Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Same Kind of Different as Me

I purchased Same Kind of Different as Me, a New York Times Bestseller more than a year ago, as a Christmas present to myself. After all, it had received good reviews from Amazon, B&N and Good Reads. So, being the lazy and superficial reader I was, I ordered the book after viewing the top few good reviews plus a description of the book.

Summary: It's a true life account of Ron Hall, an international art dealer, and Denver Moore, a "modern-day slave", and how they got to know each other through a mission home. Ron's wife, Deborah, always felt that Ron had to know more about Denver and they formed an unlikely friendship. Denver, through the Halls' support, started his spiritual journey. (that's Denver in the middle and the Halls on the right)

(photo credit: Book's official site)

Good stuff: Unlike The Help by Kathryn Stockett that made me a little confused on who exactly was talking after a while, there were only two characters narrating their story and it's pretty to easy to differentiate based on the writing. It's also an honest account, as seen from how Ron Hall was willing to talk about his fling with a girl during his marriage or his suspicions of Denver on many occasions. It's also a touching account which talked about Deborah's struggle with cancer, where quoting Hall, "she ran out of strong".

Some good writing and worthy quotes. This one is where Ron asks Denver if they can be friends.
“I heard that when white folks go fishin they do somethin called 'catch and release." 
Catch and release? I nodded solemnly, suddenly nervous and curious at the same time. 
"That really bothers me", Denver went on. "I just can't figure it out. 'Cause when colored folks go fishin, we really proud of what we catch, and we take it and show it off to everybody that'll look. Then we eat what we catch...in other words, we use it to sustain us. So it really bothers me that white folks would go to all the trouble to catch a fish, when when they done caught it, just throw it back in the water."
Not-so-good stuff: The description on the book cover states that this story is about "a modern-day slave, an international art dealer and the unlikely woman who bound them together". And it goes on to say that this book is "gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality". I find this description slightly inaccurate because Denver was not a modern-day slave, but rather a homeless man. Brutality? Maybe, depending on how one would want to see it. Just a small note, there have been extreme views on this book, especially because religion is a very strong theme in this book. Read some of the reviews if you want to have a better idea on what you will be looking at.

Interview: An interview with the authors, if you are interested. And apparently, this is going to become a movie. What's up with NY Times bestsellers becoming movies all the time now?


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