This book was disturbing. But what a read. And it didn’t take me long to get through it, either.
Reviews I had read about this book were mixed. Some people really hated it. Some people really liked it. I was a bit in the middle. It was good enough where I had a hard time putting it down. On the other hand, there were parts of this book that made me a little squeamish. It has a lot to it and a lot to digest.
Three Minutes More, is a story about young Michael, who tells readers about living and growing up with abusive parents, crazy siblings and relatives, who turn a blind eye to everything. It’s set in the 70s and his family is extremely poor and he grows up in a household with many siblings in a two-bedroom shack, which has no electricity and no indoor plumbing.
To be fair to future readers — you can’t have a weak stomach with this book. There is a lot of abuse for the kids, ranging from physical and mental to sexual. It’s horrific at times and it’s best to be warned, in case you can’t get through books like that.
Alas, with how O’Dell develops the storyline and the characters, this is an excellent read with an ending that I didn’t see coming. It was a head-scratcher when I finished, but quite well done. I applaud O’Dell for this book and how he wrote it. He has an excellent style and an interesting way to weave a story.
Now for my thoughts…
I’ve had some luck recently in having page-turners. This was another.
I compare my page-turning on this one to a train wreck or a car wreck on the highway. As much as you might not want to look or as much as you try not to look, you can’t help yourself.
Michael is a character that the reader can really understand and feel for. He’s not hated by any means. Some of his brothers are good side-characters and show Michael’s strong side. I liked how O’Dell took the family and made the “good guys” and the “bad guys.” There’s an obvious line. Though a couple of the characters, at times, walked the line between good and evil, but for the most part the lines were drawn in well.
There were some graphic parts in this book. Some of it made me squirm. Some of it made me drop my jaw. Some of it choked me up, but in the end, I realized how needed it all was. If O’Dell skated around these things, the book wouldn’t have had nearly the same amount of impact.
I didn’t think there were major things bad with the book. That being said, some things really made me wonder. The little things — some details. Such as the ages of the kid when the book started. And as they grew. About midway through, you get a grasp of ages, which is good. There are a few other things with little details that made me think for a moment and try to connect things or try and realize where things seemed to be going etc.
Truthfully, there weren’t many bad things, in my eyes. Others might disagree with some of the graphic detail, but I think it was needed for where this book went.
What I really loved about this book is how the beginning and the end connect. You are left wondering about some things early in the book, but then it all makes sense at the end. That being said, let the ending and this book settle in after you finish it. When I finished it, I thought “that’s it?” Though the ending was jarring to me, it didn’t make me feel like the ending made sense. But as I thought about it and everything in the book, it all came together. Well done.
This is one of those books I would highly recommend to someone. But I also would warn that people need to be ready for a graphic book that will make the reader angry, sad, and at times, happy. O’Dell really does a good job at pulling at the emotions of the reader.
I got this book a long time back because it looked good. Then I just let it sit on my “Kindle bookshelf” until I was looking for something recently to read. Noting that I had actually paid for this one (it’s only a $2.99 Kindle book!), I decided to read it and am glad I did.
This book isn’t for someone who might not be able to deal with some really tender subjects and graphic details about those subjects, but O’Dell really paints an interesting picture of this situation. But this book will make you think, which I think makes a book even better.
I give this a solid 4. I wondered, when I started, if it would be getting a good rating. But as the story unfolded, it was excellent. And the ending was as shocking as some other parts. Well done overall.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.