Book / Reviews
Bill Warrington's Last Chance
A Novel by James King
Penguin Books | To view the book trailer full-screen, click here.
With a new diagnosis that threatens his mind and most cherished memories, Bill Warrington is determined to patch up his differences with his three children before it’s too late. But when all three grown siblings greet Bill's overtures with wary indifference, he improvises a scheme to skip town with his fifteen-year-old granddaughter, April, whose twin ambitions to learn how to drive and to find rock stardom on the West Coast make her his perfect--and perfectly willing--abductee. But Bill's plan soon veers dangerously off course, leaving April behind the wheel of his beloved Chevy Impala, dealing with situations no fifteen-year-old should face. A rich multigenerational saga, Bill Warrington's Last Chance soars with humor, compassion, and unflinching insight into the pain and joy of all family life, while the promise of a new generation shines bright against the ravages of aging in a man who does not go gently… anywhere.
Praise for Bill Warrington's Last Chance
"Bill Warrington's Last Chance is full of fascinating things to talk about -- like the coming of age of a young girl juxtaposed with an old man's search for redemption, not to mention the touching but unsentimental way they grow to care for each other... Perhaps one of the best things you can say about a novel is that the story lingers after you finish it. I have gone on thinking about this one without trying." Sue Monk Kidd, Author, NY Times Bestseller, "The Secret Life of Bees"
"This is what reading is about and what a good book is supposed to do." Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Millhone mystery series
"A moving tale." People Magazine. Selected as a "Great Read."
"Part road odyssey, part coming-of-age tale, King's novel achieves the exact right balance of humor, redemption, and reconciliation." Deborah Donovan, Booklist
"James King has written a fascinating novel of family dynamics that will resonate with readers on many levels... The sense of redemption and hope at the end make reading this novel truly worthwhile." Holly Scudero, Sacramento Book Review
"A road trip worth taking... Bill Warrington's Last Chance turns out to be quite ride for all the characters involved--and it proves that taking a chance may not turn out exactly as you planned, but it's darn worth a try." Dee Ann Grand, BookPage
"King gets the intergenerational dynamics just right, and his recognizable characters linger with you." AARP, The Magazine.
"Funny and warm and touching... If you think there are more than two sides to any story, you should enjoy the expansive view of family life presented in [this] new novel." Joe Meyers, Connecticut Post
"There is a depth of character development in King's writing too often ignored in novels... It is hard for me to believe these characters are not real and I want to badly to reach out to them. King did an amazing job of making the reader feel and relate. I am finished reading the book and yet I want to know more about them and I find myself still thinking about things they said or did." Clevelandwomen.com
"The spirited interplay between the gruff but wounded Bill and the perhaps too precocious April provides the most sensitive scenes in this enjoyable first novel." Publisher's Weekly
"A remarkable tale of a teenage girl's discovery at odds, yet harmoniously told, with her grandfather's loss of reality." Reading for Sanity: A Book Review Blog
"Do you remember Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? Clearly one of the great intergenerational novels. Now we have Bill Warrington's Last Chance. The setting and story are not remarkable but author James King has managed to play the cast of generational characters in ways that are both familiar and yet both plausible and unique." Multi-Generational Life
"It's hard to pinpoint what more King could have given us in this novel, but it's equally hard to keep from wishing it was longer." Rockland County Times
"In beautifully written tale of reality, James King explores the universal themes of grief and forgiveness, aging and death, the desire for freedom and the need for connection. A story literally for all ages." The Divining Wand
"A very realistic (often bittersweet) portrait of modern-day family dynamics. (King) propels the story forward at a brisk pace by writing tight scenes that blend humor and pathos, pitch-perfect multi-generational dialogue, and dropping in carefully chosen details of back-story that account for many of the behaviors of these well-rendered characters in the present. King does all of this by fleshing out the novel through five, very effective, points of view... This debut novel successfully blends hot button topics with themes of reconciliation and redemption that make it appealing for a wide, crossover audience." Kathleen Gerard, Reading Between the Lines