Kristine I. (Marion, IL)
Wanted to like it...
This isn't a book that I can recommend. While there were some great moments that had me chuckling, it wasn't enough to make it a good read for me. The humor did not match the general dark tone of the book. I didn't find any of the characters likeable and the end left me feeling flat. I did, however, enjoy the writing and I think the author could have redeemed the book with a more positive spin on the storyline.
Nancy F. (Carmel, IN)
"Lookaway, Lookaway" was not a good choice based on my preference of content and writer's style. I tried to finish on numerous occasions however felt the plot was forced. As a former sorority member in a "southern house" I could not relate. Sorry.
Irene M. (Ashland, OR)
This was a very enjoyable book. It followed many years of a families history with each chapter devoted to an individual family member. The novel is centered on the Johnston family of North Carolina. Not only do you get very definitive character studies, but also a great deal of southern history, plus an unexpected twist at the end of the story. I look forward to more books by Wilton Barnhardt.
Jennifer F. (Los Gatos, CA)
I was looking forward to reading this book after seeing the review "Move over, Tom Wolfe". Unfortunately, this book has very little in common with Tom Wolfe. I found the characters and their problems in this southern family fiction to be less than compelling. The first scenes in the book were troubling and I had a hard time continuing. Luckily, the plot picked up a bit, but never truly lived up to the hype on the cover reviews.
Kenan R. (Liberty, MO)
A Great Vacation read
I can't decide if this is a novel disguised as character studies or a series of point of view short stories. Either way I devoured this on the plane.
Multiple members of a large Southern Family share a part of their backgrounds and lives, and somehow these disparate pieces make up a whole novel, that is engaging, heartbreaking, hilarious and caustic. A sharp look at how generations view family obligation and tradition that transcends Southern culture. You may not like everyone in this family, but you will recognize them.
I have not read other books by Wilton Barnhardt, but I will be seeking them out.
Laurie H. (Stuart, FL)
You can choose your friends................
This book was a perfect example of the old adage, "you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family". I don't think I liked any of the characters in the book, but I did enjoy the book as a whole. There were some scenes that made me cringe to read, but yet, I could think of examples of what was happening between the characters as something that had happened in my own family. I was particularly humored by the character who whispered the words and conditions that she found distasteful as if that would change the situation~~we have one of those in our family!! All in all, I liked the book and it is definitely worth the read!!
Mary M. (Lexington, KY)
Dysfunctional Southern Family
The book is divided into sections about the various family members. For me the problem with the book is that I didn't enjoy reading about all of them,. A book devoted to Gaston, Annie or Jerene would have been enjoyable. I really didn't like the section on fraternity and sorority life and almost gave up on the book right then. The book is described as funny on the cover. I found it depressing. I gave the book 3 stars for the sections I enjoyed.