Reader reviews for Growing Up Bronx

Always great to take a walk through old New York. This book feels like a visit with an old relative, lots of great anecdotes and stories. Great book to keep on an eReader. Enjoyed it!
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Deceptively simple writing weaves the reader in to stories of the author's early years in the Bronx. Characters are drawn with clean, deft stokes that bring a remarkable cast to life as richly full, complex, almost heart-breakingly real people, just as their influence mapped out the makings of the author. Hargreaves' encompassing settings and spare, clear language transport the reader to a time and place that are no more, and we are improved by the journey.
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Before reviewing "Growing Up Bronx" by H.A. Hargreaves, I would like to note that this is a e-book edition instead of a paper back. There are grammatical errors and spelling errors and I had difficulty understanding some of the sentences. So, I hope that a corrected version is made available later.This book is a collection of memories by the author growing up in the Bronx during the Great Depression and through W.W. II. The memories seemed somewhat interesting but the author reports them with little emotion. In the first story, I couldn't figure out who was the Abe? I did finally figure it out but would have preferred to be introduced to him at the beginning of the story.Instead of reading his stories, I would have preferred to ask the author some questions. What did he eat during the depression? How did it make him feel to have his mother die of a mysterious illness. Did he feel close to any of his relatives besides his mother.The stories are not chronological so that made it more difficult to follow the stories.I would recommend this collection of stories to the relatives of the author instead making a general recommendation.I received this e-book as a win from Library Thing but that in no way influenced my revew.
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Reason for Reading: I like reading memoirs of growing up during the '30s-'50s.This is a quaint, endearing story of a man's childhood in the Bronx during the Depression up through the early years of WWII. The author, mostly known as a Canadian science fiction writer, started life as an American and here he tells stories of the people who most made an impression on him in his youth. Hargreaves has a entertaining voice and these tales are a pleasure to read, however they are quaint and not much really happens in them. Each chapter is a story separate from the others, more like a vignette of his life, focusing on one person who was important to him, now looking back. Each story runs the course of time and thus the stories overlap each other time-wise and certain events in Hargreaves life will be mentioned repeatedly. I actually liked this approach, rather than a chronological one. Hargreaves mother died quite tragically and suddenly and this is revisited in most stories from a different angle, a different perspective and we see what an effect it had on his life. Every story was enjoyable, but all said and done quite laid back. This is a book you can pick up and read a chapter then set down and pick up again at any time to read the next one and not loose any continuity. I'm glad to have read the book as I enjoy this type of literature but I think the book will be of most interest to those who know the author's work as a science fiction writer and want to add this glimpse of his childhood to their collection.
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What looked initially like an odd bunch of stories, proved to be a pleasant read.The book is what its title says: a memoir. A retrospective on the author's youth and the people, who have influenced him. Just like the one you and me would make on some idle evening, sitting together with a bunch of old friends. The stories aren't deep and while difficult topics emerge on the way, like the times of World War II, they pass gracefully without much detail.Reading the stories made me remember my own past and whom I met on the way. A very pleasant journey. Nothing to change the world, but very nice to read into.
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