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Four Years from Home

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  480 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Growing up, Harry was always the shining star of the family, the model child, the one you would name if you either were trying to think of kids who were holy, or who were brown-nosing little punks who deserved to get beat up on the playground for making it hard on everyone else. He was the one God, and Grandma Ryan, had called to the priesthood.

I never understood why, but
Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published October 22nd 2010 by Lawrence P. Enright (first published September 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Dava Stewart
Feb 20, 2011 Dava Stewart rated it it was ok
This is the only book I have paid for since getting an iPad, and I chose it because it had tons of really high ratings both on goodreads and Amazon. After the first few chapters I couldn't figure out why so many people like it. The main character is not in the least bit likable. He is a mean bully and knows it. Then, the story becomes so unbelieveable that you know there is going to be some sort of crazy twist at the end. I admit to not being able to predict said twist, but still wasn't ...more
Al Boudreau
Mar 22, 2011 Al Boudreau rated it it was amazing
Four Years From Home, by Larry Enright, is a fascinating novel. A departure from the usual formulaic, cookie-cutter mystery, this story differs greatly from anything I've ever read before. FYFH would be difficult, if not impossible, to define, in terms of assigning it a specific genre. Interestingly enough, that's exactly what I liked about it.

Much like life itself, the story unfolds in a very unpredictable way. Depending on a particular reader's perspective, one may find the main character to
Glenn Gordon
Jul 07, 2011 Glenn Gordon rated it it was amazing
I'm a suspense guy. Thrillers and mysteries and the less frequent sci-fi/fantasy escape. So, when I sat down with Larry Enright's dramatic narrative "Four Years From Home", I did so with admitted reluctance. But a good friend had recommended it to me, and I didn't have another book queued up, so . . .

Nine brisk-paced and nothing-else-accomplished hours later I turned the last page and smiled, as intensely satisfied as I've been with a book in years. What a fantastic accomplishment. What an incr
Ryne Pearson
Feb 08, 2011 Ryne Pearson rated it it was amazing
You could call this book a humorous look at the familial bonds between a self-described bully and his siblings. You could call it a wrenching tale of loss and discovery. You could call it a story of twists and turns that both entrances and shocks.

You'd be right on all counts.

The author seems purposed to not only share the story of bully/brother Tom Ryan, but to put us in Tom's head as his world is turned upside down, and as his grasp of it is peeled away bit by bit. We don't just follow Tom's
Sep 23, 2011 Nenette rated it really liked it
Until after the first half of the book, I was in awe about how it was so memoir-like though I know it's fiction. The naughty and witty first person accounts were fun to read up to a certain level. It got corny and just too much at one point but I couldn't stop reading as it left me clueless as to what would happen. I'd say it was all worth it in the end.
Linda Prather
Feb 22, 2011 Linda Prather rated it really liked it
This is probably the hardest book review I'll ever write. As an author myself I always preface my reviews with the information of whether I know the author or not. I've "met" Larry Enright on Facebook, Twitter and a variety of other forums. I love his wit and sense of humor. I've interviewed him and didn't take offense to his comment that my writing career was inspired by a Rabid Dog ("Old Yeller"). And I'm not a professional reviewer.

When I told Larry that I had purchased his book he emailed me
P. Christopher Colter
Jul 13, 2011 P. Christopher Colter rated it really liked it
Having finished Four Years from Home, I can honestly say I am glad I read it, though it is a challenge to get through for one reason. The narrator is just not a likable guy through most of the book, and his emotional grumblings and rambling fantasy sequences can get annoying. It's a lot like being on an airplane, headed to some fabulous destination, but forced to sit beside an obnoxious jerk for the whole flight. That said, the final destination makes it all worthwhile.

