Indie Reviews

A Voice for Independent Authors

“You can kill a book quicker by your silence than by a bad review.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri
“You can kill a book quicker by your silence than by a bad review.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri


You Can't Crack Me

If you think You Can’t Crack Me … I’m a Rubber Duck! is a funny title for Charlie Northage’s heart-breaking, self-revealing memoir, you are destined to revise your sense of humor. This is a cool book – there is no other way to say it - written so concisely that it feels like eavesdropping on someone’s daily thoughts. What saves the writing from overt criticism is the author’s own confession that he knows little about grammar, punctuation, or the actual art of writing itself. He proves this quite well. But what he offers in return is a brutal honesty and a thoroughly readable, down-to-earth telling of a complicated life. There is little room for compassion here, even for the real main character: Severe PTSD. If it were not for the author telling his own tale, thus revealing a certain self-awareness produced by age, the reader would not warm to him much at all, and certainly not from any sense of pity.

Right off the bat, in chapter one, we learn that Charlie is a hellion. He appears to note this objectively, but he never internalizes it as something bad. As a result, he basically ignores his formal education, allowing himself – as it were – to choose the school of hard knocks for his more enduring lessons. He gets more than he bargains for from this choice, and reading about his pummeled life is like getting beaten up on a relentlessly regular schedule. Charlie never seems to learn his lessons, almost continually taking precipitous actions based on sudden urges, which land him and his loved ones in precarious situations. And yet, the most redemptive and salutary element of this memoir is that he now takes full accountability for the trials of his life, and at the age of reminiscence he shows us in his writing that he does, ultimately, recognize his own responsibility for the various outcomes in his life. A complicated, depth-filled life that – contrary to the title – cracks him more than once. But he endures, and for that alone, he is a man to be admired. So is this dark but marvelous book.


Joel 8 - Copy

Joel R. Dennstedt - Reviewer  Author-Journalist-World Traveler SIGN UP FOR E-MAIL NEWSLETTER! Amazon Author Page   RF_Official_ReviewerREADERS' FAVORITE BOOK CONTEST - ENTER TODAY!

In concert with the sentiment above, I share my professional reviews of books by Indie Authors. I am an official top reviewer for Readers’ Favorite, a highly-regarded and award-winning online review site. Adhering to their standards of professionalism, ethics, and formatting, I offer my life-affirming voice to a greatly deserving field: Indie Authors.

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2 Responses to Indie Reviews

  1. Bob Glynn says:

    A review that sparks curiosity. As a writer myself, I’m not a purist if the story evokes real-life. Grammar and rules fall to the wayside when this is the case. The honest urge and effort to tell the story is far more important.

    • admin says:

      I know that I should have revealed more of the content, but it just didn’t seem quite as important when I was writing the review. I was taken more by the pattern of his life than I was by the details. Oh well.

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