The life of a man told with warmth and objectivity,
This review is from: Reuben Kelly Freedman (Paperback)
In some respects this is a follow up to Shalom Freedman's "Childhood Stories" published in 2011. It is a memoir, or a mini-biography of Freedman's father who was in some respects the bÍte noire of "Childhood Stores." (In other respects he was the hero.) What Freedman does here so very well is similar to what he did with the childhood memoir, namely he writes in a most engaging, disarming and richly veracious style. In doing so he reveals a deep and conflicting understanding of, and love for, his father.
The father is revealed through the eyes of two persons (as Freedman tells us upfront). First there is the view from the child, the child who experienced the father up close and personal as a kind of extraordinarily powerful and more than a bit incomprehensible being. And then there is the mature adult who experiences the father retrospectively long after the father has passed away.
The result is a kind of montage. Noteworthy is Freedman's stylistic technique. The entire book is written as one long explosive sentence. The effect makes the reader feel that the father is streaking through life with an amazing energy. That is especially apt since Reuben Kelly Freedman was a man a bit larger than life who did possess that kind of energy. The father comes to the reader not in dribbles and drops but as though shot out of a fire hose.
The book is a son's tribute to his father and a documentation of how the man overcame both his situation in life and his own personal shortcomings. Written in warmth and love but with a deep allegiance to objectivity, "RKF" is a work of art and a celebration of what it means to be human.