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You Can See More From Up Here

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  35 reviews
In 2004, when middle-aged Walker Maguire is called to the deathbed of his estranged father, his thoughts return to 1974. He'd worked that summer at the auto factory where his dad, an unhappily retired Air Force colonel, was employed as plant physician. Witness to a bloody fight falsely blamed on a Mexican immigrant, Walker kept quiet, fearing his white co-workers and tyran ...more
Paperback, 436 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Golden Antelope Press
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
In You Can See More From Up Here Walker returns to his small hometown in IL when his father is hospitalized. He has a lot of pent up emotions resulting from years of disagreement and tension with his father. Walker reflects on his life and the summer that shifted everything for him many years ago. Now, a middle-aged writer, he seeks answers to his remaining questions.

While home from college one summer, Walker worked at the AMC automotive plant, where his father, a former army general, was the o
Geoffrey Craig
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mark Guerin's "You Can See More From Up Here" is a first-rate work, especially for a debut novel. The novel is absorbing and engaging. The critical elements of the story are skillfuly revealed as the suspense is ratcheted up. You want to find out what happened and will happen to characters with whom you have established a tight bond. All the characters are superbly drawn. The writing is excellent with many creative and visually clear metaphors and similes. The themes and issues resonate in today ...more
Holly Fling
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As Mark Guerin shows in YOU CAN SEE MORE FROM UP HERE (Golden Antelope Press, 2019), our past—the secrets we keep, the lies we tell, the hurtful words that escape our mouths during moments of anger, and our social behavior—has the power to haunt us in the present, even when the present takes place decades later. This effect can especially affect our relationships with family and friends. Indeed, Guerin seamlessly weaves past (most of which takes place during the summer of 1974) and present (2004 ...more
Belle Brett
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Memories of the summer of 1974, when Walker McGuire was 19, still haunt him into middle age as he visits his elderly father now in a coma after a car accident. He’s looking for answers. That summer, his father, who had once enjoyed a prestigious medical military career, is now the company doctor for a car company in Belford, IL, and Walker is working the line at his father’s insistence. As the only witness, Walker becomes embroiled in the aftermath of a serious physical encounter between Norm, h ...more
Emily Ross
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family
I was totally caught up by this sharply observed and moving novel about a son’s quest to understand his difficult father and the long ago summer that changed both of their lives.

Alternating between present and past it vividly evokes what family life (or a certain kind of family life) was like in the seventies -- the lawn mowing, the chores, the cold inflexible father, the passive mother, and the deep generational divides that become fault lines stretching through entire lives.

This is a coming
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was captured by Mark Guerin's You Can See More From Up Here from the first sentence. The relationships in reporter Walker McGuire’s life are gradually amped up in an engaging way as is the suspense. The reader has ample opportunity to bond with each character as they are well-delineated. The prose is superbly written. In 1974, when Walker was 19, he returned home from his first year of college for the summer to work in the assembly line of an automobile manufacturing plant. The events of that ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s appropriate that I read You Can See More From Up Here just before the holidays, a time when many stress about strained family relationships and fret over how to move forward. It’s a powerful story because it comes from a place of truth, and it captures the reality of the complications of family ties.

You Can See More From Up Here is as much a story about family struggles as it is a lesson about communication and perspective — about how much strife could be avoided if we didn’t keep our feel
A really fine debut novel, I enjoyed it. Difficult family dynamics, long kept secrets and a young first love are revealed in this well-written novel. A middle-aged man is going to see his estranged father for the first time in years, after the father is injured in a car wreck and hospitalized, and the memories of a tragic event from 1974 finally get aired. The story was believable and felt authentic, bittersweet. I liked this one.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
You Can See More From Up Here by Mark Guerin is a highly recommended family drama and examination of a father/son relationship.

