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Becoming Paperback – June 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolis Ink (June 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0646492160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0646492162
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,739,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Review: Becoming by Mark Lichterman
February 12, 2010 by workinggirlreviews Becoming: A Chronicle of Metamorphosis

By Mark Lichterman

Metropolis Ink (June 15, 2008)  

Amazon Buy Link: amazon.com/Becoming-Mark-Lichterman/dp/0646492160

"Do you remember your radio and "Captain Midnight," "The Lone Ranger," "Junior Miss" and "Let's Pretend"? The first time you inhaled a cigarette? Your first swallow of hard liquor? The thrill of the first exploration of the body of your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife... your own body? Your first orgasm? Remember when as a people we loved America, and showed it? Then you might be ready for a nostalgic, funny, romantic, sexually frustrating novel. A novel that may remind many of us of ourselves, "way back then," when God's most mysterious creation was the opposite sex. A novel about life and the often funny, sometimes sad, day-to-day things that stir the memories of our lives..."

The above is a quote from the blurb for Mark Lichterman's Becoming and I put it there because it so aptly describes the novel. When I decided to review this book, I was worried because number one, I rarely have time to sit down and read a book as long as this one and two, because I stupidly felt I'd never be able to connect with anything in it. I'm female, Christian, grew up in the country, and the time period was before my time. I was wrong, wrong, wrong! The subject matter is timeless, the characters so genuine they jump from the pages and into your heart, and being the mother of boys--I could even relate to the male point of view.

The story begins in 1939 on Chicago's west side and follows five-year-old Mitchie for the next seventeen years of his life. A true coming of age story told in graphic detail. And the humor--did I mention the humor? I found myself laughing out loud many times. I especially loved when the humor came at a time when it was totally unexpected, the way it is in 'real life'. I can't say all I'd like to say about the book because it needs to be experienced first hand and I don't want to spoil that experience for the reader by saying too much.

Mr. Lichterman is a talented storyteller with a beautifully unique writing style and strong voice. His characters are delightfully flawed, giving them an unsurpassed charm and authentic quality. Becoming transcends all gender, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds, so no matter where you're coming from, if you love truly great coming of age stories, give this one a try.

My one complaint is I felt the book ended too soon. Yes, even at 736 pages, I was sad when reading that last page and know these characters will be with me for a long time.

-Willow

 

About the Author

About Mark Lichterman
"Would you like to have
Santa come down
your filthy chimney?"
This was the heading on a flyer I made
for my company "The Flue Bug Chimney
Sweep" in 1982 that became the thought
that prompted my writing of The Climbing
Boy.
As tedious as writing, re-writing and
self-editing may be, I found these to be
the simple, the fun, the enjoyable parts of
writing.
In 1984, after finishing the rewriting
and self-editing, I began the task of finding
an agent or a publisher for The Climbing
Boy. Writer's Market became my bible.
After hundreds upon hundreds of
queries, each including a stamped and
self-addressed envelope (this was before I
discovered computers), and after receiving
hundreds upon hundreds of rejections, I
discovered the Catch-22 of the publishing
industry: agents will not look at a new
writer unless he/she has been published,
and publishers will not look at a new
writer unless he/she has an agent.
But I had discovered that writing had
become a very enjoyable and important
part of my life, so as I continued to look for
an agent or a publisher for The Climbing
Boy, in 1986 I began Captain Midnight
and the Toothpaste Thief, which I later
renamed Becoming.
Lo and behold, after twenty-two years
of trying, and nearly giving up, Metropolis
Ink agreed to publish The Climbing Boy
and, four years later, Becoming.
Thank you Kurt and David for taking
Zachariah, Mitchell and their worlds
out of the dark box they had lived in for
twenty-two years.

More About the Author


After hundreds upon hundreds of queries, each including a "SASE", a self -addressed, stamped envelope (this was before my time with computers), and after receiving hundreds upon hundreds of rejections, I discovered the Catch-22 of the publishing industry: agents will not look at a new writer unless he/she has been published, and publishers will not look at a new writer unless he/she has an agent.

But I had discovered that writing had become a very enjoyable and important part of my life. So as I continued to look for an agent or a publisher for The Climbing Boy, in 1986 I began Captain Midnight and the Toothpaste Thief, which I later renamed Becoming.

Lo and behold, after twenty-two years of trying and never giving up The Climbing Boy was published in 2004. Four years later, Becoming was published and two years afterwards, For Better or Worse was published in 2010.

To further add to the rewards of "never giving up," a contract was drawn and signed between a Burbank, California production company and myself late in 2010 for a film production of The Climbing Boy with the thought of making my novel into an everlasting, ongoing Christmas classic.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Renetta Randy on September 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderfully well written it paints a life picture at times through eyes of both humor and disappointment. I was reared in the rural south but this work transcends ethnic and geographic boundaries so that we can easily identify with Mitch, especially in his quest to lose his virginity. Mark's wit and great sense of humor comes through in a style that holds ones attention long after putting down his book. You just know this has to be Mark's story and that of those who experienced life with him. This is indeed a book worth reading for the sheer enjoyment of remembering the way we were and those people who made it interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Magoun on June 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
As one raised in a Chicago neighborhood around the same time Lichterman grew up in his, I found this coming-of-age novel very reminiscent of my own childhood and adolescence. However, to enjoy this book, one needn't be from Chicago (or Peoria, for that matter), nor a child of the same era. The scenes, characters, experiences, relationships, conversations and events in this book are vividly and brilliantly depicted in a way that will awaken fond, fearful, and passionate memories in the reader fortunate enough to acquire this gem of a book. It is a poignant, humorous and timeless tale that moves along at a satisfying pace.
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By Jude24 on July 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I found myself wanting this book to end so much, yet I kept reading. There is certainly some great insight into the awakening of a boy on a journey to adulthood. The sexual obsession is described well, but it is the only real theme of this long story. While hitting the target describing a boy's awakening, I am pretty sure the author used mens magazines to do his research on adolescent girls. Some moments are touching, some are funny, and some are ridiculously implausible. I don't know what became of his best friend, but twice I get to hear about his adventure of defecating on a bird? Some interesting sub-plots are sidelined to make more room for the only real story here. The crescendo leads to; Can he get her to cuss? Will he ever get to...well if you must know, trudge your way to the end. I expect this first read from this author will be my last. Not terrible, but I wish I had invested this time in something else.
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By David Wilkins on June 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
You just know the author either lived next door or maybe on the next block `cause
that's the way things were growing up in the late 30s, 40s and into the `50s. There was no TV showing "things" or a computer to "Google" what a boy needs to know. It was just day-to-day wonderment and exasperation to face.
The story was so close to my younger years that I started to bet myself that he would add other happenings of my life, and he sometimes did.
O! The fun, anger, bitter joys of your growing years that the author brought back.
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