Heather's Reviews > Same Kind of Different as Me

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall
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Nov 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: recommended
Read from October 02 to November 09, 2011

Denver was raised a black youth in abject poverty in the heart of Louisiana's sharecropping community, growing himself into a sharecropper as a young man, as he knew nothing else, before one day escaping into homelessness and what he surprisingly views as a better life than what he's previously known, because at least he is free and no longer a "modern day slave".

Ron is a successful art dealer living the American dream with a beautiful wife who has a heart of gold. While Ron and his wife Debbie are volunteering at a homeless shelter, Debbie determines that Ron needs to befriend the irascible and anti-social Denver. It takes some time, but eventually a friendship is born, shortly before heartbreak befalls them all.

Debbie is portrayed in the book nothing short of a saint. She is selfless, God-fearing (and God-loving), patient, compassionate and kind. Based on a dream she had (and which she views as a vision from God), she pushes Ron to befriend Denver. Once Ron begins to build a relationship with Denver, he finally broaches the idea of he and Denver becoming "friends", to which follows a lovely moment when Denver shares his concerns over how white people practice "catch and release" when they go fishing, and he doesn't wish to be "caught and released" like one of those fish. Ron commits to keep Denver if he can catch him, and over the years their friendship grows into brotherhood.

As their friendship builds, Ron is repeatedly struck by the small town wisdom of this illiterate sharecropper/homeless man.

This book is 235 pages and 67 short chapters, which is how I prefer it. I only get to read is bursts, and I always appreciate having a good stopping point every few to a dozen pages. It also includes a Readers Guide, an Interview with the Authors, and a few pages of pictures.

My final word: This book was moving and inspiring. It goes beyond the trappings of life to the heart of the matter, and is proof that two people can move beyond societal lines to forge a lasting friendship that can weather any storm. And behind it all is a humble woman small of frame and great of spirit.
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Reading Progress

10/03/2011 page 12
5.0%
10/22/2011 page 73
33.0% "Sometimes it’s drinkin or druggin that lands a man on the streets. And if he ain’t drinkin or druggin already, most fellas like me start in once we get there. It ain’t to have fun. It’s to have less misery. To try and forget that no matter how many “partners in crime” we might hook up with on the street, we is still alone. (page 73)"
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