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Never Say Goodbye Paperback – September 11, 2012
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2016 Book Awards
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Top Customer Reviews
Personally, I feel no desire to further drag him over the coals.
I approached this book with an open mind, and was pleasantly surprised to find a memoir that was at once concise, self-effacing, and beautifully full of florid prose. Further, I found his battle with plagiarism, although addressed sufficiently in the narrative, to be one of the least compelling parts of his story.
What struck me were the photorealistic details culled from his childhood and teenage years - the depth and color of his emotions and memories. The honesty and insight surrounding his relationships with women could have made its own standalone novel, in my opinion.
What I found in Never Say Goodbye was much more than the redemptive mea culpa that the book's jacket presents it as. Although that mission is certainly accomplised within its pages, I read this as a promising first offering from an author who we hopefully will hear a lot more from.
First all, its by no stretch of the imagination a finger pointing exercise in self-justification. The author, if anything, goes to great lengths to pinpoint the mistakes he made along his journey, and at no point in the memoir does Rowan lay fault at anyone else's doorstep. How odd the other reviewer misses this!
The writing is terrific, with passages that play with tone and sentence structure quite well. the memories that are invoked are nicely rendered; the narration both believable yet also surprisingly sophisticated and daring in exploring different techniques. the only surprise is that a writer of such talents would have found the need to plagiarize a book; perhaps he simply needed to get out of the spy genre to fully find his true voice.
this is well worth the price.
A memoir of humility and contrition, Rowan's story is still as insightfully funny as Lucky Jim or Death on the Installment Plan and its beautiful prose suggests something like Fitzgerald's Tender is The Night. Highly recommended!