The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances: A Memoir

The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances A Memoir In the course of one nine month period filmmaker Mark Millhone s youngest son nearly died from birth complications his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer his mother had a heart attack and pa

  • Title: The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances: A Memoir
  • Author: Mark Milhone Mark Millhone
  • ISBN: 9781594868238
  • Page: 428
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the course of one nine month period, filmmaker Mark Millhone s youngest son nearly died from birth complications, his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, his mother had a heart attack and passed away, a freak illness claimed the life of one of his friends, and his career imploded As a result of his membership in what he calls the tragedy of the monthclub, hisIn the course of one nine month period, filmmaker Mark Millhone s youngest son nearly died from birth complications, his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, his mother had a heart attack and passed away, a freak illness claimed the life of one of his friends, and his career imploded As a result of his membership in what he calls the tragedy of the monthclub, his marriage also began to fray Millhone responded to the chaos as many men might Late one night, he logged on to eBay and bid on a vintage BMW his fantasy car, but not exactly what the doctor ordered when it came to his family s finances As if sharing the news that he d won the auction with his already peeved wife weren t bad enough, it turned out that he had to travel from New York to Texas to collect the car His estranged dad joined him, and together they embarked upon a dysfunctional road trip a comedy of errors that would lend Millhone the perspective he needed to save his marriage and to understand what was really important in his life his family Acerbic and hilarious but with heart, this memoir will appeal to readers of Chuck Klosterman, David Sedaris, and Nick Hornby, as well as readers of Millhone s Guy Wisdom column in Men s Health His male perspective on a troubled marriage, raising children, coping with loss, and rejuvenating a relationship with a parent will appeal equally to both sexes.

    One thought on “The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances: A Memoir”

    1. If there could be an award for an over-dramatized plot with little redeeming substance, this book would win hands down! This book was not at all what I was expecting - it turned out to be an excruciating account of a troubled year in the life of the author's family and the resulting catastrophes. Yes, it's admittable that their year was full of unfortunate and dispairing experiences, but could Milhone ever take a look on the bright side of any of it? The story drowns in dysfunctional family epis [...]

    2. Mark Milhone has given us the story of two journeys in this funny, sad, moving book. “The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances” is about the author’s trip from Texas to New York with his father in a used BMW he’s just purchased on eBay. But it’s also the story of an intensely difficult year in his life and the life of his family, and how he began to sort through the shattered pieces of their existence and found the clarity to begin putting things back together.During the self-d [...]

    3. Millhone details the events of his year from hell. His infant son spent time in the NICU fighting for his life, his mother passed away, his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and his older son suffered a significant dog bite to his nose. Rather than bringing his marriage together, it nearly tore the couple apart.The book on its own is an interesting look into what can happen to a family when so many disasters happen in a short amount of time.There were two areas where the book suffered f [...]

    4. I usually enjoy true-life memoirs, and this certainly falls into the true-life category. It's an easy read and, for the most part, an interesting one. Mark Millhone writes about what he calls his "year from hell" and does so honestly. As one crisis after another affects his family, he finds himself and his wife pulling apart from each other. Once he purchases his dream car, he thinks it will be something that brings his family back together again, because a past BMW purchase was such a good expe [...]

    5. A man reconnects with his dad and finds his way back from a year filled with tragedy and loss in this touching memoir that puts a humorous cast on some of life’s darkest momentsMark Millhone has just had the worst nine-months of his life. His youngest son, Benny, almost died from birth complications. His emotionally distant father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His neurotic mother died of a heart attack. His son was mauled by the family dog. And his once idyllic marriage is slowly coming [...]

    6. TAKE IT OR "JUST LEAVE" IT.Millhone's ease with pushing prose on paper makes this book bearable. Although there's a BMW and the open road, a smooth ride this book is not. Millhone's writing is a breeze despite the constant dread found in his story. This book reads like a therapy journal for Millhone's "year in hell." In one year, Millhone's mother died of a heart attack, his father is diagnosed with prostate cancer, his son Benny spent his first days of life in ICU fighting for his life, and his [...]

    7. Fun story, but not completely resolved Mark Milhone's memoir about his self-described "Year from Hell", marriage troubles, a reconciliation with his dad and a road trip to pick up a used BMW he purchased on E-Bay (who does that?) is a fun, sad read. Millhone tells his story about the death of his mother, the death of his first dog, the near-death of his newborn son, the dogbite his oldest son suffers and the deterioration of his marriage. So, does he resolve these issues? Not really. He tells hi [...]

    8. It seems Mr. Millhone has learned that there's nothing to be gained from running away from the shared (if sometimes, or even often(!) excruciatingly difficult) present into either of the self-constructed realms of the past or future. Next lesson: As members of the supposedly intellectually superior species, please consider that WE owe as much (or more) patience and caring toward, and hold equivalent responsibility for the "dumb" animals as we do to our own human toddlers. There is an ever-growin [...]

