Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This book was a gem! Old fashioned in some ways, and entirely different to others. I loved all of the characters as well as the storyline!
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I thought that this book was the perfect length, and such a great story. I wanted to pick up a bit of a shorter novel to help with my reading goal, and I'm so glad that this was the book that I chose! Great characters that were relatable and sweet. I loved that this was a coming of age story, although Calvin is a grown man. The self journey that he treks through throughout the narrative was a treat. Thanks so much to the publisher for sending me an early copy!
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When 49 year old Calvin Bledsoe's Aunt shows up at this mother's funeral his life is turned upside down.  First he never knew his mother had a twin sister and second, she is whisking him off to Europe .  This is a story of a man who finds life can begin in your 40's and it takes two older women to show him how to live.  Funny and heartwarming this is a fast paced tale of a family who is just a little different than your average next door neighbor.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Engaging and heartwarming. Calvin’s story teaches us that there is hope for all of us with predictable, boring lives.
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"Who are you, Calvin Bledsoe" by Brock Clarke is a coming-of-age story of a rather pathetic middle-age man. Ordinarily, I enjoy quirky tales but I found very little redeeming about this book or the characters. I did not appreciate the rather pathetic Calvin (named for the theologian), his unsympathetic mother, or his lying/stealing aunt. The story was contrived, the twists were contrived. The writing was creative but just not enough to compensate for the weak plot and the irritating characters.
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Can you "come of age" at age 49?  Calvin's father died, then his mother died, then his aunt Beatrice, who he'd never met, appears and takes him off to Europe.  You can't, btw, get a passport for someone else- that's illegal- but go with the idea that an older "aunt" decides to show her nephew who has a very small world in his small town (he works as a pellet stove blogger) the world.  Or is that what she's doing?  Calvin's mother Nola was an expert on = wait for it - John Calvin and quotations from his writings are sprinkled throughout.  This might be a love it or hate it proposition for many.  It's not really madcap, it's not really clearly plotted,  the characters are not really all that likable but if you're like me, it's engaging enough to keep you reading.  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.  An unusual read and one for fans of literary fiction.
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Calvin Bledsoe is a middle-age man who lives with his mother, an expert on John Calvin. After his mother's funeral, his Aunt Bea shows up and asks him to go to Sweden with her. He had not known she existed until she shows up. Calvin travels to Europe with his aunt and learns some things about being an adult. The plot wanders all over the place, much like Calvin does. His narration is rather dry and the other characters are not very likable. This novel was quirky and maybe just not to my taste. In the end, though, I still found myself rooting for Calvin to figure out his life and find some happiness. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this novel.
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Different! Calvin never knows what is going to happen next, and neither does the reader. A refreshing change for a constant reader like me who usually can figure out the direction a plot is taking. I didn't find a single "stock" character in this novel. There's no bad man or good guy, no wronged woman, or mysterious stranger. Everyone is mysterious, to us and to Calvin, even those he thinks he knows best.
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This is an interesting take on finding oneself in mid-life. The characters are quirky, yet well developed. The journey seems crazy and the outcome a puzzle, but in the end it's an optimistic look at life and that it's never too late to learn.
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