Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If you enjoy reading earthy books about real people, I have written a number of them. Here's two that may interest you.

Click on book covers on right on this page for more information about contents, the author and how to purchase. Thanks.

My Name is Aram

By William Saroyan

Book Review

By Richard E. Noble

William Saroyan who is also the author of the famous song, made immortal by Rosemary Clooney, Come on to My House wrote these great tales. He and a nephew wrote the song in their enthusiasm while on a road trip to visit an Aunt somewhere out west. Rosey Clooney added her seductive slant to the song and we got the famous million seller.
I read this book for the first time over forty years ago. I loved it and never forgot many of the stories.

As I held the book in my hand to write this review, I began relating some of the tales in it to my wife. Then I sat down and read the book again to see how good my memory was. My memory was pretty good … but not as good as the book.

This book was one among many books of short stories that have served to inspire my own writing. Until re-reading this book, I did not realize how much of this book and this writer I had incorporated into myself.

These are all true to life tales of childhood (granting poetic license) and growing up on the west coast, in Fresno, California way back when. The stories are about mom, dad, grandpa, and uncle Khosrove and the author’s unique immigrant heritage.
I grew up decades later on the East Coast in an old industrial mill town – nothing like the rural settings in this book. But other than replacing a “borrowed” car with a stolen pony, the humor and the sentiments are all universal. Today as I review this book, the movie My Big, Fat Greek Wedding comes to mind. The immigrant nature, the humorous relatives, the contrasting values and the crazy antics and situations brought together by life in the new country are common to the book and the movie.

Two of the stories that I never forgot are The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse and Old Country Advice to the American Traveler. A Nice Old-Fashioned Romance isn’t bad either. The only thing bad about this book is maybe you haven’t read it yet.

The writing is cleaver, entertaining, humorous and spun through with simple wisdom. In this modern copy I have, I have noticed that the punctuation is rather radical. There are no quotation marks used. Rather strange but easily readable nonetheless. I didn’t notice that 50 years ago when I read this book the first time. But there are many things quite evident today that I didn’t notice 50 years ago.

Not many people write books like this these days. Writing has become too sophisticated. There are no monsters from outer space, no demons, no devils, no spirits or ghosts. There are no serial killers, perverts or criminal insanity. Nobody eats any children in this book. No one flies on a broomstick in this book. There are no spells or even “little people.” I suppose the younger crowd would find it boring.

I have always loved it ... and still do.

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