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And You Know You Should Be Glad: A True Story of Lifelong Friendship Hardcover – May 2, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1ST edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060881933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060881931
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,352,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestselling author Greene (Duty) has filled a shelf with two dozen books, including his 1993 novel All Summer Long, while appearing as a broadcast journalist (Nightline) and writing for newspapers (the Chicago Tribune) and magazines (Life). Now he looks back on his youth in Bexley, Ohio (pop. 13,000), where he and his four pals grew up together, calling themselves ABCDJ (for Allen, Bob, Chuck, Dan and Jack). Their lives' paths diverged, but they always stayed in contact; in 2004, the news that Jack was terminally ill reunited them. Then and now, the group used jokes "to hide our feelings—to pretend to feel nothing... [which] seemed much better than the alternative." Greene met Jack in kindergarten, and they remained best friends for life. Remembering people and places they shared, the two revisit old haunts, discovering that their beloved Toddle House, where they once went for late-night chocolate pie, is now a Pizza Plus. Greene's repetitive, rambling free associations recall everything from his Halloween costume and old songs to ice cream parlors, state fairs and clothing fads. Unfortunately, the author's dusty attic of lost Americana is cluttered with clichés, nostalgia and overly sentimental yearnings. (May 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Nostalgic. . . . Endearing. . . . Quotably philosophical.” (Library Journal)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 51 customer reviews
You're going to want to send one to your best friend.
Michael Kelly
If you went to Bishop Hartley, or Bexley or Eastmoor it will bring back great memories about the time.
Karen Moss
Greene is the only author good enough to make me laugh and cry in the same read.
Kenneth Heard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Posner on May 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is about the friendship of 5 men that started when they were in elementary school. Greene has written about these friendships in Be True to Your School. This book deals with the events leading up to the death of one of the friends. The love that these 5 men had for each other over a 50 year span is astounding. I cried while I was reading the book because I was jealous of the depth of the friendships. While I have friends now that I love as deeply as Bob Greene did his friends, none of the relationships go back as far as elementary school. I also cried because of the magical weaving of Greene's words as he described the innocence of life in the suburbs in the 1950's and 1960's when nobody locked their doors and Moms were at home baking cookies. I read half the book straight through before I had to put it down because I was sobbing too deeply to continue. I had to wait a few days to gather the strength to go back to it because I knew how much the ending would effect me. After reading this book, the memories of one's own childhood come flooding back in a way one never thought possible. And wile some memories are sad, it is still wonderful to have them.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Peter Frost on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I just love this book. It's moving, funny, and a great story. I read Green's BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL when it was a bestseller some years ago, and this is just as good because it talks about some of the same people. But you don't have to have read that book to read this one. It's its own thing. Every character in this book comes alive -- especially Jack Roth. What a great guy! Yes, this book is sad in places, but it leaves you with a profound feeling of about how important it is to have friends, and what they mean to us.

Everyone should read this book -- men and women. I wish there were more books published like this.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kelly on May 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It was touching and heart-felt and really brought me into the lives of these men. There are sad parts, but it's more life affirming than anything else. It's like Tuesdays With Morrie, but well-written.

Save yourself the time and buy two copies right now. One for you, one for your best friend. You're going to want to send one to your best friend.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sara Shutts on May 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Not for Bob Greene, but for Jack Roth. In Be True Your School, Greene's diary of 1964, he outlines the various misadventures of his best friends, who call themselves ABCDJ, (Allen, Bob, Dan, Chuck and Jack). This book tells some of how life has turned out for them (though it is deliberately vague about Greene himself) and is like catching up with old friends of your own. Greene's book is sentimental, and does hammer in some points a little too often, mostly about how the modern world doesn't have the same charms of their 1950's and 1960's childhood. It's still worth a read. Jack Roth was obviously a very nice man and Greene does his best to pay him tribute. The book is also a valuable reminder that nothing and no one is forever, and that your time with your friends should be cherished, as it may pass all too quickly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's one of those books that make you want to tell everyone about it; a book that you take to read while getting your hair done; a book that makes you forget reading the newspaper in the morning because you just want to get back to it. A book that you don't want to end but you can't stop flipping the pages. A book that makes you want to talk a walk around your home town with your best friend, to remember.

This book made me want to call my best friend of 25 years, Will, for a good long chat or to meet at Armbruster's for a steak and baked potato. To tell him that my life would be so very colorless without him.

Will. My best friend. Will put the family dog down when no one else could do it. I remember getting the call ten years ago when there was incredulity in his voice, "Sarah, my Dad died." I remember him taking me through the steps when my Dad died just a couple of years later, selecting the clothes, helping me writing the death announcement, picking out the casket with a firm hand behind my back as I went through the motions like a Zombie. Friends. Oldest friends. Best friends.

A best friend that you could mail this book to without comment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Larry Rochelle on January 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Bob Greene captures the intimacy of male bonding in his lovingly-told tale, AND YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD BE GLAD.

A master of the small but significant moment in our lives, Greene captures the atmosphere of Bexley, Ohio, during his childhood, especially the times five teenage friends hung out together in the old, familiar neighborhood.

We take for granted the small moments, the little jokes, the special phrases and mannerisms of our friends, he asserts. Each of his five friends (the ABCDJ printed on the back cover brick) have different outlooks, and their differences are cherished.

When they reach late middle-age, one of the gang, J on the brick, takes sick and Greene relates the poignant memories this illness brings forth in all of them. The old Toddle House stirs up old conversations, the Beatles are remembered fondly, and cars, girls and football deserve special mention in this coming-of-age memoir.

Greene masters these nostalgic moments, he brings tears to our eyes, and he makes Bexley seem like our home town.

Thanks, Bob

by Larry Rochelle, author of the memoir, GHOSTLY EMBERS: VISIONS OF TOLEDO, OHIO
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