Leave Out the Tragic Parts: A Grandfather’s Search for a Boy Lost to Addiction

PublicAffairs: Perseus. Feb. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781541757066. $27. BIOG
Kindred uses his years of experience as a sports journalist to try to understand what led to the untimely death of his free-spirited grandson, Jared. Known on the streets as "Goblin," Jared got into train hopping around the country shortly after high school and took a budding alcohol addiction with him on the road. Kindred interviews those who knew Jared, from his parents and familiars, to the characters he met on trains, in New Orleans, Coney Island, and beyond. Readers will learn about the little-known world of train hopping as well as the all-too-familiar tale of the spiraling nature of alcohol addiction. Kindred, as a grandfather, cannot help but wonder what his family have done differently.
VERDICT This book serves as both an insightful look into the transient world of freewheeling American drifters while also being a vulnerable and open exploration of what it means to be a family watching a loved one struggling with addiction. Kindred’s frequent thoughts of "what if?" will resonate with many.
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