Read All I Have In This World by MichaelParker Online


Two strangers meet on a windswept car lot in West Texas. Marcus is fleeing the disastrous fallout of chasing a lifelong dream; Maria is returning to the hometown she fled years ago, to make amends. They begin to argue over the car that they both desperately want—a low-slung, sky-blue, twenty-year-old Buick Electra.The car, too, has seen its share of mistakes and failures.Two strangers meet on a windswept car lot in West Texas. Marcus is fleeing the disastrous fallout of chasing a lifelong dream; Maria is returning to the hometown she fled years ago, to make amends. They begin to argue over the car that they both desperately want—a low-slung, sky-blue, twenty-year-old Buick Electra.The car, too, has seen its share of mistakes and failures. Every dent and seam has witnessed pivotal moments in the lives of others, from the boy who assembled it at the Cleveland factory to all the owners who were to follow: a God-fearing man who sells it when he sees a sexy girl sprawled across it, a doctor who can t dissociate it from his son's fate, a girl with a hole in her heart, and a rancher's wife who d much rather live without it for all the history it carries.Marcus and Maria, after knowing each other for less than an hour, decide to buy the old car together. And as this surprising novel follows the rocky paths of the Electra and its owners both past and present these two lost souls find solace in an unexpected alliance.All I Have In This World is a tender, compelling novel about our desire to reconcile the past with the present, and the ways we must learn to forgive others, and perhaps even ourselves, if we are ever to move on....

Title : All I Have In This World
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781616201623
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

All I Have In This World Reviews

  • Care
    2019-04-23 16:04

    Based on the reaction at today's bookclub, I am in the minority for loving this. Just my kind of book, I guess. But why do I feel the need to apologize or temper my five stars by saying, "Well I loved it but I doubt anyone else will." Raspberries! I liked it a lot. Amazing? Yes, to me. Not "Should be amazingly adored by everyone!" Skillfully constructed, well-balanced and authentic seeming characters, (and by 'well-balanced', I mean in how they were presented, not the character's personalities!) Sure, suspend some beliefs but yet, as a reader, I didn't doubt ANY of it. I totally get that some people might not find it authentic and rather thought it silly, even; but I loved it. (Some one thought the relationships were as dry and arid as Western Texas.) I don't know why it made sense to me and was believable or why I didn't feel I needed to believe that two strangers sharing a car is possible or 'would ever never happen'. Who cares - it works in this story. The Buick Electra was a character and I didn't care that the last chapter 'didn't make any sense' or that the story of the mother and dot who followed the car in Indiana was odd and didn't connect. I loved it. So, if you want to experience this book and you know I hate to give spoilers, just know this: The first ten pages are WHAM!-punch. And then the author inserts little short stories about a Buick Electra. Pay attention to the years on the chapter titles and just roll with it. It might have helped that I read the last 2/3 of this book in two days. I was not expecting to 5-star this when in the first 1/3; I thought it had chances of being a solid 3-star. But something about the prose and the thoughts shared and the emotions provoked pushed it into the amazing realm.I loved it. I suspect that most of my book club would have given it 2-3 stars...(AND I bet they are very worried that I am extremely excited about our next book! The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. Totally different book, I'm sure, but they are nervous.)

  • Snotchocheez
    2019-04-25 15:15

    3.5 starsContemplative, dreamy, quirky, and consistently engaging, Michael Parker's All I Have in This World was a very pleasant surprise. It reminded me a little of Ian McEwan's work, if ever he decided to emigrate to West Texas, channel Larry McMurtry and write a quixotic mood piece featuring an impulsive failed Venus fly-trap farmer, a troubled sous-chef, and a sky-blue 1984 Buick Electra hoop-dee. Mr. Parker's prose might not be for everyone (those who hate run-on sentences and swirly dream sequences might want to give this a pass) but his serendipitous tale of poor life choices and redemption really struck a chord with me. I look forward to reading more from him.

