Customer Reviews for

Spooner

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted August 7, 2009

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    Review by The Reading Reviewer

    Warren Spooner from the moment of his birth chased himself trying to figure out where he belonged and what purpose he had in life. His twin brother born moments before him was still born - a fact his mother never could overcome. His biological father died before he had a chance to know who he was and his mother remarried soon enough for him realize he missed having a father. He grew up confused, misguided at times and seriously messed up for years and found that he enjoyed some petty thievery. But still he survived it all and lived through a number of trials by fire some of which involved literal fires. He grew up, moved around, lived through poverty, divorce and some terrible bosses at major newspapers until he found his voice in the one manner of living he never expected - writing. In a perpetual state of motion it took a woman to slow him down and show him how to be a husband, father and later in life care taker of the man who was for all intent and purposes his father. He fought some battles and won some wars but never walked away unscathed.

    All this from someone that no one thought would live past 20 - just goes to show that if it doesn't sink you might have to help it a little. He made friends, moved about the country and never traveled an easy road or took a job that was a great fit; he made things fit him not the other way around.

    This book while not an easy read is a good read on a number of levels. It makes you think about this character as he evolves from one personality, question why you like him and what is the motivation for wanting him to succeed. What the reader has to always remember is that we are all an accumulation of our life experiences and that some nurturing is required to help overcome that which has the potential to make us full out crazy.

    Always remember you have to pop a hole in the container to get it to sink!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

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    Wonderful book

    SPOONER is a beautiful book. Once I got further into the characters I was so touched with the connection between people who understand that they try and play by the rules, but could also just throw it all out the window because of the absurdity they see in some situations.

    Pete Dexter has a wonderful & twisted sense of humor and some of the events are hilarious - but he also does a grea job at connecting the dots between humans who do there best, but fitting in to life doesn't come easily or naturally. The more I read this book the more touching I found it. I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    Why oh why?

    Why do reviewers feel they need to divulge so many plot details? A review does not give away information that a reader should experience by himself. You guys who feel you must write gushing summaries need to realize the purpose of the review.

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  • Posted October 7, 2010

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    This is a humorous satire that lampoons sacred societal icons

    On December 6 1953, after two plus days in labor, the woman gives birth to twins. The handsome newborn is dead on arrival while the uglier one named Warren Spooner survived. The mother prefers her deceased child over her breathing offspring.

    On the same day Congressman Rudolph Toebox dies too. His funeral is held at sea led by US Naval Commander Calmer Ottosson. Soon afterward Ottosson leaves the military and marries Spooner's mom. This leaves Warren with superstar step-siblings while his talent is to anger folks who fume for hours after brief encounters. Spooner actually finds he has a talent as a baseball pitcher, but an elbow injury aborted his career. He lands a reporter's job where he is universally loathed. Eventually with a bad cloud hanging over his head, he flees to Whidbey Island, off the coast of Washington State. at the same that bad luck is Spooner's only mojo his stepfather becomes a successful principal.

    This is a humorous satire that lampoons sacred societal icons as nothing seems to go right for Spooner in his relationship with others starting with his birth and the death of his twin, and the success of his stepfather while the title character constantly fails. Although the dark graveyard jocularity at times overwhelms the cohesiveness of the story line, Peter Dexter provides his audience with a deep character study through a dirty lens that spoofs the American dream as a nightmare.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    Take the Spooner ride through life.

    Spooner. One of those characters that constantly has you shaking your head and wondering, "Why?" At the same time, a character worth caring about - one worth the reader's time in getting to know. Spooner is just one of many eccentric characters that populate his world. No matter how outrageous the situation or the people, it all rings true. Life is like that sometimes, isn't it? Central to it all is Spooner's relationship with his stepfather Calmer. Despite the chaos of it all, Calmer displays the patience of Job. In the end there is an unspoken understanding, a quiet love that wins the day. The book itself possesses a mix of humor and pathos that keeps it all in perspective. This was one of the best books I read in 2009. Excellent, energetic, and engaging writing by Dexter makes this a winner.

