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The Ghost Of My Father Paperback – October 15, 2014
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"The author's prose style is compelling, due in part to his interest in classical mythology and modern popular culture... ideally suited to an audience that's similarly concerned with the challenges of adulthood and parenthood in the 21st century." - Kirkus Reviews
"A sobering, lucid memoir about the uncanny, precarious nature of family, masculinity and childhood." -Kirkus Reviews
"Not only captivating, but also insightful... digs deep into many themes; family dynamics, forgiveness, grace, legacy, hope..." - Jen Moff
"Thought-provoking read, and highly recommended" - Thomas Duff
About the Author
Scott Berkun is the author of five popular books and his work as a writer and speaker has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, National Public Radio, CNN, CNBC, NPR and MSNBC. Join his mailing list for his latest essays, lectures and projects at scottberkun.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Last night I bought my own copy on Amazon and I just finished the last page for the second time.
This book is an interesting take on the nonfiction memoir, and I read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.
The ghost of my father is not so much a book about the the father as it is about the writer himself. It's a deeply personal story, so intimate at times that I felt I was in a one on one conversation with Scott.
The pace of the book is high, not wasting any time on exposition where you can do without it. He sits you down and tells you his story, straight to the point and captivating and without pauze. This can leave you out of breath while trying to keep up in the first chapters.
It's both a strength and a weakness, just like you wouldn't interrupt a friend when he's pouring his heart out, you can't walk away from this book half way without letting your friend down.
Truth be told: I usually enjoy reading memoirs/biographies that do spend more time setting the scene but in this case the form the writer chose appeals to me.
Scott Berkun has put to paper a memoir about growing up in his family and gives a unique insight into his thoughts and feelings as a young boy and a grown man getting to grips with an absent father.
For me, what I took away is that four people living in one home can have completely different emotions, experiences and memories. Essentially all living different lives in separate worlds onder one roof. Even though my personal family situation was completely different I still recognized and felt the pain they experienced.
After I finished reading the first time (about 1:30 am), his story stayed with me and when I woke up this morning it was still in the back of my mind.
Why you should read this book:
-it's a gripping and fascinating memoir, if you like this kind of book you won't be disappointed
-the writer tells an honest story
-even if your background is completely different, you'll relate.
Why you might not read this book:
-it's non-fiction book, quite naked in its mise-en-scene, without any windowdressing.
I enjoyed reading this book because I can relate to what Scott has gone through in his life. He shared perspectives that I think would help anyone better understand and cope with relationship issues. One of the things that I've learned about successful relationships is it takes emotional maturity to repair an argument quickly. Scott summed it up nicely by stating; "People who care about each other should come back the next day to sort out what happened the day before." If you can repair an argument quickly with a friend or a loved one than you have a shot at having very good relationships.
This is a book that resonated with me and I can't wait to read it again.
Disclosure: I received this book from Scott Berkun as part of my contribution to the Kickstarter project for this book. But, after reading the book, I purchased additional copies for family and friends
For me, Berkun's story is less about his father's betrayal (though that is huge) and more about the hard work it takes to look at our own thought patterns and behaviors. Anyone who has been or is going through the process will relate to Berkun's emphasis on just how difficult it is. I was reminded of a time when I said I was through with therapy, change was just too hard. My therapist's response: of course it's hard, if it wasn't everyone would be doing it.
Acceptance is not excusing a behavior; it is not even necessarily forgiveness. True acceptance brings peace. I admire Berkun's vulnerability in revealing the good, the bad and the ugly of his struggle to reach an acceptance of his father - both as the person he is and the role he will or will not play in Berkun's life. “The Ghost of My Father” is a loving, yet clear-eyed, look at this particular family’s dysfunction, as well as Berkun’s continuing journey towards being at peace with himself and the choices he makes.
A good memoir is powerful and has the ability to make a reader ponder her own life. Berkun’s book did that for me in spades.
Scott is real, honest and insightful. His story helps to boost confiidence that our own journeys are worthwhile, as different as they are.
I'm grateful he decided to share this personal and touching memoir.
In The Ghost of My Father, Berkun takes on his own family relationships and faces the sweet, the difficult, the confusing, and the broken. It's a memoir that is both memories and Berkun's real-time struggle to make sense of his father's affair.
When I finished it, I felt more human and less alone.