In the tradition of Mary Karr's "The Liars' Club" and Rick Bragg's "All Over But the Shouting," Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric, and severely misguided family.In the tradition of Mary Karr's "The Liars' Club" and Rick Bragg's "All Over But the Shouting," Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric, and severely misguided family.Read Less
I borrowed this book years ago, but it haunted me so I bought it and reread it! Be sure to order the Half-Broke Horse by the same author. Both are autobiographies.
Jan 25, 2013
amazing and amazing
wouldn't believe the trials and hardships endured by the children in the book except had a smaller scale experience, which makes me a good candidate to judge and the book is believable.
Jan 3, 2013
Ace story, well written and a very good read. Crazy family life. Reminded me of my mum struggling to bring up me and my sister on her own. Interesting time when the family arrive in Welch, West Virginia. They must have been there about the same time as the Rocket Boys.
Dec 30, 2010
This is not a book for the faint of heart, very sad and even hard to imagine. You will fall in love with the main player, Jeannette and her strength.
Oct 27, 2010
The Glass Castle
This book was riveting from start to finish. Coming from a dysfunctional family myself, I could relate; but was astounded by the constant moving around by Ms. Walls' parents. Even though I grew up in abject poverty, we at least stayed grounded in school, friends, and environment. It would have been good to hear about the left-out period of her life, during which she improved herself.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-01-17 Freelance writer Walls doesn't pull her punches. She opens her memoir by describing looking out the window of her taxi, wondering if she's "overdressed for the evening" and spotting her mother on the sidewalk, "rooting through a Dumpster." Walls's parents-just two of the unforgettable characters in this excellent, unusual book-were a matched pair of eccentrics, and raising four children didn't conventionalize either of them. Her father was a self-taught man, a would-be inventor who could stay longer at a poker table than at most jobs and had "a little bit of a drinking situation," as her mother put it. With a fantastic storytelling knack, Walls describes her artist mom's great gift for rationalizing. Apartment walls so thin they heard all their neighbors? What a bonus-they'd "pick up a little Spanish without even studying." Why feed their pets? They'd be helping them "by not allowing them to become dependent." While Walls's father's version of Christmas presents-walking each child into the Arizona desert at night and letting each one claim a star-was delightful, he wasn't so dear when he stole the kids' hard-earned savings to go on a bender. The Walls children learned to support themselves, eating out of trashcans at school or painting their skin so the holes in their pants didn't show. Buck-toothed Jeannette even tried making her own braces when she heard what orthodontia cost. One by one, each child escaped to New York City. Still, it wasn't long before their parents appeared on their doorsteps. "Why not?" Mom said. "Being homeless is an adventure." Agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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