It is 2004 and Walker Maguire's father is dying so he returns to the small Illinois town he left behind years ago. His arrival brings to the forefront of his thoughts the summer in 1974. That summer he returned from college and went to work in the auto factory where his father, a retired Air Force colonel, was the company doctor. After he was forced out of the military,
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
You Can See More From Up Here by Mark Guerin is a family drama that seems simple at first: It's all his fathers fault. But as the hours, days and months go by, Walker Maguire realizes that things were not as simple and black and white as he had thought all these years. This novel seems at first to drag on slowly but then you realize that everything happens and is told for a reason in this story to help you understand the anxiety of having an abusive father, the fear of outing yourself as a liar ...more
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
At its core, this is a simple enough story: a Mexican-American worker injures an American colleague in self-defense and a teenage boy, son of the factory doctor, who witnessed everything and can confirm it was self-defense, does not say anything because he was not supposed to be up on the vantage point and is afraid of his abusive father. Simple enough - but all the side plots, background stories and layers of motivation for the individual characters (why was the American sneaking up on the Mexi ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Guerin’s narrative switches between the past and the present as his protagonist, Walker, attempts to reconcile his memory of his summer job when he was nineteen, and how far his father was involved in the disappearance of a Mexican family.

In the beginning, the pace immediately transports you to Walker’s summer job at AMC, a car manufacturing plant. Walker’s first days and subsequent stand-offs fill you with trepidation as Walker’s presence at AMC for the summer seems far more dangerous for him t
Christine Okon
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mark Guerin's debut novel is rich with vivid and poetic descriptions of the people and places that shape the protagonist Walker's life and journey to maturity.  The characters are alive and nuanced; the descriptions of the factory workers, for example, are solid in a way that reminds me of the movie "Blue Collar."

The book is timely in its representation of the persistent hate-fueled discrimination against Latinos, and I think that Walker's relationship with Connie, especially over the years, is
Brandi Tyiska-Hawkins
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
When you read a family drama, you want to be taken on a journey. Since there’s typically not a lot of action, you want to be sold on the plot, on the direction and the feel of the characters’ environment. You Can See up from Here does just that.
It takes you on a journey through the life of Walker Maguire and his relationship with his father. It starts off with him going home due to his father being in the hospital. Throughout the story, he reminisces on the not-so-pleasant moments of his childh
Clazzzer C
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very powerful read. Emotion drips from every page. Walter Mcguire’s Dad was once a formidable character. He was a successful, driven, accomplished doctor in the military before he was unceremoniously expelled which lead to
him working in an automotive plant in Illinois after his from grace. He turned to alcohol for solace and is now in a coma, with the expectation of death after a car accident. His son Walter suffered greatly at the hands of his father. He has visited him in hospital an
Julie - One Book More
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing

When Walker Maguire is called home to the deathbed of his ailing father, old memories and anger resurface.

While at the hospital, Walker writes of a fateful summer in 1974 when his entire life changed. Walker works at a manufacturing plant where his father is the doctor. When Walker witnesses a fight between two employees, one white and one Mexican, he doesn’t say anything because he is afraid of his abusive father’s reaction and incriminating himself.

When h
Matthew Cost
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In “You Can See More From Up Here”, Mark Guerin creates a gripping social drama that jumps back and forth between 2004 and the summer of 1974. The events at the auto manufacturing plant and home that summer, which dramatically changed Walker Maguire’s life, have led him to a self-imposed exile from his hometown and family for 30 years. Guerin keeps the reader on the edge of the seat as Walker treads on eggshells around his father who is the doctor at the plant, having been forced out of the mili ...more
Jun 18, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: arcs
***Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review!***

I'm very very sorry. I tried as hard as I could to get through this book, but every day that I was going to sit down and read it, I just started absolutely dreading it. The pace was incredibly slow and it felt like the story was going nowhere.

