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The Man Who Owns Little (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

26 customer reviews

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Length: 25 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Pothier has mastered the skill of allowing your past experience and memories to fill in blanks and flesh out his characters. The Man Who Owns Little is simply a conversation between two long-term friends, via post, analyzing how their relationship has changed and perhaps why. I really enjoyed how there are no judgements and there is no right or wrong. The story is about friends who think and experience life so differently trying to understand one another. Pothier leaves it up to the reader to determine what really happened." -- Jason Weisberger, BoingBoing.com 

"Pothier has a genius for portraying the difficulties and beauty of human relationships, and this story does not disappoint..." -- @TungstenHippo

Product Details

  • File Size: 111 KB
  • Print Length: 25 pages
  • Publication Date: April 8, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C9R7H0S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Ernest Pothier's first published story won a Chicago Tribune/Nelson Algren Award, and his Kindle Singles, "The First Light of Evening" and "The Man Who Owns Little," have been downloaded by thousands and produced by Audible.

He lives in San Francisco's Outer Richmond district with his wife and kids, holds an MFA from SF State, and is polishing his debut novel. (Portrait photo: Jason Doiy)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By melindaroo on April 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'My first thought, which originally occurred to me on the plane trip home from San Francisco, was that we have become what we always were.' Mark Pothier's new story witnesses that becoming, with all its inevitable and unforeseen aspects, in a series of letters between two men attempting to come to terms with the deterioration of their long friendship.

In both The Man Who Owns Little and his previous story, The First Light of Evening, Mark Pothier articulates with precision and sympathy how people reach out to one another and wall themselves off at the same time. His story deftly limns the passage of time, the yearning for connection, the breaking and tentative reconstruction of the spirit, and the need to understand, reveal, and justify our lives. It does so by way of the simplest of details: a 'busted guitar,' a 'bucket of chicken.' It does so by way of his characters' unique voices. It does so by way of its elegant structure, circling back on itself in such a way that upon finishing you turn immediately back to its beginning, and read it again with deeper understanding. It calls to mind T.S. Eliot's line about exploring the world and our lives within it, that its purpose, its 'end...will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.'

I can't wait to see his forthcoming novel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Beckham on April 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fun read. A collegiate read far after the fact. I found the dates on the letters telling, the pace excellent, and was so glad te 1992 letter had been found in a basement archaeological dig. Epistolary kindle single . . . letters, not emails, but long, pensive letters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay D. Mangrum on April 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is actually a bit funny in the meanness of the characters to one another, while all the while they think, I believe, that they are making attempts to benefit the other. It is as if they are both writing "reviews" of each others' personalities. Neither one of them seem to really be able to touch as deeply into their own psyches as they attempt to reach into each others'. It is an interesting observation regarding the nature of close friendships. We do tend to censor one another in some way. Glorious and realistic review of a seldom visited subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Miller on October 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pete is a struggling writer, David a witty banker. In 1992 David and his wife visit Pete in San Francisco. Pete is hectic because of a newborn son and complains about the noise from a local bar. David is annoyed with Pete's "Hamlet-esque groping for Jesus," while Pete reads too much into David's small talk. David suggests they smoke some weed, but regrets it later, since, in the end, they "missed completely." A battle of letters is the result, and the book begins with the 2nd of these, written in July 1993. The exchange continues through until 2007, when there are more kids, bigger houses, and better jobs. But both men still have the same nagging sense that something is wrong and nothing can be done about it.

This is how friendships come apart in real life, not with bank heists gone wrong or dead mafia men to bury. Instead it happens with both sides talking past each other, and apologizing, even while both are in the right. David is excessively generous, which "lopsides the balance of the friendship," even though Pete is broke and could use the help. Pete is overly philosophical and is averse to small talk, even while he understands David's practical and activist side ("I would rather join our town council than talk about politics").

What the author doesn't state directly is almost as powerful as what he does. A week passes between some letters and a month passes between others. Once David writes Pete after a five month lapse, two days before Christmas. We can easily see him sorting through Christmas cards, waiting for one from his old friend, then firing off an eggnog fueled, bittersweet, and half irate letter when the card doesn't come.
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By Barbara F on January 1, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the first of Mark Pothier's stories 2 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, so as I browsed through Amazon for something to read during Christmas "break", I was excited to discover two new offerings from him - "The Man Who Owns Little" and "What will you Miss Most". I eagerly downloaded both and spent the rest of the day devouring them. Although I liked the latter story much more, both stories were very rewarding and have stayed with me over the past week. I plan to re-read both of them and look forward to more stories from Mr Pothier.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a moving look at how a friendship can come to an end over a seemingly minor thing. As in his earlier story (The First Light of Evening), Pothier's insights into human relationships are keen to the point of being almost revelatory. Since the epistolary format necessarily limits our view of how the events are perceived by the other characters in the story, I found myself wishing for a companion piece in which the wives of these two old friends give their opinions on what has happened- but this story certainly stands on its own and is well worth your time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Bagan on April 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Having read his stunning Kindle Single debut, "The First Light of Evening," I'm delighted to see Mark Ernest Pothier is back with another remarkable short story. "The Man Who Owns Little" is a highly entertaining and extremely well-crafted epistolary tale. With each passing letter, we learn more about the idiosyncrasies and desires of Pete and Dave until their communications ultimately congeal into a profound, textured portrait of friendship. These men are not necessarily preoccupied with learning or living, but with making statements to themselves or to each other. Their bombast, sanctimony, and recrimination ring true to any of us who has found our alliances to be composed of a dismaying series of petty grievances.

Like "The First Light of Evening," this new work is about the distance between people. And like its predecessor, "The Man Who Owns Little" showcases the author's prodigious ability. With the subtle hand of a great talent, he paces his story to reveal the depth of Pete and Dave's relationship. Pothier is ultimately a generous writer, aware of his characters' foibles but also alert to their need for acceptance (in their own eyes and in the eyes of others) and to the ambiguity that colors all friendships. His writing is witty, graceful, and underscores what is truly at stake. I eagerly anticipate Mark Ernest Pothier's next story: he is a writer of startling gifts and fully deserving of our recognition.
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