Tales of a Small-Town King

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

An interesting story about small town life in Appalachia. It had some compelling elements and good writing. I just didn't like it as much as other books where I felt a connection to the characters.
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This book was not what I expected it to be. It's not a crime thriller but a memoir. The story is slow for my taste and lost my interest.
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Thank you to NetGalley and DogEar publishing for allowing me to read this book for my honest opinion.

The blurb had me all excited to read this book but I was left frustrated. The storyline was all over the place. I couldn't remember if I in the past or the present and I was even more confused with the constant movie references. Was he in the films or was he daydreaming?
I knew that he was a lawyer and his uncle was Greek but did his uncle need his expertise to assist him with something sinister? I felt stranded in the pages somewhere. Lost within the chapters waiting for someone to translate for me.
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I was initially drawn to this book because I'm from the Appalachian region and love to see our mountain culture through the eyes of another. It started off promising with interesting details but I started to get bogged down with the details about a third of the way through the book. It's a good book, with vivid details about growing up near the Kentucky coal mines. Just didn't leave me with the happy uplifting I originally thought it would.
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Expecting from the blurb that this was to be a crime and court-case novel, I was somewhat surprised (and not in a good way) to find it was a memoir. Antony Takis Tsegellis starts off promisingly enough with being given news of a puzzling double murder. But from there, he drifts off here, there and all over the place telling us of his Greek family and how they came to the States, the various bits of chicanery that his uncle is involved in, the author’s stalled career as a lawyer, his noble work coaching kids on the sports field, his involvement with the local Catholic church, his manipulation by the political puppeteers of the small town of Shiloh (who are many-numbered and confusing). It goes on and on. Backwards and forwards in time. Round and round the houses. And the most annoying thing of all is the author’s tendency to liken things that happen in his life to episodes in famous films. I think the poor guy needed some help marshalling his material. This book might have been interesting. But it so wasn’t.  

My thanks to Dog Ear Publishing for the review copy courtesy of NetGalley.
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