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These Things Happen: A Novel | [Richard Kramer]

These Things Happen: A Novel

A domestic story told in numerous original and endearing voices. The story opens with Wesley, a tenth grader, and involves his two sets of parents (the mom and her second husband, a very thoughtful doctor; and the father who has become a major gay lawyer/activist and his fabulous "significant other" who owns a restaurant). Wesley is a fabulous kid, whose equally fabulous best friend Theo has just won a big school election and simultaneously surprises everyone in his life by announcing that he is gay.
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Publisher's Summary

A domestic story told in numerous original and endearing voices.

The story opens with Wesley, a tenth grader, and involves his two sets of parents (the mom and her second husband, a very thoughtful doctor; and the father who has become a major gay lawyer/activist and his fabulous "significant other" who owns a restaurant). Wesley is a fabulous kid, whose equally fabulous best friend Theo has just won a big school election and simultaneously surprises everyone in his life by announcing that he is gay.

No one is more surprised than Wesley, who actually lives temporarily with his gay father and partner, so that he can get to know his rather elusive dad. When a dramatic and unexpected trauma befalls the boys in school, all the parents converge noisily in love and well-meaning support. But through it all, each character ultimately is made to face certain challenges and assumptions within his/her own life, and the playing out of their respective life priorities and decisions is what makes this novel so endearing and so special.

©2012 Richard Kramer (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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    Tams (TTC Books and more) JUSTIN, TX, United States 04-13-14
    Tams (TTC Books and more) JUSTIN, TX, United States 04-13-14 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    100
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    96
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More screen play than novel"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    At the end of the novel, I learned that the author who is also the narrator is a former screen play writer for some pretty successful TV shows. That made perfect sense then, as the story read like the script for a movie throughout, heavy on descriptives as if I needed to see what I was hearing and reading. It was difficult for me to really emerse myself into this story as the narrator wasn’t really a narrator or a storyteller. He simply read the words from the book. And at times I couldn’t differentiate which character was speaking because of the lack of emotion in his voice. I would like to see what a true narrator like Paul Morey, or a storyteller like Sean Crisden could do with this novel.


    Would you recommend These Things Happen to your friends? Why or why not?

    Perhaps. Too each his own, and while this wasn't the book for me, it could be the best book ever for someone else.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Richard Kramer’s performances?

    Doubtful.


    Could you see These Things Happen being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    YES! Now that is what I think this story was intended for as it read more like a screen play than a novel. Cord Overstreet could be Wesley and Matt Bomer can play George.


    Any additional comments?

    This story is told from multiple perspectives throughout, but the majority of the time the reader is hearing from Wesley himself and George, his father's significant other.

    Wesley is at a turning point in his life it seems, completely unsure of which fork in the road to take. He is living temporarily with his father Kenny and his father's partner, George. While Kenny is an established gay rights activist and lawyer, throughout the story he is completely emotionally distant with both his son and his partner. George fits the older, self aware gay man persona to a 'T'. He is successful in his own right as the owner of the restaurant they live above, Echo, and wants nothing more than to connect with his step son Wesley and reconnect with the love of his life, Kenny.

    Wesley's best friend Theo has won the class election for President, and announced to the entire school that he is gay. Now he wants his best friend Wes to talk to his two dads about the implications of Theo's confession. He's curious. Is it a choice? Was he born this way? While Wes, Theo, George, Kenny and all the other key players in Wesley's day to day life circle through the story; Wes's questions and contemplations are the heart of the novel. When the boys fall victim to a homophobic attack at school, Wes begins to question things even more so.

    At the end of the novel, I learned that the author who is also the narrator is a former screen play writer for some pretty successful TV shows. That made perfect sense then, as the story read like the script for a movie throughout, heavy on descriptives as if I needed to see what I was hearing and reading. It was difficult for me to really emerse myself into this story as the narrator wasn’t really a narrator or a storyteller. He simply read the words from the book. And at times I couldn’t differentiate which character was speaking because of the lack of emotion in his voice. I would like to see what a true narrator like Paul Morey, or a storyteller like Sean Crisden could do with this novel.

    I’m rating this one right down the middle because I’m really torn on how I feel about it. The narration was off and the story didn’t flow well, I also felt nothing but contempt for Wesley’s dad because of the way he was portrayed. My rating would be even lower if it weren’t for the character George. He was exactly as promised, utterly fabulous. His back story and the way he was so intent on developing a sturdy relationship with Wesley made him very endearing to me.

    While this wasn’t the audio book for me, I have to say, I’d love to see this made into something on screen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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