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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Back Roads (Oprah's Book Club) » User review

NOT FOR EVERYONE - BUT I LIKED IT

  • Sep 9, 2004
Rating:
+3
This would not be everyone's cup of tea..not by a long shot. I certainly would not recommend it for younger readers. Being older than dirt myself, I was able to handle it and rather enjoyed it and in fact could sort of relate to it. Of course I could always relate to Holden too, so....Anyway, I would recommend digging into it, with the that it is a bit rough in places and some could well find it offensive. It is well worth the time though.

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About the reviewer
Don Blankenship ()
Ranked #229
Retirement does not suit me and I now substitute teach in our local schools system. I spent twenty years in the military, twenty years in health care as a consultant and have taught in various colleges … more
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About this book

Wiki

Oprah Book Club® Selection, March 2000: Not since S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders) has a female novelist penned such a tough and titillating portrait of lower-class, crime-ridden manhood. Set in "beautiful, ruined" western Pennsylvania, amid Eat n' Parks and Lick n' Putts, Tawni O'Dell'sBack Roadsfollows Harley Altmyer as he walks a raging, self-conscious line between crime and innocence. Why is he being held by the authorities, and what's he so mad about? In the recent past, it's his mother, who murdered his father and went to jail for life. In the far past, it's Dad himself: an abusive, hopeless man. In the present, it's the responsibility for his three younger sisters, which makes him fantasize about smashing their faces in until they "spit up bloody macaroni and cheese."

But Harley still has a conscience--barely. He doesn't strike his sisters; he's been trying to protect them. The oldest is sassy Amber, 16, who's having sex on the living-room couch with townies who abuse her; next is frighteningly stoic 12-year-old Misty, with eyes "a glazed brown like a medicine bottle"; the youngest is adorable Jody, who at 6 pens to-do lists with items such as "PRAY FOR DADDYS SOWL." Overburdened with the practicalities of life, and the ever-mounting losses, Harley has started seeing his own words floating in the air in front of his face. "CLOSURE. TRUTH. MOST GUYS."

This first novel ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0670894184
ISBN-13: 978-0670894185
Author: Tawni O'Dell
Publisher: Viking Adult

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A Fine Balance

Oprahs Book Club 2000-2009

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