  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    2019-04-11 10:03

    I'm left fairly underwhelmed by this novel which takes almost half the book to get to the point where it reflects the precis provided by the blurb. The narrative shifts between 1994 and 2004 revealing the protagonists defining life moments. For Maria this is fleeing her hometown at seventeen after an abortion and the subsequent suicide of her boyfriend. For Marcus it is the failure of his dream, forcing him into bankruptcy and robbing his sister of her rightful inheritance. They are strangers when they meet in a car yard (nearly halfway through the book) and inexplicably decide to jointly purchase a sky blue, low slung Buick Electra.The main themes of the novel explore regret, forgiveness and redemption but I had trouble maintaining my interest in two such introspective characters. Their angst about their individual circumstances seemed repetitive at times and the streams of consciousness were tiring. One sentence ran over three pages (p220-224) and it was not the only one.I did like the vignettes that shared the history of the car and its previous owners and I would have liked more of these to break up the relentlessly serious tone. All I Have In The World is the sort of novel that will likely gain praise for its literary style and I have to admit the imagery is often wonderful but it didn't really work for me, in retrospect I probably should have put it aside instead of pushing through.

  • Larry H
    2019-04-08 12:05

    Michael Parker's All I Have in This World is a beautifully written, poignant, sometimes meandering novel about two people damaged by their mistakes and the aftermath of them, and an old car that somehow binds them together in a strange way.Maria fled her home in Pinto Canyon, Texas just at the end of high school, when a life-changing decision she made resulted in a tragedy she couldn't escape. Ten years have gone by, and Maria has stayed away from Texas, and barely kept in touch with her mother. Maria has moved from place to place, job to job, and, at times, from man to man, although the holes in her life have yet to be filled. But she makes the decision to return home for a little while, and is surprised by how much she is still affected by the events that caused her departure.Marcus dreamed of breeding Venus flytraps, and building a farm and educational center for them on his family's acreage in a small North Carolina town. But Marcus' lack of business and museum acumen, as well as his lack of foresight, has led to the bank foreclosing on and seizing the land, land which partially belongs to his sister. Marcus decides to leave North Carolina and head for Mexico, with the money he was able to salvage, and did not share with his sister what happened. A stop along the way in Pinto Canyon for a hike along the Rio Grande results in his truck getting stolen with nearly everything he owned inside.Maria and Marcus meet at a used car lot. Both are looking for a car—Maria to avoid having to share with her mother, and Marcus to be able to head to Mexico as he originally planned. The two both set their eyes on the same car, a 1984 sky blue Buick Electra. In a snap decision, the pair agrees to share the car, regardless of the fact that they had never really met (or introduced themselves, for that matter), and both have different plans for the car. But they agree to use the car on alternate days, as both try to gain some footing again in their world.All I Have in This World tells the story of two people desperately trying to hang on and make some sense of their lives, and find a way forward that doesn't involve giving up. Both need to come to terms with what they've done and move on, but neither can seem to handle either of those monumental steps. As life pushes in around them, they are both unsure of what to do next—face their problems or flee again?This book also tells the story of the Buick Skylark through the years, from when it was first transported from the factory as a young girl with a heart problem watches the car trailer drive past, to the various people whose lives the car touched through the years, until it wound up on the used car lot where Marcus and Maria found it. For its previous owners, the car was both a point of pride and pain, a talisman and a bittersweet reminder.Michael Parker is tremendously skilled, and he has created two characters with so much depth and pain in their lives, not all of it their own making. I felt as if the story took a bit to get going, as really the book hit its stride once Maria and Marcus met, but both of their stories are tremendously compelling. At times the book is a little hard to follow, and I felt that the ending was a little more ambiguous than I would have liked, but in the end, this book has stuck with me. I felt for Marcus and Maria and their struggles, and would like to know more about whether they were able to put their pasts behind them and find happiness. A unique, interesting, and emotionally rich book.

