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And Bill's daughter? Marcy, April's mom, was a character I just didn't like. I didn't mind her straight-talking style, but she was a little too harshly written for me to really be interested in what happened to her. She's the kind of person I imagine as being a loud talker. You know, the person in the store, or the restaurant, who you can hear just yammering on about something, convinced the world revolves around them?

Not someone I want to be around. But, despite the fact that I didn't really like the people in this book, I was curious about what was going to happen to them. I thought James King did a nice job of writing the voice of a character who is going through the stages of early Alzheimer's. Bill knows he is forgetting things, and he gets irritable. Bill's lapses into remembering the past, and then forgetting things in the present, were written in such a way that I really felt like I was understanding what Bill was going through.

His experiences with April are interesting, and at times, a little scary -- and this kept me reading just to make sure things were going to be okay.

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I don't know if this is a book I'd recommend for everyone, but it wasn't a bad read. Definitely a story that gives insight into sibling rivalry, and how things change once kids grow up and need to think about taking care of their parents.

I got this book from the publisher as part of their Flights of Fiction-- and I've passed it on to one of my colleagues to read. I'll be honest here and tell you that as soon as I started reading this book, I was getting flashes of Gran Torino in my brain. An aging, widowed Marine living alone at home and estranged from his children and starting to lose control of his mental faculties. I've read that when Gran Torino came out, the author James King was a bit taken aback at some of the similarities, but the reality is very clear that they're two very different stories.

The lesson I've learned about books and movies is that I'll be honest here and tell you that as soon as I started reading this book, I was getting flashes of Gran Torino in my brain. The lesson I've learned about books and movies is that no one can tell your story the way you can. It's just that simple. Obviously both are worthy as a vehicle for Clint Eastwood to star in and with the book just recently getting a green light, anything is possible. To me, that's a good thing and after readinng it - I'd love to see the movie.

The story, without being repetitve of the jacket blurb and every other review, is very compelling and the book immediately sucks you in and holds you in the crumbling world of Bill Warrington. The story exposes itself in layers like someone's would-be swan song if this were true to life. You can't help but feel empathy for both Bill and for April as they get closer and share their experiences crossing the country. I felt the character of April rang true and her dialogue seemed real to me and never once broke me from my reverie as some other reviewers have suggested.

I love language and know that young people are often very capable and usually bursting at the seams to say anything inventive, especially when someone, or rather an adult, is actually listening. This is a wonderful tale and great debut novel from James King who makes it abundantly clear with his style that he's actually been writing and keeping busy with it for quite some time. I find it interesting that he chose this to be his breakout novel and for a man who says he's been hacking away at it quietly in his basement for many years, I'm sure he has some other very imaginaitive books that we'll be graced with as time passes.

I get the feeling after reading this book that 'relationships' are his strong suit and what he'll continue to write about, possibly along the same path as Nicholas Sparks. Well done. This poignant story is more about relationships than about anything actually happening, but does not really explore the depth of those relationships.

Audiobook version. Marcy still clings to unresolved childhood memories despite her rigorous adherence to present conventional familial duties; this agitated adult daughter clearly rejects the perceptible decline of her elderly father Bill Warrington. April, confused by the subliminal messages passing from her frenzied mother to her obstinate grandfather, utilizes that uncanny adolescent charm to her benefit by cajoling an unpredictable grandfather to teach her how to drive.

Mending flawed childhood memories requires fearless communication. This bewildering, topsy-turvy journey from a discordant past to reconciliation presents an astute parable for any one that still bears a latent animosity toward a parent or sibling; hope is abundant, but time is not.

View 2 comments. In this case a really enjoyable, unique read and a great debut novel. Very character based with some hilarious and poignant counterbalance woven through this eliptical family reunion of sorts. Bill calls to mind Clint Eastwood as cast in Gran Torino — he is an ex-marine who has some grand plan which turns into a one of a kind cross country road trip from Ohio to California. Each family member has some twisted, deep seated or recently developed troubles, marital or work related and they certainly have issues with each other.

