A mother who invented her past, a father who was often absent, a son who wondered if this could really be his family...Richard Glover's favourite dinner-party game is called 'Who's Got the Weirdest Parents?' It's a game he always thinks he'll win.
There was his mother, a deluded snob who made up large swathes of her past and who ran away with Richard's English teacher, a Tolkien devotee, nudist and stuffed toy collector.
There was his father, a distant alcoholic who ran through a gamut of wives, yachts and failed dreams. And there was Richard himself, a confused teenager, vulnerable to strange men, trying to find a family he could belong to.
As he eventually accepted, the only way to make sense of the present was to go back to the past - but beware of what you might find there. Truth can leave wounds - even if they are only flesh wounds.
Part poignant family memoir, part rollicking venture into a 1970s Australia, this is a book for anyone who's wondered if their family is the oddest one on the planet. The answer: no. There is always something stranger out there.
©2015 Richard Glover (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
The spoken word is the way to take in a book like this. To hear the emotion in the author's own voice enabled me to connect at a really visceral level, and to know it's not just me. If Richard Glover can survive, so can I. So can we all. You won't regret purchasing this book.
Loved this book. Listened to it whilst running. Usually tortuous - the run flew by! I actually didn't want my run to end sometimes as I was hanging out for the next instalment. That's an achievement!
I study law so I do a lot of reading, so when it comes to books I am happy to listen. Also audio books lets the characters come to life through the voice of the author.
I liked the part when Richard went back to his past and dug up his family history. However, my only wish is that he should have done it when he was 19 and then he could have met some of his now deceased relatives.
This is the first book of Richard Glover I have listened to.
There were a few moments, one where his mother ran away from her birth family and took a new identity, then ran away from her son and when she wouldn't hold her first grandson.
I don't have a great relationship with my own mother so probably that's why I am saying this.
I found the book very insightful. It reminded me of Shantaram by Gregory Roberts. Their stories are tragic, however there is a quirkiness of both styles, which made them slightly entertaining.
Also on a side note, I went to ANU with Dan Glover, although I didn't study in the same course as him, I only bumped into him a handful of times. I first met him during enrolments when we were registering our course and he mentioned he was residing at Burton and Griffin, I myself at Fenner Hall.
Anyway I really enjoyed this book.
Fantastic book, funny sad, heartfelt. Very thought provoking. The narration was excellent, the story is very amusing in parts.
This book was a wholesome story full of truth about life and the nuts and bolts of human insecurities. It also captures the solid I will survive attitude familiar to many of us who have had a rough upbringing.
The narrator. Richard can write but he cannot narrate.
The final paragraphs resonated with me and made it worth the effort of persevering with the narration.
Someone else should have read it.
Good story, interesting to hear someone's back story...but just because you are a great writer does not mean you are a great narrator. This is the third book read by the author that I have struggled with. Let the writers write and the actors/voice over people narrate.
As an artist, I love listening to audio books when working in my studio.
I wouldn't listen to this book again - but this doesn't take anything away from how much I enjoyed listening to it. Anyone with a dysfunctional upbringing will identify with the feelings of the author - so I've recommended it to many friends! But to read it again would mean that I would have to delve into my own childhood. Unlike the author, I'm not that brave!
My favourite character is the mother. She is an enigmatic figure because she is a self-constructed identity. I think she's fascinating because her artificial character reveals the values she aspired to .... and the willingness of Australians to embrace the "airs and graces" of the English class system. There are some hilarious scenes when the author visits his mother and step-father's house in Armidale.
The character of the author as a boy is my favourite character.
I can't think of one .... but I would look to French films for inspiration.
Listened to this book a few weeks ago and thoroughly recommend it. The narration is perfect which is to be expected from the person who actually wrote it! I lived in England for a large part of my life and emigrated to Australia so I can identify very easily with Richard's observations of the class system in the UK. He also makes some very poignant and truthful comments about the way in which we raise our children. I laughed out loud at parts of the book. Richard Glover is a very entertaining author and narrator. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I am going to listen to it again one day.
"Such a Meaningful Reflection"
This is a masterful and generous reflection on the difficulties of family life. Richard Glover shows his strength of character in building a story of resilience into the hilarious complaint we all carry about our failed family bonds. It's one of the best memoirs I've ever read. I recommended it wholeheartedly.
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