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The Dropper Hardcover – 1 Apr 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Cemetery Dance Pubns; Limited edition (April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587672758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587672750
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,764,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed his first book The Memory Of Running and also Traveller. Art in America didn't appeal as much but The Dropper is a real return to form I thought it was his best book yet
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars 34 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking story of 2 brothers 28 Jan. 2011
By KayRenee - Published on
This book grabs you by the shirt and doesn't let go until you finish. As with all McLarty's novels, this one is simply told but profoundly resonant. The heartbreaking story of two brothers brutalized by an alcoholic father in England during the 1920's. 'Shoe' Horn is a deeply compelling character coming of age as a plumber's apprentice while watching out for his younger brother, Bobby, who has the mind of a child. This book offers a unique portrait of the love story between these two brothers and you will never forget 'Shoe', Bobby, or their friend, the McAvey who is a giant. Their journey together will engage and move you like few other stories.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brothers 10 Jan. 2012
By Lou pendergrast - Published on
A splendid story of the coming of age of a few men, Shoe Horn and Bobby Horn. It's a poignant story with wonderful memorable characters that are real in every sense. A world of family traditions with characters that are plumbers and bare knuckle-fighters.
Bobby makes the story shine, he has a learning difficulty and slight disability, he's full of wonderful character and eagerness to be there for his loved ones.
As time goes by and a set of events take place their friendly closeness becomes divided by certain necessities and a decision of working in America becomes a reality. Someone finds love and some feel stranded. Alas the joy of adolescence, this story makes you want to be there with Shoe and Bobby and the grand stature of McAvy.
I listened to this as an audiobook as the actual paper publication is not out until April 2012. What compliments this story even more is the narration of the book by the author. Its one on the best done readings that I have heard in a while. It seems he is the voice of many other audiobooks too, other than his own novels.
And yes Stephen King was write in what he said about this novel. Its reminiscent of Mice and Men, the two brothers Bobby and Shoe bring back memories of Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman as brothers, starring in Rain Man. Captivating, heart warming, and a memorable story of a few down to earth
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and melancholic, with the lightest touch of the supernatural 26 April 2012
By Shroud Magazine's Book Reviews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Full of substance, tempered by an unflinching realism, The Dropper is an emotionally complex portrait of a confused and determined young man aching for something better, unable to provide it, but still fighting to, anyway. This is the type of story that defies easy categorization, for all those who love rooting for the underdog, the fighter in all of us.

Albert "Shoe" Horn is an apprentice plumber and part-time boxer in 1922 England. A seventeen year old young man who's been forced to grow up far too quickly after his mother's death, Shoe is saddled with caring for his alcoholic, often abusive father and special needs brother, Bobby, while trying to make a life for himself as a plumber, and a name for himself as a fighter.

During the day he lugs his tool box around town, wading through sewage and water, fixing pipes and water closets while his employer is busy down at "the club". At night he "goes under the lights", carving out a reputation by the cut of his fists. And somewhere in between he watches after Bobby and romances two different women, one a romantic ideal who dreams of being an actress, the other a woman Shoe could easily marry. If he could ever make himself stay in one place with one woman for any length of time.

Things are changing for Shoe, though. One night, under the lights, he deals a head-blow to a friend that turns lethal, and becomes haunted - either supernaturally, or psychologically - by his friend's resulting death. And Molly has tired of Shoe's indecision, forcing him to make a choice Shoe isn't sure he's capable of. And, worst of all, is Bobby. It's become painfully clear that Bobby's needs have grown beyond Shoe's ability to manage, and this seventeen year old is suddenly faced with the very real possibility that he can longer care for his brother.

And then there's Shoe's worst nightmare: The Dropper. A specter of darkness and rumor, a midwife-turned-child murderer...or so the story goes. She haunts Shoe's steps, speaking in cryptic half-truths, and Shoe fears even more for his growing inability to care for Bobby...because he fears that Bobby may be The Dropper's next victim.

Haunting and melancholic, with the lightest touch of the supernatural, The Dropper is sure to be one of the year's best novels. This isn't a "ghost story" or "dark fiction" or anything like that. This is simply storytelling at its finest, a tale about a young man who never quite figures things out, but never drops his fists, either.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Striking Gold 24 Jun. 2012
By E.S. Kraay - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ron McLarty's new novel is extraordinary. I became a fan with his first novel; his second novel re-confirmed my enjoyment in his work; but his third novel, "Art in America" was one of the few books I abandoned without even reading half of it... I was shaken. "The Dropper," however restores all of my faith in his work; it is so good that it renders "Art in America" a distant memory. "The Dropper" is as good a book about self-discovery as I've read. McLarty tells his story through the eyes of a 17-year old Irish boy, Shoe Horn, a boxer and a plumber, whose life has matured him far faster than most would want. That maturity comes from many sources, not the least of which are caring for his 'challenged' younger brother Bobby, and shielding them both from their abusive father. Mr. McLarty creates memorable characters with Shoe and Bobby, and also with their best friend 'The McAvy' who lends a "Big Fish" quality to the narrative. If you like "My Dog Skip," you'll love Bobby's adopted dog Blacky who plays an important role in the story that could be easily overlooked. The Steinbeck comparisons are true and valid. No one writes a better coming of age story than Ron McLarty. If three times is a charm, McLarty just struck gold!
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical, Uplifting, Heartbreaking -- Read It! 3 May 2014
By harmonista222 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like many Ron McLarty fans, I was instantly "hooked" (no pun) by his magnificent first novel, "The Memory of Running" -- and personally, I still consider that to be his finest work. But "The Dropper" ranks a very close second, and in many ways it reflects a much more mature narrative voice than all his other novels to date. "Running" has a very relatable, everyman tone that tends to grab readers from the first sentence. "The Dropper" takes a little longer to grow on you. There are about a million reasons I'd strongly suggest hanging in there through the first couple chapters, but two reasons that might argue against it: 1) the setting, and 2) the language. 1922 working-class England is not as immediately familiar as the modern-day East Providence landscape that usually takes center stage in McLarty's stories. And the dialog -- which often takes place between Albert "Shoe" Horn and his learning-disabled younger brother Bobby -- overflows with a lot of slang and vernacular reminiscent of the times, plus a great deal of stammering on the part of Bobby and his friends. Out of the gate, you may find these elements somewhat off-putting ... but I encourage you to keep reading. Once you acclimate to this book's narrative voice, you will be richly rewarded with a sweet, sad, funny, haunting, and ultimately heartbreaking tale of what it means to hold on, and to let go, in the name of pure and overpowering love. This one rivals Alice Munro's "The View from Castle Rock," and she's won a Nobel Prize. I'm not kidding -- I found it to be that good, and that moving.
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