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My Name is Aram (Capuchin Classics) Paperback – May 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Capuchin Classics
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Capuchin Classics; 1 edition (May 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955915635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955915635
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"He has written so charmingly about his immigrant forebears that we are not only glad ours are Americans... but wish they too had been Armenian."--Georgia Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

William Saroyan's most celebrated work of short fiction- a boy's view of the American Dream. Aram Garoghlanian was a Californian, born in Fresno on the other side of the Southern Pacific tracks. But he was also part of a large, sprawling family of immigrant Armenians--a whole tribe of eccentric uncles, brawling cousins, and gentle women. Through these unforgettable, often hilarious characters Aram comes to understand life, courage, and the power of dreams. Whether it is fierce Uncle Khosrove who yells "Pay no attention to it" in any situation, Uncle Melik, who tries to grow pomegranate trees in the desert, or angelic-looking Cousin Arak who gets Arma into classroom scrapes, Aram's visions are shaped and colored by this turn-of-the-century clan. Like Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, William Saroyan's brilliant short stories in My Name Is Aram work together to create a picture of a time, a place, and a boy's world-a truly classic account of an impoverished family newly arrived in America-rich in matters of the heart.

"He has written so charmingly about his immigrant forebears that we are not only glad ours are Americans... but wish they too had been Armenian."--Georgia Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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One of my all-time favorite books.
Karl Rauschelbach
I read this book for the first time over forty years ago.
Richard E. Noble
This is beautiful, understated, storytelling.
Nick Carraway

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a high school student, and we read an excerpt from this book in our literature class. I immediately was intrigued by Saroyan's method of writing and the fact that his novels are autobiographical. This is a story of Aram Garoghlanian, a boy living in Fresno with his large family of Armenian immigrants. Throughout the book, such ideas are touched upon as maturity, honesty, and acceptance. My Name is Aram is a portrait not only of Aram Garoghlanian and William Saroyan himself, but Americans in general. Americans struggle with basic values and ideas everyday, and accepting our eccentric family members is something we learn to do. Saroyan describes small details in hi writing that bring the story to life and open up a new world. Readers will soon realize when they open this novel that each of us holds Aram inside us, whether it means we struggle with the idea of stealing a horse or keeping the families reputation. I strongly recommend this book to anyone.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book is composed of different events that happened in the author's life. It is the life of an Armenian immigrant family in the beautiful San Juaquin Valley. Although, the story is about events that are happening in a particular Armenian family, in reality it is the life all immigrants in America. The stories some how effects all Americans. I am positive that some where in our lifetime we were criticized for a certain cultural trait. It is the story of the ultimate underdog who is determined to succeed. At the same time it is a very fun and easy book to read. I could not put the book down.
Saroyan has to be the best writer to come out of the West. He should have been recognized more for his genius work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lilit Yenokyan on July 3, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a nice small book of short stories which offers a pleasing weekend or evening read. Book is about a young boy by name Aram Garoghlanian and his family, Armenian immigrants living in Fresno, CA. It describes Aram's adventures during his early teenage years and events happening in his great and proud tribe of Garoghlanians.

Book is base on episodes of the author's childhood, and the characters of Aram's tribe are based on real individuals, Saroyan's relatives. The book is sensitive and pleasant, and each of the 14 chapters, is written as a separate short-story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Noble VINE VOICE on April 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
William Saroyan who is also the author of the famous song, made immortal by Rosemary Clooney, "Come On A My House" wrote these great tales. He and a nephew, Ross Bagdasarian (David Seville) wrote the song in their enthusiasm while on a road trip to visit an Aunt somewhere out west. Rosey Clooney added her seductive slant to the song in 1951 and we got the famous million seller.

I read this book for the first time over forty years ago. I loved it and never forgot many of the stories.
As I held the book in my hand to write this review, I began relating some of the tales in it to my wife. Then I sat down and read the book again to see how good my memory was. My memory was pretty good ... but not as good as the book.

This book was one among many books of short stories that have served to inspire my own writing. Until re-reading this book, I did not realize how much of this book and this writer I had incorporated into myself.

These are all true to life tales of childhood (granting poetic license) and growing up on the West Coast, in Fresno, California way back when. The stories are about mom, dad, grandpa, and uncle Khosrove and the author's unique immigrant heritage.

I grew up decades later on the East Coast in an old industrial mill town - nothing like the rural settings in this book. But other than replacing a "borrowed" car with a stolen pony, the humor and the sentiments are all universal. Today as I review this book, the movie "My Big, Fat Greek Wedding" comes to mind. The immigrant nature, the humorous relatives, the contrasting values and the crazy antics and situations brought together by life in the new country are common to the book and the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Max Lubach on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"My Name is Aram," is a literary classic
with easy vocabulary, great humor and
appealing imagination, that makes it unforgettable.
The author, William Saroyan, was a
genius who won great praise for his
many other works. This book is a gem
which should not be forgotten. Young,
old, learners of all types, and those who
recognize the superior aesthetic experience
provided by inspired books will want to keep
this on their bookshelves. It is an amusing
and warmhearted look at multicultural America
from the point-of-view of poor Armenian boys
growing up in rural California long ago. Organized in
short, linked chapters of believable adventures
by inventive young boys, it is simply a wonderful
book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Richter on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"My Name Is Aram" is a collection of short stories set in Fresno, California in the early 20th century featuring a boy named Aram and his extended Armenian family. The stories are essentially in chronological order and include recurring characters, but the book isn't truly a novel, as all the stories are self-contained and could really be read in any order.

Most of the stories in "My Name Is Aram" are superbly written gems of short fiction. The first, "The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse," has frequently been anthologized and with good reason: it is an expertly crafted short story, with a childlike sense of wonder and some unforgettable characters (such as the easily irritated Uncle Khosrove, who reacts to EVERYTHING by shouting "It is no harm! Pay no attention to it!"). Another favorite is the offbeat "Locomotive 38, the Ojibway," about a wealthy, eccentric Native American who wanders into Aram's town. These are two stories that everyone should read at least once. I also particularly enjoyed "The Circus" (Aram can't resist skipping school whenever the circus comes to town), "The Pomegranate Trees" (about an attempt by Aram's uncle to grow a field of pomegranate trees in harsh desert land), and "The Three Swimmers and the Grocer from Yale" (on the way home from a swim, Aram and two other boys encounter a very strange grocer). A couple of the other stories have a somewhat sad or serious tone, which helps balance the book as a whole.

Many of these stories reminded me of the works of Jean ("A Christmas Story") Shepherd. Aram is often getting into minor trouble and clashing with the authority figures at school, but even when they're punishing him, most of the adults realize he's just being a kid.
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