Review: Becoming by Mark Lichterman
February 12, 2010 by workinggirlreviews
Becoming: A Chronicle of Metamorphosis
By Mark Lichterman
Metropolis Ink (June 15, 2008)
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Mark-Lichterman/dp/0646492160
“Do you remember your radio and “Captain Midnight,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Junior Miss” and “Let’s Pretend”? The first time you inhaled a cigarette? Your first swallow of hard liquor? The thrill of the first exploration of the body of your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife… your own body? Your first orgasm? Remember when as a people we loved America, and showed it? Then you might be ready for a nostalgic, funny, romantic, sexually frustrating novel. A novel that may remind many of us of ourselves, “way back then,” when God’s most mysterious creation was the opposite sex. A novel about life and the often funny, sometimes sad, day-to-day things that stir the memories of our lives…”
The above is a quote from the blurb for Mark Lichterman’s Becoming and I put it there because it so aptly describes the novel. When I decided to review this book, I was worried because number one, I rarely have time to sit down and read a book as long as this one and two, because I stupidly felt I’d never be able to connect with anything in it. I’m female, Christian, grew up in the country, and the time period was before my time. I was wrong, wrong, wrong! The subject matter is timeless, the characters so genuine they jump from the pages and into your heart, and being the mother of boys—I could even relate to the male point of view.
The story begins in 1939 on Chicago’s west side and follows five-year-old Mitchie for the next seventeen years of his life. A true coming of age story told in graphic detail. And the humor—did I mention the humor? I found myself laughing out loud many times. I especially loved when the humor came at a time when it was totally unexpected, the way it is in ‘real life’. I can’t say all I’d like to say about the book because it needs to be experienced first hand and I don’t want to spoil that experience for the reader by saying too much.
Mr. Lichterman is a talented storyteller with a beautifully unique writing style and strong voice. His characters are delightfully flawed, giving them an unsurpassed charm and authentic quality. Becoming transcends all gender, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds, so no matter where you’re coming from, if you love truly great coming of age stories, give this one a try.
My one complaint is I felt the book ended too soon. Yes, even at 736 pages, I was sad when reading that last page and know these characters will be with me for a long time.
Willow, I cannot begin to thank you for your very kind review of "Becoming". However, you do not have to say goodbye to the "Becoming" characters because the sequel, "For Better or Worse" was published earlier this week and I'll be only too happy to send a copy to you.
Once again, Thank You!
Oh, I meant it and you're very welcome. I've been letting everything else go because I was so engrossed in Becoming and couldn't stop reading. My husband phoned me from work today and asked me what I was doing. When I told him I was writing a review for your book, he said "you mean I finally get you back now?" Which shows just how engrossed I was for the past week.
So yes, I'd love to read For Better or Worse. It doesn't really matter what format. Print or digital is fine. I like a hard copy just because I can carry it around with me, but you don't have to go to that expense. A digital copy is fine.
As I do not have my books yet, "For Better or Worse" was sent as an attachment within minutes