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Book reviews for "Erickson,_Ben" sorted by average review score:

A Parting Gift
Published in Hardcover by Warner Books (1900)
Author: Ben Erickson
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Average review score:

A "pretty" story, but not very realistic...
This book was written by a father for his son upon the boy's high school graduation. A young man, Josh, is a son of divorced parents (his father seems to have forgotten him completely) who lives on the Alabama coast and is taken primarily with surfing and little else. In an effort to assist his mom who makes the meals for Meals on Wheels, he takes to delivering her meals to the area's elderly. He meets up one day with Mr. Davis, an old man who initially seems rather hard to approach but who seems to like the boy. Davis asks Josh if he will help him out by spending some of his free time visiting with him and transcribing his memoirs (perhaps a better word is 'memories' - actually of certain events that happened to him in his life). Josh takes on the project and becomes quite fond of Davis who takes him sailing and takes him to a ball game at his old alma mater. Davis' "remembered" stories all seem to have a 'lesson' or a 'moral' to them and in fact, they help Josh to think about his life and his future - something he had not been doing even though he was ready to graduate and had no idea what to do in his life. Although the book was a touching piece of prose, I found it to be a little unrealistic only on the premise that a high school kid would be so easily turned around and so decidedly changed by a relationship like this. It isn't that I think a kid like this is a lost cause or shouldn't be engaged in a manner like Davis did with Josh, but that the book was a little too neat and tidy to be real. Teenagers and their relationships with the various adults around them are much more messily engaged. They have raging hormones and emotional needs that can be way more complex to work with than just a few visits with a nice old guy with an interesting past. Sorry, I guess I wasn't very moved.

A Priceless Gift
In Ben Erickson's "A Parting Gift", an old man named Will Davis teaches a teenage boy the importance of living life fully and persuing his dreams. I really enjoyed this book becuase it was simple and easy to read. Yet, the novel has deep meaning behind it that teaches you a great lesson. Will was a wise man whom Josh learned from. Through journaling Will's memories, Josh was able to understand the simplicity and beauty of life. As humans today, we often are caught up in the business of everyday tasks that we forget about the beauty of life around us. Will Davis reminds us of that in this heartwarming novel. Our elders can teach us so much through their wisdom of just living. Taking these memories and using them in our lives is a special gift that we should cherish. This novel takes place by the ocean and most of the story is flashbacks from Will's life. This novel is heartwarming, yet it is almost depressing at the same time. Nevertheless I fully enjoyed it and I reccomend "A Parting Gift" to anyone.

As a resident and bayside dweller in the area where this book is set, I was impressed,not only with the author's love and feel for the place, but with the purity and joy of his story. Without an ounce of profanity or lewd sexual situations, Erickson has written a compelling story of the good in man. Mr. Davis is a person that most people would wish to have in their lives and young Josh is his youthful equivalent. Wonderful'll come away with a warm and contented feeling.

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