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Flesh Wounds

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,712 ratings  ·  272 reviews
A mother who invented her past, a father who was often absent, a son who wondered if this could really be his family.

Richard Glover's favourite dinner party game is called 'Who's Got the Weirdest Parents?'. It's a game he always thinks he'll win. There was his mother, a deluded snob, who made up large swathes of her past and who ran away with Richard's English teacher, a T
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 24th 2015 by ABC Books
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Rebecca You can purchase at bookdepository.com and they ship to USA free I believe

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  2,712 ratings  ·  272 reviews

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“Some pages back, I pointed out that my life was hardly Angela's Ashes, but at this point it did bear a passing resemblance to The Collector by John Fowles, that mesmerising portrait of a young person imprisoned by a weirdo.”

That was in Richard Glover’s late teens in England. Richard Glover is familiar to Australians through his newspaper columns and radio shows, but until he wrote this memoir, I’m sure most of the public had no idea what a uniquely peculiar time he had growing up.

This is fun
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, audiobook
I have recently discovered audiobooks, not least because Richard Glover himself staunchly defended them to Jennifer Byrne in the face of condemnation by Will Self. It soon occurred to me that the best genre to listen to must surely be memoir, particularly those read by the author. And when the author has, as his day job, talking to an audience, to pick this as my first was pretty obvious, really.

This is an extraordinary book. It is an exploration of self, and a profound process of discovery of a
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Richard Glover has such a fantastic sense of humour and it really showed through his story. I was in stitches laughing at the eggplant meal he cooked his wife (just friend at the time, though he was trying to impress her). There were parts of this story that were really quite sad and traumatic, though Richard is a very resilient person. He grew up with a mother who kept her distance from him and struggled to show any love and a father who did care for him, though had issues with alcohol. Despite ...more
Liza Perrat
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh what an achingly honest and fabulous account of the author’s childhood and family life. Luckily I was on holidays (with a shady spot on the beach) when I read it, as I literally could not tear myself away.

The author, Richard Glover, is an Australian talk radio presenter, journalist and author, whose favourite dinner party game is: “Who's Got the Weirdest Parents?” With the parents Richard Glover had, or rather endured, he rightly believes he will always win.

In this harrowing, humorous, insigh
Emma Monfries
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a really beautiful book. Richard Glover is uncomfortably honest about his very strange family, childhood and youth, and that honesty is so incredibly powerful. In a straightforward voice, he describes some truly terrible experiences. In that same voice, he describes the love and fulfilment he found in falling in love and building a loving family that was the opposite to what he had known as a child. The honesty with which he approaches his story is, in turns, jarring, beautiful, deeply i ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Richard Glover doesn't know this, but he's my drive home buddy.

Often, at the end of the working day, I slump my weary body into the driver's seat of my car, reverse out of the work car park and begin the commute home listening to his programme on ABC radio - 702am Sydney. Yes, I have reached that golden age of being too old for Triple J, and too cranky for commercial radio.

His upbeat personality, Dad jokes, anecdotes and humanist approach to nearly all things that cross his desk make him the ide
Robyn Letourneau
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gcac-15
Wow ..left me speechless
A talented man with an an amazing life
I will listen to Richard Glover now with a different set of ears !!
A powerful honest heartfelt read
Apr 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, includes-review
Dear Richard Glover, if you and I play a game of Who's got the Weirdest Parents, I think I can give you a run for your money. I hope writing this memoir about your relationships with your parents, about experiencing parental neglect, and (briefly) about your upbringing has influenced your own parenting, has been therapeutic and cathartic for you; it is certainly comforting for me in an "I'm not alone" kinda way. However, while your story is entertaining, it also irks me with a constant "why" - w ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian, memoir
Richard Glover’s memoir about growing up in a dysfunctional family was a story that I felt that I could relate too, at least in parts. So what is a “functional” family, anyway? I don’t think that there is such a thing in families, only families that are more dysfunctional than others. Still, Richard’s upbringing is one of neglect at times, with a father who was remote thorough work and alcohol, and a distant mother who walked out on him for another man when he was a teenager. Tough. Children tur ...more
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Remember that time I got a bit daytime drunk at the Newtown Festival and embarrassed myself in front of Richard Glover?

This is the reason why. His writing is always so moving, so funny, so relatable and so personal. His perspective in moving on from his troubled and loveless childhood to a place where he has surrounded himself with people who love him and created a beautiful family life is very refreshing.

Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Richard Glover's book is a great read - interesting, amusing, sad and insightful. I throughly recommend it. ...more
Steve lovell
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My dear mother took a shine to one of Peter FitzSimon’s books, his take on the wreck of the Batavia. She offered to lend it, but I demurred due to the pile of ‘must reads’ I already had waiting for me on my shelves. One of those was, in fact, his memoir ‘A Simple Time’. I’d pick it up cheap a few years ago, somewhere or other. Since that day it had slipped further and further down the order as other I considered more worthy tomes superseded it. ‘Flesh Wounds’ is a more recent purchase, but it to ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Richard Glover's afternoon radio show on ABC Sydney and his weekly column in the Sydney Morning Herald have been such enjoyable parts of my listening and reading routines, that I am surprised it took me nearly two years to read 'Flesh Wounds' after its publication.

Thank you Richard for illuminating the ways in which families are complicated, for showing the strategies that young people can use to cope with the curious complexities of parent-child relationships, and for being an ongoing example o
Francene Carroll
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been following Richard Glover's newspaper column for many years and have always loved his brand of humor. I knew his mother ran off with his English teacher to live in a Hobbit-hole (Tolkien-inspired house) and that she was quite an unusual character, but not the extent of her eccentricity. It's amazing that she and 'Mr Phillips' found each other, but they were truly a match made in their own teddy-bear themed version of heaven (or hell).

