My Father's Scar

My Father's Scar

4.6 5
by Michael Cart
     
 

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During his first year of college, Andy Logan struggles to find his footing in a strange new world. As Andy struggles to come to terms with his past and with his future, we are taken on a journey through his young life. Rarely does a writer capture the essence of this journey so acutely. In his dazzling first novel, Michael Cart mixes pathos and humor to evoke Andy's

Overview

During his first year of college, Andy Logan struggles to find his footing in a strange new world. As Andy struggles to come to terms with his past and with his future, we are taken on a journey through his young life. Rarely does a writer capture the essence of this journey so acutely. In his dazzling first novel, Michael Cart mixes pathos and humor to evoke Andy's coming of age and search for love.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"My Father's Scar takes us deep into Andy Logan's mind and heart through finely crafted metaphor and visceral drama. Like Andy who loves literature and long runs, the prose of this book is both poetic and full of physical energy." —Francesca Lia Block

"Andy's voice is authentic, and he is surrounded by well-realized minor characters...intense, but blessed with flashes of humor." —Library Journal

"Andy's growing awareness of his gayness is handled well, with action and dialogue revealing to reader what Andy hasn't full recognized in himself...emotionally satisfying...a sensitive tale." --Kirkus Magazine

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cart (From Romance to Realism), a YA columnist for Booklist and former librarian, joins the rank of YA novelists with a courageous if not entirely successful story about a gay youth's coming-of-age. A college freshman in 1969 or '70, Andy Logan has a crush on his high-profile literature professor; meanwhile, the professor's teaching assistant seems to have a crush on Andy. As relationships advance (primarily through the trading of literary quips), Andy flashes back to pivotal moments in his adolescence. He sees himself as a fat and bookish 12-year-old, bullied by classmates and the object of his own father's disgust; he recalls his bookish great-uncle, the object of Andy's grandmother's disgust; he remembers a charismatic older classmate who is viciously beaten after publicly announcing that he's gay; he describes his senior-year romance with a high school football player. Despite many memorable turns of phrase, the episodic structure undermines the cohesiveness of the plot. As Andy skids from turning point to turning point, the other characters are left to play theatrical roles, from quaint old men who speak to each other in Latin, to Andy's brutal, alcoholic father. On the other hand, the Ugly Duckling motif of the intellectual outcast who eventually finds acceptance, admiration and love is bound to win a sympathetic reading from like-minded teens, straight or gay. Ages 12-up. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-College freshman Andy is smart and fit, but he's a loner haunted by memories of an awkward adolescence in a small town in the `60s. In chapter-length flashbacks, readers learn that Andy's father, a drunken former football hero (his scar is a result of his aggressive playing style), hated his chubby son's love of reading. "What the hell's wrong with him?" he would say. But reclusive Uncle Charles, a poet and scholar, encouraged Andy to "value your differences." Then, when Andy's only friend was driven from town after publicly declaring himself homosexual, Andy secretly realized that he, too, was gay. The convincing first-person narrative moves easily from the present, in which Andy craves acceptance from a pompous professor but captures the attention of a gay T.A., to his recollections of the early relationships that shaped him. Characterization is the strong suit here. Andy's voice is authentic, and he is surrounded by well-realized minor characters. Sex occurs but is not described. This is Cart's first novel, intense but blessed with flashes of humor. The novel shows a psychological passage that will seem familiar to anyone who has collided with rigid adult expectations that threaten self-esteem.-Claudia Morrow, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Andy Logan is a college man recalling his childhood and the formative incidents of his teenage years, when he was isolated from both family and peers by his weight, his intellect, and his love for books. He discovers running and conquers the weight problem—but knows he'll never please his bullying, alcoholic father. When an older boy, Evan, whom Andy deeply admires, comes out, the swift and brutal reaction of the townspeople reveals the depth of their anti-gay prejudice. Andy can't go public about his own homosexuality, but he suffers from hiding his true self.

Andy's growing awareness of his gayness is handled well, with action and dialogue revealing to readers what Andy hasn't fully recognized in himself. Cart's first novel does a good job of characterization, lifting the book beyond the category of a problem novel, although Evan's coming-out scene isn't quite credible (the reaction of the community is). The emotionally satisfying conclusion wraps up a sensitive tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312181376
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/15/1998
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.48(d)

What People are saying about this

Francesca Lia Block
"'My Father's Scar' takes us deep into Andy Logan's mind and heart through finely crafted metaphor and visceral drama. Like Andy, who loves literature and long runs, the prose of this book is both poetic and fully of physical energy."
From the Publisher
"My Father's Scar takes us deep into Andy Logan's mind and heart through finely crafted metaphor and visceral drama. Like Andy who loves literature and long runs, the prose of this book is both poetic and full of physical energy." —Francesca Lia Block

"Andy's voice is authentic, and he is surrounded by well-realized minor characters...intense, but blessed with flashes of humor." —Library Journal

"Andy's growing awareness of his gayness is handled well, with action and dialogue revealing to reader what Andy hasn't full recognized in himself...emotionally satisfying...a sensitive tale." --Kirkus Magazine

Meet the Author

Michael Cart is a member of the American Library Association and reviews books for The York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Los Angeles.

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My Father's Scar 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
'My Father's Scar' is a great novel!!! The book is very easy to read and understand. I was just reflecting on the content of this book -- thinking about all the adventures that young Andy took me through; and all the pain and dissapointments. He was abused and bullied. He gained love and lost it many times. Just when his world was really going to collide -- as a comments' impact to the earth--a true Angel opened His wings and rescued him from his fate... In truth, this book has the beauty of love and emotions that will leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book. I read it for a psychology course in college and fell in love with the novel. Anyone can relate to Andy, whether you are gay or not. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading in general, or needs some self-confidence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book makes me feel like I can relate to what the young man is going thru. If you read this book and do not end up feeling conected to it in some way; there is something wrong with you or you did not understand what you were reading because this book is excellent and I recomend it to ev