Karolyn Sherwood's Reviews > Mentor: A Memoir

Mentor by Tom Grimes
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's review
Aug 24, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: memoir, non-fiction
Read in August, 2011

I was very moved—and only slightly disheartened—by Tom Grimes' account of his writing life, and how it intersected/was shaped by Frank Conroy. It's not just me... seems all writers flail, cry and scream about their writing!

Tom Grimes is an excellent writer. The fact that his fiction has never reached the heights he'd hoped for as a young man is, perhaps, only a matter of time. If any novelist writes more than one or two phenomenal books in his or her lifetime, it's a path to eternal fame. Perhaps Grimes just hasn't written his yet. But this memoir is extremely well written. In fact, it reads like a novel, perfectly paced with a dramatic episode beginning in Chapter Nineteen. Wow! Deep, personal, moving and refreshingly honest.

Writers and those-who-love-writers should all read this book to help understand the internal pressures of being a serious writer. As he says on page 142, "You don't choose the writer's life; the writer's life chooses you." I think the key is to keep one's expectations balanced with a life outside of the publishing world.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Five Stars, Mr. Grimes.
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