    9. Reading The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances by Mark Millhone is like sitting on your deck with an old friend and a case of your favorite adult beverage. He tells of his "year from hell" and its aftermath in the straight-forward, easy tone of an old friend filling you in on what's been happening in his life. The story moves primarily in a chronological fashion with just enough flasbacks for the reader to be able to understand where Millhone is coming from.The beauty of the work comes [...]

    10. This is one GoodReads sent me. . n't wait! Memoirs are distrubing. No one would write one about a la-dee-dah life, so that makes a lot of sense. This one is so normal--normal horrible things happen to this guy, perhaps not all in such quick succession--that it is easy to relate to this guy, the guy with troubled relationships, a fabulous view of the world, a sense of humor. Although I had to race through some chapters for my own peace of mind, I found the allusions and imagery familiar, funny, p [...]

    11. I don't normally go for memoirs, but I went for this one. Millhone comes to the table with just the right mix of oddball humor, tenderness, and drama. I like the way he tells the story as well, just as much a mix of memories as the ongoing track of events. Everything Millhone chooses to describe (either the memories or the track of events) seems carefully chosen and essential. The memories seem at first to be digressions from the main story of the car, but really they are as much a part of the a [...]

    12. Milhone has a nice and accessible writing style. While you're reading this book, it kind of feels like you're having a nice, long chat with an old friend. I think we've all had our own "year from hell" or have dealt with dysfunctional family members, which makes it easy to relate to this book. I didn't always agree with the way Milhone handled some of the situations he encountered, but stress often makes you behave in ways completely out of character. By the time the book ends, it seems like Mil [...]

    13. I checked this audio book out from the library on my phone. It was a very quick read/listen. I tend to like memoirs anyway, so I enjoyed it. It was a good reminder that when things get rocky there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I was looking for some slightly less intense listening after the 64 hour audiobook that was Atlas Shrugged. This worked nicely. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes memoirs of non-famous people or someone looking for hope that things will get better even [...]

    14. This book was ok. The narrator and his family have a bad year of various family health crises including a death and loss of the dog. The marriage becomes troubled. So the narrator buys a car to cheer him up.The best part of the story was he and his emotionally closed off father driving the new car home. Enjoyed their conversation and experience there.The worst part was how whiny and weak-minded the narrator was. Granted he and his family have been through a lot, but he went on and on about every [...]

    15. I will try to keep this brief so as not to ruin any part of this book for anyone else. You should read this book. I would have given it five stars but I had a serious personal problems with two decisions the author made and his realationship with his mother and wife were so honest and heartwrenching it was just too close to home. This memoir is well written with some beautiful, soundbite-worthy prose. I do recommend this with the warning that you should be prepared to have it take you by surpris [...]

    16. I needed a light read to listen to on a long drive and I stumbled across this title. Seemed like a good choice. I got more than I bargained for. I laughed, I sobbed, I got a bit angry, I even yelled at the reader once. And I never realized how quickly the miles rolled past until I noticed I had only thirty miles to go as the book ended. For anyone who's life has hit a downward spiral they could not control but survived anyway.

    17. A surprisingly funny recounting of a "year from hell" experience in a family's lifestory. At first I thought, well this is just an unusual set of circumstances. But later I realized that years from hell are more common than not. Enjoyable, profound and easy to read.

    18. Library2go Audiobook. This book was fairly depressing throughout, what with all the tragedies that befell the author in one year. A couple of times, I even got a tear in my eye (I empathize too much). On the whole, a mildly amusing tale that made me ever more grateful for my circumstances.

    19. Lots of sad topics addressed in this book, which could have been unbelievably depressing if not for the black humor sprinkled throughout. That's what keeps the story afloat and allows for the author's message of hope and second chances to shine through. A good read, but keep the tissues handy.

    20. I really enjoyed this book. It was weird remembering that it is a true story and yes, it even made me cry a little. It also made me think about myself and how I act under stressful circumstances. A quick, easy read that people can relate to.

    21. Very funny. The author has a witty way of writing. Heart-warming story. (I do wish the language was cleaner.)

    22. This book took me forever to finish, it wasn't bad it just couldn't hold my interest. I'd pick it up for a half hour at a time and then put it down in lieu of something else.

    23. So good for so many reasons. It's a roller-coaster of emotions filled with "been there- done that" situations, a really good read.

    24. Reading this book is like you're having a nice, long chat with an old friend. I think we've all had our own "year from hell" I know I have.

    25. Loved this audio book. I really want to read it so that I can get the full impact of the story. The audio reader did a fantastic job.

    26. Splice of life book but a bit of a downer. Esp with them putting down a dog. Which I have a hard time reading about!

    27. It had some pretty funny one-liners, but besides that, it was a somewhat depressing look at a husband/wife who are growing apart after a very tough year of family tragedies.

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