  • John Luiz
    2019-04-21 09:15

    This is a terrific novel about two lost souls who come together and help one another find peace and a modicum of joy in their lives. One is a woman, Maria, who suffered a traumatic experience with a high school boyfriend. Because her family is one that suppresses rather than discusses experiences and feelings what transpired haunts her for decades. The other is 47-year-old man, Marcus, who brought on his own misery by trying to start a flytrap museum on the North Carolina farm he inherited with his parents. When that business fails, the bank reclaims the property and he runs away, afraid to tell his sister that he’s squandered their inheritance. Marcus and Maria meet in Texas, near Maria's home, a used parking lot when they both become interested in a decades-old Buick Electra. They end up deciding to share the car and become friends. The novel starts with a blockbuster first chapter in which we learn of Maria’s traumatic history with her high school boyfriend. It then shifts between the two main characters’ points of view, but interspersed we get intriguing vignettes about all the people who touched that Buick Electra before them – from the Detroit workers who assembled it to all the previous owners. It would seem like a distracting device, but it’s not. Each story is compelling. After that jaw-dropping opening chapter, the novel does slow down a bit as we get to know Maria and Marcus muddling along in their own lives – and it takes a while for the two of them to get together. But their back stories are fascinating. This is a novel of rich characterization. One of the "bad" people in the book would seem to be Maria’s mother, who is so shut down and unable to communicate that she seems to be the source of all of Maria’s troubles. But over the course of the novel, we get to know her, and by the end this distant and aloof woman is perfectly understandable, and you end up feeling great compassion for her. Overall it’s a terrific novel with an incredible sense of place. You feel like you walk right into the North Carolina and Southwest Texas environments the author describes. It’s a terrific read for anyone who enjoys a character-based novel, and it’s a novel that will give you hope about the possibilities of relationships and human connections – especially because it portrays that budding relationship between Maria and Marcus without resorting to any plot hijinxs or overly sentimental, romantic-comedy type twists.

  • Julie Barrett
    2019-04-03 10:03

    All I Have In This World by Michael ParkerWhat first prompted me to apply to read this book was the title. It's not the material things we have that will live with us forever.This is a story about many people and I first found it confusing because of the chapters were from a different year and different people til I realized it was the story of the car and the previous owners lives.Loved learning about the terrain and nature around the various places the books take you to. Marcus has his dream and realizes he's a failure and tries to make his dream happen. Maria is from a mixed up family and they end up buying the car together.Found it interesting where their path takes them especially when they are out driving, talking and learning about one another and what they want to do.Loved the lists and charts. Love how the background of the car and its owners connect to the characters who buy it.I received this book from Library Thing via Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in exchange for my honest review.

  • Mary Moore
    2019-04-08 13:12

    This novel is a rare find: first, the main characters are likable. The writing is beautiful but never pretentious. The story comes with dark edges, but at its center it's a comedy. And there's plenty of action, but actions aren't the point. The point, it seems to me, is the spirit of the main characters: Marcus, Maria and Harriet. It's clear that Parker knows these people in a very deep way and, flawed as they are, I nominate them for Characters in a Novel I Would Most Like to Hang Out With. Like Parker's writing, the people in ALL I HAVE IN THIS WORLD are original, quirky and have no patience with bs.

  • Meagan
    2019-04-13 10:19

    All I Have In This World is a curious, quirky and intriguing novel about a man and a woman who meet in a used car lot while looking at the same car - a 1984 Buick Electra. The novel is intertwined with the history of the car, along with the previous owners history.The Buick Electra is an entity unto itself, as we discover flitting back and forth from the present day to the past.

  • Mary
    2019-04-06 10:25

    If I had to summarize this book's theme, I'd say it was about realizing that "everything is not about you" and simultaneously, "you are responsible for your life". The story is told through a vehicle (literally a blue buick), a woman who has been fleeing her past (a boyfriend who killed himself when she broke off her relationship and an abortion) and a man who has gone bankrupt from a badly designed business plan to have a nature center for venus fly traps. As you can guess from the players in this drama, there is some humor. And it's an intriguing story. The whole Buick thing seems contrived but by the end of the book, it sort of works. This is more of a cerebral book (mostly about what people are thinking at any given time) then it is about anything happening.

  • Trina
    2019-04-10 12:09

    I really loved this book. The characters are losers and burdened with loss, and a car with a lot of history helps to save them. There is a kind of tenderness for every thing here -- the landscape, the car, the harsh and damaged people, places and things we see every day. The novel's construction was a bit tantalizing -- snippets of characters touched by the car. Parker succeeds here in communicating the sacredness of life in the world, a theme I've found in his other work.