Bill hopes to resolve some of these at long last, but his periods of lucidity are sometimes tempered with flashbacks and ramblings. This novel is a really entertaining, well written, funny, thought provoking and memorable winner. Jun 25, Caitlin rated it really liked it. It's really weird that most of the books I've read have fit one or the other.

This one fits both. Bill Warrington is getting older and less well-liked. And his house is getting messier. And things are slipping his mind. And his family doesn't ever seem to visit. Mike and Ni 3. Mike and Nick are Bill's grown sons, each living their own lives, struggling along, and want nothing to do with their father.

Marcy is Bill's daughter and the proxy who has to deal with him, mainly cleaning his house when she comes by. She's just started a new career in real estate and a new relationship with a mentor. April is Marcy's year-old daughter and Bill's granddaughter, and she wants nothing to do with anyone. On the road, Bill sees their adventure as a way to possibly bring his kids together again, so long ago separated by a family secret about which the kids don't know the truth. Everything works out in the end, but don't expect the ride to be smooth.

When Bill realizes his memory is slipping away, he decides he wants to bring his grown children together so he can set the record straight about something that happened in their past. His sons are none to eager to comply with his wishes, since he was never exactly Father-of-the-Year material. After granddaughter April has a tiff with her mother and moves in with him, the unlikely pair set off on a cross-country trip to meet their goals.

Kudos to the author for doing such a great job capturing two such polar opposite voices and portraying them so realistically. What a sweet, poignant story. Bill Warrington's is having more than his share of "senior moments" and seems to be at war with his offspring. A tentative link with a grand child sends Bill and his granddaughter on an adventure which will be the catalyst that will go towards mending the rift between Bill and his children. Apr 23, K rated it it was ok. This is not a good book. The characters are wooden, the dialogue unrealistic though funny at times , and the relationships ridiculous.

A sweet, surprise ending redeems it slightly, helping to bring it to 2 stars. The book is about a curmudgeon named Bill Warrington, who served as a Marine in Korea. He came home, This is not a good book. He came home, became a salesman, and built a family with the woman of his dreams married to her before he went to Korea. They had three kids, but she died when the youngest was in elementary school. The book opens with Bill slipping into senility and those kids as adults, each with their own problems.

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Through his fog, Bill hatches a scheme to get his three kids together one last time. His plan is to make a confession to them, or to clarify an issue that he believes is at the root of their anger with him. April is as angry at her mom as her mom was at Bill 25 years earlier. Things go awry, as would be expected. The book is effective at showing that things will go awry in that type of situation, and the incidents can be scary things in real time, though perhaps funny in retrospect.

Bill is in a fog most of the time, thinking back to his loss of his beloved wife Clare, and confusing her with both Marcy and April. Some of that interior monologue is pretty effective, but a lot of it is very obvious and labored. April is just trying to get through the day without being too embarrassed by this old man, but also, of course, becoming more protective of him as she realizes how lost he is. Same with Marcy, who yells at people at the drop of a hat, or April, who lets her inner-Marcy emerge during the road trip with her dad.

Finally, the entire story lacks any depth of meaning or understanding, despite this big issue of decades of family estrangement overarching the entire plot. The whole book is about personal interactions, and yet the author is basically tone-deaf about them. There are a bunch of other interactions that get a lot of space in this short book, all badly. And April, the girl, is pining over a guy in her class.

Each of these is a distraction from the main story. If that other stuff was stripped out and more attention was placed on the main story, maybe this book could be salvaged. This idea immediately hooked me and I was excited to see where King would take this. I don't think he really took advantage of this very eye-catching and unique idea. The characters, while complex, were lackluster and they blended into one another. The scenes between Bill and April in the car were rather dull and Bill's memories of the past dragged out the timeline and made the whole thing read a little slow.

