Read The Dropper by Ron McLarty Online

the-dropper

Some say it's Death, Some say it's darkness, I say it's a game of light...Gutsy 17-year-old Albert "Shoe" Horn is an apprentice plumber and part-time boxer in England in 1922, but when his mother dies, he finds himself responsible for an abusive, alcoholic father and a younger brother with special needs.This marvelous novel follows the indomitable Shoe's day-to-day survivaSome say it's Death, Some say it's darkness, I say it's a game of light...Gutsy 17-year-old Albert "Shoe" Horn is an apprentice plumber and part-time boxer in England in 1922, but when his mother dies, he finds himself responsible for an abusive, alcoholic father and a younger brother with special needs.This marvelous novel follows the indomitable Shoe's day-to-day survival with poetic grit, cynical genius, respect, and deep affection as he navigates a world full of very real characters: the gentle giant McAvy, his slave-driving boss, the Irish louts that resurrect his temper, the tempting ladies who seek him out, his hilarious plumbing clients, and the formidable “Dropper,” who Shoe fears will take away the most true thing in his life, his brother....

Title : The Dropper
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781587672750
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 287 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Dropper Reviews

  • Lou
    2018-12-28 02:33

    I interviewed this awesome Author/Writer/Narrator check out my web page http://more2read.com/review/my-interview-with-ron-mclarty/A splendid story of the coming of age of a few men, Shoe Horn and Bobby Horn. It’s a poignant story with wonderful memorable characters that are real in every sense. A world of family traditions with characters that are plumbers and bare knuckle-fighters.Bobby makes the story shine, he has a learning difficulty and slight disability, he’s full of wonderful character and eagerness to be there for his loved ones.As time goes by and a set of events take place their friendly closeness becomes divided by certain necessities and a decision of working in America becomes a reality. Someone finds love and some feel stranded. Alas the joy of adolescence, this story makes you want to be there with Shoe and Bobby and the grand stature of McAvy.I listened to this as an audiobook as the actual paper publication is not out until April 2012. What compliments this story even more is the narration of the book by the author. Its one on the best done readings that I have heard in a while. It seems he is the voice of many other audiobooks too, other than his own novels.And yes Stephen King was write in what he said about this novel. Its reminiscent of Mice and Men, the two brothers Bobby and Shoe bring back memories of Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman as brothers, starring in Rain Man. Captivating, heart warming, and a memorable story of a few down to earth characters."Stephen King recommended author. He says: "Ron McLarty, who has proven himself a terrific storyteller in such books as The Memory of Running and Traveler, has outdone himself with The Dropper, a story where beauty and brutality mingle in a yarn I just couldn't put down. This book is filled with rich pleasures and textures, it reminded me of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. As in his previous novels, The Dropper avoids sentimentality, but not sentiment; Shoe and his brother Bobby live and breathe. I highly recommend it." This novel is finally to be published in hardback as a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive this year April 2012.Out now! Excerpt Me. 1992My brother, Bobby Horn, has lived in my dreams for seventy years. He stands bouncing his ball in the shadow of the special school for special people, staring out at a world he cannot understand. He is fifteen and his sweet, beautiful round face perches on that tall skinny body like a new moon. He sways and jerks his hands and shoulders but keeps his eyes on some distant mystery. I stand facing him, night after night, year after year, decade after decade, and while Bobby Horn remains unchanged, I have shriveled into an eighty-seven year old man slowly disappearing from this earth like smoke from a cigarette. For some years now, when I wake from this dream, I must lie still in my bed until whoever I might be returns and fills me. Each morning I stare at the ceiling wondering if today I will not come back but linger inside the dream to face my brother forever with shame and sorrow. I catch my name and say it for one more day. “Shoe Horn. Shoe Horn. Me.” I struggle from bed into a chair by the window and look out over the Irish Sea. Yes. I remember now that I have come back. Back to familiar smells and murky skies. I light a cigarette, my eighty year habit, and gasp between puffs. “Shoe Horn,” I say to the sea. Three days ago I closed my shop door and left East Providence, Rhode Island for England. For Barrow-in-Furness and the life I must call upon and be sure of. This day I will walk through the places and people of that life again and let my old bones do the remembering. I’ll begin at St. Mark’s Church. Yes. That minister. How can I remember what he said as if it was only yesterday and I was seventeen once more.Watch Ron McLarty talk of his writing and acting career, also Stephen King talks of Ron’s stories that were not in print.here.

