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on August 29, 2012
Did you ever wonder when you fell off your bike and scraped your knee as a kid if it would leave a scar? This book is all about the scars that we acquire throughout life both emotional and physical. I loved the sentiment in this book but I did not like the way it was put together. I enjoyed the lazy humor but it switched between childhood and adult memories causing it to loose some of the flow. I would however recommend this book to anyone who is alive and is not offended by swear words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2012
I love memoirs with a passion. There is something oddly titillating at seeing into someone's life, particularly as memoirs tend to be so intimate. This is not unlike peering into the uncovered bedroom window of your neighbour, a neighbour you've always thought might have a secret life.

No Permanent Scars reminds me, in tone at least, of the writing of Sloane Crosley, a favourite of mine. The memoir is snippets of moments in Mr. Hemery's life that had an impact upon his development, and show us the humour and self-depreciation in his character.

Having also grown-up in a small town in the prairies, I have to admit that some of his experiences hit a little too close to home! Of course, I'm a big-city sophisticate now, so I don't run into so many problems now (or so I like to think...).

There wasn't a story in this collection which I didn't enjoy. If enjoy David Sedaris, Sloane Crosly, or David Wallace Foster, I think you'll enjoy Michael Hemery!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2011
One of the best books I've read in a while! It made me laugh, sad, and even made me reflect on similar moments of my own life! I picked up this book one night and decided I was going to start reading it, several hours later I had just finished the book. I didn't intend to read it in one sitting, but it was impossible to stop, I had to keep reading until there was nothing left. It truly is a page turner, and I recommend it to any and all readers. It is entertaining, thought provoking, emotionally moving, and easy to relate to (which I believe is a very important aspect of reading). My words cannot do this book justice, so I just recommend reading it for yourself, you will not be disappointed!
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on August 17, 2011
This book is a basically a memoir told in a series of non-fiction essays. It skips around chronologically but combines different parts of the author's life to touch on different themes. A wide variety of themes are discussed, ranging from humorous to serious and everything in-between. Although this book differs from memoir in that you don't necessarily get a "life story", you certainly get a very good sense of the who the author is.

The essays vary from very short to much more detailed. I had a hard time connecting with some, but there were many that I absolutely loved. I particularly enjoyed the stories about his piano playing "career" and his teaching career. Although they varied greatly in tone, they were both prime examples of great writing. I was also amazed that the author was able to convey a lot of emotions in very few words sometimes. The sections involving his wife tended to be short, but you absolutely can feel the affection and love that is there. He made me love his wife and parents, which can sometimes be hard to do when dealing with some of the tough subject matter in here.

I thought this book was very good. There is beautiful flow to the stories. I think that it's rather fascinating to get to see inside of a person, and the author certainly lays it all out there for you. In holding nothing back, you get to live parts of his life with him. It seems like despite what may have been some tough times, he has weathered the various storms rather well. When a book like this makes me think the author and I could be friends, I feel like it's done a great job.

Book provided for review by First Reads giveaway.
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on June 13, 2011
The book seemed disorganized at first, to the point of turning me off, but I kept reading and it definitely improved.
This memoir is written in a series of vignettes. In the beginning, they jumped around a lot and there was no common thread. As I continued reading, though, some of it came together, and I wanted to keep reading and learning more. I especially enjoyed the sections about deciding whether to have children and the author's experience with interactive gaming. I laughed out loud during some of those moments.
The last sections address the author's search for religion, or something resembling religion. I was left feeling like this was the entire point of the book, but I'm not sure it was.
There was nothing terribly new or exciting about this memoir; they author seems like a pretty average guy. That said, I'm glad I decided to finish it, because it was enjoyable and well-written.
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on May 30, 2011
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I'm a fiction reader at heart, but this book looked interesting so I decided to give it a go. I was not disappointed. The book follows the life of the author, Micheal Hemery, looking at his life through different themes. The structure of the book may be confusing to some readers because it does not follow a timeline, jumping back and forth in time based on the story Hemery is relating in the theme. There were times when I read a couple of sentences before I realized I was reading about the 10 year old Hemery not the 20 something Hemery I had been reading about in the previous paragraph. In all though that did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.

The anecdotes Hemery tells are real and I felt in the moment with the author. I liked his wit, and laughed out loud a couple of times. I really liked the way he told the stories of when he was younger so that you could see how he was feeling/thinking as a young person. He was able to describe himself as a young boy and managed to keep the young boy's naivety in the perspective. After reading the book I felt I understood the author more. Over all I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other readers who are interested in reading non-fiction memoirs.
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on March 8, 2011
I laughed, nodded in recognition, and was deeply moved as I read this collection of essays. It humorously portrays a young man's "coming of age" in the suburban Midwest in the late 20th century. My teenage son and I enjoyed sharing this book together by reading aloud from it and then discussing it. Excellent!
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on February 11, 2011
A great read that made me smile...made me think, "I know exactly what he means"...made me sad that there are people and stories like that in the world...made me happy that there are people and stories like that in the world...and made me thankful that we have people like Hemery to tell us about them.
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on February 5, 2011
No Permanent Scars is raw, yet gentle. It is always honest and never pretentious. It is a sincere look at life, with all of its flaws and its precious glorious moments. It made me miss those I love and be thankful that my awkward adolescence is rooted permanently in the past. It made me thankful that there are teachers who care for their students because they remember how difficult childhood can be even when you hit the lottery in terms of parents and how crushing it can be when you pull the short straw. It is brilliant, and worthy of every second you give to it.
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on February 2, 2011
I loved "No Permanent Scars" by Hemery. Within the first sixty pages I had cried and laughed out loud. The naiveté we all experience throughout life, the angst and teenage hormones, and the constant discovery as we try to figure out what we should be when we grow up. Not to mention the decision on parenthood...

Hemery does an excellent job in weaving a tale of reality that takes you through his triumphs and struggles and leaves you wanting more. I was so sad when I finished the book, and wished I had savored every page a little longer. This is a book you find reading out loud to whomever will listen to you just so you can share in the delight. I do wish Hemery would write these stories as fast as I can read them.

Do yourself a favor and read this book. You won't be sorry.
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