|11||000002||Fate and Crisis|
|18||000003||A Hobby Is Born|
|26||000004||Easier Said Than Done|
|30||000005||A Time to Be Had or Made?|
|35||0001||CHAPTER TWO To Leave or Not to Leave|
|35||000101||Leaving, Running Away|
|38||000102||Doing Well, Unknowingly|
|47||0002||CHAPTER THREE Off to Italy and Beyond|
|47||000201||Changing of Times|
|56||000203||Learning to Survive|
|61||000204||"Jews, Blacks, and Faggots"|
|66||000205||I Don’t Find Them Funny Anymore|
|68||0003||CHAPTER FOUR Growing up. Early|
|69||000301||Time, Shapes, and Dreams|
|74||000302||Happiness and Contentment|
|78||0004||CHAPTER FIVE Tiger Dad|
|82||000402||Tiger Dad, Mom|
|86||000403||Beliefs and Losing Control|
|92||0005||CHAPTER SIX Hitting the Wall|
|93||000501||Holding for Dear Life|
|99||000502||"Dignified Road to Starvation"|
|105||000503||The World, a Teenager's Perspective|
|114||0006||CHAPTER SEVEN Awakening|
|114||000601||Songs, Dancing, and Love|
|123||0007||CHAPTER EIGHT Betrayal of the Senses|
|123||000701||It's All About Control|
|129||000702||The Soft Power of Low Expectations|
|131||000703||Senses and Survival|
|137||0008||CHAPTER NINE Dancing and Running|
|141||000802||Getting Serious, About Running|
|147||0009||CHAPTER TEN Love and Sacrifice|
|155||0010||CHAPTER ELEVEN My Identity|
|155||001001||America, I Choose Thee|
|165||0011||CHAPTER TWELVE America|
|172||001102||Yearning for Levitation|
|174||0012||CHAPTER THIRTEEN Concrete Steps|
|174||001201||Chicago and Concreteness|
|180||001202||Distillation and Refinement|
|183||0013||CHAPTER FOURTEEN Reaching Higher|
|183||001301||Never Fully Developing|
|186||001302||Running, Breaking Through|
|193||0014||CHAPTER FIFTEEN Looking Back, Ahead|
|194||001401||Seeing the Future|
|199||001402||Resolutions, Keeping Them|
|201||001403||Wise Man, Stupid Man|
Blake's crocodile tears
I only ask myself whether it is too cruel to hint to crocodile tears in this connection but having finished the book I had the odd feeling that the author whitholds something pertinent, but what? He never mentions his real origin by name as if shamed of it.
But in many respects this is a very remarkable text. Not least because its fluent narration and rich language. It is not just choice of words, that too, but also the scenery awaking from his colorful expressions and erudite references. I really liked his English and did not mind having several times to refer to dictionary being a nonnative speaker myself. All to my own upbringing, one of the main purposes of reading in general. It is one of the best features of ebooks that dictionaries are available by one click. Only should the word definitions remain in the readers Notes & Markings file in addition to his faible memory (and the markings file downloadable as a lasting souvenir of the book in question). However, having read some twnty first pages I had a slight feeling of diappointment. Now almost regretting for having summed the first reading lot as 'dull', quite too harsh and quite too soon a judgment, as it soon turned out.
Next time I could not finish but devoured some fifty pages finding it everything else but dull.
I had chosen the book by hints to running, especially marathon running. I had just read another Amazon book of marathon running, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. And quite correct, the passages of running really, literally, offer colorful scenery as he describes his routes in training and competition. But here was also my worst diappointment, although that too, unfounded. Actually not unfounded, but completely wrong-minded, just wrong-minded, not ill-minded. I was disappointed with Blake's level as runner, an hour slower marathon than mine. But the essence of marathon is not time but the run itself. The real accomplishment is finishing it. In a way a four hour marathon is a bigger accomplishment than a three hour marathon. Four hours of continuous sincere effort and pain is something definitely more than only three hours of the same. Big hail to Blake, the marathoner! Suggest first name acquaintance in runners' club.
Another reason for fascination throughout the book was a certain similarity of his career with mine. From primitive circumstances to doctor's degree. He even mentions about the secret of trees flourishing around his first home. I could tell something similar, although there is a tremendous diffenence in climate conditions. My harsh winters compelling to much more severe attitudes to the prime necessities of life for survival. Then there is his teen age educaton away from home in strange surroundings in Italy. I also had to leave my home early, at the age of twelve, to go to school. Although not very far, away from home, anyway. Much later on I had my experiences of Italy and Italian language. The more nice a surprise was it to find a paragraph where the author list the most memorable impressions of his trips in Italy outside his site of education. I could write, or better still, almost cite this paragraph as a list of my experiences in Italy. A real nice coincidence of life.
Further reasons of community feeling with the author through the book, which is my habit of seeking in all reading, is in economics. In my case it is the core of my whole career being a professional economist and having written several economics books. From his mentioning of economic events and terminology it is easy to see that he has had excellent success in his courses of economics, although economics not being directly his main career. Sticking to personal impressions, he tells a lot of his atraction to music and dancing. As sportsman dancing was also my hobby during years of teenage, but later only occasionally. His liking of music, on the contrary, has nothing to do with my very narrow taste of listening 24/7 barock of 1600-1750.
All in all, a very entertaining and in many respects worth while reading these Immigration Tears, A Story of Survival and Running to Destiny by F.C. Blake, well deserving my four stars, if not quite five because of the lack of a real big sting.