  • Kevin Lucia
    2019-01-16 03:26

    Full of substance, tempered by an unflinching realism, The Dropper is an emotionally complex portrait of a confused and determined young man aching for something better, unable to provide it, but still fighting to, anyway. This is the type of story that defies easy categorization, for all those who love rooting for the underdog, the fighter in all of us.Albert "Shoe" Horn is an apprentice plumber and part-time boxer in 1922 England. A seventeen year old young man who's been forced to grow up far too quickly after his mother's death, Shoe is saddled with caring for his alcoholic, often abusive father and special needs brother, Bobby, while trying to make a life for himself as a plumber, and a name for himself as a fighter. During the day he lugs his tool box around town, wading through sewage and water, fixing pipes and water closets while his employer is busy down at "the club". At night he "goes under the lights", carving out a reputation by the cut of his fists. And somewhere in between he watches after Bobby and romances two different women, one a romantic ideal who dreams of being an actress, the other a woman Shoe could easily marry. If he could ever make himself stay in one place with one woman for any length of time.Things are changing for Shoe, though. One night, under the lights, he deals a head-blow to a friend that turns lethal, and becomes haunted - either supernaturally, or psychologically - by his friend's resulting death. And Molly has tired of Shoe's indecision, forcing him to make a choice Shoe isn't sure he's capable of. And, worst of all, is Bobby. It's become painfully clear that Bobby's needs have grown beyond Shoe's ability to manage, and this seventeen year old is suddenly faced with the very real possibility that he can longer care for his brother. And then there's Shoe's worst nightmare: The Dropper. A specter of darkness and rumor, a midwife-turned-child murderer...or so the story goes. She haunts Shoe's steps, speaking in cryptic half-truths, and Shoe fears even more for his growing inability to care for Bobby...because he fears that Bobby may be The Dropper's next victim.Haunting and melancholic, with the lightest touch of the supernatural, The Dropper is sure to be one of the year's best novels. This isn't a "ghost story" or "dark fiction" or anything like that. This is simply storytelling at its finest, a tale about a young man who never quite figures things out, but never drops his fists, either.

  • Kathie Giorgio
    2018-12-24 05:48

    So I love Ron McLarty's books. But when I opened this one, my heart dropped. It was so clearly different from the other books. It was historical, it was set in Ireland, and there was lots of fighting and blood in it. I immediately worried that I wasn't going to like it.But I loved it.Immediately, the attention is brought in by the loving relationship between Shoe Horn and his little brother, Bobby, a boy who appears to be autistic. Bobby's nature and Shoe's devotion is written so sharply, with never a dip into maudlin. The language in this book is breathtaking and amazingly consistent and intelligent. The storyline, and its crossings into the surreal, just carries you from page to page. It's a lovely book.I only have one complaint, and it's a small one. The ending, while solid, makes a giant leap. That was disconcerting. But it didn't spoil the book for me.If you like Ron McLarty, read the book. If you've never read Ron McLarty, read the book.Just read the book.

  • Elaine
    2018-12-29 06:47

    In "The Dropper," Shoe Horn, a 17-year-old apprentice plumber in 1920's England, is fighting demons, some real and others not. His abusive father is real, the girls who entice him are real, and his plumbing clients are real (and often hilariously funny). Shoe is a sometime boxer, but most of his fights are in his head. He misses his ma fiercely. Mr. Lowdon, his boss, gives him all the dirty work. The Dropper haunts him. But it is Shoe's love for his special needs brother that propels both his life and the book. And, The McAvy, the gentle giant, provides a fine foil for The Dropper. In the words of Bobby Horn, "Shoe Horn, you're a great good guy." A great good book is what"The Dropper" is.

  • Janet
    2018-12-24 03:22

    An amazing listen. McLartey brings incredible characters to life and draws you into the gritty world of Shoe Horn, his brother Bobby and many memorable characters they relate to. Very, very good.

