Sunday, June 5, 2016
5-Star Review of "The Tankman's Son"
In the tradition of "The Glass Castle" and "Angela's Ashes" comes the most unforgettable memoir you'll read this year!""What did it mean to be the Tank Man's son? To grow up overwhelmed by my father's presence and personality? It was as if I didn't exist, as if I was just something else for my father to crush." So begins the haunting memoir of Mark Bouman as he recounts the events of his childhood at the hands of his larger-than-life, Neo-Nazi father in brilliant, startling detail. From adventure-filled days complete with real-life war games, artillery fire, and tank races to terror-filled nights marked by vicious tirades, brutal beatings, and psychological torture, Mark paints a chilling portrait of family life that is at once whimsical and horrific--all building to a shocking climax that challenges even the broadest boundaries of love and forgiveness. An epic tale of redemption and reconciliation, "The Tank Man's Son" is a literary tour de force that is sure to become an instant classic.
MY REVIEW: Gripping! Fascinating! Horrific! Frightening! Unbelievable! Heart-wrenching! This memoir by Mark Bouman is all of these adjectives and more. I know plenty about abuse....too much, in fact....but his father puts what I know in a new perspective. He was so cruel to Mark and his brother, Jerry, and their mother, and sister, Sheri. He did not beat Sheri as he did their mother and the boys, but he had far too many awful things he forced the three children to do in his wrath. I'm actually surprised that he did not drink alcohol or use drugs. I almost could have excused some of his rage if he had an addiction but he was just filled with rage, cruelty, and anger. I was also surprised that the government did not target him as a potential threat, due to his Neo-Nazi activity and interest, but oddly that never seemed to be a problem. Amazingly, Mark is able to forgive his father and make peace. This memoir will grab you and hold tight to your heartstrings as you ache with these precious young children.
I rated this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers of Christian non-fiction.
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
About the Authors:
Mark Bouman and his family served as missionaries to Cambodia for more than 20 years. Mark, his wife Joan, and their two sons, Andrew and Nik, currently reside in Anchorage, Alaska.
David Jacobsen has a BA in English from Westmont College and master’s degrees in theology and creative writing from Regent College and Seattle Pacific University. His essays have appeared in various journals and anthologies, and he is the author of Rookie Dad: Thoughts on First-Time Fatherhood(Zondervan, 2007).
As a collaborative writer (credited as D. R. Jacobsen), he’s had the privilege of partnering with entrepreneurs, pastors, professors, business leaders, parents, and other ordinary people with extraordinary stories to tell.
He and his wife have lived in Southern California, Austria, and British Columbia, and now they make their home in central Oregon with their two boys. When not thinking about words, he enjoys playing soccer, rooting for the Timbers, and exploring Oregon’s craft-brew scene, as well as writing bios that make him seem cool.