on June 3, 1997
The worst thing about this book was that I didn't own its sequel, so I could start reading it immediately after finishing SKIPPED PARTS. This book's main character, Sam Callahan, is a sexually active Holden Caufield. It satirizes hick life, but no more than it mocks the people who deem them hicks. Tim Sandlin captures the curious voice of a thirteen-year-old, frightfully perfectly. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. But don't buy only one of the trilogy's books, buy all three of you'll be aching for more without any thing to appease your craving
on January 19, 2000
Wow! That's the best way to describe Tim Sandlin's SKIPPED PARTS. I had heard nothing of the book or its author When i grabbed it off the shelf in a flurry of book buying a couple months ago. Boy, what a treat it turned out to be! I quickly went out and bought the remaining 2 books in the GroVont trilogy and they were ALL outstanding. I've read a good share of books, and i haven't seen characters with this much depth and who were so likealbe (even when they do stupid things)in any other novel in recent memory. Cheers to Sandlin and his great work!
on February 19, 2001
I picked this book up on a whim and I am very glad that I did. I also read the other 2 books in this trilogy but I think that this one is the best of the 3. It deals with coming of age in a humorous and often poignant way. All the characters here are well-drawn and very engaging. I loved getting to know them. For all the humor in the book, it also manages to be sad sometimes as it deals with issues we all face in life. Life is hard sometimes, and it can also be fun, as Tim Sandlin teaches us.
on August 13, 2005
This book is not for the faint of heart. The title, "Skipped Parts", perfectly sums up what the book is about: letting us directly in on the dark, dirty secret that teenage sex and extramarital sex actually occurred in the United States before the invention of the Pill, that there were abortions before Roe v. Wade and they skipped all those parts when they filmed Gidget.
Sam Callahan uses a rich fantasy life to mask the fact that he has had to be father to his own mother because she is too young and immature to take care of herself and her own father treats her like a bought pariah. Exiled to rural Wyoming in the fall of 1963, they survive by building real connections to real people for the first time in their lives. For Sam, the transformation begins on the day of JFK's death, when he comforts Maurey Pierce, the only kid in his grade who can read besides Sam. Maurey's Stepford mother, cowboy father and Dennis the Menace brother drive her to make an unusual pact with Sam: together, they will learn sex so that when they want to have it with someone they really desire, they will know what to do. Egged on by Lydia, Sam's mother, and some of her friends, they learn it quite well, until the inevitable happens the moment Maurey hits puberty. Plot twists that would make J.K. Rowling jealous, humor, beautifully drawn characters, a great sense for the detail of the West and a tremendous understanding of the social mores of teenagers at the time combine to make this a simply irresistible novel.
on April 15, 2011
I very rarely do not finish a book I start. After reading about one-third of Skipped Parts, I realized that I was avoiding my Kindle because I knew what was waiting for me; so I quit reading the book. I found all of the characters unlikable, except for the poor main character - for whom I just felt extremely sorry and sad. Stereotypes abound as a means of characterization. (Is everyone in Wyoming really a stupid hick??) I enjoy a good sex scene in a book as much as the next person, but between two twelve/thirteen year olds as the boys mother waits for them to finish. No thanks. The review for Skipped Parts said, "Sandlin has created a lighthearted, amusing and tender story of preteen wisdom." I must have gotten the wrong book.
on May 21, 2011
This is the first Sandlin book I've read. He's a good writer. His writing is funny, quirky, and intelligent. However, the subject of two 13 year olds exploring sexuality in detail - he didn't skip parts - was just too... ick. As much as I enjoy his writing style, and he is a good storyteller, I'm afraid to try another of Sandlin's books.
on April 4, 2011
I bought this book after reading glowing reviews. I'm not sure what book all those other people read, but I read a book full of too much detail, too much complaining, and not enough storyline.