I genuinely think that this book would be great for some people, (people who like character studies or more slowly paced books) but unfortunately, it wa
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you @MarkGuerin for the advanced copy. The relationship between father and son was realistic and yet made me sad. This could have been anyone’s family at that time and I appreciate the rawness in which it was written.
Mark Guerin’s debut novel, YOU CAN SEE MORE FROM UP HERE, is a coming-of-age story dealing with themes of immigration, racism, socioeconomic disparity, and more. For the most part, the entire plot revolves around Walker Maguire’s summer when working at the car factory where his father also works as the plant physician. While at the factory, Walker witnesses an event between two employees that places him in an ethical dilemma, which comes to alter his perception of his father and impacts the cour ...more
Sonali Dabade
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
I should have read and reviewed this book a long time ago, but we were moving around a bit and the uncertainty made me want to wait so that I could give it my full attention.

But when I did give it my attention, I must say, it bored me to no end. Every 5%, I would zone out and think, "Why is this book like this?"

The characters are unlikable - not that liking characters is a prerogative, but the point is, you need at least one character that you sympathize with in any book. And there's none in her
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was a very pleasant surprise for me. I admit that I was interested by the description, but not exactly excited to read it. Once I got started, I was completely engaged and enjoyed it so much.

The writing is very good—hard to believe this is Guerin’s debut novel—and the story is well structured. You Can See More From Up Here is dual-timeline story: Walker’s coming of age tale in the 1970s, and then a coming-home reckoning tale in 2004. The story unfolds beautifully in both.

Walker is a sy
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I struggled to finish this book. Even though set in the 1970s, the topics of immigration and racism felt timely which was what drew me to the book initially and is really the only reason I gave this book as many stars as I did. Overall, I found the plot boring and the characters unlikeable, never a good combination. There were parts of this book that were good where I found myself reinvesting in Walker's story, but would then be followed with drawn-out details and dialogue that felt unnecessary ...more
Ally Apodochi
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Personally the writing style took some getting used to, but it portrayed how personal the story was to Walker Maguire and how fundamentally different it was to all the other pieces he had written over the years. The reader follows the story step by step with him, retrospectively figuring out the motives and reasoning for the characters' actions in that short but impactful period of his life that led to this story needing to be written in the first place. It was a joy to read the personal growth ...more
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a really good debut novel. I had some quibbles about some of the story line, but it was thoughtful, interesting and fairly well written.
Nov 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm sure this is a great book, but it was just too slow for me. And the abuse he experienced as a boy was a bit much for me. I read 15%...and I'm moving on. ...more
Aimee Dars
In You Can See More from Up Here, Walker Maguire returns to Belford, Illinois, a factory town surrounding by farmland, when his eighty-nine-year-old estranged father lapses into a coma after an automobile accident. By his bedside, Walker’s thoughts return to the summer of 1974, the year he worked at the American Motor Company loading docks, the same company where his father, a retired military corporal, was employed as the factory physician.

Walker, home from his first year in college, has never
H Lee
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is narrated by Walker Mcguire, the protagonist of the story that alternates between teenager self and a middle-aged man. Walker is a thoroughly mediocre man in every aspect. He is not a man of conviction and his decision making is based on not wanting to get in trouble. When he takes actions, whether it is backtracking the lie or pursuing a woman he loves, he ends up implicate the others in ways he never considered. His inner voice is always going off “oh shit”. Even when he takes a sta ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
If I hadn't know ahead of time I would have never guessed it was a debut book. It kept my interest throughout the entire book. There were some very moving, emotional parts -- even suspense. I could easily relate to the family issues and life events. I really enjoyed reading it. ...more
Wendy B
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent book fast read dropped off a bit at the end but still enjoyable ☺️
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Mark Guerin is a 2014 graduate of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program in Boston. He also has an MFA from Brandeis University and is a winner of an Illinois Arts Council Grant, the Mimi Steinberg Award for Playwriting and Sigma Tau Delta's Eleanor B. North Poetry Award. A contributor to the novelist’s blog, Dead Darlings, he is also a playwright, copywriter and journalist. He currently resides in ...more

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