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Hardcover The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances: A Memoir Book

ISBN: 1594868239

ISBN13: 9781594868238

The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances: A Memoir

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

In the course of one nine-month period, filmmaker Mark Millhone's youngest son nearly died from birth complications, his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, his mother had a heart attack and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Time flies whether you have fun or not

I hesitated to pick up and start what I assumed would be a "men's book". And while it is true that a man wrote it from the perspective of a father and husband and son, it is overwhelmingly a book about a person trying to hold himself together and navigate a series of truly awful circumstances and the fallout that always follows living through serious trauma. I am sorry to say that I know about having a seriously ill child, a seriously ill spouse, serious accidents with lasting consequences, too many horrific things happening at once, and "family or origin" issues thrown into the mix. Probably a lot of other people know about all these things, too. Which means there are probably a lot of people who will appreciate the honest yet sympathetic treatment Millhone affords his characters and their stories. It is easy to believe, reading this book, that people really do try their best, given the circumstances they find themselves in, and that sometimes, that "best" isn't good enough anyway and things fall apart. Still, though this may be true, we all soldier on, looking for a way to create some hope when there isn't much to be found, and looking for the courage to do what is necessary even if it is scary or even terrifying. As much as I appreciated the main story, I also appreciated the realistically hopeful ending. No shmaltz or artificial fluff, but a real promise that things can improve, and moments of joy can return to even the most unlucky of families. I've found this to be true for us, and I'm sure others will appreciate this, too.

A Heartfelt Memoir

This book is built on the fact that s**t usually comes in large piles. Millhone's life has taken a turn for the worst in the past year: His newborn son nearly dies, his mother dies, his father is diagnosed with cancer, and his marriage is on the brink as a result of all this trauma. These misfortunate events are all so common that you can't help but relate to him. Have kids? Then you can understand what it must feel like to think you might lose one. Have aging parents? Then surely you must have thought of what will happen when they are gone...or maybe they already are. Been married? Well, then you know. Millhone experinces some deeply tragic ,sad events but manages to write about them without making you cry. He tells his story so easily and interestingly. Life happens and all you can do is try to live it.

A Real Second Chance

This book is wonderfully written by a skilled, knowledgeable, and perceptive writer. He's also a husband and father, a son and a brother. The story is structured beautifully, and the laughs come often. There are a few tears for the reader, too, at least for this one. And a happy ending. If you are a man, you are sure to enjoy this book. And if you are a woman, I'll bet you will, too. I certainly did. It's top-notch.

Frightfully good - more please!

My only quibble with this book was that I did not want it to end. It is one of the funniest books I've ever read, and that in itself reveals how Mark Millhone could survive a horrifying progression of life-changing events in the space of a few years. How to describe this author? Besides laugh-out-loud funny, he is ironic, detached, a passionate family man, the product of a dysfunctional family, so self-aware, selfish yet fully empathetic. His writing made me cry and laugh, sometimes at the same time. It never seemed that he was trying to transcend his Job-like circumstances. He just tries to cope, and the effort is totally admirable. It's a messy story. and the ending is not the deeply satisfying resolution of some fiction, but it is a resolution of sorts,and it made me cheer. I very much want to know how things turn out for this family. I hope for many more memoirs, Mark Millhone!
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