Sep 26, 2020
The Dropper
Posted by Ron McLarty

Some say it s Death, Some say it s darkness, I say it s a game of lightGutsy 17 year old Albert Shoe Horn is an apprentice plumber and part time boxer in England in 1922, but when his mother dies, he finds himself responsible for an abusive, alcoholic father and a younger brother with special needs.This marvelous novel follows the indomitable Shoe s day to day survivaSome say it s Death, Some say it s darkness, I say it s a game of lightGutsy 17 year old Albert Shoe Horn is an apprentice plumber and part time boxer in England in 1922, but when his mother dies, he finds himself responsible for an abusive, alcoholic father and a younger brother with special needs.This marvelous novel follows the indomitable Shoe s day to day survival with poetic grit, cynical genius, respect, and deep affection as he navigates a world full of very real characters the gentle giant McAvy, his slave driving boss, the Irish louts that resurrect his temper, the tempting ladies who seek him out, his hilarious plumbing clients, and the formidable Dropper, who Shoe fears will take away the most true thing in his life, his brother.

  • Title: The Dropper
  • Author: Ron McLarty
  • ISBN: 9781587672750
  • Page: 228
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Dropper Some say it s Death Some say it s darkness I say it s a game of lightGutsy year old Albert Shoe Horn is an apprentice plumber and part time boxer in England in but when his mother dies he


    I interviewed this awesome Author Writer Narrator check out my web page 2read review my interview with ron mclarty A splendid story of the coming of age of a few men, Shoe Horn and Bobby Horn It s a poignant story with wonderful memorable characters that are real in every sense A world of family traditions with characters that are plumbers and bare knuckle fighters.Bobby makes the story shine, he has a learning difficulty and slight disability, he s full of wonderful character and eagerness to b [...]

    Kevin Lucia

    Full of substance, tempered by an unflinching realism, The Dropper is an emotionally complex portrait of a confused and determined young man aching for something better, unable to provide it, but still fighting to, anyway This is the type of story that defies easy categorization, for all those who love rooting for the underdog, the fighter in all of us.Albert Shoe Horn is an apprentice plumber and part time boxer in 1922 England A seventeen year old young man who s been forced to grow up far too [...]

    Kathie Giorgio

    So I love Ron McLarty s books But when I opened this one, my heart dropped It was so clearly different from the other books It was historical, it was set in Ireland, and there was lots of fighting and blood in it I immediately worried that I wasn t going to like it.But I loved it.Immediately, the attention is brought in by the loving relationship between Shoe Horn and his little brother, Bobby, a boy who appears to be autistic Bobby s nature and Shoe s devotion is written so sharply, with never [...]


    In The Dropper, Shoe Horn, a 17 year old apprentice plumber in 1920 s England, is fighting demons, some real and others not His abusive father is real, the girls who entice him are real, and his plumbing clients are real and often hilariously funny Shoe is a sometime boxer, but most of his fights are in his head He misses his ma fiercely Mr Lowdon, his boss, gives him all the dirty work The Dropper haunts him But it is Shoe s love for his special needs brother that propels both his life and the [...]


    An amazing listen McLartey brings incredible characters to life and draws you into the gritty world of Shoe Horn, his brother Bobby and many memorable characters they relate to Very, very good.

    Murphy Waggoner

    Shoe Horn is a 17 year old plumber s apprentice His brother, Bobby, is special For those that love him, Bobby s eccentricities can be overlooked and his joy of living appreciated, but the rest of the world is cruel to him, including Mr Horn, his father Shoe supports his brother and father by plumbing and boxing, that latter the source of neighborhood rivalries He also discovers the allure of girls, starting with smells and touches reminiscent of his deceased mother but becoming much .McLarty say [...]

