Advance reader reviews of Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt.

Lookaway, Lookaway

By Wilton Barnhardt

Lookaway, Lookaway
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Aug 2013,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

Page 3 of 4
There are currently 25 member reviews
for Lookaway, Lookaway
Order Reviews by:
  • Marybeth T. (Bellingham, WA)

    Loved it!!!!
    I do love a book about the south and this is a great one. I have never read a book by Wilton Barnhardt before. I will be sure to read more of his work. This was a sad, funny and hard to put down book. Not all the characters were likable, but they were a pleasure to read about. This will be certain to be a great summer read.
  • Beth (USA)

    Lookaway, Lookaway
    I loved this book! Acerbic witty prose, characters you love, and some you love to hate, and an engrossing storyline that kept me reading into the night.
    Only cautionary note, this one might not be for those who are put off by strong language and graphic sexual references.
  • Shari O.

    Lookaway, Lookaway
    A short way into the read I began to suspect the author was invested more in venting his own frustrations with the hypocrisy in politics, religion, and social constructs than telling a story and was growing impatient with his "rant'. However, I came to respect his knowledge of historical facts that I had been ignorant of and his adeptness at weaving them into what actually was a good story. His vivid characters so engaged me that they could rile me, enlighten me, shock me, make me laugh out loud, sometimes all at the same time. Ultimately I found the book to be provocative and entertaining. I intend to explore more of this author's writing.
  • Sue H. (Wooster, OH)

    A slow read
    I usually passionately enjoy family sagas with the scope of this one, especially those set in the South, but this one was disappointing. Had I not committed to reviewing this for BookBrowse, I would have abandoned it. The pace was very slow, but worse was the lack of connection I felt for the characters. I hoped to care what happened from one chapter to the next, but, sadly this did not happen. I honor the incredible research exhibited by the author as well as his use of language, but these are not enough for me to recommend this book.
  • Lorraine R. (Southampton, NY)

    Southern lament
    Was there ever a more dysfunctional family? Each character seemed less able to cope with what life gave them and what they made of their lives; dark family secrets aside. Wilton Barnhardt writes a fine novel of the South, with all the pathos of a Greek tragedy. Unfortunately it was painful to read at times, lacking humor and just hoping that someone in this family would find peace with themselves. It was well-written, the language was fluid and descriptive, but somehow lacked the depth of Pat Conroy's descriptions of Southern families. I would recommend this novel, a good book club read along with other novels of the South.
  • Loretta F. (Fountain Inn, SC)

    A Southern Melodrama
    When I read the first chapter of "Lookaway, Lookaway," I thought I was reading another stereotypical southern novel: rich Daddy's good girl (Jerilyn) goes to college and then goes wild. The fraternity pranks reminded me of the movie "Animal House," but were not nearly as funny. I thought I was in for a disappointing read, until the next chapter when Gaston "speaks." The book was redeemed by his sarcasm and caustic wit. From that point forward, each character "speaks" and they all prove more interesting than Jerilyn. Jerene (Mama) is a typical upper class southern woman, very concerned with her image in the community, but she has some unique qualities and some secrets too.

    The author's description of the family's Christmas dinner was such a disaster that it begs belief. How can one family have so much drama! Because I found the excessive amount of drama to be depressing, I really did not enjoy reading this book. However, I gave it four stars because it was well-written.
  • Sylvia G. (Scottsdale, AZ)

    you might want to look away
    I wanted to like this book. At times I did. But ultimately, I felt it wasn't worth the time and effort. I love satire and sometimes Barnhardt delivered, but mostly the satire was on the mean side and very heavy-handed. There was more gay sex talk than there needed to be and Civil War history that would be interesting only to a true aficionado. Not my favorite. I debated over two or three stars...decided to be kind.
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Take This Man
    Take This Man
    by Brando Skyhorse
    "A chorus of six men calling me Son might sound ludicrous to you, but to me it's the sound of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"

    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist


Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.