  • Murphy Waggoner
    2019-01-12 01:49

    Shoe Horn is a 17-year-old plumber's apprentice. His brother, Bobby, is "special." For those that love him, Bobby's eccentricities can be overlooked and his joy of living appreciated, but the rest of the world is cruel to him, including Mr. Horn, his father. Shoe supports his brother and father by plumbing and boxing, that latter the source of neighborhood rivalries. He also discovers the allure of girls, starting with smells and touches reminiscent of his deceased mother but becoming much more.McLarty says that "The Dropper" is his most personal book to date, developing the story from the life of his father growing up in Barrow-in-Furness before leaving for the U.S. Knowing that the story of Shoe Horn was based on McLarty's own family makes the read even more precious.McLarty is someone you would recognize if you have ever watched TV. He's played lawyers, cops, detectives, never the main character by always a strong supporting cast. I had overlooked him many times on the screen, but I fell in love with his writing and voice while listening to "The Memory of Running," a book I have listened multiple times.The story of "Running" was compelling, but it was McLarty's narration brought it to life. The same is true for this audible.com recording; the narration by the author is spot on. I'm sure aficionados will take exception with his accents as they are wont to do. The rhythms of the language and the portrayal of the characters reminded me of all the best things of the "Running" narration. That is not to say, though, that the stories are the same. The two books had family and mental disability in common, but Shoe and Smithson are nothing alike. Shoe is mostly a likable character, but he has some flaws that are troubling, and it is important to keep in mind that he is only 17.

  • Chuck Rios
    2019-01-04 04:30

    Ron McLarty has written an awesome book here. The dropper is a rich and deep read and every chapter reads like a short story all its own. While the story itself keeps a slow pace all throughout the book, you should stick with it till the end because The Dropper is satisfying.It fills you up and you think about it even when you're done turning the last page. I know I did.I was having trouble describing this fantastic book so I'll just paste from the Cemetery Dance Website:"Gutsy 17-year-old Albert "Shoe" Horn is an apprentice plumber and part-time boxer in England in 1922, but when his mother dies, he finds himself responsible for an abusive, alcoholic father and a younger brother with special needs.This marvelous novel follows the indomitable Shoe's day-to-day survival with poetic grit, cynical genius, respect, and deep affection as he navigates a world full of very real characters: the gentle giant McAvy, his slave-driving boss, the Irish louts that resurrect his temper, the tempting ladies who seek him out, his hilarious plumbing clients, and the formidable “Dropper,” who Shoe fears will take away the most true thing in his life, his brother."I haven't read a book like this in a long time. Reminds me of Hemmingway's or Fitzgerald Style. It has big, bold paragraphs that dance with each other creating a close and personal atmosphere and I think in time that this one will be a classic. Grab it from Cemetery Dance Publications when you can. $25 for the trade hardcover.

  • Michael Thompson
    2019-01-16 04:24

    This book was, hands-down, the best book I've read in a good while, I'd have to say. This is one of those books that's about the characters more than about any kind of story. It follows 17 year old Shoe Horn trying to take care of his "special" brother Bobby in 1922. If it says exactly what city or town it's in, I must have missed it, but it's in either England or Ireland. All the characters feel fleshed out and their struggles feel genuine. The amazing thing is that this book might never have been. From what I understand Ron McLarty was having a hard time finding publishers for his stories so he decided to just record audio books and release them himself. Somehow Stephen King got ahold of it and loved it so much that he sort of helped Ron McLarty get a little more attention. King is even mentioned in the dedication.The book is compared to Of Mice and Men in one of the descriptions I read and I'd say that at face level, you could say they're similar in that it's about a boy/man trying to get through a rough life while caring for a mentally slow brother. Other than that, though, I'd say each story has it's own narrative and they don't share any story elements beside, really.When it comes down to it, I loved this book and I recommend everyone try to find a copy of it and give it a try. I highly doubt you'll regret it.

  • Jack
    2019-01-10 23:36

    Ron McLarty's latest is a powerful family saga of one 17 year olds journey into adulthood against all odds. In reality he has been the adult in the family for most of his life and he certainly has his charater flaws and plenty of them. But he also has a strong sence of loyalty and hard work. Unlike McLarty's other novels there is only a passing nod to East Providence. All the action takes place in 1922 England for the most part. (I can't wait to hear what others think about what may have happened in the "unwritten" life of Shoe Horn??) The romantic in me wants to think I know what happended at the end of the book, but then I know that McLarty based the charater on his Uncle/Grandfather? who he said was a "prick". I am going to go with the fact that his "Uncle" was the "seed" for the story and Shoe Horn was his own man. As I usually do, I invision this as a film and a fantastic one it would be. Why people aren't making films of original stories like this instead of remakes of Footloose and Dark Shadows is beyond me! If only Andre The Giant was alive to play McAvy! A compelling and at times hard to read tale loaded with colorful and disturbing charaters. Loved it.

