The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell: A Novel

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell: A Novel

by Robert Dugoni


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503948976
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,497
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series, including My Sister’s Grave, Her Final Breath, In the Clearing, The Trapped Girl, and Close to Home. The Crosswhite Series has sold more than 2,500,000 books worldwide, and My Sister’s Grave has been optioned for television series development. Dugoni is also the author of the bestselling David Sloane series, which includes The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder One, and The Conviction; the stand-alone novels The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, The 7th Canon, and Damage Control; and the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year; as well as several short stories. He is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction and the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel in the Pacific Northwest. He is a two-time finalist for both the International Thriller Award and the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and has been nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award. His books are sold worldwide in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than two dozen languages, including French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Visit his website at, and follow him on Twitter @robertdugoni and on Facebook at

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The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
KrittersRamblings 7 months ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings After reading this book and describing it to another person, my final statement was - "It's just good solid fiction. A little bit of drama, a little bit of heart and a great story." And I stand by that. This book is just a good solid story. Sam Hill was born with red eyes and they will define him his entire life. From grade school to adulthood these feature of his will alter his life decisions and make him become the man he does.
NovelKim More than 1 year ago
Samuel Hill starts the story while he is half naked, sitting in a doctor’s office waiting to have a vasectomy. OK that got my attention. Effectively written in the first person, the narrative moves from decade to decade and experience to experience. Samuel Hill is born with ocular albinism, a genetic defect affecting the pigmentation of the eyes. He looks different, very different. His greatest supporters are two other children who are outcasts for their own reasons. Ernie Cantrell and Michaela Kennedy will remain in the story throughout as will David Freemon and Sister Beatrice, who are his nemeses. Madeline Hill, Sam’s mother is a devout Catholic, Sam’s greatest advocate and the true definition of a righteous soul, his father by trade is a pharmacist and the best example of what a father should be. This is a simple story about a child with an unusual appearance who is treated badly by so many but is never totally defeated. It is also a story about faith and the ability to soldier on. I kept trying to decide what this book was ultimately trying to say. The AHA moment arrived as I reached the end and the Author’s comments. The writing is seamless and near to perfection.
jdowell More than 1 year ago
Loved the story! Sam Hill is born with ocular albinism - he has red eyes. Now I've never heard of anyone with red eyes so I had to look it up and I couldn't find anything that said someone with this problem would have red eyes, so I guess it is just inventive or maybe I didn't do enough research. Anyway, having red eyes caused Sam to be bullied and teased all the time. Other kids at his Catholic elementary school in Burlingame, California, called him the "devil boy" and "Sam Hell" and played mean pranks on him. Sam only made one friend, Ernie Cantwell, who was also ostracized at school because he was the only black child in the school. Rober Dugoni is the worst bully in the school and Sam is afraid of him. Sam's very religious mother always told him that he was extraordinary and special to explain his red eyes. This is the story of Sam's life and how he comes to terms with his unusual condition. The characterization and the plot are very good and the story moved at a good pace. At times it's a very emotional book and I felt empathy for Sam and what he was enduring. Thanks to Robert Dugoni and Lake Union Publishing through Netgalley for an advance copy.
Laeljeanne More than 1 year ago
Ocular albinism defined Sam Hill’s life, earning him the nickname “Devil Boy” in his private catholic school and his mother’s consistent reassurance that it was “God’s will.” He believed God sent his best friends Ernie, the only black child in the school, and Mickey, a girl who chose to not fit into the school. A tragedy lifts him out of his pragmatic life as an ophthalmologist wearing brown contacts into one of atonement in a developing country. He removes the contacts in an epiphany of self-acceptance. This story lays out the life of a boy who cannot embrace his difference, despite the support of family and friends. It’s clear to the reader that he has better options than the ones he chooses, but often that’s true of anyone. Challenges complicate life, and not everyone rises to the challenge, and that’s okay. Self-acceptance is a struggle for most, and especially for those with a unique appearance and a quiet demeanor. I’m fortunate to have received an ARC through NetGalley of this wonderful story.