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Johnny K  Heading Home by John Kanelous

Johnny K Heading Home

by John Kanelous

348 pages
Adventures of a kid growing up in a dysfunctional family

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Category: Autobiography
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About the Book
Johnny K Heading Home is the true story of a kid, package designer John Kanelous, growing up in a loving, upper middle class suburban home in Baldwin, LI, New York. This collection of stories is not your average childhood memoir. Rather, it is an exciting, often humorous, and always fast moving saga of what can happen to an innocent, unsupervised child.

Despite parental oblivion, devastating setbacks, and unimaginable dangerous situations, Johnny K always managed to overcome the odds, dust himself off and get back in the game.


As much fun as "A Walk in the Woods"! With its episodic structure, Johnny K Heading Home lets you enjoy casually written humor reminiscent of Bill Bryson\'s best efforts without having to remember where you left off -- if you can even put the book down once you join the adventures, that is. Johnny K... reads as easily as listening to a favorite uncle, though it includes some hilarious raunchiness that few uncles would dare to share. – Don Lee, freelance writer/editor
- Don Lee, freelance writer/editor
I'll start by saying, I'm only 3/4 of the way through this book. Nearly every story makes you say the same thing... "He's still alive???" This is a great book and an easy read. Written just like you were sitting in front of the author as he was telling his stories/memories from his childhood. Thought you were a mischievous child? Get this book and find out how lucky your parents were to have you instead of this terror child!
- Shaun Weideman
A man recalls his adventures as a mischievous youth. Kanelous escorts the reader down the mythic trails of his childhood—through the forest where he built forts and once accidentally lit a section of the acreage on fire, where booby traps were set and pilfered shotguns fired at cans. While the bulk of the telling focuses on the author’s misadventures, there is also the implicit story of a creative boy whose preoccupied parents left him to his own devices. As a child, Kanelous spent most of his time outdoors, away from his parents: his father, who failed to acknowledge the boy’s talents, and his mother, whose obsessive attention to his grammar prevented him from ever really communicating with her. Unsupervised, the author followed his curiosity into trouble, never failing to prompt his mother’s favored tagline, “What else can this kid get into?” Free of hindsight and sentimental nostalgia, the stories fully encapsulate the irresistible energy of adolescence; yet in the crisp, unadorned prose, readers will sense the author’s anger at his abandonment. Though Kanelous finds humor in his past—his uncomfortably dangerous escapades, his mother’s infuriating grammar lessons and his father’s apathy—his hurt is palpable. While the recollections bristle with energy and colloquial appeal, there is little depth to this exploration of self-interested parents and their rascally son.
- Eric Liebetrau, Kirkus Discoveries



About the Author
My father was a great joke teller – remembering every joke he ever heard – and he had hundreds in his repertoire. He was a great entertainer. I, on the other hand, could never remember a single joke. But I remembered stories about my childhood, and I told and retold them to all the new people I would meet. Everybody loved my stories, and I was often told, “You ought to write a book.” I am not a “writer.” I am a storyteller, and this book is a story. It is a true story of a kid (that’s me) growing up in a dysfunctional, albeit highly respected, family. My mom and dad viewed themselves as perfect parents. Mom was president of the PTA and a ballet teacher. Her highly successful Peter Pan School of Ballet attracted many of the town’s well-to-do and cultural elite. Mom was a brilliant kid and graduated high school at age fifteen, a fact that she always seemed to weave into any conversation about homework or my lack of achievement as a student. Dad was a highly paid commercial illustrator and, later in life, painter. He was elected president of the Phoenix Gallery in New York City after a super-successful one-man show he had there. This book is a collection of memories, and the chronology of them is sometimes arbitrary. I did, however (for the most part), try to keep them in a progressive order, only occasionally meandering through time. Most of the names have been changed so I wouldn’t get in trouble.



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