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Raising Jake [Kindle Edition]

Charlie Carillo
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)

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The story of the Whitshank family told in Anne Tyler's hallmark setting—Baltimore. Read the full description | Learn more about the author

Book Description

The best kind of journey, one you don't want to end. . .funny, moving. --Mike Lupica, New York Times bestselling author of Heat

In Charlie Carillo's funny, insightful novel, a divorced man gets to know his seventeen-year-old son in a tale that rewrites the book on quality time together. . .

Sammy Sullivan is working his way down the ladder of success. Divorced and pushing fifty, his relationships have the longevity of a fruit fly. But how many men can get themselves fired and have their only son expelled from prep school all in one day? Now, after almost eighteen years, he and Jake may finally get to know each other. (That's if his ex-wife--the super-achiever Sammy can only dream of being--doesn't find out.) Jake knows virtually nothing about his roots. So, Sammy shows him the old neighborhood in the far reaches of Queens. But it's been thirty years. The older woman Sammy lost his virginity to now uses a walker to get around. Most of his hangouts are long gone. It's dreary, born-to-lose stuff. But Jake is on a mission. Wise beyond his (and his dad's) years, he doesn't want his father to miss out the second time around on the good things he blew the first time. And they've got a whole weekend together--a journey where Sammy will confront his, dysfunctional childhood and Jake will face a past he never knew he had.

This isn't your typical father-son story--one is still growing up. The other is his son.

"In the tradition of Tom Perotta, Carillo explores the strength of the family bond, the power of forgiveness, and the hope that comes from embracing second chances. . .truthful, and hilarious."--Alison Grambs, author of The Smart Girls Guide to Getting Even

"I don't like funny, touching novels because they make me wish I'd written them myself. I enjoyed Charlie Carillo's book from beginning to end and now I'm miserable." --Sherwood Kiraly, author of Diminished Capacity

"A literary romp through the minefields of a totally normal, and totally abnormal, family. . . I actually laughed out loud and kept turning the pages to make absolutely sure that all worked out at the end." --Cathy Lamb, author of Henry's Sisters

"Scathingly hilarious and truthful." --Sally Jenkins

Queens-born Charlie Carillo, like his protagonist Sam Sullivan, worked at the New York Post as a journalist for many years. He is also the author of My Ride with Gus and divides his time between New York City and London, England, where he works as an independent television producer.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sammy Sullivan, a crusty old rewrite man at a New York City tabloid, and his teenage son embark on a weekend of male bonding in Carillo's witty, insightful second novel. After rough-edged Sammy is fired and his son, Jake, gets expelled from his elite private school, father and son, who've grown apart, decide to spend the weekend revisiting places that hold the key to Sammy's past and may shed light on Jake's future. Along the way, Sammy confronts painful memories of his religiously obsessive mother and introduces Jake to the boy's long-estranged grandfather while both try to figure out what's next. In this coming-of-age tale, there's often a question of who is parenting whom. Carillo, a former reporter for the New York Post, has an easy way with breezy prose and likable characters. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Charlie Carillo (Born in New York City, 1955) was a reporter and a columnist for the New York Post before becoming a producer for the TV show "Inside Edition." His first published novel, "Shepherd Avenue," was named one of the best books of the year by the American Library Association in 1986. His subsequent novels are "My Ride With Gus," "Raising Jake," "One Hit Wonder," "Found Money," "God Plays Favorites" and "The Man Who Killed Santa Claus."Charlie is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and his website is charliecarillo.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 965 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (August 7, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002KS3AS4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,340 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 104 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I ggot this book yesterday, a free download from Kindle, and read it straight through - once I started I couln't put it down.
It really was a delight! You know the cliche - I laughed, I cried... but it really is true.

the nofel takes place over one weekend, as Sammy Sullivan, a divorced father, and his seventeen year old son, Jake get to know each other as they never have before. This description is a bit deceptive since the narrative, told by Sammy, really covers both of their lives, as well as the lives of the other important people in their circle. I won't give away any more of the plot. You need to experience it yourself. And it is an experience, as you are brought to laughter and to tears by some of the incidents in the story I thought the writing was superb, and the plot extremely well-crafted and tight. At times I thought I was reading an autobiography; that's how true Sammy's "voice" was. Kindlers, buy this now, while it is still free. It's a terrific read. Highly recommended. A really great read.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! August 27, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has great character development, surprising but believable twists, and really puts some interesting perspectives on relationships. You can't help but care about the characters, and you laugh, you might cry, but for the most part they are likable but real. But it is by no means a chick book, the key characters are the males, they are the best developed. I bought this because it was free on Kindle and sounded interesting, but I'll look for more by this author and pay for them.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, easy read September 2, 2009
By Reader
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Raising Jake is a quick and enjoyable read about a journey of self-discovery for Sammy, a divorced fifty-something tabloid reporter, and his teenage son Jake. The story starts when Sammy gets a call at work from Jake's prestigious private school needing him to come to school immediately. Despite a looming deadline, Sammy makes the decision to drop everything go - getting himself fired in the process - only to find out that Jake is being expelled from school. The remainder of the novel winds its way through a long weekend for father and son, where Sammy comes to terms with his past and opens up to Jake about the family history and mysteries that have never before been shared. In the process, both father and son discover themselves, their history, connect with the roots of their family and their past, and bond with each other for perhaps the first time in their lives.

