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Beyond John Dann by [Banks Jr., Thurman P.]
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Beyond John Dann Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 258 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 761 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Thurman P Banks Jr; 1 edition (26 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A4446JS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,516,804 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is so difficult, sometimes, to do a book justice with a review. Whatever words I find to express how much I loved this book, and why, I know my words will be left wanting. Beyond John Dann is a remarkable achievement by this talented new author, Thurman P. Banks Jr. I can't think of any other novel I've read where the narrator's voice is so convincing that I had to remind myself I was reading a fictional work. The author has imagined this story in such depth, knows his characters so well, I feel I have met John Dann and his family, personally, and walked John's journey alongside him.
This coming-of-age novel begins with a heart-breaking childhood, and follows John Dann through the ups and downs and emotional turmoil of growing up and searching for love. John is the last child of a mother who is wholly lacking in maternal instinct, and a father who cannot control his rages. Though his father never lays a hand on him, John is witness to the regular beatings his mother and older sisters' receive. It was incredibly moving to see the older two sisters bear the brunt, often putting themselves forward for punishment to protect the younger ones.
At the heart of this story is the lasting and intense loyalty, love, and solidarity between these siblings; their bonds are forged in the painful fires of childhood, and are unbreakable. As John stumbles into adulthood, struggling to cope with the pains of love and loss, those sisters have moved on to lives of their own and John has to learn to fend for himself. There are times he almost doesn't make it, but those sisters are always there, somewhere, ready to pick him up and help him back on his feet. Though their childhood is so lacking in love and care, these siblings are able to provide that for each other.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful coming-of-age, coming-to-wisdom story - so much more than a family saga although it describes so well the ever widening ripples resulting from childhood abuse and neglect. I found myself deeply touched by the narrator as he pursued his uphill struggle against all the odds of his early history - without ever sinking into judgement or blame. The characters were superbly drawn, and the writing itself was lyrical - quite poetic at times. Embedded in the pages are little gems of philosophy, leading towards a moving, heartwarming ending. I thoroughly recommend this, and look forward to reading more of the author's books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Never before have a read a book where I have become so engrossed in the story that I feel as though I have become a fly on the wall within the story. Such a wonderful and well written story that I have read & 're read as it is such a great read. A story of one man's life that you believe in and grow with from boy to adult & didn't want it to end! Please please do not hesitate & buy this, you won't be disappointed and will find yourself recommending this & wanting more from its extremely talented author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not my usual style...........but this book deserves it. 14 Oct. 2013
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The setting for this story is the neighborhood where I grew up. A nudge from a friend from those days had me purchasing this book just for the stroll down memory lane.
It was the story itself, however, which truly captured me and drew me in well beyond the familiar landmarks referenced in the telling.
So many families of the time had their dark secrets which all took place and were covered up well behind the walls of their home. These secrets were not shared with the outside world......right or wrong; it's simply the way it was. This story pulls back the curtain on the secrets of one family and shows the challenges and struggles to not give up or give in.
It'll either strike a chord or make you grateful for the family life you enjoyed growing up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read (no, really!) 28 Mar. 2013
By Buckethead - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let's begin at the beginning...which was the point at which my intuition told me I was in for a great read--Take the first line of chapter one ("I've always found the view from my father's grave quite soothing.") and as a reader one can already see the promise that this novel holds; for this reader an immediate connection was also formed, which is never a bad way to start. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Here's why:

'Beyond John Dann' follows the life of the title character through several years. In that span (through many "seasons," as Banks likes to say) John Dann deals with love, loss, family, friends, and well... the ordinary aspects of life. But this book is anything from ordinary and the storytelling by Banks makes even the most mundane, everyday life situations seem fascinating.

Banks' adept use of prose (this author has a way of phrasing things so they stick in your head like an earworm pop song--but you recall them with fondness instead of annoyance)draws deep emotions to the surface, examines them in a manner any reader can relate to, and causes a passionate connection with the characters. And often, this is accomplished in the span of 1-2 sentences. Other writers will surely be envious of this talent (this writer amongst them).

Dialogue throughout is natural, realistic, and serves as a demonstrative plot element; that is, each line of dialogue serves (and accomplishes) a purpose beyond simply moving the action along.