  • Cathy
    2018-12-27 02:42

    Loved this book. It's 1922, the family lives in a small port town in England facing the Irish sea. "Shoe" Horn, a plumber apprentice, at 17 takes on the responsibility for his household after his mother dies. He takes care of his "special" younger brother Bobby, Bobby's new found dog Blacky and has to deal with their drunken abusive father Albert; Shoe takes the blows so Bobby is protected. I loved the relationship between Shoe and Bobby. There are also some very good secondary stories - the "giant" McAvy, Shoe's boxing at father Albert's insistence to earn more money, and a scary woman nicknamed "The Dropper". This book is very well written and the characters, while human and flawed and wonderful (some), are fleshed out very well. I love Shoe and Bobby, and The McAvy. There's a sweetness to the book, even in the hard times and circumstances in which they live. I highly recommend this one!

  • Michael Young
    2019-01-02 05:41

    I see this listed as a young adult coming of age listing. Although I agree with the "coming of age part" I don't believe it would be an appropriate title for just any young adult. My opinion only.I loved this book!Ron McLarty fleshes out characters. Shoe is real. Shoe is flawed. McLarty allows you to get to know Shoe and his brother Bobby as the story of growing up with the weight of the world on Shoe's shoulders unfolds.Simple is complicated. Loyalty, love, finding a place in the world, are common denominators between rich and poor. McLarty gives us a hard honest glimpse of Shoe's world as he balances caring for his brother Bobby, his thankless plumbers apprentice job, and fighting "under the lights".This is a story you "live in" and you find yourself thinking, tell us another Mr. McLarty...

  • Debra
    2019-01-13 03:22

    Stephen King recommended author. He says: "Ron McLarty, who has proven himself a terrific storyteller in such books as The Memory of Running and Traveler, has outdone himself with The Dropper, a story where beauty and brutality mingle in a yarn I just couldn¹t put down. This book is filled with rich pleasures and textures, it reminded me of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. As in his previous novels, The Dropper avoids sentimentality, but not sentiment; Shoe and his brother Bobby live and breathe. I highly recommend it."

  • Prudence
    2018-12-28 03:23

    Having a hard time getting started on this one. Usually love McLarty's books, but I am finding the dialogue driven writing style tough. Sometimes I don't know who is talking, and some of the expressions I am unfamiliar with. Maybe because my usual reading time is late at night just before I am dropping off to sleep and the subject matter seems kind of foreboding. Anyway, the reviews are really good, so I am going to plow through and hopefully I will pick up the flow of the book in the next chapter or so. It is not a difficult book, I think you just need to be in the right kind of mood to read it. Probably a good book to listen to. Will let you know.Update: Had to put it aside for now. It is not calling me. Have other books to get to. Will go back later.

  • Three Rivers Library
    2019-01-04 06:49

    This is a gritty yet touching coming of age tale of two young men, brothers, in a 1920's industrial town in England. Albert "Shoe" Horn and his brother Bobby have been left to fend for themselves after the death of their mother and descent of their father into an alcoholic and abusive oblivion.Shoe, 17, is a plumber's apprentice who also looks out for his developmentally disabled younger brother, Bobby, who is no longer as easily placated now that he is developing into a young man. Shoe must make some tough choices - and sometimes not-so-tough - as he maps out a future for himself and his brother.

  • Ashley Molloy
    2019-01-10 23:37

    I'm not sure why I picked up this book, but I'm glad that I did. I found it to be gritty and real. The characters personalities felt very real. I liked the brief dialog and short yet sensory descriptions. I also enjoyed that their was humor to be found in an otherwise difficult existence. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to read this book again because I feel like there are several layers and I may need a second look to fully appreciate some of the statements about society. And best of all, I'm still thinking about it after I closed the cover.

  • Alison
    2019-01-01 22:29

    I am obsessed with this book. So good - though, I cried constantly throughout the whole damn thing. When I was done, I wondered about Shoe as if he'd left me behind in Barrow. I wondered about The McAvy as if I'd left him behind in Barrow. Really the most affecting book I've read in ages. I think it's marketed as sort of supernatural suspense but it's a classic coming of age, and reads to my mind like very fine literature. I feel like I might read it again...and it's been years since I wanted to re-read something.

