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Buffalo Lockjaw Paperback – March 31, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Throughout the course of the story, James finds that his past seems to collide with his present as he works through his decision to help his mother. We're introduced to his family and see the pain and heartache that surrounds watching a loved one suffer from advanced Alzheimer's as she becomes more debilitated and loses her sense of self. We also see the guilt that consumes James as he watches his mom suffer. He feels responsible for her current state, because, after all, he was the one who talked her out of suicide.Read more ›
Part of the fun of reading Buffalo Lockjaw is the legion of references to the city peppering nearly every page of the novel. I'm surprised and maybe a little embarassed to lay immodest claim to having patronized every drinking establishment mentioned in the book, and there are several, (what, no 'Mohawk Place'?). It's true this is the city you might find local eccentrics walking naked through a blizzard. And I was there, as cited here, during a truly harrowing Buffalo blizzard, when the late mayor Jimmy Griffin told the city to kick back in front of the TV, open up a six-pack, and wait out the storm. The national media's response was, 'only in Buffalo'. I nostalgically recognize cruising through the city-proud commercial Elmwood district late on a winter night, looking through a fogged and icy car window for a bar, a friend, or any action, as snow numbed pedestrians blindly step in front of the car as if attempting a half-hearted suicide. And when The Buffalo Bills lost the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive time, the city cried like Niagara Falls.Read more ›
Protagonist James, at 28 a part of that so-called 'slacker' generation, is perhaps a bit slow to mature like so many of his contemporaries, but at least he did manage to get out of Buffalo (out of the shadow of his over-achieving sister) and find a job. Writing verses and captions in the "Laffs" department of a greeting card company may not be the best of careers. Hell, maybe it's not a career at all, but at least he has a steady job, which is more than most of his toked-up beer-swilling Buffalo buddies can say.
But at the very heart of BUFFALO LOCKJAW is the strong love that James feels for his dying mother, who was a career nurse who loved and believed in her work. It is breaking James's heart to watch her recede into the emptiness of Alzheimers, and in his desperation and love, he studies the possibility of some kind of intervention, reading about assisted suicide and euthanasia.
The odd thing about this book is that despite such a serious and unfunny subject, Ames manages to inject a lot of humor into his first-person narrative. It is, I think, the mark of a very talented writer who can make his reader belly laugh and then nearly weep within the space of a page or two. Greg Ames is that kind of a talent, and he manages to do this repeatedly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely loved this book and the writer's style, wit and intellect. A must read if you love, have loved, have Alzheimer's, or are struggling to care for someone who does. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Reader
Touching and tender dealing with the mother's illness and long term care and the effects on family members.Published 16 months ago by C. A. Wise
How have I not read this book before now? It was published in 2009 and here it is 2014. Doesn't matter. I am just glad I read it. Read morePublished on June 18, 2014 by Mom of Sons
This book is awful. I live in Buffalo and thought it would be cool to read a book about my neighborhood. Read morePublished on May 27, 2014 by Melissa
Old age, senility, and assisted suicide are things we all have to think about, but hopefully not for years. Most of us prefer to think such things exist in a hazy, distant future. Read morePublished on April 6, 2013 by Orion
Inner journey of a young man facing the world around him with bold honesty. Touching and funny, it will make you laugh and it might make you cry.Published on February 13, 2013 by aniiko
This book covers a lot of big topics to which many people may relate, not the least of which are family, sickness and death. Read morePublished on February 21, 2011 by Peter Shermeta
"Our old animosity is blurred and almost hard to remember, like graffiti scrubbed from a brick wall: the fights over my clothes and hair; his hatred for my hooligan friends; his... Read morePublished on December 15, 2010 by Janet Boyer