Thursday, September 20, 2012

Alice's Review: Big Ray

Summary: Big Ray's temper and obesity define him. When Big Ray dies, his son feels mostly relief, dismissing his other emotions. Yet years later, the adult son must reckon with the outsized presence of his father's memory. This stunning novel, narrated in more than five hundred brief entries, moves between past and present, between his father's death and his life, between an abusive childhood and an adult understanding. Shot through with humor and insight that will resonate with anyone who has experienced a complicated parental relationship, Big Ray is a staggering family story-at once brutal and tender, sickening and

Review:  This is one of the best memoirs I have ever read.  I rank it up there with Lost Edens by JamiePatterson (read my review here) and The Glass House by Jeannette Walls.  I read Big Ray without realizing it. By that I mean, each time I picked it up, it honestly felt as if I was sitting on a comfy couch with Michael Kimball, sipping coffee as he tells me story after story of his father.

And these stories are brutally honest, scary, touching, sometimes comical, and sometimes disturbing.  Written in prose, I felt each word I read was a short account of the heartache Mr. Kimball went through.  I felt such compassion for him.  When I was finished with Big Ray, I was very thankful for the dad I have. 

I highly recommend this short memoir.  Although it is short, it is wonderful, poignant, and significant.  Be prepared to have your heart broken.  You will love every second of it.  

Final Take: 5/5



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