Giveaway and Review Up From Adams Street by Larry Crane


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Book Details:

Book TitleUp from Adams Street (a memoir) by Larry Crane
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18 +),  229 pages
Genre:  Memoir
PublisherMaine Authors Publishing
Release date:   July 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13. Mild mature content. No bad language.

Book Description:

Larry Crane brings the sensibility of the post-World War II generation and a family of modest means to his fresh new novelesque memoir, Up From Adams Street. Born at home, surrounded by a neighborhood of immigrant families that burst out of the confines of Chicago to buy a lot carved out of the corn fields astride the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy rail line. As the confessed family favorite, he had a lot of expectations heaped on his shoulders, along with a sense that he was destined to fulfill that destiny. He realizes that participating in sports is a potential entrée into worlds that seem beyond his little world. Plus, he loves the games. He plays baseball, football and basketball. He caddies at golf courses. As he grows physically, he senses the need to expand mentally and philosophically too. A scholarship helps, then a surprise appointment to West Point follows. At the military academy, he bends to discipline, survives mandatory boxing, battles mighty Notre Dame in basketball, pitches against the legendary Yankees, conquers Mechanics of Fluids, and Calculus, discovers F. Scott Fitzgerald, befriends Red Reeder, falls in and out of love, turns 23, and becomes a man.

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Author Interview

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about writing a novel or a memoir?

I would advise that being too young or being too old is no excuse for not pursuing a desire to write. You need to prepare yourself for the task of writing a longer work though, and that involves cutting your teeth on shorter works first. Read short story collections like Nine Stories by J. D Salinger. Start out by conjuring something in your life that seems like a story to you. Put it down on paper or on a computer screen, stir and serve to a friend. Do it again and again. Study books on writing a novel or a memoir such as Writing a Novel by John Braine, Story Writing by Edith Ronald Mirrielees, The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray. Get yourself to a point where you think you understand what constitutes a story of any length.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Typing in the first several words is easily the hardest part! Having spent months conceptualizing a project, especially deciding on the voice that I want to use, putting the first words down on the computer screen takes me out of the theoretical realm and into the actual world where I can tell if it’s going to work or not. And am I going to be able to keep it up?

Is there lots to do before you dive in and start writing the story?

Yes. For my coming of age memoir Up from Adams Street, I spent a lot of time reading memoirs that are considered really good. Studying how the author avoided any temptation to simply record the what, where, and how of it all, without falling into a deadly dull, I did this, and that, and then I did this and that. I discovered that I needed to really work at developing scenes in which major cause and effect events are presented in a lively, novel-like way, showing instead of telling, with lots of dialogue.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing Up From Adams Street?

Before I started writing it, I was set in my belief that my relationship with my father was such that I would decide on paths that I would follow in my life doing the opposite of what my father thought I should do. But I discovered in the development of the memoir that he was steps ahead of me, mostly on the right track, and that in setting goals, his aim was better and much higher than mine.

Is it easier to write thrillers or memoir?

I’ve published two thrillers, A Bridge to Treachery, and Missing Girls: In Truth is Justice, and one memoir, Up From Adams Street. Each genre has its challenges, of course. Readers of thrillers expect the story to leap off the page from word one, sending them on a mesmerizing journey, starring dynamic characters with interesting quirks, and a plot that twists, turns and never stops surprising. A memoir is different. Since I am not a celebrity, nor have I endured some heart wrenching cataclysm in my life, my memoir doesn’t recount scandalous behavior, tragedy, or near-death events. Rather, it touches readers with lively vignettes from my rather mundane life that bring similar experiences from the reader’s own life to mind, that resonate with them and ring true. It must be true, but that said, it is my truth, not the absolute truth. It’s much harder to write.

Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like?

I was a complete novice. A subsidy publisher accepted my manuscript of A Bridge to Treachery, requiring a $3500 fee to handle all the standard pre-publication functions to deliver a real, live published novel in 6 months to a year. I gulped and accepted the deal. There was no sense of validation, something I desperately longed for. There was no marketing support. There were very few sales. Feedback from readers emphasized that the story was slow getting off the ground. At the end of three years I felt as though I should leave the publisher. I re-worked the novel by cutting out a lot of back story and energizing it by carving it into short chapters. I developed a better cover. I worked hard on two female characters to give them captivating personalities and new important roles in the story. I worked hard on marketing the Kindle version exclusively through Amazon and produced an audiobook version as well. Readers seem to like it.

