Customer Reviews for

The Glass Castle

Average Rating 4.5
( 2192 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

39 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

what a great book

The Glass Castle is a inspiring novel that really deals with problems that many face, neglection. The mother doesn't care enough to be a true mom, and the father is too busy getting drunk to care in a fatherly way. Which leaves the children with a lot to be desired. In ...
The Glass Castle is a inspiring novel that really deals with problems that many face, neglection. The mother doesn't care enough to be a true mom, and the father is too busy getting drunk to care in a fatherly way. Which leaves the children with a lot to be desired. In a quest for independence and to find a way through life the children separate and it shows many different paths life can lead you down..It is truly an inspirational book, that shows you don't need someone always and to never give up. I really recommend this book.

posted by devin10 on May 28, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Interesting family dynamics

This book made me realize that my own childhood was a lot easier than I thought it was. Interesting family dynamics and although I wanted to like the free spirited parents I found it difficult to reconcile the drastic effects their choices had on the children. It was i...
This book made me realize that my own childhood was a lot easier than I thought it was. Interesting family dynamics and although I wanted to like the free spirited parents I found it difficult to reconcile the drastic effects their choices had on the children. It was inspiring to realize that despite (or maybe because of) the difficulties of their childhood, the children became successful adults.

posted by main-page on May 26, 2009

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Page 1 of 111
  • Posted May 28, 2009

    what a great book

    The Glass Castle is a inspiring novel that really deals with problems that many face, neglection. The mother doesn't care enough to be a true mom, and the father is too busy getting drunk to care in a fatherly way. Which leaves the children with a lot to be desired. In a quest for independence and to find a way through life the children separate and it shows many different paths life can lead you down..It is truly an inspirational book, that shows you don't need someone always and to never give up. I really recommend this book.

    39 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    OUTSTANDING

    THIS IS AN OUTSTANDING, WELL WRITTEN BOOK. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wall is the type of book that makes you want to give your parents a hug and thank them for being such wonderful parents, no matter how bad they were. Wall was raised by free spirits who want their children to become toughened by life and believe firmly in survival of the fittest. Her mother wants to be an artist and not to be bothered by the inconvenience of feeding and caring for her children. Her father is brilliantly smart but also a vicious drunk. Every time I thought that her childhood couldn't get any worse, I would turn the page. Which is worse? The Christmas he lit the entire Christmas tree on fire (on purpose) destroying their presents or the time he chased his pregnant wife with the car through the desert at night until he pinned her against a rock wall. Wall's story of perserverance through adversity is inspiring and amazing. You can't help but admire the courage it took to survive what she did and accomplish everything she has since. I finished it last night, and today I realized I was a bit sad that I didn't have any more of their crazy life stories to read about!

    29 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2012

    Winning Best Memoir Prize in my class.

    I've had the pleasure to teach a college class on memoir since 2002, but must admit I've never had watched a memoir garner such reaction, praise, attachment, and fervor in the class before this one. Readers in my course, both young and middle aged, are held by the divided souls in this book, by its perils, defenses for neglect, overcoming, awful truths, painful secrets, shame, sarcasm, love always love, wit, and pluck. Its style holds us, and its saga of overcoming moves all. You will put the book down upon finishing, but you will never be able to quit the Walls' family.

    Jeannette Walls has one amazing heart. I am honored that she has shared it with us.

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    Must read... no time for "skedaddle" on this book.

    Nowadays, everyone grunts about how hard their life in recession is and they point fingers at Wall St., White House, Mid-East, and national debts. However, they should understand that those aren't quite like what we call hardships, but laments. Jeannette Walls's Glass Castle shows truly unimaginable hardship on a tight rope and her brave escape from her family's seemingly never-ending impoverished fate.

    It is truly inspiring book! When I first grabbed this book for my high school English Class, I thought it would one of those stories of a penniless country kid in shanty farm going to the big cities and be a millionaire. However, Jeannette's life didn't end up as a millionaire--she's a journalist now and it seems that she has a natural talent of journalism. Her story swings the readers in excitement and horror with her powerful narration; her tragicomic memoirs are full of adventures, conflicts, and passion that we simply cannot put down. Through her memoirs, we actually can feel the exuberance, pain, fear and hope.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2010

    Amazing story! The power of the human's ability to survive and thrive.

    Wow, this book is an amazing tale of alcoholism, mental illness, despair, tragedy, strength, love, family, loyalty and survival.

    This book is impossible to put down. True page turner. I could not believe what I was reading. The author's family is fascinating. A powerful story of the human beings ability to survive and become successful in spite of great deprivation. I think this kind of story shows that children are much stronger than any of us give them credit for. Sometimes I think the more a child has to develop its resourcefulness the more successful she is as an adult. Granted, lots of therapy may be needed.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good

    What a book. I really enjoyed this one and recommended this to my friends.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Enter into the Reality of Poverty

    Jeanette Walls takes the reader into her life, holding our hand throughout, as though we were there with her. We meet her as a child, as she remembers the many instances of hunger and want she experienced while growing up. We feel the pain that she does not whimper to us; we bear her burden under which she does not complain; we trudge through the mud and live in the shambles of her childhood and adolescence along with her and her siblings, and we grow stronger with her. This is a remarkable tale, all the more so since it is a recording of her life rather than a fictional account based on imagination. Never before have I touched the depths of the disorder and want that Walls experienced nor seen the genuine triumph of the human being to such great heights. My heart twists and my eyes tear as I consider the whole of this book...the senselessness of those who hold the keys of order and peace to their children's lives...the parents...enough said...you MUST read this book!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Inspiring Read

