My Summer With Gramps
by Ignatius Ryan
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform | Nov 2014
Paperback: 330 pages (978-1503221512)
Genre: Fiction/Coming of Age
ARC: NETGALLEY in exchange for an unbiased review.
Want a crash course on world history, American civil rights, religion, economics, philosophy, modern day politics… and much more? Grab your bike (don’t forget your helmet) and ride on over with the boy to Gramps house.
The nameless narrator, a 13 year old boy, hasn’t seen his Gramps for at least eight years although as he says, “I seem to remember him fondly“. The reader is left pretty much in the dark about the bad blood between the boy’s parents and Gramps and the long silent years. If their relationship was like my family, who can remember why.
It’s the end of the summer, the boy’s parents are going through a rough patch together, and his mother tells him he needs to visit his grandfather.
“Go see your grandfather,” she suggested in a way that sounded distinctly like an order…”It will be a nice surprise for him.” …So here I was riding along this bumpy trail… I reached Grandpa’s …house [and] I spotted him in a rocking chair.
I stepped up on the porch and said,”Howdy, Grandpa!”
Grandpa cracked an eye open and said,”What brings a young lad like you over here on such a find summer day?”
What was probably intended as something to do one fine day to get him out of the house turned into a summer’s project by Gramps to cram a lifetime of knowledge into the boy’s memory.
Warning to the reader. You will want a dictionary and perhaps a tab open on your computer to www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com The boy won’t be the only one learning a thing or two. At least once during each visit Gramps uses some highfalutin word which prompts the boy to ask what?
I got to Gramps about noon. I was beginning to think my constant bloviation had driven you away.” Boviation? “Yes, pompous speechifying.”
The boy is an information sponge and Gramps is a walking encyclopedia. As the summer progresses each of them undergoes significant character development.
As a proud Baby Boomer myself, I enjoyed Gramps style of music always playing on the old radio somewhere in the house. Couldn’t help myself but start humming a very familiar tune to my old ears. I wasn’t too happy that Gramps enjoyed his “jug” so often but he had some quirks that were very endearing.
And I personally want to thank Gramps for introducing me to a new word: snollygoster. Look it up. A very apropos word for this political season.
Enjoyed the book tremendously although at times I had to admit I was overwhelmed with Gramps bloviation.