and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$16.39
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by madeonmars
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: SIGNED BY AUTHOR WITH PERSONAL INSCRIPTION TO PREVIOUS OWNER. Spine is tight and uncreased. Pages are clean and appear otherwise unmarked. Cover is clean and glossy with little to no edge wear. Will ship in 24 hours.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Skeleton Key to the Suicide of My Father, Ross Lockridge, Jr., Author of Raintree County Paperback – March 6, 2011


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, March 6, 2011
$646.00 $16.38
Take%20an%20Extra%2030%25%20Off%20Any%20Book

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1460909763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460909768
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,576,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

5.0 out of 5 stars
I could not stop reading.Showcases the considerable talent of the author. Made me weep and cheer in equal measure.Lockridge is to be congratulated on his courage and humanity for writing this inspiring book. --Amazon.com

5 Stars
"I read it through at one sitting. Mesmerizing. Like watching a murder solved before my eyes one jigsaw-puzzle piece at a time. Had to have been an emotional struggle to write. A necessary book, and a brave one."
--Amazon.com

"I started reading it the minute I opened it and didn't stop until I was done.  I found it gripping, insightful and tragic.  Such a painful irony that no one noticed the too-big ambitions that were bound to head for a fall, not to mention the shameful cover-up of abuse so common at that time."  Maggie Cast, Writer

From the Author

"I began and read [SKELETON KEY] compulsively in a coffee shop and then finished the day after.  Your book moved me and made me enraged and made me glad for you for speaking out/up.  The way you tell the story--with family photos and in puzzle-piece-parts--is gripping.  I hope that your hope for the book comes true: that it prevents the waste of other lives and that it helps, through the circulation of compassionate truth, to save other children.  With affection and admiration."
                               Professor Jeredith Merrin, Poet
 "It must have been a very difficult book to write, but you have given the world a gift that is important.   Thank you so very much."    
            Linda R. Hengst, Executive Director,Ohioana Library Association
 
"Putting it between covers heightens the impact.  The passion and rage of EHL when I first knew him/you makes more sense now even though I thought it was pretty obvious why--but then the easy, obvious reading is what this document explodes.  At the same time, it's wrenching beyond sad, that the Stull Lockridge family, your lovely mother, the aura of The Book, with a sort of morbid charisma over it all, wasn't quite (to put it mildly) what it appeared to be.  I do remember how the fawning over the book seemed nauseatingly over the top and must have registered a mocking note in the subliminal darkness.  And then I give you one of the family RTCs for a wedding present  Ai!"
                                    STUART MITCHNER, novelist 
"Read you cover to cover.  Whew!  I so appreciate the inner portrait/key thing.  Your writing sparkles with wit, anger, crispness, VOCABULARY, and brilliance.  And, you weave in titles and phrases from songs!  All of it intense and insightful.  'Chaos does resolve into sense.'"
                     Dr. Ellyn Geller, Clinical Psychologist 
"'If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity awhile, and in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, to tell my story.'  Skeleton Key isThe Divine Comedy of Revenge. Performing the Spiritual Autopsy on the self-murder of his famous father, Ross Lockridge, Jr., author of Raintree County, Ernest Lockridge grounds his post mortem personally, historically and culturally.  And, even as it honors the universe of "Extension," of intractable concrete fact, Skeleton Key reaches toward Heaven.  The author's scalpel, forged in the purifying fire of Truth, is--as this tragic history requires it to be--keen!"           
                       Pere Nabri SJ, Exorcist
 
"I'm reminded of Chekhov's understated style.  Once I started reading I couldn't put it down.  What emerges is a complete picture of the unique configuration of your dysfunctional family.  I suppose all families have their cherished secrets by which the sins of the fathers are transmitted to successive generations. There is collusion among all the members, creating vicious cycle upon vicious cycle, spiraling into unrelieved misery for all.  There are no innocent victims--except for the children to whom you dedicate it."
                                  Dr. Roger Cooper, Psychologist 

"I opened it and started reading it standing at the counter.  I didn't even sit down and read through most of it.  Powerful and tragic story for all."                                                                 Professor Carolyn Ellis, Author
"Powerful, disturbing and sad.  I was shaken to the core after reading it and needed to sit with it for awhile.  I love that you dedicated it to children everywhere and that you had the courage to tell the story.  How many more there must be in this world.  The scene where your aunt and grandmother talk with you was brilliantly done and I thought placing it where you did was perfect.  That Kinsey and his associates lived so near added a chilling effect given what was going on within the family.  I could go on, but all I'll say is well done and thank you.  I plan to read it again."                                          Susan Knox, Author 

"I threw it in the trash--went right out and put it in an ugly dumpster!"
               Ex-Lockridge family member
 

More About the Author

ERNEST LOCKRIDGE has published novels, memoirs and literary criticism. His books have appeared in hardcover and paperback editions. One of his novels was optioned by Hollywood; another was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

His writings about literature appear in The Sewanee Review, Modern Fiction Studies, The Journal of Narrative Technique, The Hemingway Review, and in anthologies. His "Othello as a Key to Hemingway" is anthologized in The Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 308 (2005). He is Editor of Twentieth-Century Interpretations of The Great Gatsby.

