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Review: Charlie No Face by David B. Seaburn

[ 12 ] July 3, 2011 |

Reviewed by Melanie Kline

In the summer of 1959, everything is lining up for it to be the best summer of Jackie’s life. He is on break from school, makes it onto one of the best baseball teams, has great friends to hang out with, and a dad who is on an extremely unusual vacation from work. Jackie fills his days and nights playing baseball, reading comic books, collecting and trading baseball cards, and enjoying the ping pong table built by his father. Jackie, and his best friend, Brian spend countless hours discussing girls and Charlie No Face – a local “legend” who is supposed to be horribly disfigured and the death of anyone who meets him face to face.

One night, Kelso, an older boy, takes Jackie and Brian on a quest to find Charlie No Face. When they actually encounter him and Kelso starts poking him with his own stick and pouring beer on him, Jackie feels bad for the man and wants to protect him from the bully. Although, he cannot readily admit this fact to his friends.

Suddenly, a tornado hits and it seems as if Jackie’s entire world is swept away with it. The big tree in his back yard falls and completely flattens his new ping pong table, he finds out that his dad is not on vacation, but has lost his job, Brian goes away with his family and Jackie is about to be left indefinitely with his Aunt Dee – whom he doesn’t remember at all – while his father leaves in search of a new job.

Jackie adjusts to country life well and begins to enjoy it. He also comes to find out that the mysterious guest that Aunt Dee has staying in the upstairs bedroom is in fact Charlie No Face. Together, they conquer the ghosts of what happened to Charlie – whose real name is actually Hank – and Jackie’s guilt over not remembering his mother who died when he was young. Hank was her best friend when his accident occurred and she stayed with him the entire time – saving his life.

Charlie No Face by David B. Seaburn is a wonderful coming of age story and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent reading it.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Savant Books & Publications, LLC. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Category: Genre Fiction, Horror, Literature & Fiction

Comments (12)

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  1. 5
    Carol Wong says:

    I grew up in the 1950s so already attracted to this coming of age book. Charley No Face makes me think of the ‘Witch’ in our neighborhood. She wasn’t really a witch the neighbor kids just thought she was and called her that. She was just a very lonely woman who like to sit on her front porch and tell stories. Of course, she scared most of the kids away when she screamed at them for getting close to her property. But she had a beautiful garden in the back of her house overflowing with flowers.

    Carol Wong

    • 5.1

      Hi Carol: Charlie No Face is based on real person. He was very disfigured from an electrocution as a boy. Misunderstood and treated poorly by many as he grew to be a man. But he was actually very kind and gentle.
      David B. Seaburn

  2. 4
    Rabid Fox says:

    I’ve never of this one, but I do enjoy a good coming-of-age story. Maybe I’ll keep an eye out for this one. Thanks for the heads up.
    Rabid Fox recently posted..Rabid Rewind: The A-Team

  3. 3

    I’m so glad to hear this was a good read! David, I am also from Rochester and I have seen the book where I work, at the Greece library!

    • 3.1

      Hi Steph: That’s very cool. I didn’t know that the Greece Library had a copy. My daughter and son-in-law live and Greece and we often take our granddaughters to your library. Small world.
      Dave

  4. 2
    Colleen Turner says:

    This is a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover! At first glance I probably wouldn’t have picked up the book…the cover isn’t appealing to me. But the actual review makes it sound just wonderful so I would definitely read it now. Thanks for the review, I will add this one to my wishlist (can it get any bigger? :)).

    • 2.1

      Hi Colleen: I’m glad you are looking past the cover. I think you will enjoy the book. I know I enjoyed writing it. It is set in my home town and I borrowed many details from my own experience. It was great fun and I think the theme of learning to look at others “with you heart” is important.

      Enjoy
      David B. Seabuen

  5. 1

    Ooh, sounds interesting. And I’m a sucker for coming of age books set in the 1950s–blame that one on Stephen King!

    I did, though, get distracted by the character names in the review. “Kelso” and “Jackie’ will always remind me of That 70s Show. I wonder if my brain will be thinking of those characters and their personalities while reading the book since they’re such well-known, totally out there personalities.

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