  • Sshelly
    2019-04-22 12:09

    I enjoyed this book but it is not an easy read. I had to go back and reread many passages....Not something I usually will do as much as I did with book. So if you are wanting an easy read, this book is not for you. This is a book you have to "sink your teeth into" as the saying goes. And if course I loved all things "Texas" in this book. He got the float down the Comal spot on!

  • Pat
    2019-04-10 12:01

    Two strangers meeting and deciding to buy the same car.....together. These two are loners and really have nothing in common. Their symbiotic relationship is interesting. Not a page turner but pretty good read.

  • G
    2019-04-10 11:07


  • Judy
    2019-04-09 15:28

    Complicated relationships and the history of a 1984 Buick Electra (sky blue) ... not particularly compelling.

  • Sojourner
    2019-04-24 15:12

    All I Have in This World by Michael Parker may not be the most amazing of books I have read in a while but it is a fairly attention-grabbing love story, unique in its own way. Author Michael Parker crafted a gentle yet persuasive novel why it is important to come to terms with our situation and learn to move on in life. The biggest stumbling blocks in life is our inability to forgive others, forget the past and learn the lessons life teaches us as we press forward.In his own compelling way, Michael Parker writes a story which focuses on a car and two individuals, total strangers Maria and Marcus who ended up as co-owners, however improbable that may sound. Maria is a carefree but troubled girl who at the tender age of seventeen has seen different shades of life. She has gone through an abortion. Her boyfriend has killed himself. Her hometown does not hold any hope for her. All she wants now is to run away, leave everything behind, including her past. Marcus fares no better in life, though he had a promising start. When he fails to realize his dream which forces him into bankruptcy, he has to find a way to survive, forcing him to stoop as low as possible, even to the extent of robbing his sister of her rightful inheritance.Maria and Marcus are both failures. They are distraught with life, with a troubled past and disappointed with themselves. They are total strangers. But by a quirk turn of fate, they are brought together in a car yard, and strangely plump to buy a sky blue Buick Electra as co-owners. Will the car they jointly owned bring them luck? What will the future hold for them?All I Have in This World by Michael Parker is a story about mistakes, regrets, forgiveness, hope and redemption. The narrative is simple but engaging, and keeps one moving forward. The plot twists in the story are wonderfully done. It is a story that builds bridges between past failures and the promise of hope for a better tomorrow.

  • LitReactor
    2019-04-05 14:10

    All I Have in This World is a fairly small book. There is little action; the characters are few and the scope is rather narrow. But don't be mistaken into thinking that a book like this one has little to offer. Michael Parker's focus brings us into intimate quarters with his characters and the world in which they live, and he artfully portrays the smallness of their lives in such a way that makes their pains and their mistakes truly universal.Parker's ability to look at the small moments and inner monologues that make us human doesn't prevent the novel from being fun. Marcus is fleeing the consequences of his rather impulsive effort to establish a Venus flytrap trap ranch and museum on his family's land in North Carolina, and throughout the novel he looks back wistfully at this rather humorous folly. Parker decision to bring his protagonists together over a twenty-year old Buick (which has an entertaining history of its own) is certainly amusing, and he's masterful at creating the touches of humor that occur in everyday situations.In the end, All I Have in This World is an excellently crafted work of fiction, exploring the lives of "normal" people as they seek forgiveness from themselves and their pasts, and reconsider their definitions of love, friendship, and family. Parker's novel is a wonderful and wistful journey to redemption.It's an excellent exploration of how we grow to love and accept the imperfections in ourselves, of how the everyday mistakes we make can define the course of our lives, and how the same everyday mistakes can redeem them. It's a beautifully crafted, extraordinarily human novel which elevates our daily lives to their rightful place of significance. --Review by Teeney HoodCheck out more from this review at LitReactor (!

