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Bill Warrington's Last Chance Hardcover – August 5, 2010
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
This book fulfilled all my criteria for a great read: flawed but likeable characters, well-paced, showing rather than telling, and the author answered the question some neglect mainly: Why should the reader care about these characters? What's the point of sticking it out until the end with them?
i read so many books, particularly first novels, in which the author seems to be working overtime to convince me of his/her cleverness, precocity and ability to use Very Big Words where a simple one would do fine instead. It's not that I don't enjoy "flowery" language or unique metaphors, just not to the point where it becomes prententious. As a writer myself, I know that "just telling a story" and making it look seamless is a lot harder than it looks, and I applaud Mr. King for bringing it off here.
(Note to Hollywood: Stop doing remakes of eighties movies and Saturday Night Live sketches and consider optioning this instead. Please.)
Marcy has her own foibles to deal with as she struggles to raise her headstrong 15 year old daughter April as a single mother. April feels oppressed by her mother's overbearing control over her life and the two are in constant battle. April finds a kind of solace in her aging grandfather who is losing his memory and is in the early stages of Alzheimer's that appears to quickly progress during the novel.
Nick, the middle child, recently lost his wife as well. While of the three children he is the most emotionally steady, he is also a bit naïve as he struggles to overcome his grief and move on with this life. Mike, the oldest, is the most despicable character of the three. He is a serial philanderer and user of women, despite having a successful career and a beautiful wife and children.
In an attempt to bring his three children together, Bill sets off with April on a road trip from Ohio to California. As April and her grandfather travel across the west we see April confronted with very adult, and sometimes dangerous situations that she must cope with on her own because of the declining mentally abilities of her grandfather.Read more ›
Bill's 'last chance' refers to his last opportunity to reconnect to his kids before his mind is totally gone. Bill takes off on a roadtrip with his granddaughter April (with whom he shares an indifferent and distant relationship) to San Francisco where April aspires to be a rock star. Along the way, April and Bill forge a new understanding while Marcy (who is April's mother, sets off on a frantic search with her brothers to catch-up to Bill and April and bring them home before something awful occurs.
Within the narrative of the book, the reader is given insights into the fragile relationship between Bill and his kids. Family secrets and hurts are exposed and the impact of the loss of Clare (Bill's wife) when the kids ranged from ages 17 to 12 is revealed to have fundamentally caused Bill to shut down and lose himself to drink.
This book is well-written. Character development is fairly good and Bill's losing battle with Alzheimers is handled with accuracy as his constant memory gaps continue to pop up throughout the book. It is easy to follow, without being excessively wordy and it is engaging from the get-go.
Combination road trip meeets family reunion,I thought this was an interesting premise for a story of reconciliation and thought it was well done and was not overtly wordy or filled with empty narrative.
This is James King's first published novel and it doesn't read that way. He manages to take the fairly unsympathetic character of Bill and writes about him in such a way that one minute you want to slap him for his insensitivity and then next to hug him close and comfort the hurting man he is. The same is true for Bill's daughter, Marcy. Sometimes irritating, sometimes heart wrenching, the people that populate this novel come alive through the writer's pen.
I really only have two complaints - there is a graphic scene in a convenience store involving his granddaughter (April) that will cause part of the reading population to be offended.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lovely, moving and at times troubling story of a young teen's coming of age on an unexpected and unconventional adventure with her somewhat peculiar grandfather. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Lynn Monahan
Boring, depressing story of a ragged old widower and his highly dysfunctional kids and grandkids. It did not move me. I would not recommend this.Published 10 months ago by Marilynn C. Fuhrer
This book is about truth. Real life relationships between family members with all of the misunderstandings, hurt feelings that last a lifetime, the pain and sufferings leading to... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Michele M Barron
The premise of Bill Warrington's Last Chance held such promise, but for this reader, it didn't deliver. Read morePublished 17 months ago by 2LZ
The book caught me off guard. Is this his only novel? I hope there are more out there.Published 21 months ago by Lloyd
Alzheimer’s threatens to erase Bill Warrington’s connection to the people he loves most, but not before he does everything in his limited power to mend a fence torn by past... Read morePublished on February 20, 2014 by Christine Beth Reish
An engaging story that explores a family struggling to reunite with each other in order to fulfill the wish of the family patriarch before his memory becomes too unreliable.Published on December 8, 2013 by T.
this is a book that will probably be appreciated by readers who have lived for half a century or morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Lata
I can't say this book kept me on the edge of my seat, but it kept my interest and I enjoyed it. A few areas where I skipped pages, but nothing major. Read morePublished on July 5, 2013 by TopCatLvr