The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 May 2018

Member Reviews

Born with red pupils, Sam Hill was called “Devil Boy” by his classmates;

The condition known as ocular albinism, this is a story that tells of Sam's life, which to be honest is not fum for him. 

Murder, suicide and, verbal and physical abuse.are all covered, but this was such an interesting story I was absolutely absorbed. 

Sam is a religious boy, due to his mothers beliefs, and the many aspects of his life are wonderfully told. this beautiful novel is one that I think is a must read.
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I picked up this book because I have become a big fan of the author's writing via his Tracy Crosswhite detective series. While this book is a complete departure from the other books of his that I've read, it was equally as enjoyable. The consistently good writing, even over multiple genres, has earned this author a firm spot on my "favorite author" list.

The main character of the book is born with ocular albinism - lack of pigment in his irises, which causes his eyes to be red. Born in the 50's, the general lack of tolerance of "something different" is a significant element of the book, as the book discusses racism, the fear of a kid with red eyes, and...

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tw: racial slurs, slurs towards those with intellectual disabilities, LGBTQIA+ slurs, child abuse, domestic abuse

Our skin, our hair and our eyes are simply the shell that surrounds are soul and our soul is who we are.


What an absolutely beautiful tale of an extraordinary man. I am seriously blown away and so shocked that this came from Robert Dugoni. I knew he wrote crime fiction well (The Tracy Crosswhite series proves that) but I never thought he could write with such depth and such feeling. I almost shed tears at the end of this book because I didn't want it to end. That's how much it touched me.

This isn't a memoir but it sure is written like one, which makes all...

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Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me the privilege to read an early copy of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni. The following review contains thoughts and opinions that are entirely my own.

We meet Sam Hell as a young boy who is born with red pupils. Often tormented by his classmates and called “Devil Boy”, Sam finds what everyone wants - a friend - in Ernie Cantwell, a black classmate new to town, and Mickie - the no nonsense friend everyone should have. Their differences unite them, and their adventures and trials define their lifelong friendship in many very interesting ways. We learn how faith, threatened by experiences in Sam’s life...

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The Extraordinary life of Sam Hell is a terrific book. I was thoroughly engaged and feel as though I’d grown up friends with Sam and his family.  It’s always difficult growing up, but especially when everyone can easily see that you are different. The last movie I went to see was Wonder, which also dealt with this subject, the pain, intolerance and  the fortitude it takes to  carry on in spite of it. Both these stories were transcendent and  should be required reading and viewing in schools  to promote understanding and reduce intolerance, especially among adults, who should surely know better.
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I loved this book! I just wish we were able to include it in a future box.  There weren't a lot of descriptive objects that we could include.  We will recommend it on our Instagram page!
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I've read all of Dugoni's Tracy Crosswhite series and absolutely loved them so I was excited to read his new work. His other books are in the mystery/thriller genre and I was interested to see how he would do branching out into something different. It took me a little bit to get into this book. But it picked up and Dugoni does a wonderful job telling the tale of Sam Hell. Dugoni is able to expose all of the characters' thoughts and flaws. An enjoyable heartfelt story about how where a person's trial and tribulations can lead them.
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I have read all the books by this author.  I am a reader of mystery and suspense.  I was not fond of his recent more historical novels.  I started reading this book and thought of not continuing since it was not a Dugoni cops and robbers book.  I am glad I decided to keep on reading.  The only complaint I have of this book is that I could not give it six stars instead of five.  This book kept me more involved, more looking forward to the next page than any of his other novels.  Certainly a book I would recommend to all.
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The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni was an unforgettable and unique story to read. I could not put the book down until I had read the last page. It´s so hard to describe why I could not put the book down. Was it remarkable, exceptional or was it just such a captivating story that was so well written that I just had to read it.
This was my very first story by Robert Dugoni but not my last. A story about a boy’s life that you just must read for yourself.
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I loved this book. It gave me the same feels as when I watch the film Stand by me: warm, fuzzy, and a melancholy for childhood friends I wished I’d had like Ernie and Mickie. I laughed, cried and raced through the pages pretty much in one sitting. Sam has red eyes from ocular albinoism, he’s bullied and picked on but is surrounded by such love from his parents and two best friends that you know everything is going to be ok. Not always, but most of the time. The story takes us from his birth right the way through to his mid 40’s. We learn about his hopes, his dreams and the obstacles he overcomes. One of my favourite books of 2017.

