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NEVER LET ME GO [Paperback]

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1, 2004 1888996935 978-1888996937 0
 In 1964, Chuck Rosenthal was a thirteen year old boy whose dream was to make his grade school basketball team. Never Let Me Go tells the true story of how a college professor who coached grade school basketball as a hobby became the man who held that dream in his hands; became Rosenthal’s coach and his mentor; how he made Rosenthal his student, his confidant, and eventually his sexual partner, and how that teenager, trapped in the cycle of loyalty, betrayal, denial, secrecy and abuse, found the inner resources to escape and take the first steps toward adulthood.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While accounts of childhood sexual abuse have become depressingly pervasive, Rothenthal's bildungsroman is so remarkable that it transcends its tell-all genre. A prolific novelist (My Mistress, Humanity, etc.), Rosenthal was 13 when he entered into a relationship with his basketball coach that began as an intense, tough-love mentorship and escalated, through "physical therapy sessions," into sex by inexorable degrees. What is so remarkable about his memoir, aside from its stunning honesty and its total refusal of self-indulgence, is the complex picture it paints of Dan Callahan, Rosenthal's coach, mentor, friend, confidant and abuser. A college history professor with a passion for the classics, Callahan is erudite, intelligent and appallingly self-deluded. His heightened understanding of others, matched with an absolute inability to recognize his own predatory motivations, makes him a masterful manipulator. It allows him to elevate his relationship with Rosenthal to a higher Aristotelian plane of idealized friendship, a friendship involving "the love of a man for a boy, the love of a mentor, erudite and wise, for an exceptional boy." Callahan assumes this role of altruistic mentor so totally that the horror one feels witnessing a boy's seduction, manipulation and abuse becomes strangely allayed by Rosenthal's eventual (and genuine) love for this man, and by their enduring friendship, even after Rosenthal has recognized Callahan for what he is. The book proper spans some eight years, and we watch Rosenthal's coming of age, the ways in which he comes to understand his abuse and the ways in which it permanently shapes him, with a sense of helpless inevitability. Rosenthal's writing, transparent and wholly unobtrusive, belies the tangled complexity of this relationship, and makes for an engrossing, disturbing and enlightening read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Chuck Rosenthal is the author of six published novels: Loop's Progress, Experiments with Life and Deaf, Loop's End, Elena of the Stars, Jack Kerouac's Avatar Angel, and My Mistress, Humanity. His short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines including California Quarterly, New Kent Quarterly, Minotaur, Quarterly West, Hayden's Ferry Review, Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, Santa Monica Review, High Performance, Denver Quarterly, See, Volt, 88, the Norton Anthology of Flash Fiction, and the Dove-Penguin anthology Absolute Disaster. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the PEN West Literary Award. His screenplay Cowboys and Angels was a finalist for the Sundance Institute. He has read and lectured at numerous universities and appeared on radio and television nationally and internationally. He is the fiction editor for the Los Angeles Review and teaches narrative writing and theory for the Syntext program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888996935
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888996937
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Warning to All Parents October 30, 2004
At times, this book is shocking. At times it was so disturbing, I had to put it down for a short period. Every page I found to be profound. I believe this book is the most open, honest portrayal of sadistic child abuse I've ever read. The author gives us a disturbing picture of how easy it is for someone to look professional and respectable on the outside yet be the complete opposite on the inside. It is very unsettling to think that both light and darkness can be found in same person. It is also unsettling to realize that the more educated and brilliant the predator's mind, the more easily the predator can connive, manipulate and cover his tracks, so that no adult would ever question his integrity.
This book was a real wake-up call for me. It gave me ideas about what signs to look for in my children should I suspect any kind of abuse. It gave me ideas on how to protect my children from this day forward.
I highly recommend this book to every parent with children under the age of eighteen. I thank the author for giving such an profound, honest, open and complete picture of what a pedophile really looks like and a complete picture of the murder of a soul which occurs in each child abused.
