To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Oh My Gosh ,this book was so very good, yet so very heartbreaking ! Brando is raised in a triangle of mainly 3 people - him, his mother and grandmother, are the main people in the picture throughout the biggest part of his life. To call this group dysfunctional would be a polite term . In the beginning, I sorta liked the Grandma . She sounded like quite a character. A real live-wire , but as time goes on, she begins to grate on you . Brando's mother grated on me from page one on ...it was VERY hard to find any redeeming qualities in her . For some reason, she didn't want to be known as Mexican , so she used American Indian aliases, and also named her son an Indian name . She went through men like I go through potato chips .. one right after another. Some she dated, some she lived with, some she (illegally) married , never getting divorced between each one , and always using fake ID's and aliases for each marriage . Brando tells a very honest story about being the boy growing up in this madness, wanting a father figure so badly , and learning to look for the good in each one that drifted in and out of his life. Some of them had quite a lot more bad than good, but he was grateful for anything they could give him in the way of fatherhood or friendship, recognition, acceptance ... It's such a terribly sad book ,but yet such an important one. I think it can reach out to so many people who may be searching for the same things in their own lives. He is a great role model in that way: How to come out the other side and survive, and take away as much GOOD from the situation as possible and try to leave the bad behind . Great book. I wish the author all the happiness in the future. He certainly deserves it .
Yes, it's a good story about a tough childhood and its aftermath. But it's also a deeply honest, wholly sincere, hard-fought, no-holds-barred yarn that draws the reader intimately close to the author.
I'm a memoir nut--that's my bias. The best memoirs take us inside a new set of experiences or a unique perspective; they show us a truth or side of life we didn't know about before. We learn as we empathize. "Take This Man" is a good example of all that and more.
Despite the flat, uninspiring title, the prose within is uncompromisingly well written. It possesses a strong narrative drive (we truly worry about the characters) and is interspersed with passages of such poetic clarity that they positively ring with brilliance.
I do wish that, by the end, I had a stronger sense that Brando was able to grow out of his childhood traumas. Mostly he does, but there's clearly still residual damage. He would probably agree with me. That's the thing--he admits all these things. He's aware of and honest about his struggle to forgive and forget.
Those who aren't used to or don't like memoirs may say there is too much whining here; many people have rough childhoods, after all. Why should the author feel so sorry for himself? Why isn't he kinder about his mother's patent emotional disabilities, etc.?
Yet that very honesty about his & his family's shortcomings is what makes this a razor-sharp, unvarnished tale. It must have been painful to write--which is the mark of a good memoir.
By the final page Skyhorse has become like your closest, oldest friend. A sad and troubled friend, perhaps--for good reason--but a trusted and courageous companion nonetheless. I for one can't wait till the next time we hear from him.
Brando Skyhorse writes beautifully, describing his characters, and settings. I truly felt I was with him every minute of his journey in his memoir. I could see, and feel what he saw and felt through his beautiful descriptive words. I could picture his neighborhood, his grandmothers house, and porch. I could see his mothers, and grandmothers face, their temperament as well as their physical appearance. I could understand each "father" figure completely through how he described them. The only reason I did not rate it a 5 star is because of his ending search was not fulfilled as I thought is should have been. We only find our acceptance, and fulfillment of who we are within ourselves from Christ, and he still believes others, and himself can transform his identity. I am a Christian, and this review is based on His Spirit within me being the end of all humans searching for their identity. This book is a perfect written book showing our human need to search for our true identity that we all have within each of us. Others may not understand why we do not find our fulfillment of our identity through ourselves, and this book may lead many to think they can find it through others when we cannot.
I don't give 5 star ratings often. I may come back and modify it but right now, minutes after finishing the book, I think it well deserves the 5 stars, and then some.
I wanted to not like this book because of the rough language and the sometimes farcical scenes but those moments were outweighed by the times I wanted to reach out and take that little boy in my arms and snatch him from the damage I knew was being done to him.
I'm glad I stuck with it. This memoir is one not to be missed. It is well written and just the right length. I don't think the Reader could take a lot more of Maria or June's abuse, even though each one has their own story that, looked at with distance from Brando's story, makes them very sympathetic in their own way.
See if you can read it through and not cry like a baby at the last sentence. I couldn't.
This is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. Skyhorse's voice is strong and clear, his themes were constant, and his story is absolutely incredible. Take This Man is the story of Brando Skyhorse, his mother and grandmother who raised him, and his five failed fathers. It sounds like it could be a very depressing story, but Skyhorse has a wry sense of humor about his life, and he can't argue with his mother's motto, "At least it's never boring."
Take This Man is never boring, but that is the least of the reasons to read it. You'll fall in love with Skyhorse's style and heart. You'll be fascinated by his wacky and abusive family life. And you'll be warmed by his prose and hindsight philosophizing. Don't miss out on the highly unique memoir of Brando Skyhorse. It will be one of the best books you'll read all year.
I had read The Madonnas of Echo Park, and after hearing Skyhorse interviewed on NPR, was anxious to read this memoir. I was inclined to agree with a young Vietnamese friend who said that he always writes too much, as the beginning went into great and repetitive detail on his mother's unstable relationships. However as I continued to read I realized that these are years of his young life, all lost in a confusing and endless tyranny of his mother and grandmother's craziness. I always thought my family was odd but I've come to realize that while we were odd, we were not mean. The author's honesty is painfully revealing. I finished the book with the reminder that while I expect people I meet to be on the same page I am, they bring a whole and possibly loaded backstory to our encounter.
Brando Skyhorse may have a unique name, but there are many Brando Skyhorses out there who don't have the same ability to tell their story. Here is a gifted writer who can articulate his narrative in a way that compels the reader to push onward into difficult territory. I might add that I taught for a decade in the area that Skyhorse inhabited and his descriptions are right on.
Great story and superb story teller. I first read an excerpt from this in the Stanford magazine. I was captivated from the first words and ordered the book. I was not disappointed and so glad I saved it for some special reading time. As a retired family therapist, I would recommend this to anyone in the helping professions. It will increase your understanding of family history and relationships and how the future looks from another's perspective.
One of the better memoirs I've read in a long time. Brando Skyhorse is an engaging writer who made his memoir a pleasure to read. Beautifully written by an extremely talented writer. Which now makes me want to read his novel Madonnas of Echo Park. Take this Man is a heart felt tale of a strange upbringing. Brando not only survived his life with his gruff Grandmother and dynamic bi-polar mother he actually managed to thrive; barely.
After a lifetime of working “office hours”, I have a personal rule that I must be productive during the day. No watching TV or reading for pleasure. I broke this 46-year-old rule for this book. I could not put it down.
Many times I didn't think I could continue reading because it was too painful. Then it always made me laugh, like the grandmother’s line “Take a Tums and go to work”.
It is a very rare book that makes me laugh and makes me cry. After suffering to the end of the book with Brando, I surprised myself when I turned to Chapter 1 and started reading it again.