Barbara A's Reviews > Townie: A Memoir

Townie by Andre Dubus III
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Jun 30, 11

Read in June, 2011

Wow. It's eight o' clock on the last night of June. The grand children are in bed, and this is when I usually open up my book and read for the evening. The problem is that I finished "Townie" last night, and now I am achingly homesick for Haverhill.

This is rather ridiculous, since (1) I have never been to Haverhill and (2) the town and the life that Dubus portrays, at great length and with much repetition, are as gritty, as violent, as unappealing as anyplace that one might imagine. This was hell, pure and simple, for a family of four whose father splits to lead an independent life as a writer and bon vivant. And, like hell, it never seemed to end..either for the writer or for the reader.

And yet, and yet, after chapter upon chapter of fights, drugs. infertile dreams, neglect, poverty, and drink, it does. Something magical breaks through the bleakness, and the last one hundred pages are simply gorgeous. They shine and glimmer with redemption, love and luminous writing.

I almost signed off on this book every night this week. I am terribly glad that I did not. Thank you, Grandma Ida, for setting the example of always finishing a book. You always said, "I owe it to the writer."
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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Pfeifer I coundn't put this book down. The more perverse the story, the more it kept drawing me back for more. I agree with Barbara, the end is breath-taking after all the hardship. Highly recommend.


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