Tuesday, September 25, 2012

{Book Tour} Review--Back to Bataan by Jerome Charyn

My thoughts:
Back to Bataan is very different from other novels I have read by Mr. Charyn.  It is a middle grade book and the writing style is really suited to that age group.  Perhaps I'm not in the mind frame at the moment to read middle grade fiction because I really could not establish a connection with Jack, the main character, or any of the characters.  That being said, as always, Mr. Charyn's writing is very good.  He knows how to describe a scene and bring it alive, but I was missing the unabashed theatrics of Johnny One-Eye and the brutal honesty of Emily in The Secrets Life of Emily Dickinson.  Back to Bataan could have benefited from a longer length where the story could have been less rushed and the characters more fully developed.  However, I do think that the book would interest middle grade kids who are interested in stories about war time.

About the book:
New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

About the author:
Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Timesdescribed him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

Links of interest:
Back to Bataan website:

Back to Bataan Twitter hashtag:

Jerome Charyn's Facebook:

Jerome Charyn's Twitter:

Jerome Charyn's Website:

Tribute Books website:

Buy the book:
ISBN: 9780985792206
ISBN: 9781476119076
Pages: 98
Release: July 1, 2012

I'd like to thank Nicole at Tribute Books for having me on the tour.



Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. It means so much.

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  1. Michelle, thanks for being a Jerome fan and for always taking the time to read and review his work.

  2. Engaging I like how you discribed the author's writing. Sometimes its a hard read when you cannot relate to the characters but the fact that the author knows how to bring stuff alive in his writing means aton! Thanks for the awesome review. Cannot say that I will add to my goodreads but maybe, thanks so much

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