But the emotional value of this novel is really where Banks has knocked it out of the park. At times this book is enormously humorous; at times it brought tears. This is expected when the plot follows a person's life, to be sure, but Banks has taken it to a new level such that the emotions portrayed are felt naturally by the reader in a way that somehow transcends simple empathy. When reading this book, it's often like one is reading about him or herself--forget the old writer's adadge about showing something rather than telling it, you are living it.

There are some drawbacks, but they seem too petty to mention. (In the interest of balance, here they are anyway.) Banks' work is, overall, well done, but there are some straggling grammatical problems such as using possessive forms when a plural is what he intends and repeat instances of using the plural 'women' instead of the singular 'woman.' In all, I've seen similar errors in big publishing house works, though perhaps not as frequently as they appear here. But please put that aside--if you choose not to read this book for those reasons, you're missing the whole point (and perhaps one of the best books available right now).

Overall, this quickly became a contender for my 'favorites' list (and by the end it's place was secured), so I highly recommend this book. Another reviewer stated that (and I'm paraphrasing) anyone born in the 70's would appreciate 'Beyond John Dann,' but I must say that one's generational affiliation has nothing to do with it--I believe anyone with a heart will absolutely love this work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story 31 Jan. 2013
By Chasta Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you were born in the 70's, you definitely need to read this - that is definitely the target audience for this story. So many memories have come flooding back to me - even ones that I don't care to remember, but quite honestly, I'm simply ecstatic over the fact that I am able to recall so much. Remember when having HBO was a social status? My family was very poor and boy let me tell you, when my single mother was able to shave our budget enough to get the HBO I had been begging for, it was HUGE! Even the dialogue of the times brought me back - like how if you were headed to a friend's house, you would say, "I'm goin over John's house" instead of "I'm going over to John's house". I recalled the joy of going everywhere on my bike. Our parents never knew exactly where we were but all of us neighborhood kids were always somewhere together so, they weren't worried because they knew we'd be home before the streetlights came on. I remember spending lots of time at local bars BEFORE I was 21, because it wasn't nearly as big of a deal then to the hometown establishments. Most of all, I am relieved after reading "Beyond John Dann" because I realize that my family is not the only one who puts the FUNC in dysfunctional.

This is an amazing story that isn't about anyone famous or extraordinary - they are real people with depth and imperfections and it is so easy to substitute yourself into the story as it seems so familiar throughout the entire story. There are no heroes, only realistic and imperfect people living their day to day lives, narrated by thought provoking and beautiful writing. One of my favorite passages in the story is when John is describing the death of Maggie and how her eyes looked when she settled them on him before taking her last breath. It went: "It was heaven, and it was hell. It was everything, and it was nothing. It was the infinite magnitude of the stars, and the infinitesimal seeds of life unseen. In all that is considered good or bad, from beginning to end, from the end to the beginning, her eyes held it all."

You will laugh, you will cry, you will remember. You will love "Beyond John Dann".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Lady Loved It 15 Aug. 2013
By Phyll - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beyond John Dann
I am a 75 year old lady that gets bored reading. The author of this book is on my friends list at Facebook and has been talking about his book and people have been commenting on it so much that I wanted to read it. I got it on my Kindle and read the whole thing in my spare time in 3 days. That is a very big accomplishment for me. I just couldn't leave it alone. You just want to go to the next chapter to see what happens next. One minute I am crying the next minute laughing like a fool. I can't wait for his next book to come out.

Phyll
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book which will remain in your memory! 10 Oct. 2013
By Sandy1323 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book presents a rare compelling story of the hidden secrets of a family and the journey that a young boy travels to become a man. There were parts of this book which were very difficult to read--the idea of children having to live in a physically and emotionally abusive environment disturbed me. However, the wide range of trials described by the author led to his triumph over the circumstances of his youth.
The author's excellent use of descriptive language presents visual images which will remain long after you put the book down. One example of this which appealed to me greatly was, "All you have to do is ask those memories for a dance, take them out, and spin them on the dance floor of consciousness".
A great book which will remain in your memory as you cheer for the characters to find peace and forgiveness.
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