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Skyscraper of a Man

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Skyscraper of a Man is a truly American story. Rooted in the homogenous suburbs of the 1970s, the novel explores the American propensity to pursue great ambitions, regardless of upbringing, that can result in lives that are larger than life. The four main characters meet at college and forge such lives, each achieving remarkable success in their chosen pursuits. The main c ...more
Paperback, Second, 302 pages
Expected publication: October 1st 2019 by Villa Campanile Press
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4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review

This was my first ARC and I was hesitant at first for a couple of reasons. First, I already have a huge TBR of books that I have lined up to read. Second, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about pressured reading; putting myself in the position to review an author’s work with him watching closely. What if I didn’t like it? Could I feel comfortable reporting back that it wasn’t my cup of tea?

Fortunately, with 100% confidence and honesty, I can say
Larry H
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars here.

There's a sense of nostalgia that pervades Michael Bowe's novel Skyscraper of a Man , and it's not just because the book takes place in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. The book felt old-fashioned to me, but not in a negative way—it's a story told utterly without gimmick or guile, simply a well-told story rich with character and plot, the kind of book that seemed much more prevalent years ago than it does today.

"While some accomplish great things, others like
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been blessed with having read so many good books lately, and this is another. My mind is still reeling from this. The book follows a small group of friends from meeting in college through years later in their professional lives. The story takes a very unexpected twist, and illustrates the adage that we never really and truly know another-- what really is in the deepest recesses of their hearts and minds that they never reveal to anyone, and what those closest to us might be capable of. Ot ...more
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very reminiscent of a Donna Tartt novel--a good one. "Skyscraper of a Man" is a very ambitious first novel by the very promising newcomer Michael Bowe.
Fred Graves
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great novel. Author fashions characters and plot like a quilt maker, adding one small piece after another until the final work is captivating. There were many places in the story where I thought, "I sure did not see that coming." I will be watching for a second from this author as that was a very enjoyable first effort.
Mark Roamer
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to get an advance copy of this novel because I feel like I got a sneak peek at something special. I really enjoyed it. The author weaves historical references concerning skyscrapers into a very interesting storyline to produce an insightful and thought provoking read. His writing style adds interest and enjoyment. I highly recommend this book.
Chris Thomas
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I reached the last 100 pages I could not stop. Finished the book at 1am. Definitely one of my new favorites.
Amanda Cranston
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pete Dalton, the narrator, considers himself a member of The Coattails Club, someone who tags along while others do great things. Fortunately, Pete is a writer and so this role works well for him when he meets three friends at college who are exceptionally talented people. This novel is their story and, by the end, we know all their tales and we also learn that Pete is extraordinary in his own way. I loved this book and, most particularly, the way the author tells the tale.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this ... coming of age book with characters you get to know very well. Enjoyed and would recommend.
Michael Bowe
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The San Francisco Book Review awarded Skyscraper of a Man 5 out of 5 stars and provided the following review:
"Bowe pens a poignant tale... He fashions a fictional, yet realistic, setting with a well-defined cast that mimics American life... Unique to Bowe's plot is how he parallels the growth of the four [main characters] to the evolution of skyscrapers... A balanced combination of fact, fiction, engaging dialogue, and a flurry of twists and turns, Skyscraper of a Man is a stunning and inimitab
Peter Wallace
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is about the human desire to exceed limitations, to go faster, further and higher. In the story, there is great accomplishment and heartbreaking failure. Ben Matthews, in particular, has plans that are both grand and idealistic. Like Ben, all of Bowe's characters are complex, unique and flawed. The parallel to skyscrapers is fitting and though I didn't understand the skyscraper metaphor initially, it came into full, panoramic view as I read. I really enjoyed this novel and highly reco ...more
Sherri Madsen
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read this year. I was enthralled and rarely paused my reading. Characters are fascinating when introduced and even more so as the story progresses. I know it has been a great book when I am sad to have finished. Read this one!
A Reyes
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bowe has truly brought these characters to life. A must read! This one will stay in my collection for ever! This book is deserving of a sequel. I'll be waiting for it.
Kari Beasley
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gifted-books
I didn't see that ending coming, though maybe I should have. This novel is well written and engaging. I found myself wondering more than once if this was a memoir instead of a fictional story. The main characters are well developed and true. Their personalities mimicking those of people who are our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. We all know that person that is motivated and determined to succeed no matter what it costs them, like Ben and Tyler. We also know someone who is loyal and ...more
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Bowe knows how to work a metaphor. For the first three quarters of the story I accepted the skyscraper factoids as interesting and a method for developing the urban and political mindset of the characters. The final quarter of the book had me enraptured! As subtle a symbol as a protruding masterpiece of architecture could ever be, skyscrapers turned from a slowly amassing metaphor into a downright perfect reflection of powerful ambition. Bowe laid a very solid foundation for the story, a ...more
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel so lucky to have won this book because I feel like I've been given the opportunity to read and review something truly special.