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  • Posted December 6, 2009

    You Can Not Just Read This Book

    Intensely personal feelings expressed by Dexter allow one not only to have a great reading experience but to treasure the after-thoughts of this semi fictitious story. The life of a man struggling from childhood surrounded by family of brilliant minds and ill mother. One more thing. It is a hilarious look at life woes.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

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    DEXTER KNOWS HOW TO HOLD A READERS INTEREST

    SPOONER
    Pete Dexter
    Grand Central Publishing
    ISBN: 878-0-446-54072-8
    $26.99 - Hardback
    459 pages
    Reviewer: Annie Slessman

    Pete Dexter writes as he has apparently lived, disconnected but somehow still hanging on to the whole. His new novel, SPOONER, is a maze leading one on a journey of discovery. What the reader discovers is a story of a young, troubled youth who would rather urinate in your shoes that wear them. A young man who appears to be laid-back to outsiders but is searching constantly for his own truth.whatever that might be.

    Spooner, the main character of this story, was trouble to his mother even prior to his
    birth. As she likes to tell others, he almost killed her in his attempt to become a member of our world. A woman with chronic asthma, she frequently took to her bed to escape that which she couldn't or wouldn't deal with. Dead before his birth, Spooner's father was replaced by Calmer Ottosson, a young naval officer that was dismissed from the service when he allowed a U.S. Senator's body flop around like a dead fish when he was being buried at sea.

    Calmer was a good name for Spooner's stepfather in that he was the only calming influence in the family. He picked up the pieces of Spooner's family and never seemed to waver in doing so. Even as Spooner floundered in his attempt to find happiness, Calmer was always there to hold his hand and provide support.

    The first half of the book brings more laughs than watching Saturday Night Live while the latter part of the book takes on a more serious tone. I admit to laughing out loud at the young Spooner's actions and wanting to cry out, "For Pete's Sake, Spooner.get it together," reading the last pages of the work.

    Regardless of your likes and dislikes, everyone will find something in this story with which they can relate. While it is a laborious process to read 459 pages and maintain interest, Dexter has managed to do just that.keep your interest.

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  • Posted October 2, 2009

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    AN IRRESISTIBLE BREW OF COMEDY AND TRAGECY

    If you've read Deadwood and Paris Trout, you're probably standing line right now to buy a copy of Pete Dexter's latest, Spooner. It's been far too long (how many years now?) since we've had the pleasure of hearing from Dexter, but Spooner is certainly worth the wait. There it all is - Dexter's incomparable style, what I call an exuberantly tragic way of looking at life. Plus, his unstoppable humor, a guffaw on every page, and mirth making on-target descriptions, such as when referring to his cousin Arlo's wife, probably still in her thirties: "(She) was sunshine itself, but already whiskery, and the best arm wrestler in the family." Or, when sharing a beer with and expressing high regard for the same wife, She "liked to pop off the bottle caps against the kitchen table, and sometimes the glass lip would come off with it too, and she would drink the beer anyway, right out of the bottle. Sunshine itself."

    Spooner is one of the those fellows to whom whatever can happen will happen plus many unimaginable happenings, too. He seemed almost marked for tough luck from birth. Born in Milledgeville, Georgia, he was one of fraternal twins "second out the door." Unfortunately, his better-looking brother, Clifford, was dead on arrival. Nonetheless, Clifford was always to be mother Lily's favorite child. Widowed a few short years later she married Calmer Ottosson, a shy fellow who was discharged from the Navy following an unfortunate happening at an important burial at sea.

    Try as he might Calmer tried to understand Spooner and help him in every way, which seemed to be an impossible task for both. Yet he perseveres. The two weather adversities (and there are many) together.

    Spooner is a story of love, loyalty, and family, a brilliant story of two who keep on trying to make lemonade when life throws them tomatoes.

    - Enjoy!

    - Gail Cooke

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    Posted March 17, 2011

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