Customer Reviews for

Strange but True

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
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(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

GREAT!

I am no good at this review writting. Just read the book, it is great. I bought it Friday night and was finished it the next day. I couldn't put it down.

posted by Anonymous on August 2, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Promising Start

With such a promising plotline how coule one go so wrong? Halfway through the book I knew it would just go further and further downhill, but I pressed myself to finish hoping a disaster kills the remaining characters.

posted by Anonymous on January 14, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2004

    GREAT!

    I am no good at this review writting. Just read the book, it is great. I bought it Friday night and was finished it the next day. I couldn't put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 7, 2004

    Excellent

    Great read. Not what I expected.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2004

    Amazing but true!

    One of the few books I've read where you have no idea where it's going until you get there. First book I've read by Searles, but not the last. I honestly couldn't put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2007

    Loved it!

    Simply a great story! You'll laugh & cry & pick up a few handy Spanish phrases too! Searles is my new favorite author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    great book

    his books are a little weird and i usually don't read these kinds but the plot of his stores are REALLY good!! As i have said in his other books ending makes u go mmmmmmm....
    buy it u won't be sorry on any of his books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2006

    Great Story - Different or maybe Strange

    Great look at sibling rivalry, parents dealing with loss of a child, holding onto the past, wow, just a great deal of 'reality' in this fiction. Beautifully written and each chapter pulls you into the next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2005

    Great book overall!! I definitely recommend it!!

    Like other readers mentioned before, some of the chapters seemed dragged out and alot of the excerpts alot longer than they need to be, but overall, a great book!! The author did a great job transferring from charachter to charachter in each chapter and presenting the same moment in time through the eyes of each different person. I really couldn't put the book down! Looking forward to his future novels!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2005

    wonderfully strange

    this book was so hard to put down, i was sad when i read the last page! a totaly awesome book, i recommend that everyone read it, truely worth its weight in gold!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2004

    An excellent read

    This is a great book. I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved the twists and turns of the story. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A poignant family melodrama

    While Phillip Chase recuperates at his mother¿s Philadelphia house after falling from the fire escape in his fourth floor New York apartment, Melissa calls because she wants to come over to tell him and his mother something. When she arrives, she tells them that she is pregnant with Ronnie Chase¿s child, a situation they find impossible to believe. Ronnie died five years ago in an automobile accident coming home from the prom..................... The only time Melissa had sex was on prom night and she believes this child is her dead lover¿s since she never even dated another man. Phillip¿s mother Charlene is hoping that Ronnie deposited his sperm at a sperm bank and she goes to Melissa¿s house to see if it is true. She never arrives but Phillip talks to Ronnie who he feels sorry for. Before he can return home he discovers something that could put him and the wife of Melissa¿s landlord in danger..................... John Searles has written an unusual but enthralling work of psychological suspense that keep fans wondering who the father of Melissa¿s child is since she insists she has been celibate for five years and readers believe her. It is STRANGE BUT TRUE that the protagonist has no idea how she got pregnant and readers will empathize with her need to believe it is Ronnie¿s child. A surprise twist at the climax of this novel brings everything into focus so that the audience will feel they have read a poignant family melodrama.......................... Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2004

    Strange but True

    John Searles has created a second successful novel. STRANGE BUT TRUE is anything but 'strange', it is mesmerizing! It is a story of lives affected by events at and following a high school graduation Prom. Ronnie Chase, girlfriend Melissa, her twin sister Tracy, and date Chaz hire a limousine to deliver them to and from the Inn where the celebration is held. Philip Chase is living with his mother Charlene in the Pennsylvania suburbs, while recuperating from a fall off a balcony of his New York City apartment. Melissa phones Philip and Charlene then pays them a visit, first since five years past. The news she has to deliver stuns Philip and receives a venomous reaction from Charlene. Melissa is nine months pregnant. Through visitations to a psychic and in answer to her prayers, Melissa believes the conception is Ronnie's baby. She has only had sexual intercourse one time with one person and that is Ronnie Chase on the night of the Prom. However, Ronnie died almost five years ago. He was killed in a tragic accident when the limousine crashed into a thick oak tree on the return trip taking the foursome home. The limo driver had a high level of alcohol in his system. Full of loneliness and sadness, Melissa is estranged from her parents, living in a cottage, and has received a notice to vacate because of unpaid rent. Landlords Gail and Bill Erwin appear to be happily married, even though Gail has been disappointed in a few previous marriages and Bill is an ex-policeman who was asked to leave his job. Richard Chase, Ronnie's father, and second wife Holly live in Florida. Richard harbors a secret from the past. Charlene is an embittered ex-wife and mother grieving for her dead son. Along with Ronnie's 1979 Mercedes in the garage, Charlene keeps Ronnie's bedroom locked enshrined like a museum. Formerly a librarian, Charlene visits the town library. As she steps into the lobby, 'she is overcome by one simple thing: the smell of books.' Philip loves reading and writing poetry. He has always known that his brother was the favored son. He overheard a conversation in which Charlene said '¿ the wrong son died'. Searles delivers poetic essence in STRANGE BUT TRUE. In one instance he writes, 'The wind¿ has died off, leaving the woods around the three small houses in a perfect hush.' With intended humor, the author also writes of Charlene speaking to Philip, '¿watching too much TV will make your brain rot'. Searles's style of storytelling encourages readers to linger from beginning to end uniquely blending chapters with the past and the present . The author gives credence to main and sideline characters assigning each a burden of trials, tribulations, and disappointments. STRANGE BUT TRUE is an avid reader's treasure full of astounding surprises. Personification of the cast members is uniquely filled with happiness and sadness, anger and forgiveness, loss and gain, hatred and love, good and evil, but most of all - survival. A story that poetically embraces the emotions - puts a lump in the throat, a tug to the heart, and gives hope for the soul. Every book has a message -- STRANGE BUT TRUE speaks volumes!

