- 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
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,632,414 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£12.49|
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Beyond John Dann Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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.
Despite the cruelties and neglect of his childhood, John's capacity for forgiveness and compassion is boundless. Few feel able to forgive so much, or feel compassion for those who so badly betray. Through the character of John Dann, the author shows us that it is possible. John learns to accept his parents' failings and goes on loving them, despite it all.
This book brims over with beautiful lines. I found myself bookmarking pages because I wanted to read them again and again. There are wise and witty observations of life, and philosophical words of inspiration, all through the extraordinary voice of the self-effacing and loveable character that is John Dann. It is a novel that is breath-taking in all that it encompasses; love, loss, loyalty, solidarity, forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, hope, humanity and survival.
I highly recommend Beyond John Dann. Go read it, you will love it.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
'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.
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".
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.
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