The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell ~ by Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni usually writes some pretty fair crime thrillers (I’ve read two) but he occasionally takes a break from all that and pens some general fiction. This one turned up on sale at Audible a few weeks ago and I’m always on the alert for books I can just pick up between specific picks. Note: there are some specific and definite religious (Catholic/Buddhist) ideas here – none are evangelical.

Sam Hill was born with red pupils due to something called ocular albinism. Fortunately he is very bright and has wonderfully supportive parents. But that doesn’t help with serious bullying in school and later, (for the frame story) when he works as a ophthalmologist a child comes in to have her eyesight checked. She appears to have been the victim of abuse – her father’s name rings a few bells for Sam. because that boy had been the particular source of Sam’s problems.

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
by Robert Dugoni
2018/ 434 pages
read by Robert Dugoni – 11h 41m
rating – 8 /

I was totally engrossed in the first 2/3rds of this book but then it got rather

There is nothing terribly literary about this book, and it’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s a nice tale, very human and heart-warming and only gets a bit sentimental or hackneyed toward the end. . Actually, it’s quite original although somewhat predictable in a few places while beyond my suspension of disbelief in others.

Sam’s parents and two close life-long friends are stellar – wonderful characters who have each others’ backs. The end gets a bit much but the acknowledgements are wonderful – tying up some thoughts.

There are some distinct themes including bullying and physical abuse which were nicely developed. Still, it’s a feel-good book and I think it was kind of what I needed right now although I could have done with a bit less religion because a steady diet of crime can get to be a bit claustrophobic.

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