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

    Posted June 29, 2004

    Strange but True

    John Searles has created a second successful novel. STRANGE BUT TRUE is anything but 'strange', it is mesmerizing! It is a story of lives affected by events at and following a high school graduation Prom. Ronnie Chase, girlfriend Melissa, her twin sister Tracy, and date Chaz hire a limousine to deliver them to and from the Inn where the celebration is held. Philip Chase is living with his mother Charlene in the Pennsylvania suburbs, while recuperating from a fall off a balcony of his New York City apartment. Melissa phones Philip and Charlene then pays them a visit, first since five years past. The news she has to deliver stuns Philip and receives a venomous reaction from Charlene. Melissa is nine months pregnant. Through visitations to a psychic and in answer to her prayers, Melissa believes the conception is Ronnie's baby. She has only had sexual intercourse one time with one person and that is Ronnie Chase on the night of the Prom. However, Ronnie died almost five years ago. He was killed in a tragic accident when the limousine crashed into a thick oak tree on the return trip taking the foursome home. The limo driver had a high level of alcohol in his system. Full of loneliness and sadness, Melissa is estranged from her parents, living in a cottage, and has received a notice to vacate because of unpaid rent. Landlords Gail and Bill Erwin appear to be happily married, even though Gail has been disappointed in a few previous marriages and Bill is an ex-policeman who was asked to leave his job. Richard Chase, Ronnie's father, and second wife Holly live in Florida. Richard harbors a secret from the past. Charlene is an embittered ex-wife and mother grieving for her dead son. Along with Ronnie's 1979 Mercedes in the garage, Charlene keeps Ronnie's bedroom locked enshrined like a museum. Formerly a librarian, Charlene visits the town library. As she steps into the lobby, 'she is overcome by one simple thing: the smell of books.' Philip loves reading and writing poetry. He has always known that his brother was the favored son. He overheard a conversation in which Charlene said '¿ the wrong son died'. Searles delivers poetic essence in STRANGE BUT TRUE. In one instance he writes, 'The wind¿ has died off, leaving the woods around the three small houses in a perfect hush.' With intended humor, the author also writes of Charlene speaking to Philip, '¿watching too much TV will make your brain rot'. Searles's style of storytelling encourages readers to linger from beginning to end uniquely blending chapters with the past and the present . The author gives credence to main and sideline characters assigning each a burden of trials, tribulations, and disappointments. STRANGE BUT TRUE is an avid reader's treasure full of astounding surprises. Personification of the cast members is uniquely filled with happiness and sadness, anger and forgiveness, loss and gain, hatred and love, good and evil, but most of all - survival. A story that poetically embraces the emotions - puts a lump in the throat, a tug to the heart, and gives hope for the soul. Every book has a message -- STRANGE BUT TRUE speaks volumes!

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

    Posted August 10, 2004

    Truly Gripping Story

    this was such a good book that i could not put it down for 2 days. the characters each have such important roles in the storyline and they are wonderfully outlined by Mr. Searles. The character of Phillip Chase was brilliantly written. this book truly leaves you wanting more. Good job Searles, you hit it on the nose.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2004

    The Best Ever

    I really didnt read much of the story.But just reading the first chapter of it.It really puts you into the store.I think the writer did a very good job.I cant wait to read the rest.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2004

    awsome

    i haven't picked up a novel to read for fun i years, normally i would read magazines but while reading one of my monthly have to reads from a magazine i read the passage from the book STRANGE BUT TRUE.. and i didn't want to stop reading it then. so it sent me on a search the next day to find the book, i got it and once i started reading i couldn't stop i never wanted to quit reading it. the suspense kept you wonderign what was going to happen next and as it would switch from past to present it kept you interested instead of bored like most books. so i fully recommend this book to every one.

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