Most of all, I would highly advise any man who has ever been molested in any way, and to any degree, to read this book. I believe it would give you understanding of what happened to you, lessen the shame, and make you feel free to get the help you so deserve. Being abused as a child is a horror for girls, but I believe it is even worse for boys as they deal with more shame and questions about their sexualiity. This burden of shame and humiliation keep many men from seeking help. This book may be the key to the beginning of healing for every victim of child abuse.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Look at a Common Theme December 18, 2008
By daveray
Like it or not. This type of situation happens more than we'd all like to think. I have researched the facts of this case I can tell with an unbiased certainty that it is all true. It disturbs me to see people who still try to cover up for the man portrayed in this book. Just goes to show you how such a man is a master of persuasion and manipulation. To get a real story, warts and all, of an ordinary, respectable man and an ordinary, unsuspecting youth, read this. By far the most intriguing part about this account is that the villain isn't a classic villain and the victim isn't a classic victim. It will blow your mind. This isn't Hollywood, it's Pennsylavania.

Thanks Roscoe.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You may not want to face it, but it happens June 22, 2010
I went to the university that Mr. Rosenthal teaches at, and this book was recommended to me by one of his students. Some people, like the commenter who claims that this book is full of lies, have a hard time confronting the sad, sick fact of Chuck's abuse. Read it. He couldn't have fabricated this story. It reads like a textbook case of child molestation. The way he builds into the abuse gave me so much insight into the process that I feel as though I have studied the topic. Now when people say "but he wanted to" or "he was old enough to know better" or the worst "I bet he enjoyed it" I have a quick response for them. This book is brave, awful, courageous, emotional, and strong. It teaches more than any course in child (or adult for that matter) psychology could: how and why molestation happens. How it changes you. How it ruins lives. If you are a victim of abuse or are dealing with a person who is, this book will help you understand.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate memoir November 8, 2010
This is one of the most moving memoirs I have read. One of the few books that brought tears to my eyes, completely unsentimental tears. Highly recommended. Ranks with Lorna Sage's "Bad Blood" and Nabokov's "Speak, Memory"--one of the best memoirs you will read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Place to Start January 20, 2013
This book was lent to me by a friend of the author when my husband and I were grappling with his own childhood abuse. Mr. Rosenthal's courage in presenting such a difficult and deeply personal tragedy without any sentimentality, with such brutal honesty, and lack of concern for ego-driven personal validation, has been a valuable starting point for me in understanding what my husband, and many other boys and men (and abuse victims more generally) experience at the hands of predators who hide behind prestige, charm, wealth, and other forms of material success. Just look at the one negative review to see in what ways rapists, molesters, and abusers rely upon manipulating public opinion in order to silence victims and maintain the power to continue their crimes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Let Me Go September 27, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book. It never fails to amaze me that trusted people are able to draw in young boys like they do. It seems to be the same old story. Every book I read points the same direction. I was drawn in the same way when I was young. I am so happy all this is finally out in the open. Education will always be inportant in every way, whether in school or in every day life. If I were able to write better I would love to tell a few stories of my life. Here here to people who can. "OZ"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful December 16, 2007
By luvnola
This book is very powerful yet very scary. I could not read it all at one time. It terrified(s)and sickened me as to how easily a child could fall victim to sick people praying on young boys and girls.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought this "memoir" was well written and the story of sexual abuse quite horrifying. But the author seemed to want to recount, in great detail, every basketball game... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dennis S. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars A true stoy of how a young boys basketball star was emotionally and...
A true story of how a young boy starting at age 12 was gradually drawn into a years long cycle of sexual and emotional abuse in the guise of love by his longtime basketball coach. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Allan D. Hulme
4.0 out of 5 stars very fine - no easy answers
This is a moving book that provides no easy answers to a difficult topic. Not at all exploitative and sympathetic to even the darkest of human emotions.
Published 8 months ago by TRP
1.0 out of 5 stars Why $189 for a paperback book?
Is it written in gold ink? Who can afford $189 for a paperback - no matter how good or important the subject? This is crazy. Get real.
Published 11 months ago by Lisa Pedersen
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Important
I want to be clear that Professor Rosenthal was a teacher of mine at Loyola Marymount. However, it has been years, I graduated in '91, and it does not play a part in this... Read more
Published on October 15, 2010 by Paul A. Viskanta
1.0 out of 5 stars BOOK OF LIES!!!
Basically this book ruined the career of a man who basically turned the city of Erie and Mercyhurst Collge around for the good. Read more
Published on January 29, 2007 by William A. Dopeirala
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