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You Came Back Paperback – 28 Jun 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670921254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670921256
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,625,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Christopher Coake's book of stories We're in Trouble (Penguin, 2005) won him a PEN Award and led to him being named by Granta as one of America's best young writers. A native of Ohio, where You Came Back is set, he now lives in Reno where he teaches creative writing at the University of Nevada.

This is his first novel.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a haunting tale of a man, Mark, who, having lost his son in a tragic accident has to battle to rekindle his marriage and to keep his mind from falling into the abyss.

Sounds sad? Sometimes it is just that but the writing is quite pacey and the tale meanders through many a twist and turn which creates excitement. There are also many moments of extreme joy, and happiness constantly seems potentially just around the corner for Mark. Whether he actually achieves that state at the end is for the reader to decide. Certainly there is a sense of peace and of new beginnings.

The author is excellent at drawing the many characters who populate this book, and describes their individuality. What makes them tick as people is carefully crafted for each. It is a story about the complexities of the many facets of love and its enduring qualities and also sometimes the selfishness which individuals are capable of and their preoccupation with their own wants and desires.

Along the way Mark learns the truth about his parents' marriage which he could never have guessed at. He learns lessons about fatherhood from his own father. Most importantly he comes to realise that he is not alone and his family and friends will always be there to offer help and support. However, at the end it is up to each individual to find their own salvation.

This is a very good read throughout, but possibly those who themselves are recently bereaved may find it difficult.
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By FLB TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 July 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I found this book to be very confusing and was re-assured by other reviews that I was not alone in this feeling. I thought I was going to be reading a ghost story type novel....I was all geared up to a sixth sense type story mixed in with emotions about the sad subject matter - the death of a child.

I found the actual story to be a bit slow, a bit self consuming and centred around the wallowing sadness of Mark the main character. I understood his emotions however because as a parent it is your worst imaginings coming true....but it went on and on a bit.

That said, I do think that it was very well written and as a debut novel was quite impressive, I was gripped at times and bored at others but my overall feeling was one of resentment that I did not get the ghostly novel I had anticipated from the blurb.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a rather interesting read, but apologies, I can't review it without revealing a 'spoiler':

SPOILER:

It deals with the lives and losses of a young couple whose world is devastated when their young son is killed. The ensuing impact on their lives and relationship is tragic but very well described. The twist in the tale is the alleged revelation that a stranger has supposedly had contact with the spirit of the child. The subject matter is a sensitive one and there is a real sense of the tragedy and the pain of this. The ending was hard to predict and opens you to a myriad of thoughts and feelings about the whole story.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'd like to give this four and a half stars really. It hasn't got the real literary quality to make it to five stars. It's pretty well written but there are some clunky bits. Scenes are set by a description of what someone chose to wear, which is fine once or twice but becomes a bit obvious when repeated; it seems like a device from a writing class. There are descriptions of sex too which are uncomfortable. I'm not one to wish explicit content, I'm happy with allusions and generalisations. I don't need to know the fine details. However, this book about relationships some reference to sex is necessary and integral and there was an impression that the author felt a bit uncomfortable dealing with it, or wanted to bowdlerise his own work just a bit to widen its appeal, or indeed both! So those are my criticisms, which make me want to knock a half star off.
It's better than a four though! This is a book in which Mark and Chloe split up after the death of Brendan, their son, being unable to come to terms with their loss. Finally, Mark is about to move on to a new life, becoming engaged to Allie. Suddenly, the echo of Brendan is felt. It becomes almost a ghost story, but with a very unusual twist. The real strength is the complexity of the characters. They have ambivalent and sometimes contradictory views, they sometimes think they ought to do one thing but can't help doing another, they have a strange mix of doubt and certainty, and show that love isn't a single thing but a many flavoured thing found in different places and in differen times in different ways. All this makes them very convincing and interesting. It doesn't always make them likeable; they can be frustrating and annoying, and there are times you'd like to sit them down and give them a stern talking to. They do finish up being complex and convincing characters, and finding out how the assorted complexities resolve (or don't) makes the a compelling book. Five stars then.
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By book fan VINE VOICE on 12 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved this novel, it was much better than I thought it was going to be, it is a powerfully written story that once I had begun reading I couldn't bear to stop. The author has managed to create immensely believable people in this book which centres mainly on a mother and father, Mark and Chloe, whose seven year old son has died after a fall down the stairs, their grief has brought about the breakdown of their marriage and they are now divorced. The family home where their son Brendan died, they then sold, and now it is occupied by a single mother and her young son who is claiming he has seen the ghost of a little boy in his bedroom. This is where this novel starts, with this mother looking for Mark and Chloe to pass on this information. Mark has moved on from his divorce and is about to be remarried to his new love Allison, but hearing about his dead son throws a curve ball into all his future plans. He doesn't want to believe that his son has come back, asking for his daddy, has this is something he has never believed in, but his ex wife does and she persuades him to go to their old home with a medium in the hopes of helping Brendan to move on and be at rest. On describing the plot of this book it would appear to be a typical ghost story, but it is not in any way a supernatural tale. It is more about love and relationships and how people manage to cope with their grief, which neither Mark or Chloe have been able to. It is a sad, emotional story that can bring a lump to the throat at times. The author gives the reader great insight into the feelings of his characters, the whole book felt realistic and it is beautifully written. Christopher Coake is a name to watch out for after this debut.
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