This is going to be a Book Club favourite in 2018.

Thank...

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This is one book that YOU MUST READ! Sam is born with Ocular Albinism, his eyes are red! As a child, he is called the red eyed devil at the Catholic school he attends. He is bullied and physically beat by his bully. He has two friends and a desire to do good. Throughout his life, he always tried to remain good and just. Yet his bully finds him in adulthood and beats on him. 
Throughout the book, you cheer for Sam. You cry for him. Yet you remain constantly confidant that he will be ok. 
I loved this book and I think everyone should read it!
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When I heard that Robert Dugoni, one of my favorite thriller authors, had a different sort of book coming out, I had to have a look at it, too. The rich characterizations in his plot-driven thrillers have kept me enthralled for many an hour. I figured he could pull off a more character-driven story. He does.

I give this story four stars, which on Goodreads.com is supposed to mean "I really liked it" (on my personal scale it means "I would recommend it"). I ultimately did like it. As expected, the characters and settings are richly drawn. The prose is crisp and clear. The dialog and action are realistic. On the other hand, Mr. Dugoni is never kind to his characters and...

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Spoilers ahead! I really loved this book! While there may be many books on the victim's side of bullying, I feel that this book has a unique perspective, dealing with a physical deformity as well as seeing how Sam's friends may also be bullied but work to find themselves over time. Most of the characters in this book are well developed (though I may say, the women could do for a little more complexity and depth.) My only complaint would be the direction the book went in at the end. I felt that it got a little cliche. However, this is not always a bad thing as it can be tough to end a story wrapped in a bow. I just fear that this specific ending may push away readers who are not...

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A feel good book. Some times life throws curve balls and it takes strong people to deal with them. Sam Hill and his family and friends dealt with the many challenges that came their way in a realistic way. Life is hard at times but with faith and determination good things can happen. This book is an example of that . It deals with looking different , discrimination, dysfunctional families, abuse on many levels, strong faith , hard work , humor and love . Thanks Netgalley. Recommend it.
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"Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth." (Mike Tyson)

Action steps on the toes of re-action. You never fully realize what you're capable of until backed into that corner or running out of rungs on the ladder of life.

Samuel Hill is the only son of an only son. While that may be rare in itself, Sam has been born with ocular albinism. While the lyrics of "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" seem strange, stranger still is the fact that Sam's eyes have a pink/red tone. Kids will find the tiniest thing in one's physicality to make fun of........but this was a field day for the little darlings at Our Lady of Mercy elementary school in...

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Same Hill touched my heart. His "condition" was something he latched on through out his childhood to adolescence and also to him adult hood. Being raised into a religion family, Sam kept wanting to believe what his mom said that its God's will to have him be extraordinary. He had obstacles to overcome and it led him to question his faith.
I felt everything he Felt. Sam Hill became real to me and I ended up crying from the story. It also made me reflect about my beliefs of God. For me, this book captivated the realism of how people suffer but still maintain a good heart. Sam Hill questioned his belief of God for all the hardships he has to endure because of his eyes. He...

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This book was well thought out, well written and wonderful! Great cover art too! Good book for older kids.
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Wow. Absolutely incredible book.probably the best I’ve read in some time. Great characters, great writing style, great story. Loved everything about this.
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For quite a while, I have been a huge fan of Robert Dugoni's series about Seattle police detective Tracy Crosswhite, and recently I started reading his earlier series about the defense lawyer David Sloane, which is also brilliant. Both of these bestselling series are thus in the action/thriller genre, and I was therefore quite interested in seeing how Dugoni would do in a drama such as this book.
Well, Dugoni is one hell (no pun intended!) of a writer, and although it gets a little sirupy sweet and heal-the-world'ish at times, this is one of his very best books. His technique of going back and forth between now and then works really well here, and the way he uses small hints and...

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I am a fan of Robert Dugoni's Tracy Crosswhite series and recommend it to fans of Lisa Gardner and Harlen Coben.  Unfortunately, I am not a fan of Dugoni's latest work, THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF SAM HELL.  It was a pleasant enough read about a boy faced with an immutable characteristic that makes other shun and tease him, but this topic has been explored by other authors with more finesse and authenticity.  A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY comes to mind.  Dugoni's work was predictable and the writing a bit pedestrian..  But I look forward to reading many more of Dugoni's mysteries, which I thoroughly enjoy.
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