It had a very domestic air about it, which is fine, but it dulled the whole plot. I also feel like King didn't handle Bill's alcoholism well- there were a lot of excuses provided for it and his children never really reconciled with their father in that department. I wasn't a huge fan of this book, though there was nothing majorly wrong with it. It just wasn't anything special. It held a lot of potential, but the way the plot was handled seemed like a missed opportunity. I loved the evolution of granddaughter April's character from being a selfish teenager to gaining insight into events in the family's history that led to their fractured relationships, the severity of her grandfather's condition, how to best interact with him, and how to facilitate the reunion.

It's not very often, but there are stories that speak to me, and this is one of them. Alzheimer's runs in my family on my mother's side, so this book had a major significance to me. I'm terrified that I may end up like Bill. It happened to my grandparents and all I can do is hope it goes no further. We shall see. They are my hometown and favorite college! Oct 06, Cindy Baucom rated it really liked it.

What a great story. They have to talk in order to figure out the clues they're receiving about Bill and his granddaughter April's whereabouts. Through it all, the characters are very well drawn, and the story is about human failings and forgiveness. Feb 18, Halifax rated it really liked it. As a daughter of a 98 year old father, I found this to be a sweet, charming book. Mar 05, Lori rated it it was ok.

Too much unnecessary language.

Show them what the MAN is working with! :)

The story is ok, but the language is distracting. Well I, am sure that stuff like this happens in the USA all the time with families that become distant; a grand-daughter wanting to get to know her grandfather when he is coming close to death… I was-just-never-really overwhelmingly grappled by this book tho I did not dislike it. Bill is, a troubled man that for the most part only found happiness with his wife that dies well the kids are all still young.

His daughter Marcy is a troubled woman that is always trying to move up in the world well raising a teenage kid that is constantly displeased with her wanting to get away from her, thinking the grass will be greener on the other side. He shows all the signs of an alcoholic from delusion to evil self-centered cheating.

I'll admit, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. The plot sounded fun and interesting on the back, but upon reading the first few pages, I found that I could not stand the writing style. It felt like reading one of those teen chick-lit books from Limited Too that my sister and I used to keep in our bathroom. However, as I continued reading, I found that the writing style grew on me. I think I might have been turned off initially because I just finished a book by Joyce Carol Oates, who ha I'll admit, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book.

I think I might have been turned off initially because I just finished a book by Joyce Carol Oates, who has a completely different style. How many times can I use the word 'style' in this review? I felt less and less like I was reading a trashy bathroom novel and more and more like I was seeing real people in a real family with real feelings. The snide attitude that I felt from the characters drifted away as their memories and emotions surfaced, and I became entranced by their dysfunctional yet humorous familial relationships.

This book really is talking about love, I think.

I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I think the ending really makes that clear. And I think each of the characters made at least profound realization about the way they express love and connect with others. Also I like that the characters didn't make any big hopeful cliche changes in the end. I liked that they stayed the same, even as the relationships changed. There was no dramatic revelation, which I thought was true to who the characters were. None of them had to change in order to be able to function more healthily in their relationships with each other.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that the author knows how to build up a good suspense story. The book is riddled with cliffhangers that kept me turning the pages just to see what would happen next. I guess that could be annoying to some people, but for me, the little "life lessons" sprinkled throughout the book outweighed the typicality is that even a word?

All in all, an enjoyable read. Contrary to what I expected, it got me thinking, which is always awesome. This was a very powerful book about family relationships. Each character is flawed in their own unique manner that showcases their unique individuality.

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Also you get a real sense at the same time that the characters are indeed from the same family and that they each responded to their childhood in a different manner. This brought a truth to the story that is lacking in a lot of fiction these days. King was able to mix into this story a true sense of the human experience as well. The book focuses This was a very powerful book about family relationships. The book focuses primarily on the relationship between April and Bill, granddaughter and grandfather, and their adventure no the road, but it is so much more than this.