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is a book that tells the story of a young boy bullied in school, protected by his mother, made to be a man by his father, and loved by his true friends. I found it unique that it was a story told by the main character in both the present time and the past. The present time was telling the story of his youth so the reader was able to see how the past shaped the man he is today. I loved how protective Sam’s mother was of him. She didn’t shield him from life rather she stood up for him, showed up that although he was “special” he did not deserve to be treated differently, and loved him entirely unconditionally. There were times I wanted him to stand up to her or for her to step back and let him live his life but I also am a big believer that if a parent doesn’t stand up for their child who will. Mrs. Hill proved that to be true. With all my raving on Mrs. Hill do not forget Mr. Hill. He worked hard for his family, stood behind Sam’s choices, and stood up to his wife when it was needed. He taught Sam to be a man and not to be coddled all the time. Mr. Hill was not a hands-off father, he was a dad who loved, protected, and taught important life lessons to his son. I felt like the most important people of the story were Mickie and Ernie. These two were his first friends in school, the friends he kept through his entire life, and the friends that as an adult were still in his corner. These are also the friends that Sam stood up for when things did not go their way, they were true friends. No matter where life took them the three of them kept in contact and maintained their friendships. This is my first Robert Dugoni book but definitely not my last. I started The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell one night and could not put it down. It is a book that I look forward to recommending to my friends.
mweinreich More than 1 year ago
5 most touching extraordinary stars! At times you walk away from a book with feelings and emotions and then an hour, a day, a week later, you have forgotten all that you have read. However, there are some book that when you finish them, you know in your heart that they will never leave you. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell was just so a book. We meet a wonderful cast of characters, characters we would like to know, characters we would love to have as parents, friends, and neighbors, characters that we could love. From Sam, the boy born with red eyes suffering from a rare disease, ocular albinism, nicknamed the devil boy, to his amazing and loving parents we learn as Sam grows the emotional love and concern they share for each other. Sam's friends Ernie and Miki, themselves outcasts, join forces to provide Sam with support and love that he is desperately seeking. Sam is shunned in his Catholic school environment but it is through his mother's strong faith in both Sam and her Catholic faith coupled with his father's wonderful wisdom that Sam grows into adulthood. His road is never easy as he comes against prejudice and hate. He is tormented by his nonacceptance into a world where he is taught that things are God's will. He is belittled, held back, and faced with obstacles that try to defeat the spirit that his parents try so hard to engender in him for they believe that their son is extraordinary and he deserves his extraordinary life. His two lifelong friends bring to Sam love, compassion, and a strong bond that provides him a place to go when his life becomes onerous. This book transported this reader into a world where one can find that which seems to be escaping from our world today, that of human kindness, forgiveness, and love. I can not recommend this book more highly as it brings one a world of peacefulness, tears, love, and the telling of a story that moves one's heart and soul.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I have read many books in the Tracy Crosswhite series and loved them all. Naturally, when I saw Robert Dugoni's name on this book, I didn't even read the description, I just pressed request. Hello, it's Robert Dugoni, has he ever written a bad one? (Not that I know of or have read.) I remember sitting down to read this book, knowing it would be an excellent mystery, suspense. Boy, was I wrong. As I started reading it, however, I was emphatically absorbed in this life of Sam Hill, the boy with red eyes who everyone called "Devil Boy". I was about 77% through (Chapter 27) when I looked up and thought to myself "Robert Dugoni wrote this?". Amazing!! I did not even miss the mystery or suspense I was expecting. I was too busy shedding happy and sad tears and loving reading about Sam Hill's journey. And what a journey it was! Because I always like to know myself, I will say that there were some religious connotations which can sometimes bother me if it's on and on. However, in this instance, I didn't have a problem with any of them. Sam Hill went to a Catholic school and his mother was a very devout Catholic. Of course, there are going to be some religious parts in the story. However, it wasn't hellfire and brimstone with lots of pages of the gospel. Their religion did play a big part in the story, the mother was always reaching for her rosary, it was just a part of her like anything else, like a tic, a habit. There were also a few sex scenes that were said and done. There was nothing lasting for pages and pages at a time. The scenes were written to help the reader understand just how awkward and behind this very smart boy and then man, was with all this "love stuff". So, nothing fifty shades of anything going on. An excellent read that I tore through and absolutely loved. The author did a tremendous job with the characters and the portrayal of this boy with the red eyes who was born with an unfortunate, predestined future of ridicule and scorn. One which also included changing his name from Sam Hill to Sam Hell in order to mock him. A boy who grew up to be better than everyone else in the book. A true, honest human with lots of empathy and compassion. Giant kudos to the author and thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.