- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 24, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1453847243
- ISBN-13: 978-1453847244
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,675,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Welcome to Scranton Paperback – November 24, 2010
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About the Author
Greg Halpin was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He opened gourmet coffee shop Café del Sol in the mid 1990s where some of the scenes take place in Welcome to Scranton. Halpin now lives in State College, Pennsylvania with his wife Elisha. He works for his alma mater, Penn State University. Halpin hosts a Jazz program each month on WPSU-FM. You can listen online at www.wpsu.org
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Top customer reviews
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The book follows the same sort of outline as movies like "American Graffiti" or "Diner", or books like "Cannery Row". It is populated by different types of people who are fairly realistic versions of real people. It consists of little events, life dramas, complications and successes and failures and concerns that reflect the real lives of these people. There's some dramatic license and plotting, but just enough to keep the characters and the book moving forward. The point isn't primarily to "tell a story" or develop some featured character. The point, to me anyway, is to capture the authentic feel of a real place in a way that invites the reader to experience something that might otherwise be foreign to them. In this the author succeeds.
So, I enjoyed this book immensely, although my feelings were influenced in large part by the pleasure I took in this trip down memory lane. The gravy days of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre and all of the towns in-between are now long gone, (along with Vaudeville, the Pennsylvania Railroad, and Big Coal), but if you are interested in what was left behind and how the survivors are doing, this book would be an interesting and rewarding choice.
I hoped for better, but this novella wasn't to my taste.
Oddly, it was almost a non-starter for me, as the short description almost made me skip the whole thing. It doesn't do the book justice and needs to be changed. I'm glad I had a second thought and gave it a chance.
Being from a small town and I could well picture the events and types of places in my mind. People who feel as if the are abjectly spinning their wheels as life moves on for other folks. You know, the ones who got away. Tis not true dear friends, as Greg so aptly shows in Welcome to Scranton.
Main character Hank is the "glue" of his foursome. I doubt Jake or Ed would have hung together without Hank and Mike's character is too darn normal to not have an opposite level in Hank.
Details of the 90's nicely done, very smooth with no known anachronisms to jerk you out of the story. The flashbacks to childhood were some of my favorite parts of the book. Nicely added detail (white carpet & flocked wallpaper, all the boys crushing on the prettiest mom) gave a richly drawn atmosphere.
This is just good writing and I hope Greg has something in the offing for us. Maybe a "10 years later" update on our friends in Scranton? Whatever it is, I'll be sure to read.
Surprised some enterprising movie studio hasn't jumped on this as a showcase of up and coming Hollywood hopefuls. Think "Swinger" or "Diner." Highly recommended!