    Chuck Rios

    Ron McLarty has written an awesome book here The dropper is a rich and deep read and every chapter reads like a short story all its own While the story itself keeps a slow pace all throughout the book, you should stick with it till the end because The Dropper is satisfying.It fills you up and you think about it even when you re done turning the last page I know I did.I was having trouble describing this fantastic book so I ll just paste from the Cemetery Dance Website Gutsy 17 year old Albert Sh [...]

    Michael Thompson

    This book was, hands down, the best book I ve read in a good while, I d have to say This is one of those books that s about the characters than about any kind of story It follows 17 year old Shoe Horn trying to take care of his special brother Bobby in 1922 If it says exactly what city or town it s in, I must have missed it, but it s in either England or Ireland All the characters feel fleshed out and their struggles feel genuine The amazing thing is that this book might never have been From wh [...]


    Ron McLarty s latest is a powerful family saga of one 17 year olds journey into adulthood against all odds In reality he has been the adult in the family for most of his life and he certainly has his charater flaws and plenty of them But he also has a strong sence of loyalty and hard work Unlike McLarty s other novels there is only a passing nod to East Providence All the action takes place in 1922 England for the most part I can t wait to hear what others think about what may have happened in t [...]


    Loved this book It s 1922, the family lives in a small port town in England facing the Irish sea Shoe Horn, a plumber apprentice, at 17 takes on the responsibility for his household after his mother dies He takes care of his special younger brother Bobby, Bobby s new found dog Blacky and has to deal with their drunken abusive father Albert Shoe takes the blows so Bobby is protected I loved the relationship between Shoe and Bobby There are also some very good secondary stories the giant McAvy, Sh [...]

    Michael Young

    I see this listed as a young adult coming of age listing Although I agree with the coming of age part I don t believe it would be an appropriate title for just any young adult My opinion only.I loved this book Ron McLarty fleshes out characters Shoe is real Shoe is flawed McLarty allows you to get to know Shoe and his brother Bobby as the story of growing up with the weight of the world on Shoe s shoulders unfolds.Simple is complicated Loyalty, love, finding a place in the world, are common deno [...]


    Stephen King recommended author He says Ron McLarty, who has proven himself a terrific storyteller in such books as The Memory of Running and Traveler, has outdone himself with The Dropper, a story where beauty and brutality mingle in a yarn I just couldn t put down This book is filled with rich pleasures and textures, it reminded me of Steinbeck s Of Mice and Men As in his previous novels, The Dropper avoids sentimentality, but not sentiment Shoe and his brother Bobby live and breathe I highly [...]


    Having a hard time getting started on this one Usually love McLarty s books, but I am finding the dialogue driven writing style tough Sometimes I don t know who is talking, and some of the expressions I am unfamiliar with Maybe because my usual reading time is late at night just before I am dropping off to sleep and the subject matter seems kind of foreboding Anyway, the reviews are really good, so I am going to plow through and hopefully I will pick up the flow of the book in the next chapter o [...]

    Three Rivers Library

    This is a gritty yet touching coming of age tale of two young men, brothers, in a 1920 s industrial town in England Albert Shoe Horn and his brother Bobby have been left to fend for themselves after the death of their mother and descent of their father into an alcoholic and abusive oblivion.Shoe, 17, is a plumber s apprentice who also looks out for his developmentally disabled younger brother, Bobby, who is no longer as easily placated now that he is developing into a young man Shoe must make so [...]

    Ashley Molloy

    I m not sure why I picked up this book, but I m glad that I did I found it to be gritty and real The characters personalities felt very real I liked the brief dialog and short yet sensory descriptions I also enjoyed that their was humor to be found in an otherwise difficult existence Hopefully I will have the opportunity to read this book again because I feel like there are several layers and I may need a second look to fully appreciate some of the statements about society And best of all, I m s [...]


    I am obsessed with this book So good though, I cried constantly throughout the whole damn thing When I was done, I wondered about Shoe as if he d left me behind in Barrow I wondered about The McAvy as if I d left him behind in Barrow Really the most affecting book I ve read in ages I think it s marketed as sort of supernatural suspense but it s a classic coming of age, and reads to my mind like very fine literature I feel like I might read it againd it s been years since I wanted to re read some [...]