Glover mentions in the book that he'd never been able
Adriana Glackin
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ok, so Richard Glover plays this game of "Who has the weirdest parents?" and the prize is a bottle of wine. Having read this very frank, searching, self-deprecating and humourous tale, I owe Mr Glover a bottle of wine. If you read his weekly columns, listen to his radio program or read any of his other books, you may have gleaned that all was not right in the Glover household while Richard was growing up. I found myself laughing at some of the antics, they seemed so unbelievable, and at the same ...more
Gillian Winwood-smith
I, like some other reviewers, found myself feeling pretty uncomfortable that Richard was pretty ruthless in his portrayal of his parents who are no longer around and have been pretty much ridiculed throughout the book. We don’t know their complete and full stories or what they themselves experienced in their childhoods that shaped their later dysfunctions. Obviously they weren’t perfect as parents, but I feel sad for them that this is the legacy that exists of their life. Richard seems like a gr ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Found that my enjoyment of this book was hampered by what I found to be derogatory comments about his now deceased parents who have no right of reply. Maybe they are accurate but didn't find the airing of the family dirty laundry something I wanted to read. Overall felt a bit lightweight and something that Knausgaard does so much better. ...more
Pretty sure I could read or listen to anything that Richard Glover produced and would be entertained and engaged.
I had much more loving parents than Richard but he's only 8 years older than me and his childhood in PNG, Sydney and Canberra are familiar and very identifiable.
He would definitely win in the "Who has the weirdest parents" dinner party game.
Borrowed this from the local library on borrowbox audio. Listened to it on my phone whilst doing other things and was totally distracted by it
Caitlin Alexander
Feb 08, 2022 rated it liked it
My first audiobook! I really enjoyed listening in the evenings when I was too tired to read a physical book. Great premise for a book, and I really enjoyed the first two thirds. For me, the last third of the book didn't have as much substance but entertaining nonetheless. ...more
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Usually when I finish a book I write a review straight away, then move on to the next book. After I finished this book (my first review for 2016) I sighed contentedly and had to think about it and absorb it because it really resonated with me. I was given this book as a gift by a friend who listens to Richard Glover's radio show. After I had finished the book I looked him up and listened to a 15 minute interview of him by Booktopia about this book which was very good. I also listened to a 6 minu ...more
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this autobiography. Just the thing to help us examine our own lives and our place in it. Some of us worry too much about our past and some don't think about it at all. I think we should settle for somewhere in between.

In the long run, we are responsible for the way we live our lives and the old saying "the sins of the father/parents are delivered on the children" is no longer applicable. In this current age, we can indeed learn from our forebears but it is up to us what we do with that
There's so much to say about this book. It's funny, it's sad, it's uplifting and it's thought provoking. I wish I could discuss the book with Richard. Families really do have a strangely compelling hold on people even if they are "not what I ordered". ...more
I admire Richard Glover for telling his story. It was not always an easy read, however it was always interesting
Sometimes sad and sometimes uplifting.. this is a good book to read to commiserate or to rejoice about your childhood.
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Flesh wounds or chronic abscesses instead?
Richard somehow manages to downplay traumatic events and transform many into humorous anecdotes. Would love to hear him battling it out with Chelsea Handler for the “Who’s got the weirdest parents?” prize.
Miguel Palma
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
An honest memoir and despite Glover's neglectful upbringing, he recounts it with humour. I didn't find his upbringing as peculiar as it's made out to be. ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The memoir is both laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Richard Glover was brave to write this. Couldn’t put it down.
Harrison Vesey
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Richard Glover somehow manages to make his deeply sad and strange childhood into a hilarious and heartwarming story. I often found myself reading sections of this aloud to my wife because she kept asking what I was giggling at. His mother’s absurd antics and foibles are perfectly balanced with the reflections on Richard’s upbringing and how it shaped the man he is today.

This book is billed as being ‘for anyone whose family was not what they ordered’ but honestly I think anyone who enjoys memoirs
Bruce Wadd
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s not often you come across such a direct account of an unusual family, filled with disconnects and dysfunction, but its this that makes the stories so rich and compelling. Richard, as reader, as well as the writer, of the book, enhances his humour through many different accents of British origin. The lateral thinking, the crass frankness, the surprising objectivity through which he expresses his accounts of Ealing with both parents make this story enticing beyond belief. It’s better than fic ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mum-s-bookclub
While I like to read the odd column by Richard Glover, I wouldn't call myself a big reader of his. He has always seemed like a sweet and funny person but without much of a deeper layer behind the laughs. I wasn't expected this book to be so moving and so uplifting, I had a wonderful time reading it and found it oddly comforting. I have long thought that most people come from families that have their own stories of grief, trauma, and heartbreak, so mine not only isn't so special but also I'm not ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really easy, fun read. I was expecting his recall of his childhood to be a lot worse actually, filled with abuse etc, so I was pleasantly surprised how lighthearted it was. Not a depressing read at all, like Angela's Ashes for example. It made me remember what it was like growing up in Australia in the 60's and 70's and it was a lot of fun, and kids had a lot more freedom. Our parents were very different, a lot more relaxed and their lives didn't revolve solely around the kids. We wer ...more
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Richard is a newsprint journalist and a Sydney radio broadcaster for the ABC.

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