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Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie's Story by [Owens, Freddie]
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Then Like The Blind Man: Orbie's Story Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 330 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Freddie Owens is a poet and fiction writer whose work has been published in Poet Lore, Crystal Clear and Cloudy, and Flying Colors Anthology. The author is a past attendee of Pikes Peak Writer's Conferences and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and is a current member of Lighthouse Writer's Workshop in Denver, Colorado. As a licensed professional counselor and psychotherapist, he for many years counseled perpetrators of domestic violence and sex offenders, and provided therapies for individuals and families. He holds a master’s degree in contemplative psychotherapy from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Born in Kentucky and raised in Detroit, Owens drew inspiration for his first novel, Then Like The Blind Man / Orbie's Story from childhood experiences growing up around Harlan’s Crossroads, Kentucky. His life-long studies of Tibetan Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta not to mention his encounters with Native American Shamanism are also of note in this regard.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2878 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Blind Sight Publications (26 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A42VK4O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,209,923 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Orbie: an outspoken, angry nine-year-old. He knew there would be problems coming the moment his widowed momma, Ruby, remarried Victor, but he was just a kid; no one asked his opinion. When Victor got mad, Orbie described his eyes as “slimy red worms turning over … twisting around on sharp glass, cutting themselves in there and getting mean.” On their trip from Detroit to Florida in the late 1950’s, it was Victor who insisted Orbie would stay with his maternal grandparents in Kentucky. Victor, his mom, and his five-year-old sister, Missy, continued on to Florida where Victor had a job opportunity waiting.

Harlan’s crossroads, KY was located at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. People there had their own way of life and except for a few of the elites, they were a close-knit bunch. While Orbie was afraid of ‘colored’ kids in Detroit, he came to realize the blacks in Harlan’s Crossroads were much different and his Granny was close friends with Alma, who reminded Orbie of Aunt Jemima. He grew close to his Granny almost immediately, but it took some getting used to his eccentric Granpaw.

The dialog is so well done. I’ve read many where the words of hillbillies or backwoods people were so mutilated, you couldn’t even understand them. That is not the case here. The author also did well staying true to the mind of a nine-year-old boy. The story is his first person account. It’s Orbie’s coming-of-age story with some mystery and justice mixed in. That said, it is not a book for children’s reading. There are language and some situations that would not suit a younger reading level. Freddie Owen skillfully created many wonderful and true-to-life characters in his debut historical fiction novel. Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I agree with the product description, if you can call a book a product, that the book is part Hamlet and part Huckleberry Finn. I really enjoyed the boy Orbie's story, while understanding that it had social relevance in that country at that time. It is a story written in the grand southern tradition. I think the author Freddie Owens Wegela really captures the boys feelings and takes the reader with him on his mishaps. I really felt for Orbie and his family and wanted it to come right in the end. It was an interesting mix of family, culture and race, I loved it.
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I agree with the product description, if you can call a book a product, that the book is part Hamlet and part Huckleberry Finn. I really enjoyed the boy Orbie's story, while understanding that it had social relevance in that country at that time. It is a story written in the grand southern tradition. I think the author Freddie Owens Wegela really captures the boys feelings and takes the reader with him on his mishaps. I really felt for Orbie and his family and wanted it to come right in the end. It was an interesting mix of family, culture and race, I loved it.
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Finished THEN LIKE THE BLIND MAN this afternoon. One of those books that you just never want to end, swallows you up and deposits you into a whole different world populated with incredible characters. Set in Kentucky in the 50s, the descriptions are outstanding and the narrative from the nine year old Orbie gives the most wonderful perspective on the goings on of the adults around him.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 254 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect dialects; interesting plot! 19 Feb. 2013
By Boxer Dog Lover in Vermont... - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Orbie's dad dies in a tragic accident in Detroit; mom re-marries and Orbie is dropped off at his grandparent's house in Kentucky. His mom, stepfather and sister go to Florida for work.

Orbie at the tender age of nine is trying to absorb the country life. This change is extremely hard for him but he does learn the ways. No friends but he still doesn't want to be friends with a "colored". Eventually, Orbie and Willis become close in heart and mind. Willis can sing like a bird and draw like an artist.....

Orbie's stepfather, Victor, is a typical abuser. Beats his wife up, molests Missy (Orbie's sister) and then begs for forgiveness.. Each beating becomes worse as time progresses.

The tornado near the end of this story rights all the evils in Orbie's world. The dialects are perfect in this story.

Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Easy but Worth It 19 Nov. 2013
By Nikole Owens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After I finished reading this title, I was almost surprised by how much I realized I liked this book. If the book had not been a Kindle freebie, there is a good chance that I would have passed it by without much thought. Not sure exactly why…but usually this type of book would escape my book radar.

