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Shirts and Skins Paperback – Jul 16 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Lightning Source Inc (July 16 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937627004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937627003
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #288,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Book Description

A remarkable debut novel from Jeffrey Luscombe-a compelling series of linked stories of a young man's coming-out, coming-of-age, and coming-to-terms with his family and fate. Josh Moore lives with his family on the 'wrong side' of Hamilton, a gritty industrial city in southwestern Ontario. As a young boy, Josh plots an escape for a better life far from the steel mills that lined the bay. But fate has other plans and Josh discovers his adult life in Toronto is just as fraught with as many insecurities and missteps as his youth and he soon learns that no matter how far away he might run, he will never be able to leave his hometown behind.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After seeing mentions on Twitter of glowing reviews about Shirts and Skins, I decided to take the plunge.

The first sentence grabbed me by the throat and dared me to look away. I couldn't. I was completely drawn into the journey of Josh Moore, a sweet boy who begins to feel the first child-like curiosities of his sexuality, but after being humiliated, grows into a man struggling to be something he is not.

I defy anyone who grew up in a blue collar neighborhood not to feel a mix of pain and nostalgia at the vivid descriptions of working-class life, the desire to leave it, and the all-too-common problem of becoming a caricature within it. I couldn't put it down, and found myself hoping for Josh to be truly happy and free.

I love how each chapter is like a short story. The characters in this book are so raw and shameless and realistic, I feel like they will be entrenched in my memory as people who were in my old neighborhood.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As book was set in my hometown, It was fun to read and recognize the different things he would relate to. The story also had a sad side of it that many people could understand because they lived it too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this book by local writer I follow on twitter. Well worth reading. Looking forward to more books by this author!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed it and I can't wait for Jeffrey's next book to come out! This writer is indeed quite talented.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa218f240) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2164c84) out of 5 stars An engaging character, more than a typical "coming of age" series Sept. 7 2012
By Nathan Burgoine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have a connection to "Shirts and Skins" that is purely coincidental. For a while, I lived near Hamilton, Ontario (and at times, lived in Hamilton itself). My life in Hamilton was rarely enjoyable, and when my father passed away - in a hospital in Hamilton - the place was cemented in my mind as somewhere I just never wanted to be again.

Connecting with Luscombe's character, Joshua Moore, was therefore immediate and gratifying. By the time Josh is a young adult, he's aware of how much he wants to leave Hamilton, and his inability to do so easily becomes a heartbeat of frustration and repression throughout the stories that make up the continuity of "Shirts and Skins."

The short stories are complete entities in and of themselves, and each visits Josh chronologically as he moves from being a mostly innocent child to an outgoing youth to a jaded and hardened young man and beyond. The stories are snapshots: important moments that define Josh and his journey, and bring the reader along for the ride. Sometimes the reader winces in empathy, sometimes the reader wants to reach in and shake Josh hard, but always I was involved and tangled in Josh's life.

It would be easy to dismiss these stories (and the book as a whole) as just a "coming of age" progression. There are shades of that, yes, but I think there's a depth here that could be missed if you categorize the collection too quickly. Josh doesn't just progress, he regresses and represses. The orbit of his family members around him rings so true (and especially painful) that I could see, and smell, and taste the Hamilton I've avoided so long. That Josh was enough to make me revisit that place is one example of how engaging the characters and stories were.

I look forward to more Luscombe, and hope to find more of his tales.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2164cd8) out of 5 stars Chronicling the Journey July 22 2012
By David G. Hallman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Luscombe's first novel "Shirts and Skins" takes us on a journey of a life that has lots of valleys and a few peaks.

Luscombe writes convincing dialogue and much of the novel tracing the first thirty-odd years of the life of Josh, the main character, proceeds through his conversations and frequent arguments with family members. And he does have a colourful family indeed.

Some of the most powerful writing in "Shirts and Skins" occurs as Josh is struggling in his early years with a cantankerous father and desperate mother compounded by bullying and academic problems at school. I had to go back and check to see whether those early chapters had been written in the first person. They are not. But so authentic was the voice of the young alienated Josh that I remembered those sections as if Luscombe had had Josh narrating the storyline directly.

"Shirts and Skins" is a coming out story in a number of senses. No need for a spoiler alert - I won't give away any of the critical plot developments. What I would observe is that through Josh's journey we witness his struggling with a variety of demons some of which are imposed on him from external sources and some of which are self-generated. Luscombe takes us very effectively inside Josh's head and heart as he wrestles with these various challenges.

There are plenty of dark moments in Josh's journey and they are presented with candour and a lack of sentimentality for which I as a reader was grateful. There are also bright and comic moments that bring a ready smile and chuckle.

I look forward to adding more fiction works by Luscombe to my bookshelves in the years to come.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa216512c) out of 5 stars An Original and Moving Coming of Age Story May 26 2012
By TOGuy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Shirts and Skins is a moving coming of age story. It is an original tale, powerfully crafted and filled with memorable characters. It chronicles the life of Josh Moore from childhood into his adult life, as he deals with issues of poverty, alcoholism and the growing realization of his own sexual identity. Alternately touching and amusing, the book is a true page turner. I strongly recommend it.
HASH(0xa21654ec) out of 5 stars A Story With Wide Appeal March 27 2014
By R E Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this to be a well written story that should appeal not only to the LGBT audience but to just about everyone. All of the characters are carefully drawn and show great depth and feeling. It is a book that does not rely on graphic depictions, but on the emotions involved in growing up. Parts of it are very emotional and moving, even eliciting tears, but the writer handles this without making the reader feel he/she is being manipulated. It's a story that feels real and is told beautifully. It is one that I plan to read again. And I look forward to his future writings.
HASH(0xa2165498) out of 5 stars Worth the wait! May 11 2013
By Lynn R. McChesney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had this book in my Wish List for some time & finally got it when I redeemed Xmas & birthday gift cards. This was my first choice to read or view out of all the new books & DVD's I ordered...a perfect choice! Such a sadly sweet journey with a boy often on the outside looking in...I so get that. I loved how Josh evolved during the 30-odd years of the story, & as a reader I evolved with him. Frequently identifying with his challenges, at times disliking him a little, often thinking I'd like to know someone like him, but always looking forward with anticipation to see where life would take him next. I look forward to reading more from this author. A great read & heartily recommended.