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Life: An Exploded Diagram Kindle Edition
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|Length: 416 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
The story smoothly progresses into the main plot, which is the account of Clem Ackryod's life. Clem's lifetime is filled with as many twists and turns as that of a babbling brook flowing down a rocky mountain. His tale is filled with love and joy, but also with loss and grief. The narrative of Clem's lifetime is helplessly knotted with that of president John F. Kennedy and his battle with the Russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Mal Pete's style of writing features incredibly well written prose that often had an almost poetic ring to it. Along the course of the novel, Pete often goes off on historical tangents that boost the appeal of the book overall, while still retaining the flow of the story. The first thirty pages of the book are a little dry, but you just have to keep with it because it's really an amazing read.
In addition to having an amazingly good plot, this novel also teaches the reader a few good life-altering lessons. Though, unlike the lessons of other books like The Giving Tree where the didactic messages are apparent, the lessons in this book are more secretive. One of the lessons is that you should always remember the unpredictability of life, because you never know what might happen. The book likewise explains the reality of how people and their views change over their lifetimes.
This novel would be equally appealing to either gender, and it should definitely be age restricted for 14 and above because of a number references to sexual activities.
Overall I would give this brilliant piece of literature a shining five out of five stars.
Reviewed by Young Mensan Adam, age 15
By page 2, however, it was quite clear to me that this book would be better grouped with others by Charles Gidley, David Nicholls - even Gabriel Garcia Marquez. With quotes from "Lady Chatterley's Lover" by D.H. Lawrence and Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress", it's certainly no Stephanie Meyer (I am no fan of "Twilight"), Alison Noel or even Robert Cormier.
I'm guessing the reason for the book being thus marketed is the current temperature of the Young Adult reading market. Many adults are finding stronger appeal in the YA market, so, yeah, why not - just slap the label "YA" on a book, and you'd get middle schoolers, high schoolers, college and post-college readership.
My gripe is that no, this book is not suitable for middle schoolers or even high schoolers. This is not a "Teen" book. I can't imagine it to be of any appeal other than maybe "forbidden fruit" unless the reader is at least in his / her twenties - even though, yes, I see there is a 15-year-old reviewer here. There are more pages (300 or thereabouts out of 385) devoted to the romance between Ruth and George than Clem and Frankie's story. A grandfather telling you about his first love is not the same as someone else telling you how that grandfather fell in love for the first time. This is no "Shades of Grey" - it's no "mummy porn" - even though there is plenty of sex. There is just too much cynicism and regret to be considered "Young Adult." I felt I was suckered into reading this - and, yes, my 13-year-old daughter has read and enjoyed "War and Peace" with my approval. I think she needs to be a lot more jaded with life before she is ready to tackle this well-written, actually rather self-indulgent book. Just because some kids these days are so much more well-read than they used to be really doesn't mean they should read everything available on the shelves. If I had found this book in the regular adult fiction section, I'd have no problem giving it a solid five-star rating. As it is, I blame rotten marketing for this 3.5-star review.
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