I found the following reviews of my son's first book, Cloyne Court from Amazon very interesting. I just finished reading the book and I found it worth my time. His reference to his parents in the book is true, except for the fact that during our student days, although we were poor, we never ask for food stamps. We did reside in a student housing subsidized by the county. Also during my son's graduation, the family visited Cloyne Court and I found it dirty, but the place has a charm of its own. Some rooms have beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Happy Reading!
A) 5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy times at Berkely, December 29, 2009
By S. Davidian (Ohio, USA, Earth)
I read this during its development and told DK much of it sounded unbelievable. He confessed that he was actually toning down much of what really happened - probably to protect the innocent!
If you like the movie Animal House, and have any interest in the going-ons of College in the 70s, or Berkeley in particular, you're also going to love this book.
B) 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book!, January 15, 2010
By Lori Cianfichi "Steve Cianfichi" (Walnut Creek, CA USA)
This novel, which I compare to The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart by Robert Westbrook, follows our hero Derek as he enters UC Berkeley as a freshman until he graduates with less than honors. It's no surprise, as he is living at and experiencing life at Cloyne Court, the Sodom and Gomorrah of any college living situation. Sex, Betrayal, Drugs, Rock and Roll, nudist, co-ed showers, and the politics of the house make for a novel that has to be read. I really enjoyed this book. (Adult themed subject matter.)
C) 4.0 out of 5 stars A rite of passage, February 24, 2010
By Celia Hayes "Sgt. Mom" (San Antonio, SA)
Billed as a kind of real-life `Animal House', this books is more of a nostalgic memoir-novel about living in an all-gender-and-orientation cooperative residential house in Berkley, after the flower-power generation had moved on. Derek Marsdon has just turned 18, commuting from his family home and wrestling with incomprehensible academic courses.
Spurred by an impulse and the advice of an odd and witchy old woman he sees on the train going home one day, he moves into a college residence - and thereby takes the first steps onto the necessary path of becoming something a little more than a teenager: this is not so much an account of four years of carefree pranks, debauchery and substance abuse with a little academic enrichment squeezed in between - but a rambling account of how a young man first encounters the larger world, that world outside the shelter of a family, establishing an identity of our own, something beyond just being a son or a daughter, an extension of our parents. This is where we first encounter straight-on such things as the pitfalls of sexuality and sexual attraction, of individual responsibility, of coping with a bureaucracy, the randomness of fate, coping with people very, very different from ourselves, where we first cope with love and unrequited devotion, junk furniture with a strange history, tasty adult beverages . . . and being caught up in a student demonstration when all we really needed to do was turn in some necessary paperwork. Not to mention that strange camaraderie that arises when you spend a great deal of time with other individuals in an odd environment, where everyone knows the rituals and the place, as well as the importance of seemingly inconsequential things.
Derek wanders through those undergraduate years, feeling some of the pains and disappointments - but always with a steady and observant eye, and a whole heart. The author has a fond and unerring eye, and no little sympathy for those years - which now and again, may have been rather embarrassing for the adults who emerged from the antics of their college years, especially if they now have near-adult children of their own. There is something about those first years which keeps a hold on us for the rest of our adult lives, though; sometimes wince-making, and sometimes brushed with the golden highlights of nostalgia, something which the writer has caught very well.
D) 4.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had as much fun as Derek did in college, February 15, 2010
By Genoa Dillon "book addict" (Billings, MT)
After reading Cloyne Court I realized how much fun I could have been having when I was instead working and doing homework! I graduated from a small liberal arts college that did not have student housing opportunities that the author did. I also realized that the generation above me did party and do naughty things, probably even more than I have so far. I guess I have some catching up to do.
One of the things that surprised me about this book is the amount of homophobia presented in the novel. I've grown up in an environment where people I think feel free to be "out" so it was scary to realize how closeted the men had to be just 30 years ago.
When I was done with the book, I remarked to my husband that I won't think about a plate of brownies again in the same way!
