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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars72
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 22 March 2012
I picked this up mainly because of it being referred to as a more adult Huckleberry Finn (which I loved) and it did not disappoint. Nor did it disappoint on its selection of title - I can't say I've been through the Bible looking for the dirty bits but these came across in a delightfully irreverent way, given the central character's young repressed years.
The book divides roughly into three - for me the least interesting was the first part, focused on Tobias' background and narrow life experiences as a preacher's son. The second part, shared with hobos on the railroad boxcars was a delight for anyone with wanderlust. As for the third part, I don't go for romance books much but Tobias' growing relationship with a tomboy on a Southern farm wouldn't let me put the book down till I'd finished.
Probably the main delight of the book for me was Craw, a one handed Negro hobo with a really great philosophy on life. Five and a half stars from me.
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on 4 March 2011
I really didn't know what to expect from this book, but I downloaded the sample chapter after reading rave reviews on a friend's blog. And after those first few pages, I was hooked. Tobias was such a real and loveable character. The questions he struggled with are the questions that every person who's even flirted with religion will come to. But there was a lot more than philosophy to this book. There was adventure, friendship, and love.

Never predictable, and always enjoyable, I would recommend THE DIRTY PARTS OF THE BIBLE to anyone.
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on 29 January 2012
Mark Twain meets Tom Waits in this beautifully comic and moving picaresque coming-of-age story about a teenage boy escaping his Bible-bashing father during the Great Depression and hitting the road in search of buried treasure and the truth about love. Tobias Henry is a great character, stubborn, restless, ever-questioning, and he more than meets his match in the shape of plucky but 'cursed' tomboy, Sarah, and wisecracking Black hobo, Craw. I caught the movie Paper Moon [Region 2] [import] on TV the day after finishing this and it had just the same beautiful air of humour, pathos and adventure. Brilliantly written.
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on 20 June 2015
Tobias was raised in Remus, Michigan. His Baptist Preacher father instilled the fear of God and hellfire into his congregation and ruled his family with a rod of iron. Following a life changing accident, Malachi (Tobias’s father) sent his son to his family home in Texas to recover some money he had hidden there. Tobias sets out on the journey with no experience, very little money and a lot of naivety. He meets Craw, a hobo, who save his life and accompanies him on his journey.
The story is set in the 1930s Great Depression and (I found out from the author’s note at the end) is the retelling of the ancient Jewish tale of Tobias and Sarah. I really enjoyed the story, Sam Torode writes in a humorous and engaging way and at times I actually laughed out loud. The entrance of Tobias’s Granny really tickled me. I enjoyed this coming of age story, particularly the colourful character of Craw and his wise words and Sarah and Tobias’s road to happiness and liberation.
I highly recommend this as a very entertaining read.
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on 28 August 2012
This is an excellently written coming of age tale, set in the 1940s in America. It tells the story of a preacher's son, who goes on the road to try and find buried treasure that is needed to help save his family from financial ruin. I suppose the premise of the book is nothing ground breaking but the writing has a kind of warm humour to it that is not exactly laugh out loud funny but is enjoyable.

With this being a self published book it is worth mentioning that there are no mistakes that I can recall in the text and the story has a satisfying structure to it. While this might be a given for traditionally published authors it is far too often not achieved by self published books.

The story might be a little bit predictable(in fact it is based upon an old Jewish myth, if I remember rightly) but the quality of the writing stands out and the characters are likeable and believable. I would happily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about the transition from boyhood to being a man.
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on 9 March 2011
It's no wonder Tobias feels bored, depressed, and confused. He's stuck under his overbearing preacher Father's thumb. Nothing in the way of job prospects since the country is still in the depression - not to mention his father's attitudes about girls. He wants to do what's right, but in too many instances, his Father's bible interpretations don't agree with what Tobias thinks the scripture really means.

The title might be off-putting to some, expecting something racier than it is. (Other's might be disappointed it isn't racier.) The reality is the sexual content is trivial - no more or less than any adult (or even young adult) book would have. What it does have is a coming-of-age story set during the depression leavened with humor compared by some to that of Mark Twain. A book that almost anyone should find an entertaining and enjoyable read.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog.**
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on 6 November 2014
I really enjoyed this book a lot.

I am not religious but apparently this is the telling of a story that appears in the bible but set in the modern world so it is easier to relate to it. I found it funny in parts (meets hobos), emotional in others (falling in love or lust) and generally full of happy feelings based on everyday events.

The book is easy to read and follow and is not the most taxing of books, but I didn't want to be taxed, I wanted to be entertainded and made to feel good about the world I live in and the company I keep.
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on 12 April 2015
Sorry, not for me. Too derivative and too -well- nice. There's no tension. You are never in any doubt that whatever mild scrapes Tobias gets into, in the end he will get the girl, the family's fortunes will be restored and they'll all live happily ever after. And the character of Craw, the philosophical hobo, is just Morgan Freeman in the Shawshank Redemption. Good title though.
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on 9 May 2016
An entertaining and at times very touching story of a young man's journey through adolescence and early adult-hood towards happiness. Leaving behind his father's strict upbringing, he discovers a more natural way of living via the older black man who shares his journey south spouting wisdom, and from his father's family down south where superstition and desire collide in the person of a young woman who wins his heart.
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on 20 September 2012
I bought this book for the title alone - yes, I seem to be doing a LOT of that lately, but in nearly every single instance, I have been rewarded with a book that is just as funny as the title. I was not left wanting from this title either. This book is at times a hilarious walk through the 1930s from the perspective of a preachers son. At other times it is raw and poignant in it's telling of the shame that is associated with sex and religion. Overall, a fantastic read!
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