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The Last Catholic In America (The Loyola Classics Series) [Paperback]

By John R. Powers & Andrew M. Greeley (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 11.01  
Retail Value $ 12.95  
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Item Number 135481  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   298
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.34" Width: 5.26" Height: 0.53"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2005
Publisher   Loyola Press
ISBN  0829421300  
EAN  9780829421309  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
First Confession and its terrors. First grade with eighty-four other students and one nun to rule them all. The agony and ecstasy of Lent. The Worst Altar Server Ever. Dinah Shore and the Blessed Virgin, haunting your dreams. This is Eddie Ryan's world-the intensely Catholic world of Chicago's Seven Holy Tombs neighborhood and St. Bastion's parish in the 1950's. In this classic coming-of-age novel, John Powers draws readers into Eddie Ryan's world with bittersweet humor and deep affection.

Publishers Description
"It is fast-moving and often downright funny."--"New York Times" "He has recaptured childish innocence and presented it with adult enlightenment--plus a touch of cynicism--yet never with irreverence."
--"Book-of-the-Month Club News" First confession and its terrors. Eighty-four first graders in a classroom ruled by just one nun. The agony and the ecstasy of Lent. The dubious honor of being declared the worst altar server ever. Dinah Shore and the Blessed Virgin haunting your dreams. This is Eddie Ryan's world as he grows up in the intensely Catholic world of South-Side Chicago's St. Bastion's parish in the 1950s. In this classic coming-of-age novel, John Powers draws readers into Eddie Ryan's world with deep affection and bittersweet humor.

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More About John R. Powers & Andrew M. Greeley

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John R. Powers was born in 1945 on the South Side of Chicago. He earned a BA in sociology from Loyola University Chicago and an MA and a PhD in communications from Northwestern University. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Studs Terkel, a Chicago radio personality and writer known for his oral histories ("Hard Times, The Good War"). Powers was a professor of speech and performing arts at Northeastern Illinois University for six years. He also created and hosted a number of specials for Chicago public television during this time. Powers's stories first appeared in the form of articles written for Chicago magazine. The novels followed in quick succession: "The Last Catholic in America," "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?," and "The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice-Cream God." He has written one other novel, "The Junk-Drawer Corner-Store Front-Porch Blues," as well as "Odditude: Finding the Passion for Who You Are and What You Do." He and his wife, JaNelle, have two daughters, Jacey and Joy. He lives in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and is a motivational speaker.

John R. Powers was born in 1945.

John R. Powers has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Loyola Classics

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Very Funny  May 18, 2006
John Powers' novel is a funny and poignant look at growing up Catholic in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It's not so much a novel as a collection of short stories with the same main characters.

His writing is very funny. One of my favorite chapters in here is when Eddie Ryan (the alter ego of the author) goes into a book store looking for a "dirty book." He was given advice on how to look for one by his friend, Felix "The Filth Fiend" Linder. When Eddie finds what he thinks is a good dirty book, he yells out, "I found a dirty book!" Unfortunately, he yelled a little too loud, and the store owner throws him out. I'm not going to give away the ending to this story, but trust me, you'll like it.

One caveat, though. This book is likely to be carried by Catholic bookstores. That's where I bought my copy, actually. And some people who see it at a Catholic bookstore may be expecting a Michael O'Brien type novel. Trust me, it's not. Powers does not care much for the faith in which he was raised, and it shows in his writing. OK, he likes the Catholic faith in a nostalgic sense perhaps, but he obviously no longer believes in the doctrines he was raised in. His exploration of faith is limited to episodes which he sees as examples of the deficiencies of Catholicism.

That said, this is a well-written book, and well-worth reading. Fans of humorous writing will particularly enjoy it. Overall, 4 out of 5.
Happy to see this back in print!  Dec 13, 2005
The Last Catholic In America was one of my favorite books growing up. Anyone who's been "raised Catholic" will relate and will be entertained by this book.

I am happy to see this title back in print!
Looking forward to reading the book  Apr 10, 2004
I was just told about this book by a co-worker of mine. He went to school with the author and he was telling me stories that went on in the catholic schools. We happened to have this conversation on Good Friday. With me being a strictly raised catholic but never attended a catholic school the stories were amazing and had me laughing. I had to read this book and pass it on to family members that did attend catholic school back then. I asked around and I couldn't find the book in stores so I was lucky enough to buy it used through this site. this book needs to be back on in the stores again. so the children today that are in catholic school will realize how lucky they have it then years before.
Great read - don't have to be Catholic to love it  Oct 8, 2002
I met the author in the early 1970's. My high school book club loved his book and we invited him to visit us way out in the boondocks. He came and talked about his 2 books, Chicago, life, and writing. He was very genuine and funny. (John, thanks so much visiting us.) Looks like I have a collector's item now. He turned the book into a play (a musical as I recall) sometime in the late 70's to early 80's.
Hilarious Depiction of Growing Up in Catholic School System  Jan 7, 2002
This is a great (hilarious) depiction of life - growing up as a Catholic in the parochial school system. I went to school with the author at St Christina's parish in the southside (Chicago) neighborhood called Mount Greenwood. Even served mass together (as altar boys) and when you hear the old adage that goes something like "sometimes truth is stranger than fiction" - it really applies here. John does a terrific job of describing life as it really was (seen through the eyes of a young Catholic boy going through the trials & tribulations of growing up in the neighborhood/parish). He embellishes a little but "very" little and his sense of humor and wit is outstanding and keenly developed (which makes this book "a FABULOUS read"). I read this book back in the late 70's or early 80's and must have misplaced or discarded my copy. I will have to hunt down another copy at the local library or ?? as I definitely want to give it another go (re-read). Incidentally, John Powers authored a second book with a title "Do Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?" which was actually made into a broadway play and ran successfully for quite some time. Sure wish that both of these books could get re-published... I'd be willing to bet that they would sell EXTREMELY WELL - ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

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