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The Flying Troutmans Hardcover – Oct 2008

22 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Oct 2008
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint LLC (Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582434395
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582434391
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,630,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A colourful portrait of a family trying to survive in its own unique way.' Guardian -- Guardian

'A gently humoured American road-story.' Good Housekeeping -- Good Housekeeping

'Eccentric and engrossing.' Woman -- Woman

'Funny and uplifting, the Troutmans' fragile unit is a jubilant tribute to families everywhere.' Psychologies -- Psychologies

'I absolutely loved the book ... One of the most original, fresh, funny and heartbreaking books I've read in a long time.'
-- Jane Fallon, author of GETTING RID OF MATTHEW

'In this colourful, big-hearted novel Toews creates battered, loving, whole and original characters.' Spectator -- Spectator --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Review

'In this colourful, big-hearted novel Toews creates battered, loving, whole and original characters.' Spectator --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookish on 17 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This could have been a depressing tale: it concerns Hattie, who is charged with looking after her nephew and niece while her sister is suffering with a psychotic illness and being looked after in a psychiatric hospital. Unable to handle the children herself, Hattie decides to find their father Cherkis - who hasn't been a part of the children's lives for a long time.
The three of them set out for what would be called a `road movie', if it was a film.

Nephew Logan is typically teenaged and temperamental, and niece Thebes is cute, enthusiastic and funny (although I did wonder if she might have some of her mother's emotional difficulties perhaps...). The book is written through the eyes of Hattie - but I finished the book thinking that, of all the characters, I knew her the least.

Depressing it isn't: it's fun, engaging, easy to read and at times very funny. It's an easy read, and yet there is a depth and a genuine understanding of people's relationships and the effect of mental health issues on families.

I didn't like the lack of speech marks: I first saw this type of punctuation (or lack of it) in `Angela's Ashes' and it was very effective there, adding an atmospheric touch. But in this book it just made the dialogue breathless and a bit irritating to read after a while - I couldn't see the point.

I always enjoy a book that teaches me something or helps me to see an aspect of life through a new viewpoint, and The Flying Troutmans did exactly that. I would recommend this if you like American literature, and like something a bit different to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Somehow this story grew on me as I read it. The first 50 pages were hard going and I found the characters irritating but after that I was looking forward to reading it. Hattie leaves her luke warm relationship in Paris after a phone call from her sister Min who wants her to look after Logan and Thebes her two children. Min has severe mental health issues.

Hattie decides Min would be better off in hospital and delivers her there before setting off on a whim to find the children's father - Cherkis - so that he can take care of his two children. Finding him involves a road trip from Canada across America with various stops on the way. The flashbacks into Hattie's and Min's childhood underpin the whole story as does the question of Min's mental stability.

I did find the lack of speech marks very annoying and that is why I haven't rated this 5 stars. I had to keep backtracking to work out what had been said and to whom. Apart from that I think the author has caught the essence of family life and the banter that goes on between family members. I thought Thebes was especially irritating at first but she grew on me as the story progressed - though I did feel she behaved and spoke in a far more adult way than most 11 year olds.

Overall I found it a book worth reading and one I would recommend if you don't mind trying something different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Wright VINE VOICE on 14 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Hattie is Min's sister who is travelling the world to escape from her childhood but comes home to Canada to look after Logan and Thebes (Min's children) whilst manic depressive Min is in hospital. Hattie however feels that it would be best for their father Cherkis to look after them and so they set off on a road trip to California to find him.

It is the writing of Logan and Thebes mainly which made this story so believable and interesting. All the different facets to their characters made this book so absorbing and interesting.

This book has been compared to "Little Miss Sunshine" and it is very similar in style as it's a family road trip story focussing on the emotions of the main characters. Although there are themes of suicide and depression, the book is humerous and enjoyable.

The only thing that spoilt the book for me somewhat was the lack of speech marks. This was especially true at the beginning when it was difficult to follow what was being said. However the quality of story and characters had me reading to the end.
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By Chantal Lyons VINE VOICE on 26 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
On the back of the book one person claims it to be "reminiscent of Little Miss Sunshine". And there are certainly parallels; Logan, the moody male teenager, is similar to the moody male teenager from the film, Thebes, the delightful eleven-year-old, is the chirpy girl and both families drive a beat-up van. However, I found The Flying Troutmans slightly more fun.

The story is narrated by Hattie, Min's younger sister, who has dealt with Min's mental problems her entire life. Interspersed with the Troutmans' journey are anecdotes, some hilarious, some tragic, but mostly both, of Min. Oddly though, despite the story being narrated by Hattie, I felt like I didn't know her as well as Logan and Thebes who are as alive as characters in a book can be. Thebes is definitely the highlight of this novel - crazy, arty, and hopelessly optimistic - so when she hits her lows, it hits the reader too.

It's easy to curl up with this book, read it for a while and put it down, then come back to it eagerly. The descriptions are quirky, and paired with the dialogue and the general eccentricity of Thebes, makes for laugh-out-loud reading.

There were two flaws with this book for me - firstly, the slightly-unresolved ending. I wanted to know what happened to the characters. Secondly, the complete lack of speech marks. I've seen this used in other books and it doesn't work for me. Luckily enough the story itself was enough to keep me interested but there were several times when the lack of speech marks had me confused and I really see no point to it - it's always struck me as a little pretentious and a poor effort to make a book stand out.

Lack of punctuation aside, I enjoyed reading the book, and I recommend it to anyone looking for something light and humourous.
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