  • Annie
    2019-04-01 10:22

    I really liked this one. A story of an aimless man who can't seem to Be where and when he needs to Be, and a woman who has been running from her past. The story starts in 1994 with a teenage Maria, living in Texas, who is dating Randy, who loves her. Randy has a souped-up Nova and in addition to loving Maria, and passionately working on his car, he is willing to hang out in the driveway and spend time jawing with Maria's dad, Luis, which is, at the time, a major annoyance to Maria. A series of events leads to a tragedy, in response to which Maria's family fractures even more than it already had. In 2004, Marcus, a middle-aged man from North Carolina, is running off to Mexico in his F150 with $10,000 he has managed to squirrel away after losing to the bank the educational center dedicated to the Venus Flytrap and other carnivorous species of plants he had built, using his family's long-held home place as the collateral on the loan. In the process, he also loses his sister's portion of the inheritance. While all of this is going on, a Sky Blue Buick Elantra is manufactured in 1984. The Buick has its adventures along the way leading its destination at a used-car lot in Pinto Canyon, Texas, as the lodestar for Maria and Marcus.This is an honest book. The tension between a mother and daughter who want to have more with each other but just don't know how is so real. The awkward meeting up of a brother and sister who haven't seen or spoken to each other in 10 years, not because of any big fight or anything, but just because of how life happened. It ends right, with some real resolution and redemption, even though it may not be how we expect a novel to wrap things up. This is a low-key story about families that aren't the Brady Bunch, and how love can be, but not be shown, how living is more than existence, and family can be more and less than skin-deep.

  • Kristine
    2019-04-09 10:21

    Original review found at * I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*What can I say about this book? It was definitely an interesting concept with the car at the center of the story and tidbits from past owners up to the present when Maria and Marcus took ownership. Unfortunatley I had a hard time swallowing or really understanding how the two ended up co-owning the Buick. Both Maria and Marcus have a troubled past and something they are hiding from each other. Each of their stories were relatively interesting but I found that there were so many rabbit trails throughout the pages that very little of it really surfaced in a satisfying way. I wanted to know about the two characters and how they were going to make amends with their past but every time it came around to them I found myself on another long winded rabbit trail that I didn't really care for. After skimming paragraphs to get back on the right track there would be a few sentences of the present and then off on another trail we went. I'm not talking so much about the actual events of their past that were significant to their present story but the rest of the stuff that sufficated it.There was a good plot to the story but it was just too buried in a lot of other rambling for me to fully enjoy. The actual time that Maria and Marcus spent together was not fully developed and therefore I could not feel or understand the bond and the relevance of it. For a lack of a better description it felt a little robotic and stiff. For me, the book was just ok.

  • Nancy
    2019-04-05 14:16

    Marie has been gone from her mother’s house for quite a long time. Marcus’ dream of building a Museum honoring the Venus Fly Trap has dissolved into rot and weeds. Then there is the car: a 1984 Buick Electra in baby blue. Also Maria’s mother, cold, sharp-spoken and out for herself because no one else ever has been. What do all these have in common? In All I Have in This World, Michael Parker draws them all together with skill and snickers on the side. Marie was in love as a teenager and that love took her to an abortion clinic one day. Marcus has never done anything right. Never, Ever, How many people go for a hike in the summer down a dry wash in Texas leaving his wallet, truck, keys and taking no water? Yup. Marcus,When Marie makes a trip home she hasn’t driven in a long time. Since she left Texas for California, she has been walking and biking because that is all she needed there. Her mother wants her to stay to help run the motel she inherited, but Marie isn’t sure – although the empty restaurant ne3xt door appeals. Either way, there has to be a car because her mom only has the one.Marcus luck pretty well goes downhill when thieves steal this truck and cash while he’s out hiking. So he also needs some type of ride. Enter the Kepler Brothers car lot and the blue Buick. He sees it. He wants it. Then a pretty young woman asks him to test drive it for her. ???? And so it begins.I had a hard time with this book, to be honest. I kept reading along; then put it down for five or six other books, then went back to it. The story is good, the people so believable that I wanted to just shake a few of them! Despite that, I just didn’t connect with it. I hope you do because it seems to be a good one.

