TOWNIE by Andre Dubus III

Mickey Diamond

I’ve just spent about 8 days reading this memoir and here I am, four days later, struggling to write a review.

I should love this memoir. And I do, in certain places.

I love Dubus’s attention to detail and his clinical use of sensory details. The locations in Townie are attentively defined and carefully illustrated.

I love the movement of the narrative. Split into three parts, the memoir is twenty-one chapters of swift scenery. Dubus breaks the chapters down into punctuated moments: scenes loaded with memorable imagery and character-revealing detail that subtly advance the plot. Structured thus, each moment feels as if was designed to Mean (capital M) more than it appears to, the tension growing tighter by the end of each chapter.

I loved that the book chronicled the formation of a violent young man and his eventual maturation away from violence towards a more “creative” outlet. While reading, I loved…

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