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Detailed Book Review
   
   
   
A Collection of Friends         
A Collection of Friends
By Thomas Sheehan
ISBN: 978-1-929763-17-7
Price: $17.95
Shipping: $4.00
        
Nominated for the PEN-Martha Albrand Award

A Collection of Friends by Saugus, Massachusetts author Tom Sheehan is a unique memoir. It is a collection of nostalgia, reflections, and impressions that give loving tribute to family members and others that have passed through the life of this grateful author. Through these stories, Sheehan illuminates his own time on earth from his Depression-era childhood to his journey into manhood. In between, Sheehan describes, with astonishing clarity, his deep and abiding respect for his grandfather Johnny Igoe who instilled in him the writing muse, the sacrifices made by those in uniform, and memories of his beloved hometown of Saugus.

Tom Sheehan, a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of the novels Vigilantes East, Death for the Phantom Receiver, and An Accountable Death. His poetic works include Ah, Devon Unbowed, The Saugus Book, This Rare Earth & Other Flights, Reflections from Vinegar Hill, and The Westering.

A Collection of Friends is also available as an ebook on Amazon.com for the Kindle.

        
Book Review Details:
        
Reviewed Appeared In: Tryst
Reviewed By:
Text Of Review:

Once you've read the stories in this fabulous collection, you'll realize you haven't lived life...not the way Tom Sheehan has with a ferocious, savage hold on that most tenuous of lives—memories. Collection is as good if not better than reading Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, or Christy Brown's My Left Foot. Although this is a book of short stories, Collection reads more like a novel. From "The Dumpmaster's Boy" to "Fred Rippon's Mushroom House," to the "Ghosts of Lily Pond," you'll want to journey to Saugus, a mystical "Shangri-La" that exists not just in this writer's world, but in the world of its readers. I never knew so much about how mushrooms were cultivated, or about billiards, or fishing, or gambling. There was such a time when, as the narrator's son posed, "Why do some football players from those times write poetry?" I heard myself answering, "because one has to love what is leaving them, not what stays": And as Johnny Igoe, the author's grandfather once left his beloved Ireland to forge ahead into the New World thus carrying Ireland with him, Tom Sheehan carries Saugus wherever he goes. Collection will fill you with its rich details, its insight, its loving portrayal of childhood, boyhood and friendship. Pick up this book today and know that there will be few books in your life that will embrace you, or you will embrace them, as deeply as Collection.

Date Reviewed: January 2005
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