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Dear Marcus: Speaking To The Man Who Shot Me
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Dear Marcus: Speaking To The Man Who Shot Me

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  64 reviews
As a boy, Jerome moves from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side in Manhattan, and everything seems grand.

There is more light and more excitement in this new place. And even though times are tough for a family led by a single mother, Jerome sees a promising future for himself. By the young age of twelve, he's already excelling as an athlete and performer.

But everything swiftl

Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by
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Shelley Daugherty
I have read many powerful books in my life, but none touched me as deeply as this heartfelt story of Jerry McGill. After being shot on the street at the age of thirteen Jerry found his life forever changed. He was shot in the back resulting in a spinal injury which would ensure he would never walk again. While others would have drowned in their own self-pity, Jerry found a way to deal with his demons and come out a bright and shining adult.

By addressing this book to his attacker, thirty years la...more
Jun 14, 2012 Doreen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Iris, Diane, Laura, Jan, Scott, my adult children
Recommended to Doreen by: saw it on Goodreads
McGill tells his life story through a letter, written to the person who shot him, causing him to be quadriplegic. It's a fascinating book. McGill uses the fictitious name, Marcus, as the shooter, because his assailant's true identity is unknown.

In the story, McGill credits Marcus' heinous action with most of the wonderful, exciting opportunities he has had in life. If McGill had never been injured, he would not have become the person he is today. This doesn't excuse Marcus for what he did, it s...more
Joann(san diego shutterbug)
very inspiring. Humor mixed with a lot of other emotion. It made me laugh it made me cry. It seems as if writing the book helped to deal with the life even that was very tragic. It defiantly showed how he turned a negative into a positive. Definite must read for anyone who has encountered a tragic even in their life. he showed us(the reader) the different phases of what he went through with this life changing event. I won this as part of a first reads giveaways. Shipment was very f...more
Nila Collins
Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me by Jerry McGill is all about a man writing a "letter" to the man who shot him as a teenager. Jerome's , who now refers to himself as Jerry, whole life changed due to the spinal cord injury of the bullet that was shot from someone completely anonymous. He decided to name his shooter Marcus and remind him what he has done to Jerry's life. Even though this man may never read this book, Jerry felt that it was necessary to express his feelings of anger,dep...more
Wendy E.
This is summer reading hopeful. We'll see. It is certainly inspirational, but I'm not sure some of the language will fly.
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Jerry McGill is a former co-worker of mine, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to read and review his book. Since I know him as Jerry, I typically will be referring to him as "Jerry", rather than "the author" or "Mr. McGill".

Although I was currently reading another book, I couldn't resist opening Jerry's autobiography to read the first few pages, perhaps a chapter. The first chapter went so quickly that I didn't stop there; it...more
moving memoir by a middle-aged guy who was shot when he was 13, growing up in a rough neighborhood in New York. He's been in a wheelchair ever since, and details some of the many challenging consequences (job discrimination, limited housing choices, people's oddly intrusive or pitying reactions, e.g. offering him money unsolicited, cabdriver asking him about the impact on his sexual functioning).

Great description of the six months he spent in the hospital immediately after the shooting, struggli...more
Read in a few short hours, Jerry McGill's Dear Marcus, a straightforward narrative of life after a mystery assailant's bullet to the back, runs the full gamut of emotions: confusion, despair, anger, and hope among them. The conceit here is that McGill is writing to the person who shot him, but the book functions just fine as a straightforward personal narrative of what it is like to be a paraplegic because of a senseless act. Shot in '82, the reminiscing McGill selects the name "Marcus" for the...more
This is a straightforward, quick read of a memoir, interspersed with brief life scenes presented as screenplay outtakes. Young people will take to reading this book with ease, I suspect. I also appreciated very much the choice of Rainer Marie Rilke for the epigraph--not what you'd expect in the story of a young black man who was senselessly shot by chance one day on the street when he was in junior high and had to come to grips with life as a quadriplegic.

This is the tale of that adjustment, but...more
Siena Dean
Dear Marcus by Jerry McGill

Dear Marcus is a good book that shines a light on the issue of poverty in this world. This memoir tells the story of Jerry McGill who was shot on New Year's at the age of 13. McGill tells his story as if he is talking to the man who shot him. This allows the author to take a more blunt approach in sharing how that moment change his life forever. The author takes the reader through an array of emotions varying anywhere from pity to feeling blessed.
I personally love t...more
This memoir is UNlike any I have ever read. McGill's writing style, perhaps influenced by his theater career, often reads like a play, with dramatic entrances and exits, smoothed by the seamless transition of a wounded adolescent growing into his own and rather unique manhood. McGill is a bold man, and a bold author. His tone ranges from playful and downright funny, to brutally honest and "real", in a street sense. His conversation with "Marcus" is an intimate one, that takes him through a range...more
The Reading Countess
Recommended by a friend and initially intended to be read as a read aloud to middle schoolers (um...that's a negative), Dear Marcus is a memoir best read by adults and young adults.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book where Jerry McGill writes with conviction and strength about his earlier life preceeding the fateful night when he was shot in the back by an anonymous shooter. I especially liked how each chapter read like a screenplay. For example: INT. HOSPITAL ROOM-DAY "Jerome sits up in his whe...more
This book is pretty fucking rad. It's a super-fast read; engaging, personable, witty and smart. Ultimately, it's about acceptance, healing, compassion, forgiveness, transformation and love. I related to it a lot.

