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Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#1 by kandscreeley
» 06 Oct 2017, 18:25

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "From There To Here" by Iain McMillan.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by kandscreeley
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Death comes for us all. In the end, I think we all want to know that our lives mattered to someone. In From There to Here Ian McMillan reminisces about his life over 80 decades.

As a young boy, math had it in for Mr. McMillan, so he dropped out of school. His first job was at a bakery, but before long he moves on to a nursery. What he really wants to do, though, is become a ship boy in the Navy. Since he's only 14, he must have his parent's approval. They agree, but his grandfather tears up his papers. While he's mad, he decides to bide his time until he turns 18. At that time, he can enlist without his parent's approval which he does. His life afterwards is full of different ports, duties and drinking.

It's always hard for me to review memoirs as it feels like you are grading someone's life. I have the utmost respect for those that are brave enough to expose their faults and failures to the world. Nevertheless, this is what I've been asked to do. However, while I am critiquing the book, I am in no way grading or judging the author's life.

Having said that, there are several flaws I found with this story. First, the author goes off on tangents randomly throughout his story. While for the most part the author tells his story chronologically, he sometimes jumps around in time or interjects thoughts about current events. For example, he discusses an election that is taking place at the current time while he was discussing his childhood. He admits that it was a tangent and needed to vent, but that doesn't make it more enjoyable for the reader. This interrupted the flow of the story unnecessarily and made it feel disjointed.

A second thing I noticed was how very little the author talks about his family. He does get married, but very little is said about his courtship or marriage. We are told that she cannot conceive and that they adopt a son named Alex. Once again, though, there is nothing more regarding him until we are told of his profession. This made me feel that the author only really cared about his many jobs over the years, but I'm sure this is not true.

Unfortunately, I'm not convinced the book was professionally edited either. The novel was full of run-on sentences one right after another. This too disrupted the flow of the story. I found myself breaking up the sentences as I went along which was a little frustrating.

The last thing I would like to mention is that the author has quite a long career in the Royal Navy followed by the Merchant Marines. To those that are interested in the sea and ships, this would probably be interesting. For me, it was kind of boring and tedious. There were also terms that I was unfamiliar with.

While I appreciate the author's service and the obstacles he overcame, the execution of the book leaves something to be desired. Thus, I rate From There to Here a 2 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this cautiously to those who are very much interested in life at sea in the service of one's country.

******
From There To Here
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#2 by mutunga ngotho
» 07 Oct 2017, 11:34

This book has a wonderful inspiration and motives, i reccomend it to anyone who what's to read it
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 07 Oct 2017, 12:32

The author sure did do and see a lot in his lifetime. Thanks for commenting.
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#4 by Jaime Lync
» 07 Oct 2017, 19:13

Very honest and thorough review Kandscreeley. Him not talking much about his family does not bother me much and it still does ( if you what I mean?)... This seems like it can be polished and be an engaging read.
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#5 by kandscreeley
» 07 Oct 2017, 19:21

I think an editor could do a lot with this book. Thanks!
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#6 by bookowlie
» 07 Oct 2017, 21:35

Very insightful, honest review. Like you, I feel uncomfortable when I review a memoir since the reminiscences are so personal. It's a a shame there are so many run-on sentences - that would drive me crazy.
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#7 by GaleTwennell
» 08 Oct 2017, 00:47

I think the book is missing some character. I enjoyed reading but I didn't fall in love with the peace.
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#8 by kandscreeley
» 08 Oct 2017, 07:20

Thanks bookowlie. I agree. The run-on sentences just drive me nuts.

Gale- it was definitely a little dry. Unemotional maybe.
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#9 by Christina Rose
» 08 Oct 2017, 17:26

Memoirs and other books containing personal experiences really are difficult to review. It's difficult not to sound too critical when pointing out errors in a book about somebody's life. It is, however, still important to have a book properly edited, as that helps readers to truly appreciate the work without getting frustrated while reading. Thank you for your honest review. It sounds like the author definitely had some experiences to share, and it is a shame the book wasn't better presented.
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#10 by kandscreeley
» 08 Oct 2017, 18:00

Thanks Christina. I think maybe with a good editor this could have gone to three or even four stars.
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#11 by CatInTheHat
» 08 Oct 2017, 21:42

kandscreeley wrote:Thanks bookowlie. I agree. The run-on sentences just drive me nuts.

Gale- it was definitely a little dry. Unemotional maybe.



Unemotional is such a weird experience in a memoir. I've experienced it too. Kind of left me with the feeling of "what?"
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#12 by Arshee
» 09 Oct 2017, 03:49

really amazing i love this book...even i love the feeling..Mmmmua gr8
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#13 by Amagine
» 09 Oct 2017, 06:28

This seems like a boring and tedious read to me. It's unfortunate that it couldn't have been more interesting.

Great Review! 👻
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#14 by kandscreeley
» 09 Oct 2017, 07:16

CatInTheHat wrote:
kandscreeley wrote:Thanks bookowlie. I agree. The run-on sentences just drive me nuts.

Gale- it was definitely a little dry. Unemotional maybe.



Unemotional is such a weird experience in a memoir. I've experienced it too. Kind of left me with the feeling of "what?"


I understand. Maybe the author is trying to present things in an unbiased way? It just kind of comes across as a simple presentation of facts. Nothing more.
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Re: Official Review: From There To Here by Iain McMillan

Post Number:#15 by kislany
» 09 Oct 2017, 12:32

Ah, not another badly edited book. I wish authors treated their own work with more respect. Otherwise, the book does sound great, but I don't know... Great review, kandscreeley.
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