  • Felicity Gibson
    2019-04-09 15:12

    Michael Parker26.1.2014The twists and turns of this very different kind of love story hold the reader. There is much tension expressed in the setting of the story. This takes all of 105 pages, which represents a third of the book! That is a big chunk of reading before we even get to know about the car! The plot is told in flashbacks and in the present; it moves, and weaves without warning. Two characters, contrasted - their individualities often draining and repetitive in explanation; one character looking forward, the other continually looking backwards. The plot moves from ‘largo’ to ‘presto’, when the car appears! Many of the scenes were ‘micro-dot’ – just too much contained into one small piece of action. It drained me. The impatient wait for action; movement in the story was rewarded by wonderful imagery and powerful metaphors. Cameos of scenery colour the narrative. The plot circles, it follows the path of the past of a car! There is tension, a sense of hopeless waiting, raw grief, and coming to terms with a past which held much sadness and realization that situations change and resolve. I liked the style of Parker’s writing – crisp and clear. However, I felt the characters in this novel were too contained, imprisoned in the whole setup. The novel was at times too tidy and pat. I feel both characters were being too irrational, which diminished the impact of the novel’s ending. I award this novel 3 ½ stars.Thank you to Netgalley for letting me read this book.

  • Sandie
    2019-04-20 15:13

    They come together in Texas. Both are searching, lost in their lives and hoping to find a way to a better place. Maria has been fleeing a personal tragedy for years, drifting from town to town, job to job. She has returned home to see if she can find out why she left and if there is anything left for her here. Marcus has fled from North Carolina, where bad business decisions have left him penniless and desperate to find a new life. They meet on a used car lot in West Texas. Each is drawn to the same car, a sky-blue twenty-year old Buick Electra. Impulsively, to prevent bidding each other up, they agree to buy the car together and share it. Neither is sure if this arrangement will work but somehow it feels right. Over the next few days, they form an alliance that helps each of them work through their personal issues and start to see the way forward to a new chapter in their lives.Michael Parker writes novels that draw the reader in. Usually they don't have big dramatic events but rather an accumulation of many small details that build a picture. The writing seems easy and effortless, but each word is carefully chosen to take the reader further along on the journey. Maria and Marcus's stories lead one to consider how we react to tragedies and the nature of forgiveness and moving on. This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

  • Wanda
    2019-04-08 16:05

    I received an ARC of Michael Parker's "All I Have In This World" compliments of Goodreads Giveaway and provided my unbiased review.The premise of the novel is the coming together of two strangers who share in the purchase a Buick Electra, both at a time in their lives where they are seeking change in a quest for peace. Marcus and Maria come from different paths, having travelled different roads, yet they meet in Pinto Canyon, Texas. This rugged, isolated terrain is the backdrop of their search for self-forgiveness. Two unlikely characters who quickly hold a common understanding and provide unspoken strength to one another as they face their tragic realities. The Buick becomes a symbol and a character of it's own. The author shares a sub-story, allowing the reader to travel the miles the Buick had travelled and the impact it had on those who knew "her". Themes include family tragedy, resilience and following one's dream.I found the author's writing style to be rather tangential at times and poetic in others. It does take quite some time for the story to get it's point across, a bit draggy in some spots. Overall, I found that the author wrote with intelligence and facilitated the reader to consider his thoughts on a higher level. I rated this novel 4/5 stars.

  • Erika
    2019-04-06 13:23

    A unique story about 2 lost souls seeking redemption and the sky-blue 1984 Buick Elektra that binds them. One of my favorite passages about the car (when one of the main characters Marcus sees the Buick for the first time on the sales lot):"As for the Buick, Marcus saw himself steering that bad boy around town, the other hand out the window, drumming the side-view in time to the tunes or surfing stiff-fingered the fresh Texas breeze. He would not defile his vinyl tabernacle with Top 40 or talk radio; only deep southern soul or country old school and forlorn allowed. Isaac Hayes at Wattsax, Dusty in Memphis, that old silver fox Charlie Rich- when had he ever come up with a playlist just looking at a vehicle?"Paints a perfect picture in my head and reminds me most about what I love about driving a car- enjoying the freedom of the open road with windows down and good tunes playing :)

  • Diane Ferbrache
    2019-04-02 08:15

    What happens when two completely different people meet and then (!) buy a car together? This is the story of Maria and Marcus who find themselves in a small West Texas town looking at the same sky blue Buick Electra. When they split the cost, things begin to change in both their lives.I bought this book because I came across it on a list of "best books set in Texas". While I did enjoy it, I think I must have expected too much. The blurbs on the back call it funny....mildly amusing at times would be a better description. The action ebbs and flows and there are moments that are wonderful, but altogether it left me with a shrug. Not a bad effort, I'm glad I read it, but certainly not the best book I've read this summer. Kudos to the author -- The setting is accurate and the local color is wonderful. Parker clearly knows West Texas and his descriptive passages wonderfully capture the flavor of the landscape and life there.

