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Hardcover Verified Purchase. A short novel of only pp that is both beautiful in its telling of a deeply personal story with a truth difficult to escape once you have read it. The chapters are short; the dialog is entrancing; and it rings true for how things might have been for this one person's family. The story is told entirely in the first person by one Daniel Todd Carrier, the son of the Title character Big Ray, aka Ray Harold Carrier who primarily resided in the small community of Mason, MI but towards the end of his life also resided in Las Vegas.
To give you some idea of the simple but touching dialog I have quoted a few lines; 1. It was emotional on many different levels.
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Highly recommended. Michael's unique style always seems to serve the subjects he tackles extremely well. I think this book is his best yet. The complex and complicated relationship the POV character has with his deceased father is so brilliantly served by the simple, straightforward, heartfelt voice established here, it's hard not to read this as a memoir or a confession poured forth late at night in the corner of an empty bar, to a trusted friend.
This is definitely the kind of book that makes you miss your train stop. And then it makes you want to call your Dad. I did both. And, though you should never judge a book by it's cover, c'mon, is this an awesome cover or what? Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This was my first Michael Kimball novel, and based on the strength of Big Ray, it won't be my last. Kimball's prose is plain spoken and powerful.
Each short chapter flies along at a blazing pace as an emotionally damaged son details his abusive relationship with his father.
Big Ray is equally tragic and funny, and at times horrifying, but in the same breath, universal in its themes of human endurance and the bonds of parent and child. A great read, and one that I will definitely revisit. This novel is sad, bittersweet, empathetic.
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It gives you a glimpse into the life of a morbidly obese person albeit from a fictional third-person point of view. You read that life is hard, disappointing, and cruel but sometimes a person can overcome their circumstances. Sad lives are all around us. This book describes one of them without bitterness.
One person found this helpful. After reading a review of this book I decided to give it a try. I actually really liked the choppy structure; it made the story feel very real. The narrator, whose father has just died, recalls the circumstances of his father's death and their history.
It's not a pretty picture but the narrator forces himself to see clearly. The reader can feel how as a boy, the narrator longed for his father's love and approval and also how he came to hate his father. He has moved through every emotion with his dad and finds, at the end, that his father's death is, in fact, a loss of something.
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In this book Kimball explores the ties that bind us whether we want them to or not. Paperback Verified Purchase. I have to admit, it was the title and cover with the oversized sunken chair that first attracted me to this book. I hadn't read any reviews prior to beginning this short novel fewer than pages , and had no idea what to expect. The story is told through a series of short entries, by Daniel Todd Carrier, the 38 year-old son of Big Ray, now deceased.
Big Ray and Daniel's mother were divorced years earlier, and Big Ray, who toppled the scale at lbs, died alone in his small apartment. His body was found by his landlord who went to collect the rent at the beginning of the month.
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From each entry it is easy to see that Daniel is struggling over his father's death and the fact that he died alone. Each entry adds a piece to the puzzle about the man Big Ray was. A crude and difficult husband and father, Big Ray grew up poor and as an adult took his anger out on his family and others. Bitter and angry, he basically ate himself to death as a result of health complications from his morbid obesity.
The entries also shed light on the kind of man Daniel was: All his life he longed for his father to show some sign of love, but that just never happened. Some of the entries are disturbing, very sad and difficult to read. Although this was a work of fiction, it felt more like a memoir, and a theraputic effort written by someone trying to move beyond grief. Excellent read about a man's serious guilt about loving his father despite him being a horrible man.
This is one seriously messed up family, all of them. But despite the disturbing facts I really enjoyed it and understood the characters. See all 28 reviews.
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