This wasn’t an easy book to read either. I don’t imagine that’s hard to imagine as saying that this book was full of racial tensions would be an understatement. It definitely made the reading experience uncomfortable, even despite how well written and interesting this book was. Even as much as I tried to brace myself…it was still uncomfortable and infuriating at times.

There were a few sections in the book, where it delved into a supernatural tone…and those bits did get a bit confusing. I had to reread several pages to try and make some sense out of those bits…and quite honestly, I wasn’t sure if Orbie was a credible narrator at all times. Did those things really happen? Did Orbie dream them? Those bits could have potentially brought this book down but luckily they didn’t.
3.0 out of 5 stars Seemed like something was missing 4 May 2015
By Jeff Dawson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this a book a bit hard to get into. The story is set in the 1950’s. The main characters are Victor, Ruby, Orbie, Missy and Ruby’s parents.

Victor is a manager at a steel plant in Detroit which appears to be a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. He told the family he has some time off and he and Ruby are going to travel down to Florida while Orbie stays with Ruby’s parents in Kentucky.

If you have a problem with strong language and “on-point” dialogue of the era, trust me, you aren’t going to enjoy the story. Think along the lines of the book, “The Help,” and you know what I’m referring to.

The dialogue is dead on for the time frame. It is brilliantly executed.

As stated, Orbie is dropped off at Grandpa and Granny’s house. The only child he’s able to befriend is a local colored boy named, Willis and his donkey, Chester. Orbie is extremely prejudiced since his encounter with several of the black boys back in Detroit and his step-dad Victor has no regard for them. He is corrected on more than one occasion by his grandma that, “They folks just like us. Only difference is their skin color.”

As the story progresses he does begin appreciating the coloreds and seeing racism from a new set of eyes. That doesn’t mean he fully embraces them, but he becomes much more tolerable and accepting especially after Willis is attacked by five of the local white boys.

Cons

As for the plot, I’m not sure about that. I found myself asking myself through the majority of the story, what’s the point? Where is this headed and why do we care? I wasn’t able to answer any of those questions.

Is this supposed to be about racism? Is a commentary on American culture in the 50’s? Or is it a coming of age story? I have no idea. At times it came across as a modern version of “Huckleberry Finn”, but even Huck and Jim knew where they were going.

The ending of the story was more mystical then resolved. Still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

I’m not hooked enough to read the second book

Three stars
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 22 Feb. 2015
By Sandra K. Stiles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Orbie is a young boy growing up in Detroit. He is often bullied and he has very prejudiced ideas.
Orbie's father is killed. A short time later Orbie's mom marries the man who was his father's boss. Orbie doesn't like him. He has good reason. Orbie's new stepfather Victor is very abusive. He is physically abusive and molesting Orbie's sister. Victor doesn't like Orbie. He decides they are moving to Florida and he doesn't want to take Orbie with them. They drop him off at his mother's parent's house. Orbie feels deserted for good reason. He soon learns how prejudiced he was raised and that his grandparents truly do want the best for him. This is a realistic look at life in the early 1950's. The pacing is great. You don' t have a problem and then a sudden solution. It moves gradually so that everything flows smoothly and naturally. I would recommend this to people who love those coming of age stories set in a time period before most of us were born. I would warn that because of the time period there is the use of the "n" word, as well as other coarse language. The author did a great job with bringing everything to a VERY satisfying ending.
I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced, touching story 10 Jun. 2013
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book had everything you would expect from a depression-era story of life in steel-producing Kentucky. The author sets the scenes with exquisite accuracy; I could hear the chickens, smell the cigarette smoke and feel the mud squish between my toes. There is lots of symbolism for faith, hope, false trust, and despair. There are friendships that cross racial lines and characters who clearly represent both sides of that debate.

Here's what really moved me: I have had a fear of tornadoes ever since I was about 5. In my central MA community, there had been an F5 in 1953,two years before I was born. By the time I went off to elementary school, we were still doing tornado drills in the hallways of the school building. (Air raid drills, too, but who can tell them apart when you're 5?) It took me many, many viewings of "The Wizard of Oz" and "Twister" to desensitized myself from the gut-wrenching fear of tornadoes. Then, of course, last year in Springfield, MA and the recent multiple strikes in Oklahoma have me a little nerves up again.

When I got to the last section of this book and Orbie and Willis started to see green clouds in the sky, I thought, "uh, oh!" I knew there would be a dreaded tornado. Now, the book was already a page-turner, with a great story line, believable characters and a setting that made you hear the wind and smell the cows, But the description of the developing tornado had me on the edge of my seat. It was so well done- no sudden boom and the house is gone. It built up in pressure so well that I could feel my ears pop. I have never read a description of a story's climax done so well paced and had it make me feel like I was right there. I would highly recommend this book for a quick summer read - but go inside if you hear thunder!
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