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The Glass Castle Paperback – Jan 17 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (Jan. 17 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074324754X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743247542
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4.7 out of 5 stars
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Laura on Jan. 22 2007
Format: Paperback
I started to read this book, and I just couldn't put it down. Jeannette Walls is one of those rare storytellers where you feel as if you are right there experiencing everything with her. It is an enthralling read, and the worst thing about it is how it draws you in so much that you want to do little else but sit there until you reach the very last page. I highly reccomend this novel!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By P.C. on July 11 2007
Format: Paperback
Of the three incredibly entertaining and uplifting reads I've recently come across, THE GLASS CASTLE was by far the best. Second place goes to MIDDLESEX by Eugenides and third to BARK OF THE DOGWOOD. I enjoyed reading in GLASS CASTLE about the child's father, as a good man. He bought new bicycles for his children and took them to the zoo. He also developed a love of learning in his children. Wells writes very vividly about what it felt like sleeping in cardboard boxes, looking though trash cans and dumpsters for food and eating nothing but popcorn for many days. She also lived in a house with no electricity or indoor plumbing. She developed a sense of resourcefulness of being so poor. She made her own set of braces to straighten out of coat hangers and rubber bands. She also took a job at the age of 13 at a jewerly store to help make ends meet. Wells discovers a love of journalism in high school which became one of the turning points in her life. Her love of writing led to a career as a journalist in New York City. Jeannette Walls has worked hard to achieve the life she now has. The Glass Castle is a touching, inspirational, entertaining memoir of a courageous successful woman, but try it for yourself! Also highly recommended: MIDDLESEX by Eugenides and WHITE OLEANDER.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reader on Aug. 26 2007
Format: Paperback
This book will keep you suprised over and over again. Just when you think you've read all the crazy things Jeanette Walls throws in some more! A good little book that is great to remind oneself about what is and isn't important in one's life. Will get you thinkin'!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 27 2007
Format: Paperback
A powerfully, and beautifully, written memoir which describes what is, strives for what could be but does not get lost in the chasm between.

It would be difficult to read this book and not to react to it strongly. A family which is, by most measures, dysfunctional: two chronological adults who need more parenting than their four biological offspring.

But this is not told as the 'shock, horror' story of appalling upbringing. It combines hope and courage with the fear of the unknown. And, ultimately the acceptance of what is.

'Just tell the truth' said Mom. 'That's simple enough.'

Highly recommended

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Brown Sugar on Aug. 6 2007
Format: Paperback
I have always enjoyed memoirs and have read several that were quite memorable, but "The Glass Castle" tops them all. I started the book in the afternoon and had it finished within a few hours because I simply could not put it down for any length of time. Besides having led an extraordinary life, Jeannette Walls has an impeccable way with words. She evoked frustration, shock, joy, and anger in me through recounting the often bizarre circumstances of her past, but she never evokes or encourages pity at any time throughout the book. I felt satisfied when I came to the end of "The Glass Castle", which doesn't happen very often and is a real treat. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read, regardless of whether or not you enjoy memoirs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S Svendsen TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 25 2012
Format: Paperback
Dysfunctional hardly describes Jeannette Wallis's family environment. The childhood and adolescence she describes must have readers repeatedly cringing and shaking their heads. But Walls knows how to lift up her narrative to overcome the gloom. Yes, even in the most bizarre, painful and hopeless situations she portrays ironically her parents' quirky attitudes about life in general and parental roles in particular. Most remarkable is her own incredible tenacity and resourcefulness to overcome her own and her siblings hardships time after time.

As unlikely as it sounds Wells has managed to write an entertaining memoir about children caught in a web of parental irresponsibility which includes physical violence, verbal abuse, addictions and starvation. The four children are often left to fend for themselves but stick together and devise plans and methods to survive. They have an unstable father whose pride, delusions of grandeur and alcoholic rages hijack his ability to function responsibly. However, his intellectual interests, zany humour and sporadic sense of paternal and spousal duty--and even love--provide sufficient positive influence to keep his family intact until the children devise ways to leave. They have a mother who abstains from alcohol but suffers from bipolar extremes of activity or lethargy, and of encouragement or melancholia. She is nonchalantly self-reliant but disorganized, failing to accept the reality of her and her children's predicament and her husband's deficiencies. She is compulsively creative, drawing and painting even in dire and chaotic circumstances.

Jeannette Walls demonstrates a unique ability to describe her life's afflictions tragicomically. This book is never boring. Readers will be left with a lingering impression that "hope can sustain us and lives eternally for those who have the fortitude to believe."
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