While the novel was enjoyable, I found some of the character development shallow and some of the plot to be difficult to believe. It is unclear why Jake, a gifted student with a promising future, is willing cast it all aside and become a high school dropout. In addition, some of the flashback sequences that involve Sammy and his mother - one involving stigmata of a crucifix and one involving the suicide of a priest - are similarly unbelievable. Though the author may want you to suspend your disbelief and focus on the larger theme of the story, these pivotal scenes come across as flat and somewhat silly. Still, the book held my attention and was enjoyable. It is definitely one of the best freebie Kindle downloads I've read thus far.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising Jake a story of love, growth and family August 27, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the best coming of age novels I've read. Wonderfully written. THANK YOU Mr. Carillo. More Please.
Vanessa
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grabbed my attention all the way through! September 4, 2009
By Julie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Raising Jake was one of the best kindle books I've read. The story moved me and grabbed me as three generations of men finally reconnected with each other, putting behind past grudges and anger to reach out and and validate the love they all still shared and their willingness to forgive for the sake of their family relationships. Son, father and grandfather all found each other again after years of absence.

A great story that peeled away all the "stuff" of life that doesn't matter and got down to the basics that do matter where happiness is concerned. I really, really loved this story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A warm book about fathers and sons September 1, 2010
By EJ
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Raising Jake was one of the nicest books I've read in awhile. It follows the story of Sam, a divorced, middle-aged tabloid newspaper writer who is experiencing some changes in his life. The bulk of the book takes place over a weekend during which Sam decides to take his son, Jake, back to where he grew up in Flushing. Unexpectedly, the journey leads to major changes in the lives of father and son.

This book was for the most part very warm and reader-friendly. There were some more contemplative sections when Sam recalls his life growing up as a Catholic schoolboy with a very militant and faithful mother. But these sometimes grim recollections were tempered by the humor within. Sam is a funny guy who has managed to produce a terrific son, which he realizes is the most important thing he's ever done.

Overall, this was a good story with characters that I absolutely loved. I'd like to see what they are up to 5 years from now.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good I Thought It Was "Real" September 6, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like many others, I downloaded this when it was free (I see that's no longer true).

Don't let that stop you. I was disappointed to see there are no other books by Mr. Carillo being sold by Amazon. I would gladly pay to read another one.

As I read through Raising Jake, I kept checking the author's name against the characters' names, somehow expecting them to match. The voice was too true; I just knew this had to be autobiographical.

The novel takes place over a weekend as dad Sammy and son Jake get to know each other for the first time in their lives. After each of them has a major life-changing event one Friday, they promise to have a no-holds-barred weekend: they will allow any questions, tell each other anything. The resulting weekend is surprising, amusing, heartwarming... in short, a great read.

I won't give away where they go, who they encounter, or what they do, but the joy of father and son learning about each other in a non-schlocky way was really refreshing. I'll look for more from Charlie Carillo.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars But it was an easy to read nice adventure
A well meaning story of a father and son's relationship. In a typical made-for-TV movie-like plot the teen son is wiser than his father and it is the father who needs to grow and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paula Cohen
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this well written book - lots of humour full ...
Enjoyed this well written book - lots of humour full of phrases and descriptions - definitely not mundane use of the language - Oh I would love to be able to remember!
Published 5 months ago by Tracham
5.0 out of 5 stars It was easy and quick to read
I downloaded this book for free. It was easy and quick to read. The story was suspenseful and well written. I recommend this author.
Published 6 months ago by Diana Perez
5.0 out of 5 stars Which is it!
Charlie Carillo is a great story teller, this is my 4th book. I find it interesting that the main character is someone who walks (runs? Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ken Burke
3.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Carillo painted vivid pictures in my mind!
This is a great read. Very interesting word play between characters! Entertaining! My first time reading this author's work. It was hard to put down.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh....
Raising Jake is a funny and heartfelt tale about a father-son weekend. In the wake of a double whammy of job loss and expulsion, middle-aged narrator Sammy and his teenaged son... Read more
Published 9 months ago by J. Houston
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good
Got this book on a whim. It slowly grabs you as the author paints a story of life ,relationships, and how the past isn't always the way you remember. I could not put it down.
Published 11 months ago by PG
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This is the best book I have read in years. The most touching story of raising a child ever by two opposing parents .
Published 12 months ago by Judith E. Robertson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great easy read
I have read many of Charlie Carillos books and would count myself a fan of his work. I thought Raising Jake was another wonderful story from this author.
Published 12 months ago by J New York
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the _____ you: wish you'd written, picture you'd taken, movie...
There aren't many contemporary novels I re-read but this one I do--it's worth it! I suppose that's also due in part to the book's conciseness. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. Edw
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Is this the same author...
Raising Jake Charlie Carillo, also known as Charles Carillo has published three novels. The other two are Shepherd Avenue and My Ride With Gus. Both are out of print but can be found with some effort. Thanks for kind words. The author is my brother. Gina Carillo Kanfer Read More
Sep 1, 2009 by Gina C. Kanfer |  See all 5 posts
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