Up From Adams Street Excerpt -”Uniform”

“Gentlemen, your classmate, Mr. Coughlin, is wearing his short-sleeved white shirt improperly. What do you suppose is improper about the way he is wearing his short-sleeved white shirt? Mr. Needs, what do you think?” Bullock asked.

“I don’t have the slightest…” Needs said, blinking.

“Say again, Mr. Needs.”

“Sir, I don’t know the answer, sir.”

“We don’t slap-in an extra ‘sir’ whenever we feel like it, Needs. Say it again.”

“Sir, I don’t know what’s wrong with the way he’s wearing

the shirt.”

“What shirt?”

“His short-sleeved white shirt, sir.”

“Good. The short-sleeved white shirt doesn’t fit snugly to Mr. Coughlin’s body. And it slops over his belt all the way around. That’s not the way we wear a shirt. Mr. Needs, step forward and stand in back of Coughlin. The rest of you move so you can see what’s going on.

“Now, Mr. Needs, grasp the fabric on both sides of your classmate. That’s it. Stab your thumbs in and pull the fabric back so that the shirt fits tightly both in front and back. Good. That, gentlemen, is what we mean by ‘dressing off ’ the shirt.

“Does anyone see a problem that can arise with this system of dressing off your roommate’s shirt for him? Buckley?”

“Sir, I don’t see the problem.”

“What if Coughlin didn’t have Needs or anyone else around to help him dress off his shirt? The answer is that we need to be able to do it without assistance. So, let’s try it. Everyone unbuckle your belt, pull your shirttails down, reach back and grasp the fabric on both sides, stabbing your thumbs in and pulling tight so the shirt fits snugly in front and back. Tuck it in and buckle your belt. Voilà! Any questions?

“Yes, Mr. Engler.”

“Sir, does this apply to all the shirts we wear, or just the white one?”

“Are you sure you want to ask such a ridiculous question, Engler?”

“No, sir.”

“Any other ridiculous questions about dressing off your shirt? Anyone? All right. From now on, you’ll be expected to wear all of your shirts properly. And—listen up carefully—no question is a ridiculous question. Asking means you’re thinking. Good work, Engler.”

Bullock led us outside to a huge grassy area called The Plain. In an hour or two, he taught us the rudiments of close-order drill, how to march, with the same precision he used with shirts, just in time to move in formation, en masse to Trophy Point overlook-ing the Hudson River to be sworn in. We learned how to wear the rest of the clothes issued to us, how to clean and care for our M1 rifles, how to perform the manual of arms, and how to properly perform push ups, squat thrusts, and all the other exercises we would run through every morning at the crack of dawn.

We trooped into the truly massive mess hall, trying to keep our eyes straight to the front instead of letting them wander up to the paneled ceiling fifty feet overhead or to the gigantic arched windows, or to the brooding mural occupying the back wall of the “mural wing” depicting scenes of military service through the ages. Bullock instructed us on how to eat.

I lowered my eyes to my plate. A silent ever-present question insisted: Will I ever find myself in this swirl of sensory immersion?


I don’t read many memoir’s so this book was a bit different for me. Street was a different take for me. I found this book intriguing. The story starts with a young boy on through his youth and to an adult. He seemed to be different than others and had many struggles as he strived to do the things other his age were conquering. Larry has a unique and special relationship with his dad, and there were many scenes throughout thos book that captures the love between the two. Which I found very heartwarming.

I like how author Larry Crane weaves this memoir together, as he let’s the readers inside his heart and life, revealing a lot about himself. I believe this story can be for everyone. There is so much here. Everyone can find something that will be a delight! And the ma UK n thing I enjoyed about the story is it encourages everyone to follow their dreams. Though sometimes you may struggle along the way, don’t give up. Keep moving! This book gets a full 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐ from me!

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Meet the Author:

Larry Crane spent the 1960s in a military setting, first at school at West Point, and as a lieutenant in Germany. He was an advisor to a Vietnamese ranger battalion in the Central Highlands. He took on a civilian career in brokerage and banking, retiring early to concentrate on writing, producing several full length plays most notable of which is Baghdad on the Wabash. Published fiction includes a thriller,A Bridge to Treachery, a mystery novel Missing Girls: In Truth Is Justice, and an anthology of short plays and stories, Baghdad on the Wabash and Other Plays and Stories. He lives with his wife Jan in splendid isolation on Southport Island, Maine.

connect with the author:  website  ~ twitter facebook pinterest instagram  goodreads

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Sep 14 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
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