Stunning...a wonderful listen...a handbook for life. Those words of advance praise from another celebrated author scarcely convey just how powerfully mesmerizing is the latest book by New York Times best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host Larry Elder.
Dear Father, Dear Son is a personal memoir of Elder's troubled - one might even say tortured - relationship with his father, and the astonishing outcome that develops when Elder, at long last, confronts him.
Says Elder: A man's relationship with his father - every boy, every man lucky enough to have a father in his life has to figure that out. My own father? I thought I knew him - even though he seldom talked about himself. And what I knew I hated - really, really hated. Cold, ill-tempered, thin-skinned, my father always seemed on the brink of erupting. Scared to death of him, I kept telling myself to find the courage to "stand up to him". When I was 15, I did. After that, said Elder, we did not speak to each other for 10 years.
And then we did - for eight hours. The result can't be described. It has to be experienced.
As reflected in the book's subtitle - Two Lives...Eight Hours - one extraordinary, all-day conversation between Elder and his long-estranged father utterly transformed their relationship. It is no exaggeration to say the book will likewise transform listeners.
Indeed, calling it stunning, Burt Boyar, co-author of the best-selling autobiography on Sammy Davis, Jr., says of Dear Father, Dear Son: "Above all it is a wonderful read. I am tempted to call it a page-turner but in my case I hated to turn every page because that meant I was getting closer to the end and I did not want it to end.... The book is filled with emotion. It is, of course, a handbook for life. I guess it is that above all things. Any kid who reads it and follows the advice of how to live his life just has to come out well."
Dear Father, Dear Son is the story of one man discovering a son he never really knew. And of the son finding a man, a friend, a father who had really been there all along.
©2012 Larry Elder (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"Dear Father, Dear Son" not only tells a story of reconciliation between a father and son, it also gives great insight into the challenges African-Americans faced in the twentieth century and the inner-strength it took to overcome those challenges. It also gives a wonderful description of what it was like to grow up in Pico Union in the 1950's and 60's.
Some of the simple lessons learned from all members of the Elder family would apply well to people of any race or socioeconomic level today.
Neal Ghant's narration was fantastic. Many characters, many voices, and many cadences were read brilliantly.
I have always related to the brilliant articulate Larry Elder on talk radio.
This book which I listened to on "Audible" was engaging, beautifully crafted, sensitive, profound, instructive, entertaining, and often funny.
Larry succeeded in bringing me into his family, what it was like growing up in his family, and particularly with his dad.
I could really understand how his dad was both abusive and noble.
I also could internalize that black families have to deal with the ups and downs of life just like white families, but then also have to deal with the challenges of being black that exist.
I have to say that Neal Ghant is flawless in his recitation. He is a master. Couldn't be better. I recommend this book to everyone, and especially those who have enjoyed listening to Larry Elder as I have over the years.
I had no expectations. My husband listens to Larry Elder but I don't know much about him--that is, until I read the book. It is a psychological portrait of a father, much like I wrote in college. I loved the psychological treatment.
Narration was good, not outstanding.
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