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Charles A. Reap, Jr.

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My Friend Sam
by Charles A. Reap, Jr.   

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Books by Charles A. Reap, Jr.
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Publisher:  iUniverse ISBN-10:  0595442621


Copyright:  June 1, 2007 ISBN-13:  9780595686179

My Friend Sam

. This quirky and humorous story expresses the concerns that Hank Rogers has with his best friend Sam’s poorly thought-out schemes for home restoration and life in general.

Hank and his wife observe their single neighbor (and Hank's "best friend") Sam, goes through numerous zany and poorly-thoughout schemes from his presumed engagement to a stranger from the Internet to "improving" his house and yard to meet with their upscale neighborhood preferences. Much to their surprise he finally becomes engaged to a former college friend of Hank's wife, with happy results. Excerpt
I saw a parade one year when the people managing the procession arranged to have the horses way up in the middle of the parade. Not a good decision. Kinda funny, though, watching all the poor high school marching bands trying to step around the manure piles those horses had laid down. Unfortunately, a few kids didn’t see what they were coming to in time, and for the rest of the parade you could see these “afflicted” kids sort of hobbling along, dragging the bottoms and sides of their shoes, trying to get “the stuff” cleaned off. And, of course, they were still trying to stay in step with the music and the rest of the band members marching along. Actually, it was kind of sad.

Professional Reviews

My Friend Sam
Heather Froeshel (professional reviewer)
I think, sometimes, we try to find ourselves in our friends. We seek out that which we know we are lacking, and instead of looking within, we accidentally look to others. Or maybe that's what friends are for...helping us to find ourselves. In Charles A. Reap Jr.'s latest book, "My Friend Sam," we see one man who seems to endure every whim of his friend. Will he find himself along the way?

Harold's "friend" Sam is pretty rough around the edges. He's a twice divorced bachelor who lives by himself and does what he pleases. Every so often he'll call Harold to come on over. This may occur in the middle of the night, in the pouring rain. Since Harold lives right next door, he'll trek over in the mud, and then be reprimanded for allowing his slicker to puddle on the wood floor. When Sam gets it in mind to tackle a project, like damming up a spring to make a pond, or building a five car garage to house his refurbishing projects, he picks up the phone and tells Harold to come over and help. He doesn't ask, he demands. Now why would someone put up with such a "Friendship?" It's hard to tell but an interesting read trying to find out.

Through the years Harold has lost his father, then lost his big brother surrogate "dad." Sam sort of filled in and became an authority figure, someone to call his best friend. Over time, he got used to Sam's gruffness, his lengthy explanations of various trivia and facts, and his demanding demeanor. The story is about Sam's moving in next door, the trials and tribulations of Sam's projects, and a friendship that is enduring and co-dependant. Throw in Harold's wife Bobbie, Sam's internet relationship with Clemmy, and the local preservation society and you've got some belly laughing moments.

Told from Harold's viewpoint, the author allows us to see into the mind of a hammock loving male. We also see a bit of the working of Sam's mind too. The book makes you wonder what is going on in all the neighborhoods out there, with two houses separated by a stretch of overgrown grass, a hammock in one yard and a two rockers on the front porch of the other. Reap offers a glimpse into everyday America, with all of its relationships, mundane tasks, and unfinished projects. Does Harold find out who he is through his friendship with Sam? I'm not going to tell. "My Friend Sam" is an entertaining read.

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