  • Linda
    2019-04-11 09:06

    After reading several reviews - I grabbed my review copy and settled in for late night reading. It has a quieter prose and a smaller arc of time (decade of history, 2-3 weeks in the present) than some of the pot boilers or jazzy prose I have been reading lately. So it worked better for morning reading! Odd premise or central act- buying a car to share with a stranger. On a whim. Trusting your instincts while at a point of personal and physical dislocation. I warmed up slowly then really loved this novel. Gently funny, sometimes sad, original in it's tone and characters. Small town TX, interracial family, failing oneself or family, hard choices- all of the STUFF that gives a plot depth. In the end, it is about reconciliation and acceptance;dealing with expectations that go awry, so the present is fully recognized and life has forward motion. Nice.

  • Margi
    2019-04-23 12:03

    I was intrigued by this story about a car which adds other characters to it's story. I like the fact that this book took the history of this particular car from it's beginning. I wasn't fond of the fact that sometimes the story dragged on and I found myself getting bored. I was interested in reading about the two characters meeting at the car lot and then purchasing the car together. These two characters, Maria and Marcus bring their own stories into the story about the Buick Electra. Certainly a different type of story. I am always drawn to the quirky fiction. I just found myself getting bored at times with this one even though I was interested in reading until the end.

  • Elaine
    2019-04-13 08:16

    Bizarre. I actually liked the prose style (maybe I am learning to be better at reading different prose styles) and it seemed to evoke a dreamy slow pace of small-town Texas life, but considering I've never even been to Texas, I could just be making that up. A lot of the stuff that happened in this book seemed inexplicable. The guy who sold a car because a beauty queen draped herself across the hood? Marcus's complete idiocy with his museum and his sister's inheritance? The decision of two total strangers to buy a car together? And what they decide to do with the car at the end of the book, like they aren't already broke enough? Give me a break.

  • Julie
    2019-04-13 14:23

    All I Have In This World definitely caters to a unique reader. A reader that craves beautiful poetic sentences constructed from pure imagery. The symbolism of this Buick is strong, and needs constant attention throughout the book. Every situation and story is molded by this car. With that being said, it isn't a storyline that goes into great depth, but rather is centered around connection between people and materials they possess like automobiles.Although this wasn't my cup of tea, I was motivated to try something out of my comfort zone. From beginning to end, All I Have In This World fed my need for complex writing and a deeper meaning.

  • Cindy
    2019-03-31 08:27

    This book has an interesting concept with the car, a Buick Electra, bring the main "character". The story flips from the past to the present with stories of the past owners of the Buick to the current owners, Marcus and Maria. These two flawed new co-owners are damaged by their past and throughout the story they try to come to terms with their mistakes. There is little action in the book, a lot of rambling, and I found myself skimming over many pages to get to the dialogue and the meat of the story. I gave this novel 3 stars for the interesting concept and the unusual writing. Perhaps another 1/2 star for the beautiful blue Buick!

  • Alyce Rocco
    2019-04-05 08:23

    All I Have In This World by Michael Parker is an interesting story, yet I struggled to finish it. The story begins in March, 1994 in Pinto Canyon, Texas. It jumps forward to 2004, Junction, Texas, and anyone's guess what time & place the following chapters covered. It was hard to follow the main story, due to irrelevant chapters (1983, Wentzville, Missouri; 1983, Brazil, Indiana; Coshocton, Ohio, 1985; Shafter, Texas 1986-2003 and so on.)I am still wondering what became of Courtney and other characters introduced in those chapters. They truly had nothing to do with the story, a big distraction, unless the book was titled: The Blue Buick Electra.