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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2010
Plot/Storyline: 5 Stars

This novel is a little slow in the first few pages. I even thought about putting it down as it first appeared like it was going to be some `preachy' novel filled with religion. Later, I was so glad that I didn't stop reading. There was zero preaching throughout the book. I was so far off the mark it was laughable.

The storyline is basically Michael Stevens telling of his childhood with his many brothers in his poor and abusive family. In the beginning, Mike is in dire straits and believes he is dying. However, the reader is not privy to where he is or what happened to him. Throughout the novel, the reader is rarely reminded of Mike's current condition. This made it easier to get sucked into the story of Mike's life. And, boy, did I get sucked in! I could hardly put this book down!

The only downside to the novel was that I had trouble figuring out how old Mike during the first half of the book. That was a little distracting.

I was stunned, appalled, riveted, and amazed at the life this young boy was leading. I was shocked at the ending, so shocked that I couldn't cry until I read the last sentence. This book is not for the faint of heart. It describes horrible acts of child abuse, mostly physical, but some sexual.

The ending was abrupt and final. At first, I thought, "That's it?" and hit my Next Page button a few times to find more. This wasn't because the ending was bad, but because I didn't want the book to end, even there.

Character Development: 5 Stars

Mike was so believable that I wanted to go find him and save him from his awful life. He brought tears to my eyes and, at other times, a smile to my lips.

Mike's family was only developed through Mike's eyes, which was appropriate in this story. They were all unique individuals that the reader slowly comes to know.

Writing Style: 5 Stars

From the beginning to the end, Mike's voice in this story kept me enthralled. The writing was excellent with terrific structure and tone. The descriptions were vivid and detailed just enough.

I was absolutely amazed to find such talent, not raw but fully developed, in a first novel.

Rating: R for Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, and Rape
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 30, 2010
This was a hard book to read, in that the content was disturbing, but it was also compelling and honest. I read this in two sittings, and enjoyed the writing and the story immensely. I highly recommend this to anyone.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2010
Just finished Three Minutes More, author Edward O'Dell has a delightful writing skill and has a succinct ability to draw a reader into each scene. I could see the blue crawdads hiding under the rocks. I could also see the hurt and heartbreak of the children of this dysfunctional (that word may be too kind) family.

The ending was so abrupt and final to me that I needed to go back and reread the last three pages of the book, to see if I had missed something. Upon realizing that it was actually the end, like a good book should, in one way I found myself wishing that the story would go on, to answer some questions. In another way, I didn't know if I could continue reading anymore of the tragedy.

If you prefer stories where in the end everything gets wrapped up in a nice little package and all ends well, this book will disappoint. Having said that,the book is a MUST read. It took me back to my childhood days and back to reality on nearly every page. Most importantly, this book took me out of my comfort zone, and demanded that I remove my blinders and think about the sad reality for far more families than I want to admit.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2010
My husband and I both read this book and were amazed. It is an eye opener to the realities that some children are facing. It made us look at our own lives and be thankful for the little things of everyday. It also made us very aware of otheres and the struggles that they may be facing but not showing. We look at our own children different, and I look at those I work with everday in a different way thanks to this book. This was an amazing read. Mr. O'dell has a talent for drawing the reader in and making this a book you can't put down. We are both looking forward to another one by Mr. O'dell.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2010
I bought this book mainly because the author, Mr. O'Dell, lived in the same small town in which I live, and was a year ahead of me in school. I had not seen or heard of him in years, and I must admit I was a bit shocked to learn that he had written a book. My curiosity got the best of me and I wasted no time ordering a copy of Three Minutes More. I am so glad that I did! As soon as I received the book I started reading it and I could not bring myself to put it down! The writing itself is superb, and although the story itself is sad, the author has a talent for drawing the reader in and the farther along you read, the more you feel a connection to the characters. Very few books I have read in the past have "stayed with me" like this one does. I experienced a range of emotions while reading it....from sadness, to laughter, to sympathy, to anger. Only a good writer can do this, and only a good writer can leave you wanting more. I highly recommend this book to anyone, and I can't wait for the next book by Mr. O'Dell!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2010
I'm not going to rehash what virtually every other reviewer here has already stated. They're right. I finished this story a couple days ago after reading it straight through and cannot stop thinking about it. I briefly toyed with the idea of giving it only four stars just because it didn't end they way I would have *liked*. But, hey, you can't always get what you want. That's the way of the world - which this book heartily underscores.

I had no idea I'd care so much about these characters and their stories. This in itself is a testament to the author's skill. I didn't want to let them go. In all honesty I'm hoping Mr. O'Dell will see fit to bring us up to date, so to speak, on this family at some point in the very near future. If not that exactly, I'm still sure he will bring us something equally compelling. I simply look forward to MORE.