The review quoted on the front of the book got it exactly right comparing the narrator to Holden Caulfield. That's exactly what this book is like. If you liked CITR, and his narration style, then you will probably really like this book! Just not for me.
on December 22, 2010
This is a very human novel, warts and all. I think most of us would not want to be associated with many of the characters in the book in real life, but within the confines of the printed page Tim Sandlin has created real people that we root for, laugh at, and who make us shake our heads in disgust. In short, the characters are real.
The title "Skipped Parts" can be taken so many ways, but while most readers think the title refers to the teenage sex in the novel, and the way that sex is treated in society, I think it also refers to the skipped parts of society at large. By that I mean the places and people that lots of Americans would rather pretend were not there. I also think it refers to the book's setting; GroVont WY, a place that many coastal Americans just skip over when they take into account American values and mores. If it is not California or New York it does not count, etc.
The realistic portrayal of the characters is jarring especially considering how morally deficient some of them are, and I think that is the point. We are all struggling in this life. Some succeed better than others, and many just get by, in a spiritual and physical sense. I am not especially fond of the protagonist's mom, Lydia, or his best friend/ sex partner (Maurey) but I understand and know them. That is the mark of good writing.
This is the third Sandlin novel I have read, and one of his continuous strengths is the voice of his protagonist, and "Skipped Parts" does not disappoint. The novel's narrator, Sam Callahan, may be only 13, but his voice and humor is one of the text's many high points.
This novel was the first in a trilogy, with a fourth soon to be published, and I will be continuing the journey through GroVont. You should too!
on April 1, 2011
Just recently, I was thinking of Tim Sandlin's novel Skipped Parts. I can't remember why. I first read the novel years ago, and even though I've had the two subsequent novels in the GroVont Trilogy sitting on my book shelf for years, I've never read them. It's a common problem, as I am not one to read books in a series back-to-back no matter how wonderful they are. Then, I wait so long that I've forgotten the first.
Perhaps it's an omen that I discovered Skipped Parts available for free on my Kindle today. Snatched that puppy right up! So, I just opened it up and peaked inside for old time's sake. It was like falling down the rabbit hole. I was sucked in with a tidal pull I did not have the power to resist. Seven or eight hours later, I've barely moved. And you know what? It may have been even BETTER the second time around!
Y'all know what this is about, right? It's the coming of age story of two precocious 13-year-olds in GroVont, Wyoming. The novel opens in 1963, shortly before the Kennedy assassination. Sam and his mother are new to town. After a rocky start, he connects with pretty, young Maurey from his class. They're both readers and full of curiosity, not least of which about the "skipped parts" of novels. In other words, about sex. With the full knowledge and consent of Lydia--a mother unlike any other I've seen in all of literature--the two explore their sexuality and deal with the consequences.
While certainly drama-filled, the thing to know about this book is that it's a comedy. And the deep humor comes from the extraordinary characters that Sandlin has created. I defy you to not fall in love with them. They're all so profoundly flawed and so very, very human. Sure I remembered the plot of the book, but I'd forgotten about warm Dot, the waitress at the diner. And I couldn't possibly remember all the facets of Lydia and the complexity of her relationship with Sam.
A plot-driven novel is a letdown the second time around, but this is the perfect example of a character-driven novel getting richer. Not only with time, but--quite frankly--with the increased maturity and sophistication of the reader. Just imagine how good it will be if I read it again in another 20 years! For now, my intentions to move on to the second book, Sorrow Floats, are reaffirmed. And excellent news, Sandlin fans... Fifteen years after the conclusion of this trilogy, the author has returned to these characters with his latest title, Lydia. I have all sorts of reading to look forward to.
* Oh, and if you have an e-reader, rush and snatch this wonderful novel up for free before April 11, 2011.
on May 21, 2011
Skipped Parts is great all the way to the end. The subject material is hard, the life choices of this main character is hard, everything about what these characters face is hard. I enjoyed the development of the characters as they grew up physically and psychologically. A true coming of age for all involved.