I recommend this book for anyone that has gone to college, or plans to go to college, or thought about going to college. Also for anyone who knows someone who went to college, because that buttoned up shirt wearing respectable man might have some stories to tell.
E) 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read!!!!!!!, April 12, 2010
By L. Couture (California)
I found this book to be an AMAZING, page turning read. It is a coming of age novel set in the 1970's at CAL Berkeley, and therefore has the accompanying sex, drugs and rock and roll that one would expect, however the main character's story is a heart wrenching account of first love from a man's perspective. I would recommend this book to anyone mature enough to handle the strong sexual content. The only part I didn't like was the soothsayer lady at the beginning and end - I think she was too much. However, I would encourage anyone off-put by that part to continue on, since the rich story is very much worth it in the end and leaves you dreaming of college days, and thinking about taking a drive to Berkeley to see the real Cloyne Court.
F) 5.0 out of 5 stars A fine memoir and a read well worth considering, April 3, 2010
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)
When you have two genders of college students close to each other, you're in for something interesting. "Cloyne Court" is a memoir from Dodie Katague reflecting on the time where the campus goes co-ed and he tells a story that is sure to entertain any of those who enjoy a good story of the world of the fraternities and sororities. " Cloyne Court" is a fine memoir and a read well worth considering.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Biased Book Review, January 8, 2010
By Lloyd Lofthouse "Lloyd Lofthouse, author, 'My... (USA)
Disclaimer: I am the publisher. You know, the guy that spent endless hours building Cloyne Court's Website, editing, copy editing, proofing, doing page layouts, working with the artist on the cover design, and shepherding the author's work through the publication process to the market place where readers may buy it.
Does that mean I'm biased? Well, I didn't write the book, and I'm not related to the author. I didn't even know the author before I first read his work. What I did was pay the author for the privilege to publish his work, because I believe Cloyne Court is worth the time and money put into it. I also expect to get that money back and make a profit. That's how much confidence I have that this "creative" memoir will find an audience. Here's the answer to the question that starts this paragraph--Yes, I'm biased, After all, I enjoyed reading this book more than once and laughter is medicine for the dark side of life. If you decide to buy Cloyne Court and read it, I hope you enjoy Katague's story as much as I have, and since I'm biased, I can't give it the five out of five stars that I believe it deserves.
I wrote the blurb that's on the back cover, because I felt it represents what you will find between Cloyne Court's Covers.
"All it takes is one kiss to transform animals into horny princes. In 1946, the 'real' all male 'Animal House' was born when Cloyne Court become a student co-op. In the 50 & 60s, the "beasts" waged war with the Berkeley Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, an athletically oriented fraternity. That feud ended when Cloyne's archenemies moved across campus. However, the real story begins when Cloyne Court went co-ed in 1972 with the arrival of sixty-two women. Katague's sexy, reveal-all memoir takes place in the late 70s, soon after the women moved in."
Humor is subjective. Writing that will make one person laugh will cause another person to throw the book in the fire while twisting their face into a tangled knot as if they has been bit by a snake. Fortunately, I laughed often as Cloyne Court worked its way through the publishing process from editing to printing.
Back to the disclaimer that started this review: I haven't been paid to write this review. I haven't been paid for any of the work I've done on Cloyne Court unless you count the profit from the first six books sold after Cloyne Court hit the market near the tail end of December 2009--a few days before New Year's Eve. As a matter of fact, last night and this morning, I spent more time and money mailing out five copies to The Saroyan (literature) Prize, and one copy to ForeWord Magazine for a possible debut fiction review.
So, if Amazon deletes my review for Cloyne Court, I will understand.
Warning: Cloyne Court is rated "R" for adult material. This is not a filtered fantasy.
Cloyne Court by Dodie Katague (Paperback - December 8, 2009)
In Stock: 16 used & new from $8.95
Again, I hope you purchase Cloyne Court. Happy Reading, From the GrandPa Blogger!
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