Just read it. It may very well change the way you see/think about quite a few things.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2011
This book was disturbing. But what a read. And it didn't take me long to get through it, either.

Reviews I had read about this book were mixed. Some people really hated it. Some people really liked it. I was a bit in the middle. It was good enough where I had a hard time putting it down. On the other hand, there were parts of this book that made me a little squeamish. It has a lot to it and a lot to digest.

Three Minutes More, is a story about young Michael, who tells readers about living and growing up with abusive parents, crazy siblings and relatives, who turn a blind eye to everything. It's set in the 70s and his family is extremely poor and he grows up in a household with many siblings in a two-bedroom shack, which has no electricity and no indoor plumbing.

To be fair to future readers -- you can't have a weak stomach with this book. There is a lot of abuse for the kids, ranging from physical and mental to sexual. It's horrific at times and it's best to be warned, in case you can't get through books like that.

Alas, with how O'Dell develops the storyline and the characters, this is an excellent read with an ending that I didn't see coming. It was a head-scratcher when I finished, but quite well done. I applaud O'Dell for this book and how he wrote it. He has an excellent style and an interesting way to weave a story.

Now for my thoughts...


I've had some luck recently in having page-turners. This was another.

I compare my page-turning on this one to a train wreck or a car wreck on the highway. As much as you might not want to look or as much as you try not to look, you can't help yourself.

Michael is a character that the reader can really understand and feel for. He's not hated by any means. Some of his brothers are good side-characters and show Michael's strong side. I liked how O'Dell took the family and made the "good guys" and the "bad guys." There's an obvious line. Though a couple of the characters, at times, walked the line between good and evil, but for the most part the lines were drawn in well.

There were some graphic parts in this book. Some of it made me squirm. Some of it made me drop my jaw. Some of it choked me up, but in the end, I realized how needed it all was. If O'Dell skated around these things, the book wouldn't have had nearly the same amount of impact.


I didn't think there were major things bad with the book. That being said, some things really made me wonder. The little things -- some details. Such as the ages of the kid when the book started. And as they grew. About midway through, you get a grasp of ages, which is good. There are a few other things with little details that made me think for a moment and try to connect things or try and realize where things seemed to be going etc.

Truthfully, there weren't many bad things, in my eyes. Others might disagree with some of the graphic detail, but I think it was needed for where this book went.


What I really loved about this book is how the beginning and the end connect. You are left wondering about some things early in the book, but then it all makes sense at the end. That being said, let the ending and this book settle in after you finish it. When I finished it, I thought "that's it?" Though the ending was jarring to me, it didn't make me feel like the ending made sense. But as I thought about it and everything in the book, it all came together. Well done.

This is one of those books I would highly recommend to someone. But I also would warn that people need to be ready for a graphic book that will make the reader angry, sad, and at times, happy. O'Dell really does a good job at pulling at the emotions of the reader.

I got this book a long time back because it looked good. Then I just let it sit on my "Kindle bookshelf" until I was looking for something recently to read. Noting that I had actually paid for this one (it's only a $2.99 Kindle book!), I decided to read it and am glad I did.

This book isn't for someone who might not be able to deal with some really tender subjects and graphic details about those subjects, but O'Dell really paints an interesting picture of this situation. But this book will make you think, which I think makes a book even better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2010

This is how you should feel after reading a book. I can't shake the imagery from my mind or the feeling of what I wanted to do to that mother each time she beat her kids.

Edward O'Dell manages to write a fiction story with a memoir emotion. This book punches you in the stomach and leaves you gasping for air long after you finish reading it. It's perfect, appalling, heart-breaking, disgusting and raw. If I could I would give this author a standing ovation.

While this is a fiction work, the author has managed to make this personal for each person that comes across it. His writing, through the eyes of one of the children, is written from the POV of a child. He nailed this. Out of the park. The words used, the chapter lengths, the perception of events...I loved it.

I have to have this book at my store.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2010
This story of child abuse and poverty was disturbing and appalling yet at the same time mesmerizing. Sadness and pain were prevalent thoughout the book, but there were instances of lightness and the boys just enjoying themselves. The end was shocking, and the book stayed in my thoughts for a long time. The writing was excellent; after the first few pages, I was sucked into the story and couldn't put the book down. The Kindle formatting, grammar, and punctuation were all very good. It's hard to believe that this is the author's first novel as he writes like a pro. I will follow his writer and hope he releases another book soon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2011
I didn't know this book was a true story until after I read it (I bought the electronic version on a whim and it didn't give any indication it was factual). The character descriptions and narrations are moving, and stay with you, even when read as fiction. I can't imagine how emotionally difficult it was for the author to write this book; it was surely a labor of love. I hope to hear more from this new author.
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