  • Ken
    2019-01-17 23:48

    I had high hopes for this novel, but it never took off for me. The book charts Shoe's adventures in Love, Work, and Sex, but I couldn't relate to it. The characters are well-developed, but not a lot happens. Or, most of what happens is internalized, and the book could have been a real page-turner, but seemed far too introspective for my taste. The story and the setting would have benefited with a more realistic writing style rather than the poetic or dreamy approach that McLarty employs. However, I plan to give McLarty's THE MEMORY OF RUNNING a look.

  • Sherri
    2019-01-06 03:38

    Shoe Horn weaves his tale of brotherly nurturing, working knee deep in the plumbing trenches, fighting under the lighs, and young romance. Throughout the story Shoe expresses a genuine fear of "The Dropper" and the bruises caused by the physical and emotional suffering inflicted by his alcoholic father. Shoe travels on a path towards independence and a reconciliation with the truth in regard to his brother, himself, and their interdependence. Although the story felt disjointed along the way, I was invested in the characters enough to read to the conclusion.

  • Barbara Khan
    2018-12-24 03:29

    This was a tough book to read. It was work. The characters are in constant dialogue and their nicknames and real names are used intermittently. I had to keep rereading to figure out who was talking to who. Having said that, the story line was a piece of art. His craft is evident, his characters real. There was real sentiment expressed in the context of the backdrop. There is no taking away this is a very talented author.

  • Bonnie
    2018-12-27 05:29

    Though I am not a fan of course language or explicit sex, I believe there are times when a story needs to be told that involves both. Everyone has a story and when told well, we learn. I held on to my belief that this would be one of those meaningful stories until about halfway through. I finished because I was invested in the characters, especially Bobby and even Shoe, but I was disappointed. The story seemed to float off in many odd directions leaving clouded meanings and loose ends.

  • Kurt Olausen
    2018-12-23 23:30

    It is reminiscent of Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men) as Stephen King's quote on the cover states, however it is also very much a "bildungsroman" chronicling the transition of the narrator, Shoe Horn, from childhood to adulthood. Family, love, rivalry, and tough decisions all play their part in Shoe's development.

  • Charles Benoit
    2018-12-31 22:27

    A novel about a teen in 1920s England (not a YA novel in any sense). Bare-knuckle fighting, plenty of sex, and an ending that was so beautifully sad that it left me crying hard. A brilliant novel and one of the best I've read in years.

  • Vin Lunney
    2019-01-09 22:41

    Drags a little in pace but worth it even when you first see this is not a turn of the century fight story like "Cinderella Man" I could have done without the Irish steereotyping but still a good story.

  • Debbie
    2018-12-24 05:45

    AUDIO VERSION is worth it! (However, not with kids in the car...which is where I listen most) Ron McLarty reads his own work...and he is a great reader based on previous experiences...the characters in this book are unique and therefore worthy of having unique "voices."

  • V.R.
    2018-12-27 22:39

    I picked this one up at the library and really enjoyed it. McLarty created the kind of characters I really like, flawed, but still likable - the ones who are supposed to be anyway. I also like that the end isn't all neat and tied up with a bow. Can't wait to read or hear more of McLarty's work!

  • Carolyn Hinderliter
    2018-12-30 06:29

    A fascinating and realistic story, and well written, and with characters that you gradually identify with and care about. I didn't think of the "dropper" as a supernatural character, but a part of the main characters mind. I am surprised that I've never heard of Ron McLarty before!

  • Barbara Naugle
    2019-01-23 04:24

    As usual, I totally loved the rich characters in McLarty's story. He has such a gift to make me fall in love with the cast. A great tale of friendship, family and finding the truth about one's self. I was sad to turn to the last chapter, as my story friends would be lingering in my mind for days.

  • Sam
    2019-01-02 22:28

    I love McLarty's complex and endearing characters. His feel for people's struggles and ability to bring them to life with clarity about their shortcomings as he endears them to the reader is what draws me to his books and the Dropper is no exception.

  • Sweetpoet65
    2019-01-15 00:38

    Outstanding! When I started it, I didn't think I'd get through it, but all of a sudden, I couldn't put it down. what a heart-felt story. What a thought provoking tale. This is not my usual thing, but I'm glad I stumbled upon it.

  • Tim Martin
    2019-01-19 00:48

    Wonderful. Great story. Great writing. Not pretentious. Read Ron McLarty every time you can.