Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book Review: Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore


Non-fiction. This is sort of a memoir written by the two men showing their different perspectives on how their lives were before they met, how it happened, and their friendship afterward. It was originally for the non-fiction book club at my library in November of 2013 that I missed, so I finally got around to it in March of this year (2015). It was an interesting read, I would recommend it, but I did not find it 100% life altering as some have claimed.

I found out quite a bit about the continuation of tenant farming and lack of education for African-Americans in the south, well into the second half of the 20th-century, which did astound me. It provided insight into what it is like to be homeless, from Denver's perspective, as somebody experiencing it, not just observing it. I enjoyed Denver's portions of the work immensely. Ron Hall's sections however, seemed less genuine to me, really pushing the agenda that God chose his wife as an angel among us, despite their wealthy and comfortable surroundings, their cushy and easy life. I wish she had been able to contribute to the book herself, it would have been nice to read what she thought and felt about the situations. Perhaps then it would have seemed less cliche. As it stands, although I believe Ron Hall was trying to be genuine, his parts still felt a bit hokey and rehearsed, but that is just my opinion.

The book is worth the time it takes to read it, and I have recommend it to at least one other person, but I still cannot understand why several people told me I had to read it, that it was so very me. Sometimes I think a book merely has to mention art somewhere in it and everybody assumes I will love it just because of that: sure I am an art historian by education and training, but that does not mean I love absolutely every piece of artwork that has ever been made, nor does it mean that I love everything to do with the artworld through all time.

I would recommend this book on the strength of the portions written by Denver and his story. The chapters he wrote and the story of his life are incredible and worth your time.

And so it goes...

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