Official Review: The King of Halloween and Miss Firecrack...

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: The King of Halloween and Miss Firecrack...

Post by Cecilia_L » 02 Jul 2019, 08:03

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen" by Lori leachman.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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"Football was my family's salvation and destruction. It supported us. It set the pace of our daily lives. It opened doors for us. It provided us with community. Yet, it was the source of our family's greatest sorrow."

In the memoir, The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen: A Daughter's Tale of Family and Football, Lori Leachman chronicles her family's legacy. She recounts her parents' backgrounds, courtship, and lifelong commitment to one another and details her father, Lamar's career as a professional football coach, as well as his diagnosis and death from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. From her unique perspective as the middle child, Leachman shares memories, insights, and humor about growing up with a larger-than-life patriarch and the spirited matriarch whose fierce love cemented the family.

Let me begin by saying that while many aspects of the book will appeal to football fans, I enjoyed it immensely despite my disinterest in most sports. I related to Leachman's memoir, as someone who has lived in the South my whole life, being a resident of a small town for the past thirty years. Leachman's writing style is transparent and humorous. Her devotion to both her parents was evident, but she didn't sugarcoat what it was like to grow up as the daughter of a father who placed such a priority on achievements and competition. Leachman was also brutally honest regarding her shortcomings before having a clear understanding of the severity of her father's symptoms. "Throughout this time, my contributions to my parents' lives were unhelpful at best, and completely insensitive at worst."

Although much of the memoir chronicles the football career of Lamar and its impact on their family, I particularly enjoyed the humorous anecdotes involving her mother, Paula. On one occasion, her husband failed to come home at the appointed time. After Paula put her girls to bed, she tracked her husband down at his local hangout, playing cards. Decked out in her chenille bathrobe, night cream, and sponge curlers, she gave her husband a tongue-lashing in front of his friends, "I don't care if you are Jesus Christ and these are your disciples, you had better have your ass home in the next fifteen minutes unless you're lookin' to be crucified." Lamar was home in ten minutes.

This is one of those rare books that evokes laughter and tears. Given its focus on family relationships, it's as likely to bring back fond memories as it is to trigger painful ones. It spoke to me of cherishing loved ones and time and seeing the best in people even when they may be at their worst. I am unable to suggest any improvements for this beautifully written and professionally edited memoir. I wholeheartedly rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. Leachman's insights on advocating for medical care may be helpful to various readers. I recommend the book to those who enjoy nostalgic memoirs. It will also appeal to fans of Friday Night Lights, and of course, to fans of the sport.

******
The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen
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Post by Kibetious » 04 Jul 2019, 11:29

Nice to see that the author was brutally honest and that the book is able to evoke both tears and laughter in the reader. I would like to read this book. Thanks much for the review.
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Post by kandscreeley » 04 Jul 2019, 12:35

I'm glad this would appeal to more than just football fans as I'm not. However, I'm not really a fan of memoirs either. Thanks for the review, but I think I'll pass.
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Post by Magnify3 » 04 Jul 2019, 13:28

I do like books about family relationships. I don't mind football. I could actually read this book. The family aspect of it is inviting. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Shadiid » 04 Jul 2019, 14:03

Great review. It must be great to read that the book is perfectly written 😆😆to receive a rating of 4 stars.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Jul 2019, 20:14

Kibetious wrote:
04 Jul 2019, 11:29
Nice to see that the author was brutally honest and that the book is able to evoke both tears and laughter in the reader. I would like to read this book. Thanks much for the review.
Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Jul 2019, 20:15

kandscreeley wrote:
04 Jul 2019, 12:35
I'm glad this would appeal to more than just football fans as I'm not. However, I'm not really a fan of memoirs either. Thanks for the review, but I think I'll pass.
Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Jul 2019, 20:16

Magnify3 wrote:
04 Jul 2019, 13:28
I do like books about family relationships. I don't mind football. I could actually read this book. The family aspect of it is inviting. Thanks for the review.
You're welcome. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by Michelle Fred » 05 Jul 2019, 01:27

Loved ones are best appreciated when they are alive, sometimes we don't know what they mean to us till they are no more.

I have a soft spot for books about family, I will love to read this, not minding the football theme.

Your review is beautiful, as always.

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Post by Helene_2008 » 05 Jul 2019, 08:58

The title of this book is interesting...My husband made me a fan of football. I would love to read what it was like growing up with a dad as a professional football coach.

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Post by kdstrack » 05 Jul 2019, 11:47

I think I would like to read this just to learn more about the mother! The quote you included had me laughing out loud. She sounds like she has her own strong character. Thanks so much for the enjoyable review and the interesting recommendation.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 05 Jul 2019, 14:26

Michelle Fred wrote:
05 Jul 2019, 01:27
Loved ones are best appreciated when they are alive, sometimes we don't know what they mean to us till they are no more.

I have a soft spot for books about family, I will love to read this, not minding the football theme.

Your review is beautiful, as always.
This book is very family-centered so I imagine you will enjoy it. Thanks for your kind comments, Michelle.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 05 Jul 2019, 14:27

Helene_2008 wrote:
05 Jul 2019, 08:58
The title of this book is interesting...My husband made me a fan of football. I would love to read what it was like growing up with a dad as a professional football coach.
Thanks, Helene.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 05 Jul 2019, 14:28

kdstrack wrote:
05 Jul 2019, 11:47
I think I would like to read this just to learn more about the mother! The quote you included had me laughing out loud. She sounds like she has her own strong character. Thanks so much for the enjoyable review and the interesting recommendation.
I know--I laughed too. Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 06 Jul 2019, 05:49

Kudos for picking this book even though you aren't a sports fan. I know nothing about football (except for the one that you guys call soccer), so I'm glad that you say it wouldn't be lost on me. As a dominant theme, it would be something that would turn me off reading this, but your wonderful review made my mind do a 180.
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