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4.4 out of 5 stars
My Temporary Life: Book One of the My Temporary Life Trilogy
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81 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2012
Martin Crosbie's book, MY TEMPORARY LIFE, is a sensitive, coming of age novel with a storyline that held me captive. The novel is filled with emotion--humor, joy, heartache, grief. It deals with the loneliness of children who have lost and the agony of their adjustment. It deals with the lives of adults who have been abused as children.

It is the story of Malcolm, an adolescent who lived in Scotland with his parents until his mother returned to her roots in Canada, leaving her husband and son behind in Scotland. After his parent's divorce, Malcolm began what he called a "temporary life," spending his summers in Vancouver with his sometime mother and her men, returning to live with his father in Scotland during the school year. He leads this disjointed life without many friends until an unfortunate display of his own loyalty changes the direction of his life. With the help of a father-figure and other friends in Canada, he grows up, prospers, falls in and out of relationships, finally meets the girl of his dreams. It is at this point that the story surprises. The action, never slow, picks up a notch or two, and the rest of the story is a harrowing ride to the end.

For me it was an engrossing work of literary fiction. I loved the scenes of Malcolm and his friend, Hardly, growing up in Scotland, loved his surrogate father, George, and George's sister, Rose, and how the author painted those characters. I really, really liked the author's understated prose and I loved the opening:

"I think I first smelled booze on Gerald when we were eleven, and as far as I know he's been drinking ever since."

There were moments of magic, scenes filled with foreboding, passages that were poetic and ruminative, others that were breathtaking. The masterful handling of Malcolm's mother, especially in "the car wash scene," was brilliant. There were many scenes, especially toward the end, that were fast-paced and made the book impossible to put down. It is a book you will not want to miss.

About the Author: Martin Crosbie always wrote stories. As his adventures and misadventures took him from Kilmarnock, Scotland, to Vancouver, Canada, he recorded his memories in a series of journals. Today, he's turning those journals into novels.

You can keep up to date on his newest adventures and read his opinions on everything from Punk Rock to how he's training for his next marathon on his website, [...]

When not writing, or running long distances, Martin shares his life in Vancouver, with his partner, Jacquelyne, and Spock, the most spoiled cat in the world.

MY TEMPORARY LIFE
Copyright © 2011 Martin Crosbie
Format: Kindle Edition
ASIN: B006O2P13O
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78 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2012
The title of the novel was so intriguing, I could not wait to read this story. My Temporary Life is a novel one thinks fondly of for a long time after reading. The characters are very real and endearing, so much that it was sad to come to the end of the story...I did not want to leave them behind! The pace of the story is excellent, we learn exactly what we need to with details that convey much in a few words. The plot is interesting and contains quite a few surprises. As someone who (attempts to) write myself, I have a special appreciation of the quality of this work, especially for a debut novel. Martin Crosbie has created a heartwarming, wonderful experience for the reader, and his talent is evident from the very first paragraph.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Malcom did not have an easy childhood. His father gave up on being a father when his Mom left. His Mom made it clear she didn't want him either. So Malcom survived alone in a schoolyard filled with bullies, sharing difficulties with the only kid at school who had it tougher than he did. Until one dramatic day when his life was turned upside down and he had to leave all he knew and start over.

Malcom grew up wanting to be a hero, but he was always trapped by the past he thought he had left behind. Until one day he met a girl, a woman, really, who needed his help. Remembering all the pain of his childhood, he struggles to do the right thing. In reaching out to help her, he begins to rediscover who he really is.

