Review of Vintage house

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OTrain eM
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Review of Vintage house

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[Following is an official review of "Vintage house" by Charles A. Jackson.]
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1 out of 5 stars
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Vintage House is a book of a combination of many genres by Charles A. Jackson. I say it is a combination of many genres because, on the synopsis, it sounds like a self-help book, but once you read it, it comes across as a human drama on the surface, then turns to be a motivational book. All these genres just blend in to create this story about a man who has gone through trials and tribulations in the nation he called home.

In the beginning, we are introduced to Anthony. Anthony isn’t just any man in the United States of America. He is a poor black man. He grew up in a time when a person like him was not deemed human enough to be afforded respect and dignity. When he was a young boy, just in school, he experienced excruciating pain because of the colour of his skin. He was humiliated by his neighbours, schoolmates, and people in general. People were hauling racial slurs at him when he was headed for school. But now he’s a fairly grown man who has to find his way in such a society. One will assume he had gotten used to the slurs by now, but they would be wrong.

Now he’s employed at a hard labour job. He still has a prejudice against him. His supervisor just seems to have something against him. They are always harsh on him for no reason. When they have to teach him to do a little bit of advanced work, like operating a forklift, they make it hard on him. But one thing about Anthony is that he’s not one to lie down while they step on him just because he is a nice guy. He’s prepared to break this colour barrier, this injustice, and humiliation. How is he planning on doing it? Does he have some form of strategy?

This was a bad book. I did not enjoy it. One thing I liked about is that it is short, so I finished it quickly. The book was all over the place. Nothing tied it together to make a coherent story. Pieces were flying around that had nothing to do with what the book was about. I did say the book was a combination of genres, but this was not a compliment. If anything, these many genres made the book confusing further. The titles of the chapters didn’t even make it any easier. There were no correlation between them.

The characters were plain. Each didn’t have characteristics or personalities that made them stand out. Anthony was the focus of the book. Other people appeared to give the story a little bit of realism. But their character development was under-done for them to have an impact. If anything, the supporting characters just appeared and disappeared without any contribution.

The thing that made the characterisation poor was the pace of the book. It played a big part in ruining the quality of the characters. The book was fast. One scene led to another in quick succession before I could even take it in. The narration and the dialogue were not balanced. The book leaned far more toward the former than it did the latter. The dialogue was practically non-existent. This made the book monotonous. I was told, not shown. I felt like I was outside looking in through the window. The was no intimacy between me and the characters.

The story was not realistic, even. Anthony served his country. Yes, I understand that racism existed and still exists in the army or the defence department entirely, but how it was all unpacked was a lot more unrealistic. They all seemed like school kids during lunch break without the supervision of a teacher. Racism was given utter attention from the very beginning of the book to the end. I felt like I was reading one but repeated incidents over and over again.

The book was too metaphorical, from its title to the advice it shared. These too many metaphors ended up losing the messages they were trying to convey. The book seemed to be not professionally edited because I came across an overwhelming number of grammatical errors. Commas were used in the wrong way, and so were the semicolons.

Taking everything I have said into great consideration, I have concluded to rate this book with one out of five stars. I would not recommend it to anyone. It was filled with many errors to turn away even a person who was willing to overlook the other many flaws. Of course, there was heavy usage of racial slurs, so some people might feel put out or uncomfortable. This ninety-two-paged book was definitely a miss.

Vintage house
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Amy Luman
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Post by Amy Luman »

I am very confused, and from what I read so are you. While racism still definitely exists in this country, this book doesn’t seem to portray the problem well. A mix of genres and lots of errors also doesn’t make it something I would like to read.
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Fawmi Jumana
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Post by Fawmi Jumana »

It seems like the book confused you and now me. I agree that racism does exist even now. But the book doesn't seem to portray the story well enough. And as you say the book is all over the place. This doesn't sound like something I would read.
Monale Bariyima Ueh
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Post by Monale Bariyima Ueh »

When I read your opening paragraph I thought it was a compliment. But like the saying too many cooks spoil the broth, this book had too much going and not in a good way.
E F Emmanuel
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Post by E F Emmanuel »

A book that's a combination of many literary genres could be a great enjoyable read. This is a good review.
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Post by Beebar »

Thank you for your honest feedback. I do not think I'll be reading this book. It seems like it wasn't properly executed. I do hope a change can be made.
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