Lockridge received his Ph.D. from Yale University and became a member of its faculty, serving for eight years; then was hired by The Ohio State University where he was promoted to full professor. Lockridge received The O.S.U. Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the University's premier teaching award, and is currently Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing at Ohio State.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julie on April 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I settled in to read 'Skeleton Key', I wasn't anticipating such an absorbing tale - but could not stop reading until it was finished. Opening a door that respectable middle America would prefer was kept firmly shut, this is a heartrending and tragic, but ultimately triumphant tale, that showcases the considerable talent of the author. This book is such an honest account of family secrets and continuing hypocrisy that it made me weep and cheer in equal measure. Ernest Lockridge is to be congratulated on his courage and humanity for writing this inspiring book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laurel on April 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"I picked this book up and read it through at one sitting. What a mesmerizing tale. Riveting, depressing, fascinating, succinct and ultimately triumphant. Reading it was like watching a murder mystery getting solved before my eyes one jigsaw-puzzle piece at a time. I also savored the stylish zingers tossed in the direction of the Hollywood, literary and publishing crowds. SKELETON KEY had to have been an emotional struggle to write. It's a necessary book, and a brave one."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fafhrd on February 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Part biography, part auto-biography, part who-done-it, Skeleton Key is Ernest Lockridge’s fascinating and moving attempt to uncover why his father, Ross Lockridge, Jr., committed suicide mere months after his magnum opus, Raintree County, was published to great acclaim.

Some clever bar-room sage (who unfortunately forgot to copyright his saying) once said that every picture tells a story, and the story Skeleton Key tells is all the more effective and persuasive because the author allows pictures, letters, medical records, a suicide note, a passage from Dante, etc. tell as much of the story as possible. The authorial commentary is succinct, never watering down its wit, irony, anger, and insights with unnecessary words. It’s the sort of 100-proof bourbon neat that I think Hemingway would have appreciated. The brevity of the chapters compresses and intensifies their impact—each chapter quickly delivers its point and immediately sits down, not like some long-winded Polonius but like a tersely focused courtroom witness providing another telling piece of evidence. Many of the brief chapters stab like short but sharp needles in the heart.

Like a skeleton key, the book unlocks many different doors, and behind these doors we find many different skeletons, such as madness, hypocrisy, and pedophilia. Behind one of the doors we even discover that old fraud Alfred C. Kinsey. I’m appalled that many good “enlightened” people still speak his name with reverence, and you may be appalled as well after reading this book.

I cringed when I read about the electro-shock treatments that the author’s father endured. I’ve read that in those days they cranked up the juice quite generously, I guess in a valiant effort to kill off as many naughty wayward brain cells as possible.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wanda H. Giles on January 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ernest Lockridge was the son of Ross, who committed suicide shortly after the publication of his one novel, Raintree County. He had a loving family, particularly his wife, and three children, one of whom I knew casually and the fiancee of one whom I knew. Larry and Ernie became professors like their father, and Larry in the 1990s wrote a fine biography of the family, which ends with a sincere question to readers who might have any suggestions and particularly any knowledge of the day of his father's death. Ernie's book is much more raw: He is the child who, at least in his feeling life, has suffered most, beginning with abuse from a grandfather. Child abuse in our time was not recognized, and he was alienated. His feeling of having never been accepted as a truth teller is painful and not atypical even to this day in cases of abuse. It is, however, an undisciplined, passionate book, so emotive that it makes its case primarily with people who are prepared to see him with sympathy. I believe he may have contributed facts hitherto unconsidered, but I am sorry to say that the lack of restraint and discipline in his writing make him once again the brother who is harder to believe. Yet there is enough here to warrant serious consideration. No two family members ever live with the same family; we all bring out different feelings and perceptions. I do wish the book had been written with the passion, but with more detail, context, and discipline. But I did have great sympathy for him as I read it. Belief was harder to establish, simply because the book is short and emotional. This writer is a man alone, even when he is among friends and family. In that way, he may do his greatest service; for their are many people alone, needing to know that there are others.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurence S. Lockridge on May 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
My reply to my brother Ernest's "skeleton key" may be found at raintreecounty dot com, click on "The Biography," click on "Other writings by Larry Lockridge." Larry Lockridge, Professor of English, New York University, author of "Shade of the Raintree: The Life and Death of Ross Lockridge, Jr." (Viking, 1994; Penguin Books, 1995; reissued with a new preface by Indiana University Press, 2014).
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric Stott on August 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Disjointed and (to me) unreadable. A mess of accusations strung together in a pseudo-artistic way. What I primarily learned from this is that the author detests his grandfather and probably himself. I have some pity for him but that doesn't excuse this awful excuse for a book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?