    The Glass Castle is the story of a young girl's struggle growing up. She is forced to take care of herself due to her dad's alcoholism and her mom's free personality. The book is truly inspiring and shows the strength of the Wall's kids. The story is told in an intriguing way that makes you want to keep reading. The book is constantly surprising you with the horrible living conditions of this family. The story makes you reconsider the things in your life that you aren't happy with. Many people complain over the smallest things, but the Wall's kids embrace these challenges. The book teaches a great lesson of how lucky we truly are. Most people don't know what its like to have parents who don't care about you, or to be taking care of yourself by the age of three. It is shocking to read about how strong and self sufficient these kids are. It is also inspiring to see how these kids reached their dream. The two oldest sisters planed on moving out to New York to make a better life for themselves, however, everything seemed to be against them. Even after having all their saved money stolen by their father, they never gave up. They overcame the hardest obstacles to achieve their dream, which is a life lesson everyone should learn. The one thing that I disliked about the book was the ending. I thought that there should have been some more information about the lives of the family now. I especially wanted to know more about Maureen since she was left out of most of the story. Overall I loved the book and I would recommend it to anyone. It has great life lessons and it proves that even under the worst conditions, you can still be successful.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    a must read...

    and pass it on...this is one of those books that is a must read and then it should be shared with everyone you know...this is a book that stays with you and not only touches your heart be leaves a mark. Jeannette Walls takes you on her incredible journey of life. She reminds you that life can take you anywhere and what remains is an amazing story. It offers a true sense of the human spirit.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    very good

    this book is very enlightening, the girl is very strong yet i still feel that she should give a bit more about maureen. i would like to know more about her life and what she is doing.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read

    I loved this book. Jeannette Walls took me into her childhood and her family. My childhood was also traumatic and I took great comfort while reading this book, that someone else went through similar things that I did. It was easy to read, very compelling, I didn't want to put it down! I even felt compelled to email her when I was done to let her know how much I enjoyed the book.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

    Excellent book

    Couldn't put it down!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2009

    Interesting family dynamics

    This book made me realize that my own childhood was a lot easier than I thought it was. Interesting family dynamics and although I wanted to like the free spirited parents I found it difficult to reconcile the drastic effects their choices had on the children. It was inspiring to realize that despite (or maybe because of) the difficulties of their childhood, the children became successful adults.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    The story of this family takes you right along with them on their journey from the first page. You feel cold, hot, sad and redeemed right along with them. What a gift to make the horrors of mental illness, poverty and tough luck into a compelling hopeful story.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    Simply Great!

    Thank you Jeannette Walls for sharing your story with the rest of us! It is so touching! This is the story of a dysfunctional family: Dad is an alcoholic, Mom thinks she is an artist, a fixed home is elusive, kids are hungry, etc. Despite all the woes that highlight Jeannette's childhood, she tells the story in such a relaxed and at times, funny tone. It is very easy to read and will definitely spark some good conversation, i.e. parenting, alcoholism, etc.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I couldn't put the book down

    I found this book off a friend, who mentioned the book without explaining the book. As soon as the story started I was hooked, two days later and a lot of neglected chores, I finished the book. This lady had a very interesting and sad life. It was sad becuase you feel really bad for her and the things she had to go through, but you relaize how resilient children can be in tough times. It proved that children do not need to be given everything to succed and love life, but really, her parents could have given her more than what they did. It was in my opinion a good read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    an awesome book for almost all ages starting at 11 0r 12

    This book first of all was a true life story, This book was meaningful but also inspiring showing how she went from a little poor girl from welch, West Virginia to a big reporter in new york cit. this book showed how having a hard childhood can make u an even better person overall. all in all this book was amazing, inspiring, and overall just a good read. you will find yourself deep in thought wondering what is going to happen next. You should definatly pick this book up at your local barnes and Noble.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2010

    Captivating True Life Story!

    I wasn't sure if I would like this book going in knowing it was a memoir of some girl's childhood and upbringing. However, after getting into the book I realized the life of Jeannette Walls was anything but a typical childhood story. I myself could not relate to even one aspect of her crazy life, but that made the book so much more interesting. The stories of this American family are outrageous, sometime they left me feeling heartbroken and at other times I fell in love with every member of the Walls family, even Rex and Rosemary. Jeannette and Her siblings are amazing and heroic, overcoming all odds to come out on top. A great story with all happy endings! Glad I gave this book a chancee :)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    a must-read for all.

    This book was recommended to me by a friend, and once I started reading it I could not put it down. The raw emotion and straight-forward writing style Walls conducts her life story in is both emotionally powerful and bittersweet. With all of the problems she and her family encounter throughout her journey she still writes in a positive style that urges an underlying "I can do anything" message to her readers. After reading this book I'd have to say that this truly is an American story; providing insight to the American Dream, and all that one faces--both good and bad--to get there. This will be a book that I carry its message and contents with me for a long time to come. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a powerful and inspirational read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A truely inspiring story!

    This is one of the best books I have ever read. Jeanette Walls is a wonderful storyteller. I was completely absorbed in the book and could not put it down until it was finished. I experienced a full range of emotion while reading this book. Jeanette's ability to overcome the poverty and obstacles of her youth is truely inspiring. Since reading this book myself, I have purchased copies to give to loved ones. This is one for your personal library.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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