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At the Table of Want Paperback – October 21, 2009
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At the Table of Want is a coming-of-age story that is so much more than one young man's journey into adulthood. Truman's experiences, thoughts, feelings, and struggles become the reader's own.
We are more than merely ourselves; we belong to the world and those who live on it, making us who we are. I feel not only that I better know this "kid from New Jersey" at the end of this novel, but I better know myself.-- Laura Wurtzel, Allentown High School, Allentown, NJ
...By the end of the novel, I feel like I know Truman. I sympathize with his struggles. I understand his motivations. His scars, both physical and emotional, remind me of how we learn and what it means to be human. --Cheryl Chambliss, English Department, Allentown High School, U.F.R.S.D.
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
* 5 stars are reserved for works that reach the level of a Steinbeck, Mark Twain, etc.
* 4 stars from me are very high praise, meaning outstanding & highly recommended.
* 3 stars means I enjoyed the book and recommend it, with some reservations
At the Table of Want by Larry Kimport is a five-star story. I've read only one other book this year that earned five stars and that was 600 Hours of Edward, a novel by Craig Lancaster. I may have given five stars to books I read and reviewed prior to adopting Alice Wakefield's rating system in June 2009, but those reads are four-star books, all of them.
After I started reading At the Table of Want, it was a struggle not to drop everything else and read nonstop. Hooked, I was, but I managed to resist the urge to throw everything else aside, like my marriage, putting out the trash, eating and sleeping, and only read late at night or early in the morning for a limited time. Still, I finished Kimport's novel in record time, and I often thought of the story during the day. Each night as I picked up the book, it was like that slice of apple pie after not having one for several months.
Truman Kramer is the main character. He is orphaned young and ends up being raised by his loving Aunt Mabel, a widow. However, the story doesn't start with Truman's childhood. Chapter 1 starts in 1980 at 35,000 feet in a wide-bodied 747. Truman is on his way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, because he joined the Peace Corps soon after high school graduation.
The other Peace Corps volunteers, mostly college graduates, are of the opinion that Truman will be one of the first to quit and return home.Read more ›
Through his journaling Truman reveals vivid scenes of hardship as he undertakes an assignment in Malaysia through the Peace Corps and through the letters written to him by the wife of a local merchant, a love affair begins for a young man, who has never even kissed a girl. In creating his task of refurbishing a school/home, which is little more than an old, empty shell of a garage, Truman begins the task of recreating himself and the healing of this deeply wounded soul begins. Kimport offers in his novel a gritty realism not often found in coming of age novels. Its authenticity of setting and character is memorable, and I found myself thinking about Truman long after I had read the final chapter.
At the Table of Want