2 out of 4 stars
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Phillip Garrett's The Chronicles of a Sophisticated Redneck is a memoir of the author's life, beginning with his childhood in Rocky Mount, Virginia and moving forward to the present. Mr. Garrett also shares his opinions on various topics, such as movies, music, and current political issues.
The author writes in a straightforward and conversational manner, making for a quick and easy read. The writing is of good quality and contains very few errors, all of which appeared to be typographical in nature and therefore easily fixed.
The quality of the stories within this book are varied. Some chapters were endearing, such as those about the author's early years and his relationships with his parents and grandparents. I also enjoyed the chapters about his life as a single father, as well as those regarding his professional life and his membership with the Freemasons.
I also appreciated the tactful manner in which the author expressed his political views. I generally do not like reading political commentary due to the caustic nature of such, but I did not mind reading about Mr. Garrett's opinions. He shared his beliefs in a disarming manner and avoided insulting anyone who might disagree with him.
Despite these positives, I was disappointed by the lack of detail within much of this book. While some of the chapters were entertaining, many left me wanting more. I'm certain that anyone who was there would enjoy reliving the memories within this book, but for those of us who weren't, it feels incomplete. More detail, such as physical descriptions, would greatly improve the storytelling.
I also took issue with the fact that chapters are not presented in chronological order. For example, I would read a chapter about the author's post-college employment, and then the following chapter would go back to his college days. Several times I had to pause during my reading and mentally readjust, as the back and forth through time was quite jarring. The author's choice to not follow a concrete timeline hindered the flow of the book and occasionally brought about some confusion.
The Chronicles of a Sophisticated Redneck has enormous potential, and I genuinely enjoyed reading certain parts of this book. However, the overall lack of detail and nonlinear presentation left me disappointed. I was conflicted on how to rate this book, and after much debate I decided on 2 out of 4 stars. This book has good bones, but it isn't fully fleshed out. I imagine that this book would be greatly enjoyed by friends and family members of the author, but may not be appreciated by anyone else
The Chronicles of a Sophisticated Redneck
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