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Shelter: One Man's Journey from Homelessness to Hope
     

Shelter: One Man's Journey from Homelessness to Hope

by Bobby Burns, David Snow (Foreword by)
 

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A remarkably faithful adaptation of J. K. Rowling's bestselling children's novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone brings its characters vividly to life and presents their supernatural adventures with verve and imagination. Director Chris Columbus (Bicentennial Man) hews closely if not slavishly to Rowling's original,

Overview

A remarkably faithful adaptation of J. K. Rowling's bestselling children's novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone brings its characters vividly to life and presents their supernatural adventures with verve and imagination. Director Chris Columbus (Bicentennial Man) hews closely if not slavishly to Rowling's original, but his few embellishments enhance the yarn's cinematic effectiveness. Daniel Radcliffe is enormously appealing as Harry, the wistful and gifted orphan whose life changes radically when he is accepted into the Hogwarts School for aspiring young wizards. Accompanied by new friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), the bespectacled sorcerer-in-training makes a name for himself and figures prominently in the perilous search for a long-lost talisman. Fans of Rowling's books will be delighted with the film's visualizations of their favorite Potter people, including headmaster Dumbledore (Richard Harris), professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith), and gamekeeper Hagrid ({|Robbie Coltrane|}). The special effects are truly dazzling, but Columbus doesn't rely solely on virtuoso visuals to thrill his viewers; he takes time to flesh out the characters and imbue their surroundings with the proper mystical atmosphere. Ultimately, what he creates isn't just a rousing fantasy film -- it's a unique, magical little world that will envelop and entrance all who venture near.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There are fine details and anecdotes in his thin and modest journal. . . . sincere and finally quite touching." —Publishers Weekly"[A] fascinating, first-hand account of life as a homeless person. . . . a compelling view of what it's like to be homeless." —Booklist
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This Bobbie Burns is no poet, but there are fine details and anecdotes in his thin and modest journal of 41 days in a Tucson, Ariz., homeless shelter. "Feeling like reading, I go to the library. I notice an old man reading a book in the corner. He's wearing mismatched shoes. I think this is all he can afford, but someone tells me the man refuses to wear matching shoes. No one knows why." An Army vet and college graduate, Burns gives us too-quick glimpses of the shelter, his background and how he painstakingly saves up his money from substitute-teaching--mainly at a reservation 50 miles outside of Tucson--to be able to rent his own apartment. (Unfortunately, as his epilogue tells us, on his own, he slides back into alcoholism before going to Alcoholics Anonymous.) Habitually cautious in his judgments of others, he tells of a shelter client who becomes infuriated about the theft of his watch. When the client offers a reward for its return, someone comes forward with it; the "finder" receives a handshake. This scene evokes one of Burns's rare but useful generalizations on the homeless experience: "Keeping time is what most homeless people do best--with or without a watch. Time to work. Time to find food. Time to find shelter. Time to move on. Time to panhandle. Time to drink away the pain. Time to stay warm. Time to ask for help. The homeless know what time it is. It's time to survive." While neither is as compelling or illuminating as Timothy E. Donohue's In the Open: Diary of a Homeless Alcoholic or Lee Stringer's recent Grand Central Winter: Stories from the Street, Shelter is sincere and finally quite touching. 11-city shelter tour. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
A Filofax view of 41 days in a homeless shelter. Burns is a college graduate and the editor of an NAACP newsletter, as well as assistant director of an alcohol-recovery program in Tucson, Ariz. It was in that city that he stepped off the bus with some money in his pocket and a history of medical, drug, and alcohol problems. The shelter where he checked in had more than 100 men packed into metal bunk beds in the sleeping area; the bathroom boasted of two urinals and two toilets (without doors), plus six showers and six sinks to serve all these clients. Distressed by the crowded conditions, the odors, and the mix of ill and addicted men, Burns, a navy veteran, nevertheless caught on quickly to the shelter's routine: up at 5:30 a.m. to turn in laundry, breakfast at 6:00, a rush to the shelter bus for the trip downtown to apply for benefits, look for a job, see a counselor. Unless excepted for one reason or another, shelter residents had to be out of the building between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each weekday and back for dinner, unless the shelter was informed otherwise. This was the shape of Burns's days for the next six weeks, as recorded in the journal he kept. He seems to have recorded complete menus of what was served for dinner, as well as detailed notes on his evenings in the shelter. He eavesdropped on intake interviews, read, fretted about contagious diseases, and did his share of clean-up. The schedule and structure helped him to stay sober, although others smoked, did drugs, and drank, sometimes tipping the fragile equilibrium among the residents. Later, on his own, Burns began to drink again, but recovered and moved on to a productive life. Burns is to becommended for hanging tough and pulling through, but these recollections contribute little more than a menu- by-menu tableau of life in a shelter.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816518616
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Publication date:
10/01/1998
Pages:
125
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Bobby Burns lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he works as Assistant Director for an alcohol recovery program and teaches high school part-time. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Primavera Foundation, a non-profit advocacy group for the homeless, and is the editor of The Sojourner, a bimonthly newsletter for the Tucson NAACP. His writings on homelessness have been published in the Arizona Daily Star, the Arizona Republic, and the Tucson Citizen.

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