Monday, April 17, 2017

HARP - John Gregory Dunne

A memoir or the best conversation you will ever imagine.

This starts with Dunne receiving the dreaded 4.30 a.m. phone call informing him that one of his brothers has taken his own life.  He ruminates on his  and his brothers life, being the two youngest they were close.  This first stanza ends with:

"Stephen had a funeral mass with all the trimmings.  The priest who had christened him nearly forty-fours years earlier delivered the homily. I had hired a car and a driver and we left for New York and our flight back to Los Angeles a few hours after the service.  On the ride to the airport there was one terrible moment.  I started to doze in the back seat, and suddenly just before I feel asleep, I fought myself awake.  I wondered and wonder still, if poor Stephen, dear Stephen, had one last moment like that, one moment when he realized he was slipping away, one moment when he wanted it all back."

After read that, one of the saddest paragraphs I've ever read, I was hooked and went along for the journey.  Dunne is startling honest about his relationship with his family and the writers life.

He was ( deceased 2003) a relentless observer and note taker of his observations.  He revisits his notes recalling the time and place he made the notes.  Most never make it to a novel or screenplay or book but they are all important at the time and the explanation is fascinating.

This is a 10/10 and I recommend his novel "True Confessions" its one of the best.

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