A couple times I totally teared up. Like with this: "I hope someone loved you, Marcus. I hope someone still loves you today, and that you are able to lavish love on someone as well. You gotta be able to do both. I don't know that anything we do in this world matters more. The main ingre...more
I received this book as a giveaway and I cannot be any happier or greatful for being able to read this book. This book gave me insight to a world that is different from my own in several ways, one that not only made me greatful for the life I had growing up, but also made me think about all the situations in my life that have happened and the effect they had on me. I thought about how a situation that seems to be happening to only me in many ways is going to effect many other people and make cha...more
What a great act of courage to find beauty in forgiveness. Jerry, or Jerome, writes of his experience in being shot in the back coming home from a friend's house one evening. The shot hit his spinal cord and left him paralyzed and in a wheel chair. So many special people cared for and nursed Jerry back to health and taught him how to function with his disability. Despite hardache his mother and sister stood by and cared for him. One of my favorite quotes from the book: "When kindness begets kind...more
This book is getting some good word-of-mouth traction. This is a good memoir of the author's personal process and forgiveness of the unknown shooter whose bullet is still lodged in his spine. The book is written as a letter to the shooter, who the author has named Marcus, with short "scenes" (recreated or imagined) of the author's life inserted between chapters. There is very little room for pity of woe-is-me in this memoir; it is, instead, a kind tribute to all of the people who helped him beco...more

Quick read; very good book! Jerry McGill offers a "victim statement" of sorts, but this book/open letter to his shooter is more than that. He manages to inspire, shock, sadden, and educate the reader. I really hope his shooter has the chance to read this, and am happy I decided to give this book a chance.
What I really like about the book is, it is not a self-righteous tale of sappy clichés, although subject matter like this does have the potential to be weepy and saccharine. Instead, the author...more
Sad sad sad powerful book. I have such a thick stack of books to review and I finally got around to this one. I'll keep it short and sweet. I recommend this novel to highschoolers and above. This book is a memoir of a man who was shot in 1980s inner city and is writing to his shooter while coping with a wheelchair. This novel was a tough read, it was written in clips, verses, scripts but for some reason all of it freaking worked! I enjoyed the book, it was disheartening, it was dizzying, some pa...more
At age 13 Jerry McGill was shot and paralyzed by an unknown shooter. Dear Marcus is Jerry's letter to the man who shot him, because the man was never found Jerry gives him a name and a backstory. Just thinking about how his life changed and what the shooter took away from this boy makes me angry, but Dear Marcus isn't about anger. Jerry celebrates the life he has now. He is full of passion and compassion, forgiveness and love. Dear Marcus is the book I will go back to when I am feeling like my l...more
I want to thank Goodreads and random house publishing group for the free book.
I really enjoyed reading "Dear Marcus: A letter to the man who shot me" by Jerry McGill.

This book is about overcoming obstacles when you have a bad hand dealt. It is a soul cleansing book for the author who uses a writing tone towards the man who shot him on that January night. Very positive book that shows how to see the positive in even the most darkest moments of life. I would recommend this to people who enjoy pe...more
Betsy Hover
I was delighted to receive this book as Goodreads giveaway! The Author, Jerry McGill takes us on a dramatic and inspiring journey of his life. The author writes powerfully of how his life was affected, forever changed and about forgiveness.
The last passage in the book gives inspiration to all: "At the End of the day all that will matter is that under the dense weight of all that occurred, when all was said and done, you had the strength and the fortitude to lift yourself up, open the door, and...more
Rachel Choate
I found this book to be an interesting approach to reconciliation. In this situation, the author does not know who his attacker was the night that his life was changed forever. I really appreciated Jerry's honesty about subjects as varied as motivation, dreams, family relationships, sex and especially living in a non-handicap accessible world. He does a great job of taking the reader through his life since the shooting and all along the way, you feel the silent presence of "Marcus", the unknown...more
The defining moment of Jerry McGill's life was when he was shot in the back at age 13 by an unknown assailant and became a quadriplegic. In this inspiring book, McGill tells his life story and how he eventually turned that devastating event into a love of people, a will to live and a successful career as a teacher and musician. I enjoyed the book, although I wished the author had given more more details about living with a disability. Strong language and subject matter make this most appropriate...more
Andrew Porteus
A wonderful book, full of optimism, hope, and promise about the effects of being shot and ending up in a wheelchair had on Jerry, the many people surrounding him, and speculation about the effect it had on the unknown gunman, also. in the midst of talking about how some aspect of his life has altered, he suddenly addresses Marcus (the name given to him by McGill as it sounds correct) and asks him if he has experienced the same feelings, emotions, or experiences. This could so easily have been a...more
Pan Fong
(Juvenile book)
theme: gunshot, wheelchair-bound, life, optimism

I can't imagine myself being shot from the back without knowing why, and then write a book about my life to the person who shot me. I think McGill has shared his experience and feelings and thoughts as candid as he could, and I admired that. The point is not only being able to pull yourself up after the tragedy, but being able to share and impact other similar bodies. I think he did a good job, and will still be doing it.
I can't believe someone had a life this hard and wrote a book so easy to read. A coffee, a beer, done. This would probably be great for high school students - not younger, deal with some adult themes. I've got to remind myself to reread this book if I ever lose my own faculties - McGill's reminiscences and meditations on being wheelchair are a powerful testimony to the human spirit.
Jerry McGill was 13 years old when he was shot in the back while walking down the street with a friend in his NYC neighborhood. He never knew or even learned the name of the person who shot him. Many years later, through a letter filled with questions and insights for his shooter, the author tells the story of his tragedy, his long hospital stay, and how he finally moved on and and achieved happiness in his life. It is a touching story.

Jerry is someone who made a significant positive impression in my childhood, just as he had hoped to do for many, and does to this day. He is also my friend, and now that I have read his book, I have an insight that I would not have imagined during our original encounters in my youth. Other stories are not so similar, but also not so different, and stories like it deserve to be shared with the world.
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