Wednesday, October 24, 2012
263. Growing Up Bronx by H.A. Hargreaves
Growing Up Bronx: A Memoir of my Shapers and Shakers by H.A. Hargreaves. Introduction by Lorina Stephens (US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)
Finished: Sep. 30, 2012
First Published: Apr. 1, 2012
Publisher: Five Rivers Chapmanry
Genre: boyhood, authors, memoir, Canadian author, 1930s
First sentence: "I may have been nine, perhaps ten, at the start."
Publisher's Summary: Growing Up Bronx allows readers a poignant insight into the mentors and influences that shaped one of Canada's brilliant writers of science fiction. Hargreaves takes you through the Great Depression and WWII, in his native Bronx neighbourhood, into the lives of shopkeepers and family, heartache and triumph.
This is definitely a must-have collection of short stories to complete the canon of H.A. Hargreaves' work.
Acquired: Received a Review Copy from Good Reads First Reads..
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.