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Forgiveness (James A. Michener Fiction Series) Hardcover – February 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: James A. Michener Fiction Series
  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; 1ST edition (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292716699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292716698
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,831,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Grimsley's hollow fantasy of upper-middle-class homicide has little to do with forgiveness. Three years after being laid off from his senior job at Arthur Anderson, Charley Stranger can no longer support the haute California lifestyle he and his spoiled, Botoxed wife, Carmine, are used to. Carmine wants a divorce, knowing Charley is no longer bothering to look for work, though it takes a visit from their obese banker son, Frankie, to realize the true extent of the financial damage. The fights are nasty: Carmine tells Charley he looks like "[o]ne of the fucking Teletubbies.... the purple one, the grey one." Meanwhile, Charley rehearses his violent thoughts in imaginary exchanges with famous actresses and interviewers like Barbara Walters, and in running sitcom scripts that chronicle years' of the family's mutual scorn. When Charley actually kills Carmine and Frank, the murders are described in some detail—as part of a literary tongue-in-cheek, of course. Grimsley's tale is a single-minded, scathingly unfunny look at American materialism. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

Charlie has been unemployed for three years, and his wife, Carmine--whom he thinks has been out of work ever since their wedding 25 years ago, busy with cosmetic surgery (never mind that she raised their son and daughter)--is fed up with his sloth, his drinking, and their impending poverty. The last is relative, since she drives a late-model Lexus, and he hasn't let the maid go. After Carmine announces she's planning a divorce, Charlie spends three days drunk in the pool house and decides to murder her so spectacularly that he'll be interviewed by the likes of Katie Couric (in particular), who'll ask whether homicide has changed his life. He also plans a Lifetime movie, Breakdown at Midnight. In Grimsley's smoothly executed, grimly humorous satire, things ultimately turn savagely icy for this "failed wreck" of an accountant who aspires to renown "of a peculiar character, since it must earn for [him] all the bounty of fame and celebrity without the appearance of seeking to do so." Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Travis Ann Sherman VINE VOICE on March 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Grimsley's Charley Stranger rants, bitches and moans against his universe and his family with a fresh, real verisimilitude that really clicks over the pages of this slender and very funny novel. I've read my share of chick lit, and at first glance this viciously amusing book would appear to be a male version of the genre. Charley's wife is a woman so evil Dell Comics could use her as a supervillain. Charley himself is a very big kid, dreaming about being in love with the Asian actress in a TV car commercial, eating too much, drowning in vodka, and exchanging nasty insults with his wife at the kitchen table because neither has a job or any intention of getting one. Charley is undersexed, small of penis, his sexuality somewhat indeterminate.

But just when you think you can settle comfortably in Charley's fantasy world and come out with some insights into male humor, Grimsley does what chick lit authors so rarely do. He delivers. He follows the flaws of his human character all the way out to their logical end. What do I know about literature? But Forgiveness felt like a very great book indeed, fresh and new and bitingly funny in its conception and barreling towards a conclusion that left me reeling.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Liz Cary on July 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Not only was this book ugly and unoriginal, the myriad lexographical errors were supremely annoying. The narrator wants to take care of something "quietly and discretely" and he also has a "waddle" under his chin. Puzzling inconsistencies in the timeframe are the result, I'm convinced, of laziness and are not intentional. This book feels like it was written over a long weekend. Don't waste your time.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Noley on June 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not need this book to be like Grimsley's novel _My Drowning_, which I loved. But I did need this book to be good. All of the lyrical imagery and compelling character voice of _My Drowning_ is absent here, and its hole is filled with drab, angry, purposeless characters and plot. Yes, I get the indictment of popular culture going on in _Forgiveness_, but who cares if I can't stand to be in the same room with this narrator and his wife? This novella is by no means literary fiction and by no means good.
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