Because it deals with difficult subjects, the language is rough in spots, and the bedroom scenes between Malcom and Heather are intense, but not graphic. So this is very much a PG novel. However, the story is very compelling, and the lessons learned along the way are worth learning. So I give this book a "conditional" thumbs up.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author in the hope that I would be willing to consider writing a review. Since I deal with difficult subjects in my job as pastor, I especially appreciated having the opportunity to read how Martin Crosbie handled them in his novel. He has a way of making the characters feel real.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2012
Wow! Absolutely one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I started reading and could not stop. Malcolm is one amazing character. He reached into my heart and touched my soul. What an amazing journey. I have to say that I have not read a book that took me on such an emotional ride in many years. I just finished the book a few minutes ago and I am still reeling. I am typically a romance/fantasy reader but this is definately going on my favorite books list. Martin Crosbie will be on my watch list for authors to buy in the future. All I can say is this was an incredible story to read.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2012
Overall this was an OK read. After reading the first few chapters I thought this was going to be one of the best books I have read in a long time. It started out about a young boy and his relationship with his divorced parents living in 2 different countries and his troubled alcoholic friend and the two of them being bullied in school. But then the book turned into a story about a grown man helping his girlfriend find her daughter. It's like 2 totally different books and the 2 books really don't work together. The events occurring in the first half of the book have nothing to do with the events in the 2nd half of the book. It still held my attention to the end and I purchased it for free so I'm not complaining. It's worth the read, especially for free.
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41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2012
Loved, loved, loved the book till he jumped 20 years ahead in time. Should have stuck with the original theme and expanded on his experiences during his youth. I so very much wanted to read more about that. I lost all interest when he started at 1996. I tried to keep reading but was bored. I felt like you dropped me off a cliff!

The bad news is... I was extremely disappointed. The good news is... I felt so disappointed because the early part of the book was so good! Go back, sir and finish what you started. I would love to keep reading about Mal in his youth.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2012
I completely agree with the other reviewers who have said that "My Temporary Life" was like two books in one. The first half was a heart warming coming of age story. I loved it! And then the author randomly jumps into the future of our main character's life and introduces us to his extremely unlikeable girlfriend. And the heart warming story deteriorates into a cheesy Lifetime movie with a predictable ending. I fail to see any connection between the first half of the book and the second half of the book. And I actually think the two halves were geared at totally different audiences. I give the first half of the book 5 stars. But my overall rating is only 2.5 because the author lost me entirely on the last half.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2012
I don't want to describe any part of the story in fear of spoiling anything. When I started reading I had no idea what was in store for me and that was the beauty. Unexpected turns and surprises made this believable story a treasure to read. I'm not sure if the author had a movie in mind when he wrote this but I wouldn't be surprised if it was adapted for film one day. Thank you Mr. Crosbie for inviting me into the lives of these unforgettable characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2012
Martin Crosbie's A Temporary Life is the sort of book that you start reading at night and do not put down until you realize the sun is coming up and it's time to go to work.

Just an absolutely captivating and engrossing first half. The writer has an insightful and endearing voice in his protagonist and one that leaves the reader warm and extremely invested in him emotionally.

I think my favorite part is Malcolm's childhood, his relationship with his peers, with Hardly, with his absent mother and tough but gentle father. The writer is absolutely brilliant here, painting a picture of Malcolm's early years and growing up in Scotland. The car wash mini story with Terry and Marvin is also a lot of fun and ended so strongly it could've been a beautiful short story in itself. His relationship with George was both short and sweet and very loving.

The second half is strong but takes on a more serious tone. There is more drive and purpose but lacks some of the brilliant childhood features that were so captivating. The boy has grown up, and so has the tone of the story.

Still, all the lose ends were wrapped up nicely and the conclusion is satisfying.

My only wish is for an epilogue where all the characters are involved. So strong is the reader's emotional attachment that by the end of the novel, I wanted to make sure they were all happy and doing OK.

A brilliant work and well worth the read. 5 stars!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2014
This book is well written and hard to put down in some spots. There was a large gap of time in the main characters life that I would have liked to know about. Then the story went back into detail mode. Despite this I would recommend this book and would have given five stars if Malcolm's teen to early 20's years had been explored more thoroughly, simply because the writing was so good I'm sure it could have been as interesting as the rest of his life. I really wanted the story to continue and hope the third part of the trilogy will continue with Malcolm. I am reading Hardly, the second book now and it is enjoyable so far.
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