There are myriad ways I co
Jan 18, 2011 xtina rated it liked it
Shelves: 30-in-2011
I would give this 3.5 stars. I liked the had a good ending that I did not see coming. As you read the book you start to feel like something fishy is going on but you get blindsided with it at the end because it's pretty incredible but yet totally believable. My only problem with the book is that there are some parts in the middle that are really drawn out and seemingly have nothing to do with the story. You don't get any payoff until the very end so it was a little hard hanging in ...more
Mar 07, 2011 Sandy rated it it was ok
I thought the story was interesting...a little strange, but interesting. There was WAY to much meandering thought process going on with the main character. I understand why, but I think the point could have been made without fantasy sequences that ran 3-4 pages each. In hindsight I think I could have read the first chapter, a middle chapter and the last chapter and would have gotten just as much from the book.
Tim Enright
Jan 06, 2011 Tim Enright rated it it was amazing
Upon getting into the meat of the story, I spent my time until the end of the book trying to guess the next event and, of course, the ending. I only do that with books that hold my interest. This is a good book that moves well and is full of thought provoking events and side stories. A very enjoyable read.
Dec 28, 2010 Joy rated it really liked it
Good book! Very funny and definately kept me reading to find out what happened in the end. I was very surprised by the ending, I didnt have it anywhere near figured out! Great first novel, I will be waiting for more from this author.
Feb 21, 2011 Michele rated it did not like it
This book was horrible. I usually finish a book once I start it but this was just to painful to continue reading
Feb 24, 2011 Mymiracles rated it did not like it
Sep 29, 2011 Fran rated it it was amazing
Four Years From Home
Author: Larry Enright
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Tom Ryan has the right attitude. When you are the oldest you need to be catered to and not let anyone else that comes along stand in your way or in your limelight. So, when King Tom was born his wishes were his parents command and then along came Mary, Kate, Sam and eventually little Harry. Now, says our Tom, did he give permission for some many to join his family? Did he really need these little people? Well think about it. Now, he
Apr 16, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it
This is a very good book. The reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because I almost stopped reading it a couple of times. I hated the main character, Tom. He's obnoxious. He's arrogant, thinks he is above everyone, and I didn't particularly find his humour amusing. But this is a clever book, because I actually think we are not supposed to like Tom. With Four Years From Home, Larry Enright certainly set himself a challenge. He wrote a book all about a man most people will hate. Most people will no ...more
Judi Coltman
Feb 09, 2011 Judi Coltman rated it it was amazing
er from his book, “Four Years From Home” - the character is Tom Ryan.
A mystery unfolds over the holidays at the Ryan house when all but one of the Ryan kids return to celebrate. The youngest, Harry, the golden child, has been out of the house attending college out of state- never to return, as the family is informed by college officials that Harry has died in an unfortunate accident.
Oldest child, Tom, is sent to find out what really happened. Story enough in itself, except that Tom Ryan is one
Susanna Kornides
Aug 15, 2011 Susanna Kornides rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Every few years I read a book that just grips me and this is my new "book of the year." I laughed aloud, cried copious tears, and in-between could not put it down.

It is the story of two brothers, the older a self-centered bully, the younger a near perfect kid everyone loves. The story alternates between the present day (early seventies) and flashbacks to their childhood. While I agree with some reviewers that at times the flashbacks ramble a bit too much, and I did skim a few of them, on the wh
Lisa Tortorello
Jul 29, 2012 Lisa Tortorello rated it really liked it
Four Years From Home is the first book I've read by Larry Enright.

I was taken in from the very beginning by the character of Tom. I liked his sarcasm and biting wit, but I also liked to hate him when he lied and cheated and manipulated to get what he wanted. I believe that Enright did a good job with character development and that is why Tom is so unlikeable at times. Harry, on the other hand, Tom's youngest sibling, was a very likeable character from the beginning. He seemed to have a good sens
Jan 07, 2016 Meliann rated it liked it
I've had this book cued up for some time and couldn't seem to get through the first couple chapters with out giving up. I decided to hunker down and plow through it no matter what this time. I'm glad I did and that it is over.
Intriguing story and outcome. I love a good mystery and this satisfied that. What I had a hard time with was the stream of consciousness from the main character. That was the deal breaker in the beginning when I would attempt to start this book each time. But now that I've
Sammie Spencer
Apr 07, 2011 Sammie Spencer rated it really liked it
Four Years from Home was not what I expected at all. When I first read the summary, it felt very Frank McCourt-ish, and in some ways it was. The character, Tom, takes us back to the days of his childhood when he was the king of his own little world. There are a lot of well-described memories that really puts you right in the middle of this family.

