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Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir af…
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Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir (original 1999; udgave 2002)

af Catherine Gildiner (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5162235,350 (3.84)41
Heartbreaking and wicked: a memoir ofó stunning beauty and remarkable grace. Improbable friendships and brushes with death. A schoolgirl affecting the course of aboriginal politics. Elvis and cocktails and Catholicism and the secrets buried deep beneath a place that may be another, undiscovered Love Canal - Lewiston, New York. Too Close to the Falls is an exquisite, haunting return, through time and memory, to the heart of Catherine Gildiner's childhood. And what a childhood it was.… (mere)
Medlem:theeccentriclady
Titel:Too Close to the Falls: A Memoir
Forfattere:Catherine Gildiner (Forfatter)
Info:Penguin Books (2002), Edition: Reissue, 400 pages
Samlinger:Read
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Too Close to the Falls af Catherine Gildiner (1999)

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» Se også 41 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 22 (næste | vis alle)
Reads as fiction rather than memoir; the author is trying to be some kind of Tom Sawyer (but with more freedom) or Huck Finn, with Roy as a mentor -- Roy is what Jim could have been in a happier world. And the book works as long as Roy is on the scene, but at some time sooner or later -- one of the things about any book, memoir or fiction, that a good editor or fact checker should watch for is internal contradictions in the timeline -- Roy disappears and the narrative suffers for it. In the last two chapters, the tone changes. In the penultimate chapter, with Roy out of the picture, junior-high aged Catherine latches onto a malicious and salacious older girl, Miranda, who orchestrates a vicious although implausible prank against the parish priest that gets both girls expelled, and in the last chapter which again stretches the bounds of credulity Miranda savages the reputation of a young Jesuit, who might even deserve it if half Gildiner's narrative is true, which I doubt. He supposedly lacks judgement to the point of taking prepubescent Catherine out for dining and dancing at a fancy hotel -- straight from school in her kneesocks and saddle shoes -- where, mistaken for newlyweds, he gets her drunk and shares a dangerous escapade at the brink of the falls. Too Close is a light hearted and heartwarming book with two nasty, mean-spirited chapters appended; I won't be keeping it.

The author's problems with veracity, according to the Buffalo News, only get worse in later books, when she claims to have written, while stoned, an essay that won her a scholarship to Oxford -- where she entered a college that did not, at any of the possible times in her mangled timeline, accept women. And on and on. There's a tactfully delightful review on Amazon by a schoolmate and neighbour from Lewiston that's worth reading, along with the Buffalo review. ( )
  muumi | Jan 23, 2021 |
I liked After the Falls better, but both read like fiction rather than memoir; she had some life! ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
I identified with this author's rendition of her childhood in that I wasn't ready for the conventions of schooling,I roamed far and wide, and I fell into unacknowledged risks. Her parents struck me as pretty dysfunctional, especially the mother who seemed rather out of touch with reality. Tales of Catholic schooling was genuine and amusing. I would say this story falls in a Memoir Fiction category. Nonetheless, the author came across as very insightful. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | May 1, 2017 |
Now that I've read this book I realize that I don't have a hope of writing a best-selling memoir of my childhood. My parents were just not eccentric enough to give me the fodder for writing an interesting book. Some of the best childhood memoirs I have read are this one, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells and Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. What they all have in common are parents who live outside the norm for their time and location. Bernice and Jim, you deprived me of my chance at fame by raising me in an ordinary 1950s farming community and living ordinary lives. Even my mother going to back to work when I was young, although as I was just learning to talk and the trauma of being separated from her caused me to develop a stutter, just wasn't unusual enough. Or maybe I just lack the imagination to embellish incidents from my childhood with enough verve to make them interesting. I do suspect a little of that was done by the author.

Cathy McClure was the daughter of a pharmacist and an amateur historian who lived in Lewiston New York in the 1950s. Her parents were childless for some time and Cathy was a bit of a surprise. She was also a handful. In the 21st century Cathy would have been diagnosed as having hyperactivity or ADHD and been treated with pharmaceuticals. In the 1950s the family doctor suggested Cathy be put to work in the family drugstore so at age 4 she started work at 6 am when her father went to work. She sold newspapers, sorted pills, filled the magazine racks and went out on deliveries with Roy. Roy was illiterate but he knew everyone and where they lived; Cathy could already read and write at age 4 so she looked at all the prescriptions and figured out the delivery route. Even when Cathy started school she still went into the drugstore before and after school. The McClures never ate at home so Cathy had breakfast in a diner with her father on the way to work, lunch in a tavern with Roy while they were out delivering and supper with her mother in a better class restaurant. When she had to see a child psychologist for stabbing another pupil at school and he showed her a picture of a stove and asked Cathy what her mother would be putting in the oven she answered mittens because that is all she had ever seen her mother do with their stove. (The story of her encounter with the child psychologist is one of the best parts of the book.) My parents insisted on feeding us three meals a day around our dining room table and if we ate away from home it was in someone else's home. I can still remember planning for days with my best friend how we would spend some money we had been given on a sundae. The planning was much better than the execution as I recall.

So, there is no point in waiting for my memoir to be published but if you want an entirely different view of childhood in the 1950s this would be a good place to start. ( )
2 stem gypsysmom | Apr 23, 2017 |
I read this due to genealogy and local interest. Loved it!
The author had me in distress from laughing so hard!
The humourous parts were hysterical. My favorite being the John Cameron Swayze story and her doctor visit.
There were some serious, sad chapters in this book,but she took care in writing of the people involved.
My favorite "characters" in her story were Warty and Roy.
I loved re-visiting the Falls area as it was in its glory days.
Lewiston will never appear the same for me!!!!
This book can be read and put down as each chapter is about an event or person even tho the storylines can carry thru the entire book.
An enjoyable read! ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
Viser 1-5 af 22 (næste | vis alle)
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There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

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Over half a century ago I grew up in Lewiston, a small town in western New York, a few miles north of Niagara Falls on the Canadian borde. As the Falls can be seen from the Canadian and American sides from different perspectives, so can Lewiston. It is a sleepy town, protected from the rest of the world geographically, nestled at the bottom of the steep shale Niagara Escarpment on one side and the Niagara River on the other. The rivers appearance, however, is deceptive. While it seems calm, rarely making waves, it has deadly whirlpools swirling on it`s surface which can suck anything into it`s vortices in seconds.
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Heartbreaking and wicked: a memoir ofó stunning beauty and remarkable grace. Improbable friendships and brushes with death. A schoolgirl affecting the course of aboriginal politics. Elvis and cocktails and Catholicism and the secrets buried deep beneath a place that may be another, undiscovered Love Canal - Lewiston, New York. Too Close to the Falls is an exquisite, haunting return, through time and memory, to the heart of Catherine Gildiner's childhood. And what a childhood it was.

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