Customer Reviews for

The Way Home

Average Rating 3.5
( 27 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted April 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed for Midwest Book Review

    Although Thomas Flynn never attended college, he became a successful entrepreneur. All he wants for his son, Chris, is to see him go to college and succeed in life. But Chris has no interest in school and drifts toward a life of drugs and petty crime. Placed in a juvenile facility until 18, Chris takes a job with his father once he graduates high school. Although Flynn is disappointed in Chris and Chris resents his father's plans for his future, the two learn to work together without conflict. Thomas begins to hope that Chris is maturing and leaving behind the past, but when one of Chris's friends is murdered and Chris begins acting suspiciously, Flynn fears his son has slipped back into the past, to a place he can never leave behind.

    The predominant theme is a character study of two men in a contentious relationship, one not uncommon to many fathers and sons. Through characters and plot, Pelecanos relays his own message concerning juvenile detention centers and rehabilitating young criminals. He adds suspense to the story with the murder of Chris's friend and nicely develops a back story reflecting on Chris's time in the juvenile facility, touching upon the injustices Chris endures in that center as well as his relationship with the other young boys facing the same fate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2014

    Highly recommended ! A very good read.

    What is at stake in this crime novel is the future of youth in trouble in Washington,D.C.. While the main character, Chris, comes from a comfortable, stable home, the others are victims of poverty and neglect. The author brings to the fore their adolescent trials and torments, and their language. Focus is placed as well on the way the State handles these kids, and the novel succeeds, I believe, in bringing what most often takes place behind high walls to public awareness.
    Some fancy stylistic footwork for fast action events, as well as sharp portraits of various emblematic figures across the range of social classes, make for a highly readable Amercian experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Friends and family make a difference.

    My husband bought the book and I read it after him

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Pelecanos delivers a good story as usual

    Pelecanos has a great feel for dialogue and knows how to make us feel sympathy for even questionable characters

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    good read!

    Pelecanos always stresses values. This shows family values and how differences in family values produces problems that then get blamed on race and class.

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  • Posted December 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unusual characters, unpredictable plot - satisfying read!

    The Way Home draws you in quickly and deeply. I couldn't help but sympathize with and become invested in what happened to Chris Flynn and his friend Ben Braswell. Complex and flawed, Chris comes across so clearly and authentically. His regret, his uncertainty and his desire to change make Chris one of the most interesting characters that I've come across in a while. Unlike most of his fellow inmates in the juvenile detention center, Chris came from a supportive middle class family. Upon his release, his parents rallied around him and celebrated his return. They helped train him, find gainful employment and gave him the sense that his life can continue to improve. Part of Chris's sense of disquiet comes from the difference between himself and his fellow inmates. He recognizes that his good fortune and he tries to behave decently to those around him. Chris's best friend Ben had a very different background. Ben's mother had died young from a drug overdose and he'd been in various foster homes until he entered juvenile detention. But since having been released, working for Flynn's Floors with Chris, and with his love of reading, Ben had moved beyond the dark places of his past and "looked forward to learning something new each day."

    The difficult and complicated relationship between Chris and his father Thomas Flynn of Flynn's Floors adds to the complexity and richness of the story. Carefully crafted with the numerous plot twists and unusual characters, The Way Home an unpredictable and satisfying read.

    Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (May 12, 2009), 336 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Way Home

    This is the first time I read this author and have to say that I had a really hard time putting this book down. This is an amazing novel, a page turner from the first few pages to the last page. Mr. Pelecanos makes you feel like you know the characters, like you are right there beside them.
    I am looking forward reading more books by this talented author.

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    excellent novel

    The Way Home by George Pelecanos
    Chris Flynn is a bad kid, always in trouble and disappointing his father. He steals, he does drugs, he skips school, any trouble he can get into. But then Chris gets caught and goes to juvenile detention. After Chris gets out, he tries to live a different life. He goes to work for his father, installing carpets with a friend from juvie, Ben. One day, Chris and Ben are replacing a carpet for a real estate agent that also flips houses. They find a bag hidden in the floor, it contains fifty thousand dollars. Ben wants to take it, but Chris says no. He's been working hard to get his life back on track and win the respect of his Dad. But Ben can't keep his mouth shut and the money disappears. That money belongs to someone and he wants it back. Chris is torn between who he has become and who he used to be.
    This was a really great read, well-written and moved quickly. Part suspense, part social commentary, and part father-son relationships.
    Pelecanos introduces us to Chris's world in juvenile detention and how he and his friends fare in the adult world. And how lucky Chris is to have a family waiting for him after he gets out of jail. Chris's father is disappointed in him, but refuses to give up and is always there for him. Chris is a well-rounded, likable character, and I couldn't help but root for him, hoping he will make the right choices. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it. I think I will be checking out other work by this writer.
    http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pelecanos' newest about redemption and evil

    I've read almost everything George Pelecanos has written over the years. His writing for The Wire for television is first rate. In this new novel and in his last, The Night Gardener, he seems to have put to rest his own past. He deals with redemption and believes it possible but recognizes some are so flawed, so damaged, they are not salvageable. This is a novel about a father and a son who matures. He knows the real DC, a world unrelated to the political realm and government and knows soul music like few others I have read. There is less about music but he is a keen observer of real people with real problems and issues. He is comfortable discussing race and his characters live in a real world with tension and racism and deep friendship and community. This is excellent and moving writing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Is It The Right Way?

    This modest book about troubled families and troubled teens is an interesting read, yet offers little new on the subjects at hand. I did enjoy reading the copy which I paid for, as no publishers send me advance copies. There are plenty worse books out there, so if you have an interest in the subject matter, buy your copy today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

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