    I had high hopes for this novel, but it never took off for me The book charts Shoe s adventures in Love, Work, and Sex, but I couldn t relate to it The characters are well developed, but not a lot happens Or, most of what happens is internalized, and the book could have been a real page turner, but seemed far too introspective for my taste The story and the setting would have benefited with a realistic writing style rather than the poetic or dreamy approach that McLarty employs However, I plan [...]


    Shoe Horn weaves his tale of brotherly nurturing, working knee deep in the plumbing trenches, fighting under the lighs, and young romance Throughout the story Shoe expresses a genuine fear of The Dropper and the bruises caused by the physical and emotional suffering inflicted by his alcoholic father Shoe travels on a path towards independence and a reconciliation with the truth in regard to his brother, himself, and their interdependence Although the story felt disjointed along the way, I was in [...]

    Barbara Khan

    This was a tough book to read It was work The characters are in constant dialogue and their nicknames and real names are used intermittently I had to keep rereading to figure out who was talking to who Having said that, the story line was a piece of art His craft is evident, his characters real There was real sentiment expressed in the context of the backdrop There is no taking away this is a very talented author.


    Though I am not a fan of course language or explicit sex, I believe there are times when a story needs to be told that involves both Everyone has a story and when told well, we learn I held on to my belief that this would be one of those meaningful stories until about halfway through I finished because I was invested in the characters, especially Bobby and even Shoe, but I was disappointed The story seemed to float off in many odd directions leaving clouded meanings and loose ends.

    Kurt Olausen

    It is reminiscent of Steinbeck Of Mice and Men as Stephen King s quote on the cover states, however it is also very much a bildungsroman chronicling the transition of the narrator, Shoe Horn, from childhood to adulthood Family, love, rivalry, and tough decisions all play their part in Shoe s development.

    Charles Benoit

    A novel about a teen in 1920s England not a YA novel in any sense Bare knuckle fighting, plenty of sex, and an ending that was so beautifully sad that it left me crying hard A brilliant novel and one of the best I ve read in years.

    Vin Lunney

    Drags a little in pace but worth it even when you first see this is not a turn of the century fight story like Cinderella Man I could have done without the Irish steereotyping but still a good story.


    AUDIO VERSION is worth it However, not with kids in the carwhich is where I listen most Ron McLarty reads his own workd he is a great reader based on previous experiencese characters in this book are unique and therefore worthy of having unique voices.


    I picked this one up at the library and really enjoyed it McLarty created the kind of characters I really like, flawed, but still likable the ones who are supposed to be anyway I also like that the end isn t all neat and tied up with a bow Can t wait to read or hear of McLarty s work

    Carolyn Hinderliter

    A fascinating and realistic story, and well written, and with characters that you gradually identify with and care about I didn t think of the dropper as a supernatural character, but a part of the main characters mind I am surprised that I ve never heard of Ron McLarty before

    Barbara Naugle

    As usual, I totally loved the rich characters in McLarty s story He has such a gift to make me fall in love with the cast A great tale of friendship, family and finding the truth about one s self I was sad to turn to the last chapter, as my story friends would be lingering in my mind for days.


    I love McLarty s complex and endearing characters His feel for people s struggles and ability to bring them to life with clarity about their shortcomings as he endears them to the reader is what draws me to his books and the Dropper is no exception.


    Outstanding When I started it, I didn t think I d get through it, but all of a sudden, I couldn t put it down what a heart felt story What a thought provoking tale This is not my usual thing, but I m glad I stumbled upon it.

    Tim Martin

    Wonderful Great story Great writing Not pretentious Read Ron McLarty every time you can.

    • The Dropper Best Read || [Ron McLarty]
      Ron McLarty