His Illegal Self

His Illegal Self

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
5
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When the boy was almost eight, a woman stepped out of the elevator into the apartment on East Sixty-second Street and he recognized her straightaway. No one had told him to expect it. That was pretty typical of growing up with Grandma Selkirk . . . No one would dream of saying, Here is your mother returned to you.

His Illegal Self is the story of Che--raised in isolated privilege by his New York grandmother, he is the precocious son of radical student activists at Harvard in the late sixties. Yearning for his famous outlaw parents, denied all access to television and the news, he takes hope from his long-haired teenage neighbor, who predicts, They will come for you, man. They'll break you out of here.

Soon Che too is an outlaw: fleeing down subways, abandoning seedy motels at night, he is pitched into a journey that leads him to a hippie commune in the jungle of tropical Queensland. Here he slowly, bravely confronts his life, learning that nothing is what it seems. Who is his real mother? Was that his real father? If all he suspects is true, what should he do?

Never sentimental, His Illegal Self is an achingly beautiful story of the love between a young woman and a little boy. It may make you cry more than once before it lifts your spirit in the most lovely, artful, unexpected way.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780307263728
030726372X
Branch Call Number: F CAR

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Having lived through the 60's I still found this book difficult to read and pointless, as discussed below. The aesthetics might like this style of writing but the public reader does not. Why do they give books like this a prize to lure us into reading drivel.

s
Spillie
Jun 28, 2010

Hard to see the point to this novel, perhaps I'm just far enough outside the target demographic. Found the writing style difficult to follow and had to really push myself to finish the book (an extreme rarity for me).

c
Chookie
Jul 31, 2008

Could not bother to finish this book. Found it difficult to follow; the time frame kept shifing and I often had to reread bits in order to figure out which character was speaking. Found the whole story rather pointless, in fact (despite being old enough to have lived through the sixties!)

p
patrol_barry
Jul 29, 2008

Reading this book requires at least a basic knowledge of the history and politics of the 1960's in the United States. WIthout it, the content in this otherwise well-written book is meaningless and won't be understood.

j
jbeckber
Jul 29, 2008

Either I missed the point of this story or I am too young to understand the 60s. I found this book very difficult to understand, to read at all in fact! The way it was written, the ambiguous passages, the shifts in time and main character. Pushed through, but not sure I gained anything from it.

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