Tom's brother Harry is the PERFECT kid...until it's time for him to leave for school. Then, something strange happens and from there, things get compli
Jul 30, 2012 Christine rated it it was ok
My first thought....I hope that no trees were harmed in publishing this book! Hopefully it was only wasted web space...and time.
There is a storyline buried in the rambling, unbelievable, longwinded, unnecessary "stories " of narrator's childhood, however, it is thin...and difficult to follow. If the writer had put more strength in the storyline, and checked accuracy of facts, and left out 85% of Tom's rambling, I could've still figured out that Tom was troubled, and the story would've been more
Feb 15, 2011 Kimberly rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Schofield
May 11, 2015 Paul Schofield rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Although I'm not from a large Irish Catholic family as is the main character, Tom Ryan, I could definitely identify with the family dynamics that drive this story. Tom sees himself as the king, and protector, of his family, and is, as are his siblings, always striving for his parents' approval. The story that unfolds from this premise hooked me from the beginning and kept me guessing throughout. In the last third of the book, Tom began to come across as stranger and stranger, and I began to ...more
Dierdra Byrd
I picked up Four Years from home, because the story looked really interesting. I was quickly bored with the story, but reviews promised me that the last part of the book was better. The ending was a good ending, but here is the issue, the rest of the book was boring. Am I glad I stuck it out to the ending? Yes and No. I am glad that I read it but only because I hate to give up on books it annoys me. You can have a good ending, but you need to have a good book for the rest of it also. There was ...more
Aug 18, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it

Four Years From Home is an odd book. It starts out very funny and ends up a mystery of sorts.. The narrator is not a person who is likable. At the beginning, you think he is funny and has the attitude of any oldest child, but as the story and his character develop, you begin to wonder if he has a serious personality disorder. The last part of the book is a bit of a puzzle and I will confess, it drew me in. I am very glad I finished this book, because the ending made it all worthwhile. It is an e
Mike Schaefer
May 28, 2011 Mike Schaefer rated it did not like it
stay far, far away. this book is neither interesting or worthwhile. it has no redeeming features. i felt at the end that i had wasted the evenings I spent reading it.

**added - I bought this book because it was $1 on Kindle. I just read the reviews on here, and i'm shocked to discover that lots of people liked it. Listen, it's a valiant effort (and i understand it's a first novel) - OK, learn from this Larry Enright, you can obviously do it. keep up with the detailed descriptions, just
Barbara Brink
May 01, 2011 Barbara Brink rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Four Years from Home for the most part. There was a point in the story that the main character began to get on my nerves, but I took a break from it and came back a couple days later and finished the story. (he reminded me just a little too much of my own brother when we were kids:) It had a crazy twist at the end that I nearly had figured out about half way through, but not exactly what I expected. So there were some surprises. All in all, it was a good story and definitely worth the ...more
Lia Fairchild
May 21, 2012 Lia Fairchild rated it really liked it
This story, told from the point of view of eldest son, Tom Ryan was uniquely told and full of interesting twists. Tom’s a bully, a dreamer, and a schemer. But he’s also loving, funny, strange, and strong. When he hears his younger brother dies at college, the family sends Tom to find out what happen. A mystifying mystery ensues and has you turning page after page. About 2/3 of the way through Tom’s musings become a tad more than what I would have liked, but if you hang to the end it’s well worth ...more
Aug 27, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
I have to admit I went through the book hating Tom one minute and laughing at him the next. A couple of things to note: upon reading I often was thinking "this doesn't add up" then at about 90% through you see the twist in the plot (even at that point I had not figured the twist out), then it got downright confusing. At last, the last couple pages pulled it back together. For me, it left me feeling sad for the characters but longing to know more about the rest of the family (trying to not give ...more
Oct 03, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
I generally find it difficult to get through a book if I greatly dislike the protagonist, and Tom Ryan is a character I loved to hate. He is obviously such a psychological mess and one of the most selfish literary characters I've ever come across. And yet there was something so compelling about the story that I kept going. Maybe I wanted to see him get his comeuppance. Anyway, at some point I was totally hooked as the story got more and more strange. The climax, though not a total surprise by ...more
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Larry Enright is the son of Irish immigrants, born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Kenyon College and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

After college, he moved to the East Coast where he filled his life with many careers including teacher, professional musician, computer programmer, and researcher. He wrote his first novel in 1980, and penned two more "bookend efforts" before his break
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