Official Review: The Boomer Blues by Dick Caplan

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Ever_Reading
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Official Review: The Boomer Blues by Dick Caplan

Post by Ever_Reading » 17 Dec 2019, 07:27

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Boomer Blues" by Dick Caplan.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Boomer Blues is a memoir by Dick Caplan. In it, he recounts his family’s history from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. For Dick Caplan, growing up in the small town of Wallingford, Connecticut, was quite the experience. From attending birthday parties to practicing hiding under his desk in case of a nuclear attack, Caplan saw it all. In his memoir, Caplan discusses shocking moments of political turmoil and cultural upheaval. These moments include the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medger Evers. Caplan also offers commentary on the shootings at Kent State and on the murders of civil rights protestors and innocent black children. In a comedic, sincere, and memorable way, Caplan contrasts the events and opinions of his time with modern-day ones.

I didn’t think I would enjoy this book as much as I did. As I am a non-American millennial, I figured my biggest takeaway would be learning about American history, as well as seeing the world through a baby boomer’s eyes. But boy, was I in for a treat! Dick Caplan’s humorous and casual writing style was the highlight for me. The memoir read like fiction and took only a couple of sittings to finish. I especially liked that Caplan didn't narrate his life's events in chronological order. This randomness added a natural touch to the book. It felt like I was listening to a friend recount his life story.

Caplan did a great job of establishing the context at every stage of his life. One of the tricks he used to do this was contrasting his age at the time of the event with the ages of well-known figures. For example:
At Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix was twenty-seven years old. Richard Nixon was fifty-six. I was twenty, and Barack Obama had just turned eight. My mom was fifty-two years old, and Elvis Presley was forty-two. Seven years before the Woodstock Music Festival, at the age of thirty-six, Marilyn Monroe had died.
I also liked how Dick Caplan shined the spotlight on people who had an impact on his life. I got to learn about his family, friends, girlfriends, and other people who weren’t even related to him. Quite creatively, he told his own story through other people’s stories. This made the book memorable and unique.

The aspects I did not like mostly boil down to preference. For example, I disliked the use of profanity in the book, especially towards the end. However, this did not make the memoir less enjoyable.

I have no reason to believe The Boomer Blues was not professionally edited as I found less than five errors in it. I enjoyed this memoir because of the author's comedic delivery and honest commentary. As such, I rate The Boomer Blues 4 out of 4 stars.

Although Caplan mentions religion a couple of times in the book, I feel The Boomer Blues is appropriate for readers with different beliefs. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy memoirs and books about historical events. Anyone looking for a funny, educational, and inspirational read should also consider trying it out.

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The Boomer Blues
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Post by Tomah » 18 Dec 2019, 11:15

I enjoy books that inform and entertain at the same time, so I might check this one out. It's interesting how the author establishes context from famous figures. Thanks for the review!

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 19 Dec 2019, 05:12

It's good when authors arrange memoirs by theme instead of chronologically. I don't always find memoirs that are collections of anecdotes very interesting, though Woodstock is certainly an interesting subject! I enjoyed your thorough review.

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Post by MustaHarleen » 19 Dec 2019, 08:18

Many authors I have read about love using the chronological setting. I love the randomness of Dick Kaplan's memoir. I also love that he included humor to neutralize the seriousness of history. I would love to sample this book. Thanks for giving us your amazingly-written review of it. Congratulations.

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Post by Ever_Reading » 20 Dec 2019, 02:43

Tomah wrote:
18 Dec 2019, 11:15
I enjoy books that inform and entertain at the same time, so I might check this one out. It's interesting how the author establishes context from famous figures. Thanks for the review!
Oh yes, those are always the best. I hope you do check it out. Thank you for dropping by! :wink2:
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Post by Ever_Reading » 20 Dec 2019, 02:47

ButterscotchCherrie wrote:
19 Dec 2019, 05:12
It's good when authors arrange memoirs by theme instead of chronologically. I don't always find memoirs that are collections of anecdotes very interesting, though Woodstock is certainly an interesting subject! I enjoyed your thorough review.
I know right? This memoir delivered on so many things. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. :D
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Post by Ever_Reading » 20 Dec 2019, 03:06

MustaHarleen wrote:
19 Dec 2019, 08:18
Many authors I have read about love using the chronological setting. I love the randomness of Dick Kaplan's memoir. I also love that he included humor to neutralize the seriousness of history. I would love to sample this book. Thanks for giving us your amazingly-written review of it. Congratulations.
I get what you mean. Taking the random approach can be dangerous since it can easily confuse readers. Fortunately, that wasn't the case here. Thank you for your sweet comment. :wink2:
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Post by MsH2k » 20 Dec 2019, 14:06

This is the way to learn about history! :D Thanks for a great review.

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Post by Julius_ » 21 Dec 2019, 00:20

Caplan must have been very lucky (and sad) to witness these historict political events such as the assasination of John F Kenedy. I enjoyed reading your review, keep up the good work!
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Post by inaramid » 21 Dec 2019, 01:42

Glad to know that this book can still resonate with non-Americans...and the younger crowd. Thanks for this review!

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Post by Falconcrest » 21 Dec 2019, 03:37

I think it will be interesting to get the first hand perspective of the events that led to the assassination of JFK and the massacre of the black civil rights movement in Kent State. Thanks for a very eloquent and informative review Ever_Reading.

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Post by kdstrack » 22 Dec 2019, 18:33

I have come to enjoy memoirs and like to learn about people's lives and the things that influenced them. I agree that this author has a unique way of helping readers to connect with other recognizable personalities of that time period. This looks interesting. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by unamilagra » 22 Dec 2019, 21:38

Like you, at first glance a memoir by a baby boomer doesn’t sound super interesting to me. I’m glad it was such a pleasant surprise for you. I might have to check it out. Great review!

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Post by rumik » 26 Dec 2019, 06:42

I love that excerpt from the book; it's so fascinating when different historical people/events are compared just to give you an idea of the historical context. For instance, I recall reading that Cleopatra lived closer to the moon landing than she did to the Great Pyramid of Giza being built.
This sounds like a lovely book; thanks for the great review!

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Post by Ever_Reading » 27 Dec 2019, 02:10

MsH2k wrote:
20 Dec 2019, 14:06
This is the way to learn about history! :D Thanks for a great review.
Most def! If history textbooks were written like this, I probably would have enjoyed History class more. Thank you for dropping by!
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