24 Following

Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb: A Novel - Nicholas Rinaldi

What happens when you get P.T. Barnum, President Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Ulysses S. Grant, The Queen, and John Wilkes Booth all in the same book? Oh, and a dwarf—two of them. Well, it should be really interesting, right? Publishers Weekly called it, “Top-notch entertainment”; Booklist called it “Rollicking”. I’m not sure which book they were reading, because this book could have been SO. MUCH. MORE.


Reading this, I’m kicking myself for not have visiting the Barnum museum in Bridgeport yet. I spent most of this book on Google digging out the true story of General Tom Thumb and P.T. Barnum and the Civil War. Yeah, that’s a great thing about historical fiction: It’s a great learning experience. It’s all a testament to the book itself. It wasn’t “fast-paced and brightly colored” as Kirkus said; it was more ho-hum and grayish-dull. Again, could have been SO. MUCH. MORE.


For a good summary of this book, check out TChris’s (Top 100 Reviewer) summary in his review: http://www.amazon.com/review/RE7L8YH6XLY65/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1476727325


The author Nicholas Rinaldi has three collections of poetry that sound interesting, so I was looking forward to what the New York Times Book Review called “sprawling and elegant”. I really don’t make a habit of calling out and questioning other reviews, but when they are all over the product page…I kind of need to. Nothing aggravates me more than thinking the consumer is being duped (false author book blurbs are a big pet peeve of mine). If I was to call a book “sprawling and elegant”, even poetic, I would refer to ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, also published by Scribner this year. That work was an excellent piece of historical fiction that really made me feel something. Sadly, Tom Thumb did not entertain me the way he should have—the way he entertained thousands of people in real life.


Thank you Scribner for providing this book electronically for me to review.