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Posted December 9, 2008
warm Yuletide family drama
In 1952 seventeen and a half years old Pete is going home to spend Christmas with his parents, in realty mom as dad is never there for him, until he ships out to Korea as a sailor. Before leaving for the small war, Pete wishes he could help his beloved mom with money that she does not have, but still uses to decorate the Brooklyn apartment just for him. He also wants to come to grips with his two failed relationships before shipping to the war zone. Recently his girlfriend Kathleen sent him a Dear John letter while he was at boot camp and he never has had anything to do with his brusque father Billy. --- Pete quickly realizes that Kathleen has met someone else so he knows that relationship is over. Billy continues to act like his son is an inconvenient stranger until Pete decides to go into the lion¿s lair. On Christmas Eve, he shocks himself as much as his dad when he visits his father¿s only hangout, the neighborhood bar Rattigan's, for the first time. There he begins to see a different side to the always tired and snippy factory worker who sired him as they drink the night away together. --- This reprint of a 1970s warm Yuletide family drama remains current perhaps because our leaders still send our working class (and disadvantaged) youths to war. Though at times a bit schmaltzy the story line provides a powerful look at Brooklyn during the early 1950s, but does so through the interrelationships or lack of between Pete and his parents. Fans will hope that Pete gets THE GIFT he so much desires in life that his father calls him ¿son¿. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2005
I read 'The Gift' in Nov 1979 when I was getting ready to get out of the Army at Ft Sill, Oklahoma. The next week the TV movie version came out with Glenn Ford and Julie Harris. The book is a true masterpiece. It tells of coming-of-age, gain and loss. I am glad it will be coming out again. Pete proves himself as being a master of prose. Thanks, Pete. Neil RiceWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.