Kat Alexander's Reviews > The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

The Other Wes Moore by Wes  Moore
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's review
Apr 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: goodreads-first-reads, arc, read-2010, reviewed, memoir, biography, books-i-own

For the sake of my own sanity, Wes Moore author will be known as Moore, and Wes Moore jailbird will be known as Wes.

Wow. I don't read many memoirs, preferring to stick to fiction--usually miles more interesting. But The Other Wes Moore breaks the trend, being a wonderfully well-written book with an actual storyline more gripping then many fictional books I've read.

The author has taken the stories of two people with the same name--one of them (conveniently the only one in the first person) being himself, an Afghanistan vet, college graduate, and all-around cultured guy. The other is in prison with a life sentence for murder and armed robbery, among other charges. Both grew up in the same neighbourhood under the same kind of circumstances. Moore's thought behind the book is simple--what made each Wes Moore who he turned out to be. How come Wes didn't end up a college grad and Moore the prison inmate?

The question itself is never cohesively answered. The closest to an actual answer given was somewhere along the lines of something Wes had said--we're the result of other people's expectations that we've taken to being our own. This in itself is hardly a bad thing--I know I'm not alone when I say I've heard one too many people patronisingly tell me how to succeed in my life.

Wes Moore's storytelling ability thrashes any ideas of what I thought it would be, honest and able to swallow without any salt; both stories are gripping--overall, a page-turner, with a terrific cast of characters that will have readers sympathising and musing long after the last page.

High points: Earlier areas of the story, epilogue, writing craft.
Low points: Introduction, later in Moore's story, afterward, and the exceptionally long list of organisations at the end.
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Reading Progress

April 12, 2010 – Started Reading
April 12, 2010 – Shelved
April 12, 2010 – Shelved as: goodreads-first-reads
April 12, 2010 – Shelved as: arc
April 13, 2010 –
page 47
20.17% "Currently exceeding expectations."
April 14, 2010 –
page 91
39.06% "Still exceeding expectations with vibrant story-telling."
April 15, 2010 – Shelved as: read-2010
April 15, 2010 – Shelved as: reviewed
April 15, 2010 – Shelved as: memoir
April 15, 2010 – Shelved as: biography
April 15, 2010 – Finished Reading
July 11, 2010 – Shelved as: books-i-own

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