Book Review: The Great Pretender: Confessions of a Semi-Incorrigible Southern Catholic Boy

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The Great Pretender: Confessions of a Semi-Incorrigible Southern Catholic Boy by Robert R. Randall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Johnny Malloy is just a typical Catholic kid growing up in the Deep South during the 40s and 50s, but he never quite feels like he fits in. While he struggles with typical kid/teenage things like girls, school and money, as well as some deeper issues like discovering his father is actually his step father and that he and his close friends all have a dark, common link, he can never quite shake the notion that he is not meant to stay in Meridian, MS. Will he decide to enlist or head to CA or NY to chase his musical dreams?

The Great Pretender works well as a memoir, more than a novel in my opinion, and there were some writing quirks that started to annoy me, such as the overuse of the adjectives “embryonic” and “incorrigible.” But I did love the description of the time, and some of the honesty about reality of the atmosphere in the Deep South during the 40s/50s. I would have liked some more in depth self analyzing on why Johnny felt so different, as it was constantly mentioned but never explained even after obvious links such as his step father’s alcoholism. It is still a wonderful glimpse into that time, which Iove, as there is just something about living history stories that pulls you in. If you enjoy reading modern history this will enthrall you as you sink into the post WW2 South.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.
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