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Too Close to the Falls Paperback – February 26, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
From the intelligently quirky mother to Warty, the self-appointed caretaker of the city dump, all of the characters ring true. And after just a few sentences Gildiner has you feeling like you really know them.
And then there's the main character, the author as a child, who basically grew up in her father's drug store. It's a miracle she lived long enough, given her adventures and attitude, to write the book. Lucky for us she did.
Each chapter is a short-story unto itself, a la Jean Shepherd. And there just aren't enough of them. After 350 pages you're left feeling cheated because there aren't 350 more.
Read this book.
But when I got to the parts about Catherine's life age 10 and after, the charming, funny, strange, scenic stories and well-realized characters were replaced with essayistic writing concentrating on her Catholic faith or lack thereof and descriptions of what seemed to me cliched Catholic nuns and priests. I lost interest, but read to the end.
I wish there had been some kind of conclusion drawn, or a wrap up of how her life developed after the last episode, but no such luck. I felt let down.
Oh, well, I was entertained for the better part of a week. What more can you want?
The author does an excellent job of painting portraits of the people that influenced her life. These include her mother, a very atypical 50s housewife who never cooked or kept house, her hard working civic-minded father, and Roy, the black pharmacy deliveryman who took Cathy on his rounds. Through her prescription deliveries, Cathy met Warty, a disfigured outcast who worked at the garbage dump, Mad Bear, the chief of the Tuscarora Indian tribe, and Marie, a retired prostitute/abortionist. Cathy bumped heads with an assortment of classmates, nuns, and priests at school and church.
This is a wonderful coming of age story that is poignant and thought-provoking. There were many humorous touches as Cathy described the world through an innocent child's eyes. There was also a dark side to this memoir as she puzzled over the disturbing and often contradictory elements of society that were often kept under wraps during that era.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Catherine Gildiner uses wonderfully descriptive language. Since I am about the same age, I could relate to the times and many of the events she describes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Loves to read
Funny, and witty. This book was a treat from beginning to end. I would recommend it to book groups as there are some good discussion points.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
The book resonated with me since I grew up in that time period and went to Catholic school. The author's family was so quirky and different from mine. Read morePublished 2 months ago by barbg
This is a very entertaining memoir of an unusual childhood, peppered with interesting details about the town's history.Published 7 months ago by Joy Feldman
One of the funniest books I've read -- so different from the sequel, but both good stories of her experiences.Published 7 months ago by M. Fulrath
Good book. One of those that makes you cringe because it's true and happening to a child but throughout there's hopefulness which makes it all worth it in the end.Published 8 months ago by Sheila