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Barefoot In November (2011)

by Benjamin J. Carey(Favorite Author)
3.97 of 5 Votes: 1
0615450849 (ISBN13: 9780615450841)
Center Street Publishing
review 1: The list of "things" that I can't remember is growing at a faster pace than my fast-growing to-read list. A scary realization. That I can't remember why I bought Benjamin J. Carey's BAREFOOT IN NOVEMBER does not surprise me. When I took it off one of my actual to-read shelves, the title and cover scene must have kept me from putting it back and moving on to another unread book. Since I did not recall anything that I may have read about the work, the sepia image of a little barefoot boy in motion with the house of a bygone (perhaps) era behind him sent my imagination to a "place" where this memoir never goes. Only a few pages into the book, I realized that it would not be the sort of personal narrative that I had envisioned. But because the author was headed toward he... moreartland -- I'm referring to the organ, not to love -- I kept reading. My husband's recent cardiovascular "adventures" whispered, "Read this; it may be useful." Not yet, thank heavens. And now that I've finished reading the work, I have no reason to think that it will be useful down the road. If I ever need a book about aortic aneurysms or about running in the New York Marathon a year after major heart surgery, Carey's would not be my pick. It's a "heavy" work -- heavy on cliches, that is. And despite Carey's admirable qualities, I don't particularly like the person revealed in this memoir. Although I'm disinclined to overlook grammatical and spelling errors in published nonfiction, when the publisher is an unknown press, I'm willing to lower my expectations. I'm not, however, willing to discard them. The number and type of errors in BAREFOOT IN NOVEMBER distracted and irritated me. "Call me, Ismael"; no, seriously, call me a cranky, unrealistic, old-school English teacher. I've been called much worse. I can't help feeling as if I'm having a myocardial infarction when I see "it's" and "its" misused or forms of "lie" and "lay" misused. So what? Who cares? Wait -- how about an apostrophe in the verb "gets"? OMG. Suddenly I felt compelled to read the "ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS" (apparently Carey prefers the less common US spelling). The charitable part of me wanted to believe that he couldn't afford -- and therefore didn't have -- editors or even one editor. Alas, another foolish notion. Carey tells his readers: "There is a rumor about my executive editor being such a perfectionist that she circles errors in library books and returns them, so if you ever come across one you know who did it." If she has a benefits package, I want her job. Appalling mechanical errors. Lame dialogue. Dull exposition. I'd give it a D-.
review 2: Carey's brash prose and honesty should not be taken for "arrogance". His fierceness and ambition are to be admired, and his imperfections are answered with as many instances in which he pours out his heart and shows his sensitive side. I was intrigued after seeing the author's interview on the Larry Davidson show and was not surprised to find dozens of good reviews on the book. It never ceases to amaze me though when a handful of people refer to someone who's almost lost their life as "arrogant". I almost didn't buy Matt Long's "The Long Run" because of a few such reviews on that book. I'm a runner and I'm glad I wasn't persuaded by the reviews who similarly referred to Matt as "Arrogant" and "Conceited". Running the NYC Marathon for a healthy person is an accomplishment let alone by someone who's almost died.I downloaded Barefoot in November on my kindle, and was captivated by this man's reflections on his brush with death. I cried reading the part where his son greets him at the door on his return home from the hospital, and the passage when his newborn slept on his chest. This is not an "arrogant" man. The story is at once heartbreaking and triumphant. I read a review that criticizes the book as being a collection of "diary entries", but I enjoyed how the book was divided into "memories" preceded by relevant quotes. I appreciated the uniqueness over the traditional chapter 1,2,3 format. After seeing the interview I was not disappointed by the book, and it makes me feel good that a percentage of what I paid for it will go to a heart charity. Hearing Carey talk about his alcoholism, childhood struggles, and near death made me want to learn more about him. I will definitely be anticipating his next book. less
Reviews (see all)
Don't waste your time! Find another book to inspire you; this one does not.
I think this book was a great read! The authors journey was raw & genuine.
AMAZING! Such an uplifting and inspirational book. Couldn't put it down.
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