It is a story of growing up, growing old, and learning to love each member of your family. This book is an emotional read throughout. There are times where you want to strangle characters for being so idiotic or just being evil, but then later on you understand why they feel the way they do. You embrace the characters even though they are flawed. This makes for a great read to feel connected so much to the characters. I will state there are moments where you want to put the book down for a bit because the moments are so vivid and real.

If you have had any real experiences with your own family King's book will bring them back to your mind. This is not a book you will finish in one setting because of this, but it is a book you definitely need to complete. You will appreciate life in a different manner after doing so. Bill Warrington's Last Chance follows the Warrington family: Bill, the senile patriarch, his estranged children Mike, Nick, and Marcy, and Marcy's increasingly defiant daughter, April, as they deal with an aging parent who was not the father they needed after their mother died.

When April and Bill go on a cross-country road trip, the family must work together to bring them home. The novel frequently shifts point of view between the family with most of the focus on Bill and April. I had a tenuous Bill Warrington's Last Chance follows the Warrington family: Bill, the senile patriarch, his estranged children Mike, Nick, and Marcy, and Marcy's increasingly defiant daughter, April, as they deal with an aging parent who was not the father they needed after their mother died.

I had a tenuous understanding of Mike, and sometimes Nick fell into that category. While I was completely in the heads of April, Bill, and Marcy even though she only narrates for a few pages, she is integral to April's character development Nick and especially Mike felt like background characters outside of their own chapters. King did an excellent job of portraying Bill's experiences with memory loss and his increasing senility.

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Bill Warrington's Last Chance

I was frustrated by the family's response to his deteriorating condition, which stemmed from some past situations which I felt could have been delved into more. I walked away from the novel not completely sure why the family became estranged but this did not deter me from enjoying the story.

It's hard to believe that this is King's debut novel. His writing is simple yet true; each character is portrayed authentically and with heart. The fate of the family is not completely resolved, but there is hope that things will get better. This was a road trip I almost didn't want to end.

This family has a lot of anger. I can see why they avoid each other so much, cuz they sure have a hard time honestly communicating with each other! Seems like all they do is yell at each other. The family includes Bill, who is approaching his 80th birthday and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's; his son Mike, a philandering salesman; his son Nick, unable to move on after his beloved wife's death three years ago; and his daughter Marcy, a bitter divorcee trying to embark on a new career in Wow!

Bill Warrington's last chance | Bemis Public Library

The family includes Bill, who is approaching his 80th birthday and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's; his son Mike, a philandering salesman; his son Nick, unable to move on after his beloved wife's death three years ago; and his daughter Marcy, a bitter divorcee trying to embark on a new career in real estate and feeling unappreciated by her teenage daughter April. Bill was not the most nurturing of father's, but his memories of his kids' childhoods is vastly different from theirs.

He loved his wife Clare so much, but his and Mike, Nick, and Marcy's memories often get tangled up in the painful years when she was dying of bone cancer, and in the sad years that followed her death. Marcy and her year-old daughter April, like many other mothers-and-teenage-daughters, are often angry with each other.

Slammed doors, silent treatments, invasions of privacy, accusations of disrespect, etc. In his confused state, he takes her on a road trip with the idea to get all three of his kids to meet up with him and "clear things up. Can this family be saved? From themselves? Bill Warrington, a year old widower whose family is grown and busy with their own lives is lapsing into a dementia-type state. He is also crotchety, unpleasant, and lives like a hoarder.

James King

His home, which used to be immaculately maintained, has fallen into disrepair and his three adult children are starting to try to figure out how to get him into assisted living. Each family member has some twisted, deep seated or recently developed troubles, marital or work related and they certainly have issues with each other. Bill hopes to resolve some of these at long last, but his periods of lucidity are sometimes tempered with flashbacks and ramblings.

The writing is first rate as the author skips around in an absorbing manner which works very well. This novel is a really entertaining, well written, funny, thought provoking and memorable winner. Fiction Phil. Name required. Mail will not be published required. Web site. Site search will not locate items in catalog :.


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