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Letting Go Hardcover – August 8, 2018
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Abe Aamidor's words have a near photographic quality in development of place and detailed, interactive, characters. "Letting Go" is a portrait of Dwight Bogdanovic's family as it changes over time. Significant challenges leave disturbing memories not easily forgotten. Bogdanovic's challenge is to move on with his life after setbacks that readers may recognize in their own lives. Those who have lived in Indianapolis will recognize significant places and times, but the themes are universal. Aamidor's fiction moves the reader to reflect on life and meaning. James W. Brown, Ph.D., Professor and Executive Associate Dean Emeritus, Indiana University School of Journalism
How do you measure a life? Is it simply the sum of events, relationships, decisions? Will it finish too late or too soon, like a book badly written? And who will value the life? In the first chapter of Abe Aamidor's Letting Go, a bereaved father quotes a friend of Bertrand Russell saying, "Your life matters because you did live it." But his son Bertrand has died in Afghanistan. Will the father's life still matter? Reading like a gorgeously written memoir, Letting Go retells the son's life together with father's and grandfather's, through snapshots of people from different worlds, drawn together in America's melting pot, sent to fight for great causes, and coming home again. Except the father sold encyclopedias and the son didn't come home. Convincing first-person narration brings to life, and vividly contrasts, teenage days of cycling and the present-day voice of an old man viewing his "fitness goal." The "black blooming smell of soil after heavy rain," is contrasted with city streets where "buildings have... personalities," the regrets of the past with a desire to matter in the present, and the certainties of official voices with the nuanced nature of relationships. Birds are evicted from their trees, tribes from their land, and a man from the life he thought he'd built for himself. Small actions have large consequences, in life and in this novel, like concrete filling the space between wooden blocks to keep an old building standing, or memories tucked in the cracks of a sacred wall. Meanwhile a man, not yet so old, seeks a way forward that's not so tied after all to the past. Only then can he truly look back and value those memories for what they are, proof that "life is for the living." -- Sheila Deeth, Sheila's Reviews
The narrator of Abe Aamidor's new novel Letting Go, Dwight Bogdanovic, is deeply nostalgic in his recollections of the '50s. But he is smart enough to know that being romantic about the past will just lead him in circles. At points in the novel, you wonder if Dwight will have the sense to move on with his life or else just get swallowed in the eddies of his past. And this narrative tension, in part, is why the novel is so engaging. Letting Go is also a quick read because of the author's keen observational skills, which he brings to bear--with both affection and dry humor--on the city of Indianapolis, which might be unfamiliar literary territory for most. But this meditation on fathers and sons, on loss, and on the passage of time, should feel familiar to its readers because Dwight Bogdanovic is an authentic literary creation who reflects the struggles that we all have at some point in our lives. Dan Grossman, Arts Editor, NUVO Newsweekly (Indianapolis)
About the Author
- Publisher : Permanent Press (August 8, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 157962538X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1579625382
- Item Weight : 11.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,736,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Through reverie and detailed recall, Aamidor chronicles the life and times of Dwight Bogdanovic. Aamidor's crisp writing style effortlessly creates strong imagery illustrative of the times, places, and emotions aroused as he goes about his day-to-day responsibilities. Although this book spans three generations, the writing is fluent and rich with details of places and times, as seen through the lens of Bogdanovic, which make it natural for the reader/listener to follow.
Instead I got a different connection. Or a re-connection, rather, to two of the book's settings: Chicago and Indianapolis. Popular cities beloved by many, of course. But Aamidor gives them personality, and rightfully so – like some of the luckiest people among us, those cities have charm and history and notoriety. These two cities themselves are love affairs for some of us.
It's appropriate that I read this book at the beginning of fall – the perfect season for the book's themes of love and loss, family and self-discovery. A throat lump formed at page 15 and the dam burst at page 165. Abe *Aamidor's LETTING GO was one of those finish-in-one-sitting novels – the emotional joyride was appreciated and expected – just not in the way it happened. The dust jacket and other reviews warn you, too – there's no gotcha twist. No, there's just Abe Aamidor's flawless words sauntering, efficiently gliding in to remind us all that life itself, even the good parts, are a constant dance of 'letting go'. We take in so much, SO MUCH – and in one way or another – we have to let go of so much, too. This is something many of us intuitively know, of course, but with the guiding pressure of Aamidor's prose – kind of like a friendly hand at the small of your back, lightly urging you forward – I didn't only know it, as the reader I felt it. And as important as it is, to maximize our lives, our experiences, the time we get on earth, it's equally as important that we show the people we love, our own selves included, that we are brave enough to breathe …. move forward … and release when the time comes.
*I find it hard to comment here and not give spoilers - which is just one of the top five most evil things on the internet. If you've ever read Abe, in any format, know you won't be disappointed here - he's still at the top of his game, knows his craft, and I wish more writers understood even the differences between those two (game vs. craft). Abe knows - which means I'll read everything he writes.