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155 Reviews
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A top-notch memoir
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,...
Published on Aug. 6 2007 by Brown Sugar

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The Glass Castle: A Memoir
I would not recommend this book, it is too depressing. I don't know how the children kept their spirits up for so long
Published 10 months ago by Pauline Siscoe


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A top-notch memoir, Aug. 6 2007
This review is from: The Glass Castle (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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book, Five stars :), Jan. 22 2007
By 
Laura (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Glass Castle (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
5.0 out of 5 stars People who live in certain houses . .., July 11 2007
By 
P.C. (Wallingford) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Glass Castle (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
4.0 out of 5 stars A plot so crazy you'd think it wasn't real!, Aug. 26 2007
By 
This review is from: The Glass Castle (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
5.0 out of 5 stars EVERYONE INTERESTING HAS A PAST..., Nov. 29 2008
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Glass Castle (Paperback)
This is a beautifully rendered, poignant account of a totally dysfunctional family. It is little wonder that this book won numerous awards and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. I simply could not put this book down, as the author had me transfixed with her story of growing up in such an unusual family.

Born to highly intelligent, creative parents who marched to the beat of a different drum, the author and her siblings had a difficult childhood. With a dreamer of a father who battled the bottle and a mother who was somewhat irresponsible and probably mentally ill, family life was a study in contrasts with an emphasis on independence, as well as artistic and intellectual pursuits, while spurning creature comforts, stability, and the much longed for three hots and a cot. This free wheeling philosophy, espoused by the author's parents, subjected their children to hunger, homelessness, and a nomadic existence. Yet, the children were resilient and thrived, even as their parents went on a downward spiral.

The author's story is positively riveting. It is a story of survival and eventual prosperity within mainstream society. It is a story about keeping one's head, when all around one others are losing theirs. The author's journey is certainly an amazing one, and I for one am delighted that she chose to share it with others. Those who enjoy reading memoirs and autobiographies will, undoubtedly, very much enjoy this one and be fascinated and moved by the author's singular, well-told story. Bravo!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT WAS SOMETHING ELSE!!! WELL TOLD!!!,, June 27 2006
By 
We were always doing the skedaddle usually in the middle of the night. Dad was so sure a posse of Federal investigators was on our trail that he smoked his unfiltered cigarette from the wrong end. That way, he explained, he burned up the brand name, so that the people who were tracking them down would find unidentifiable butts,instead of Pall Malls which could be traced to him."

Jeanette Walls has written a most touching memorial of her life as a youngster. As a young girl along with her three siblings, Lori, Brain and Maureen live out a nomadic existence with their parents in Arizona and West Virginia. We see a lot on how the poor existed and still enjoyed some semblance of happiness, because of the deep love that held them together through thick and thin. And this love was evident in the Walls right through the novel, even when the girls got older and started to set their sights on another city, knowing deep inside that they could make sucessful lives with the greater opportunities elsewhere.

What I could not really grasp however was the financial resources of their mother, Rose Walls. Did she really have to live this way? Why did she choose this way when it seems that she was an educated woman; for she was indeed a talented artist and a school teacher, and had a lot to fall back on including property left to here by family. With all this and yet she chose this uncertain life for her lovely children.

This book gives a very interesting look at a dysfunctional family and was for me a smooth page-turner. This book should make an ideal gift for any occasion.

Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar (SUGAR-CANE May 1st, 2006)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transarently good, May 25 2006
This review is from: The Glass Castle (Paperback)
THE GLASS CASTLE is truly one of the most remarkable memoirs you will ever read. Jeannette Walls is an extraordinary storyteller and her childhood recollections are so spellbinding that you won't be able to put this book down. Likened to BARK OF THE DOGWOOD with its themes of abuse and dysfunction, THE GLASS CASTLE will take your breath away. The author, her sisters Lori and Maureen and her brother Brian were raised by parents who were dreamers. And of course, dreams do not pay the rent or feed the family. The children were often hungry (imagine eating Wonder bread and lard sandwiches), dirty, and dressed in hand-me-down clothes. Each child learned to cope in their own way with their extreme poverty, their father's alcoholism and extended absences, and their mother's moody and abstract sense of reality. This is NOT a mean or angry story, though. It is the author's loving tribute to her family who - despite it all - stuck together and survived crushing adversity. I adored this family. You will too. THE GLASS CASTLE is an unforgettable book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Glass Castle: a reflection of a reality, Feb. 27 2007
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Glass Castle (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choices people make..., Sept. 7 2007
By 
Jewels (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Glass Castle (Paperback)
Intellectually I know that there are people out there that live their lives like this but I never knew that some people live this way out of choice! I found this book to be a quickly moving story (although I found some of the chapters quite short.) Even when the author was describing something depressing and sad (like the numerous sexual advances made on her from the time she was a young girl) she never got bogged down in self-pity. An excellent read that you will have to make yourself remember is a true story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See-through-good, Sept. 21 2006
This review is from: The Glass Castle (Paperback)
THE GLASS CASTLE is truly one of the most remarkable memoirs you will ever read. Jeannette Walls is an extraordinary storyteller and her childhood recollections are so spellbinding that you won't be able to put this book down. Likened to BARK OF THE DOGWOOD with its themes of abuse and dysfunction, THE GLASS CASTLE will take your breath away. The author, her sisters Lori and Maureen and her brother Brian were raised by parents who were dreamers. And of course, dreams do not pay the rent or feed the family. The children were often hungry (imagine eating Wonder bread and lard sandwiches), dirty, and dressed in hand-me-down clothes. Each child learned to cope in their own way with their extreme poverty, their father's alcoholism and extended absences, and their mother's moody and abstract sense of reality. This is NOT a mean or angry story, though. It is the author's loving tribute to her family who - despite it all - stuck together and survived crushing adversity. I adored this family. You will too. THE GLASS CASTLE is an unforgettable book.
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The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Paperback - Jan. 17 2006)
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