First off, if Michael Bowe keeps writing like this, then he is certainly going places! The way he writes is captivating and I felt as if his characters were real people and I was getting a glimpse at their very real life.

The way this story slowly unfolds and builds to its stunning conclusion was amazing. When I started this book, I would have never imagined it wo
Kathleen Mccullough
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover, read it in three days and that is fast for me. It is a great story with a lot of history thrown in. I particularly enjoyed the character the author used to tell the story, Pete, a self-deprecating everyman who is perfect for the job. He is along for the ride with the other three main characters who are talented, larger than life types. Great book!!
Christy Reynolds
A very enjoyable read. The characters and story are superb. I received an advance copy and am very glad I did. My reading year is off to a great start.
Anita Lock
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pete Dalton has a dream of becoming a writer. Ben, Tyler, and Danny—three freshmen he develops close relationships with—have dreams, too. Yet, out of his promising college buddies, the one who has the most influence on Pete's future is Ben Matthews. Ben proposes to Pete the creation of a Student Center. The dynamic duo change the course of history at The Signal—the school's paper primarily dominated by upper classmen—when their article goes to print, Pete is nominated as the new editor, and Ben' ...more
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great story. Characters are well- developed. Many sub plots that add to the storyline. The way that skyscrapers are included is clever also. I really enjoyed this book. Wish the author had another for me to read next.
Thank you to the author and publisher for the free copy through Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for a fair review.
Skyscrapers are a poignant metaphor for friendships and people's lives that are built on a foundation of their choices and beliefs. Relationships are the focus of this novel - friends who meet each other at a pivotal time of growth in college and build their lives and livelihoods together.
It is a lesson through the ages. People we think we know aren't as they appear. Futures we envis
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
A story about college friendships, starting a business and the messy mixture of the two. I enjoyed the college years of Skyscraper of a Man the most, as it gave great insight into the characters' true selves and was the most entertaining to read. However, the business development side, politics and details about the Cavanaugh Weekly were not as interesting and dragged on for me. This novel is unique in that the narrator is a person who is not directly involved in the action and heart of the plot ...more
Lori Byrd
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Friendships are formed when you meet someone that you just click with. These 3 men form a bond that follows them through the college years as they age, grow together then apart. Remarkable to reference them in terms of their lives are like skyscrapers, but it really does work. I almost believed it was a memoir of Michael's life because of the descriptions as if he were there. A really great read!
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book as an ARC. Strongly written. The characters are so well written that you really feel as if you're there with them through all of it. It's a wonderful book that you won't regret reading. I highly recommend it. Michael Bowe is an author to watch.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a truly captivating book. It tells the story of four college friends who are gifted with talent, ambition and high ideals. Success seems assured until they are tested as to what they are willing to do to achieve that success. The characters are interesting and unique; the dialogue is life-like; the story moves at a good pace; the parallel story of the history of skyscrapers and the construction of the Empire State Building is thought provoking. A really good read!
I won a copy of this boo
Linda Donohue
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-read
Definitely a 5 star read. The author grabbed my interest from the very first page and kept it through the end. I had no clue where this story was going to until the last few chapters. It was nice to read a fiction novel that wasn't written for a fourth grader. I received this book as a Goodreads Giveway, and I thank the author for the opportunity to read his first novel. I look forward to reading future books by Mr. Bowe.
Gloria Brooks
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me awhile to get through this book , I started and then stopped but once I stayed with it , it was a pretty good book. I guess its me as I like a bit more excitement and it seemed centered more to men. But I would recommend it to read. Thanks for the book I appreciate it .
Linda Steighner
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won
Michael Bowe's novel "Skyscraper of a Man" centers around the ambitions of college friends Dan, Ben, Stan, Peter and Tyler. Each seem destined for greatness, sharing raw talent, drive and high ideals. Success for each appears guaranteed, but just how far will each go to obtain that success? What are they willing to sacrifice? The book was a slow starter. However the ending came together continuing at a much quicker pace as the true nature of each of the central characters is revealed. Good book.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This was won as an ARC. I could not get through this book. I could not even get into it, made it to page 50 but even that was hard. According to the 5 star reviews others gave it, something does happen later in the book, but you have to slog through a lot of tedious pages to get to it. Not worth my time.
Kathy Heare Watts
I won a signed copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. So that others may also enjoy this book, I am paying it forward by donating it a local library.
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Michael Bowe is a graduate of Georgetown University and a recipient of a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). He is an accomplished businessman, entrepreneur, investor, writer, novelist, and poet, and a resident of Vashon Island, WA, a short ferry ride from Seattle. His first novel, Skyscraper of a Man, was heralded as "a stunning and inimitable debut with Silver Screen potential" by the San ...more
“Some people are simply destined for meteoric lives, magnificently bright and awesome for a while until they slowly burnout and fade to black.” 13 likes
“Only God can make a tree, so men build skyscrapers.” 13 likes
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