometime last year. Not sure why exactly, but this book sticks in my mind as one of the more interesting books I've read. I think most of the reviews on Amazon are pretty accurate, from what I saw, so I won't repeat them here.
The opening line of the book starts, "The year I lost my wife and son, my son performed nine separate test of my character." Now, when I read that line, I interpreted the word "lost" a certain way. That caused me to expect certain things to happen in sto
Dec 31, 2013 Sylvia rated it really liked it
This book reminded me so much of Stoner by John Edward Williams. It's also a very quiet book. It's about a man, a proud but quiet man who builds dams in CA. He lives with his family in a house that he built with much love and care, but now it is aging and in need of many repairs. A major dam that he has built is being investigated for design flaws. Confronted with pressure at work and his own difficulty sharing articulating his feelings, his wife becomes distant and his adolescent son starts act ...more
Sep 04, 2014 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Almost nothing "happens" in this book, but it is a deeply moving, intimate picture of the daily interactions and struggles between father and son.
Nov 26, 2014 Abby rated it it was amazing
One of my Favorites
Jun 03, 2007 Andrew rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in family dynamics
Shelves: novel
This is a very sensitively written book. The protagonist is a man who suffers from tremendous insecurity as a result of a difficult relationship with his own father. The man is now married and a father of a teenage son. There are many tests in the relationship.

The deep introspection and reflection of the main character is quite interesting, though it seems a little forced.

Worth a read for those who find family dynamics interesting.
Feb 22, 2009 Carrie rated it it was ok
Shelves: other
This book is a sad case of literature. The author writes beautifully, but somehow missed that she needs a plot in order to make a good story. She alludes to a plot and you keep thinking that something is going to happen at the end, but you are left sorely disappointed.
Sep 04, 2007 Karina rated it liked it
I read this book quite quickly, even though I didn't absolutely love it. Very descriptive writing, which sometimes I'm not patient enough to get through! Well written although sometimes it felt like everyone was thinking to hard - but maybe that was the point.
Nov 24, 2013 Donna rated it it was ok
Uncorrected proof from the library.
Nothing really happens on this book. The first sentence is, "The summer I lost my wife and son, he challenged me nine times. "
I spent the whole book worrying about how and when they'd die.
Sue Kozlowski
Aug 13, 2013 Sue Kozlowski rated it did not like it
Not a good book. Luther is married with a teenage son, Eliot. Luther doesn't open up to him. They do plumbing together. Wife gets a job. I finished it to find out what happens but nothing does!
May 26, 2008 Katrin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very strange, but impressive in a really low key way. What I liked about it was how it described the emotional backlash that can occur over successive generations.
Aug 15, 2011 Yvonne rated it really liked it
I found this to be quite the interesting read. I found myself surprised at the protaganist's dilemnas, thinking he was reading way too much into the ramifications of his choices.
Feb 23, 2012 Bobbie rated it did not like it
Picked it up beacuse it was set in my old hometown. Thought it was going to be a little more suspenceful but was disappointing.
Sandi Auerbach
Apr 07, 2012 Sandi Auerbach rated it liked it
Good story and characters. The prose style at times was unnecessarily complex.
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