Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: Same Kind of Different As Me

 Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent

I finished reading this book a few weeks back, so sorry I'm just getting to the review now. It really is an interesting true story written by two men: Ron--a rich white guy, and Denver--a poor black man. It's the story of how they got to be where they were in their life when their paths crossed and then became best friends, and then of course a bit after that as well. Ron's wife is also a key piece of the story but she's not an author.

For me the book started out a bit slow, but once I got about a third of the way into it I gobbled it up in only a few sit-downs. What really blew my mind was Denver's perspective as a modern-day slave fueled by ignorance, lack of education, and sustained poverty. Eventually he decided his life would be better homeless, so that's what he did. Reading his perspective on homelessness really opened my eyes to a world I just don't understand. Interesting stuff.

What was really cool was this co-authorship. In one chapter one would be sharing a story and their feelings on it and in the next the other would pick-up where the other left off with their own thoughts and feelings regarding the same experience. It really didn't feel like they were holding back at all, which made me feel like they could be sitting right in front of me just having a conversation.

The other thing that made that conversational feeling more prominent was the writing style sounded like they were talking complete with slang words and punctuation that emphasized their geographical drawl. For example, Denver said “But sometimes we has to be thankful for the things that hurt us,' I said, 'cause sometimes God does things that hurts us but they help somebody else.” And Ron said in another portion “To love a man enough to help him, you have to forfeit the warm, self-righteous glow that comes from judging.”

Cool message and cool writing, right? Excellent book club book if you're looking.

Anyway, the point is I think it's a great book and would highly recommend it, but since it took me a little bit to get into, I'm going to give it

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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