Townie: A Memoir - Andre Dubus III

Now don't get me wrong this is not a bad book and I can see why there are so many 5 star reviews. It's a warts and all story about Andre Debus 111 and his somewhat chaotic, violent and erratic life from a skinny frightened youth to a violent drug induced teenager and finally an author and writer of some eloquence. His parents divorced at a very early age and it was left to his mother to raise four children in the depressed drug and crime atmosphere of a small Massachusetts town. Always in the shadows was the figure of his father (Andre Debus 11) who still retained a great influence and hold over his son even though he no longer resided at the family home and seemed to use his position as a Professor to entice and attract love and attention from his young students.

 

In order to obtain some recognition and respect in his community the young Andre embarks on a fanatical weight training programme and by so doing uses his new enhanced and almost psychotic strength to bully intimidate and violently attack those who might do him wrong. This forms the central point of this story and yet there comes a time when the fighting must stop and Andre must question the truth of the path he has chosen for to do otherwise would surely result in his violent demise. The answer and his salvation come in the form of discovering his gift as a writer and author.

 

This is a story about hope, love, and the strength and support of family. In that respect it is a good and exciting read, but I became somewhat disillusioned with the endless fighting fuelled with copious amounts of alcohol and drugs resulting in me becoming somewhat distracted and glad when I finally concluded.