In the tradition of The Glass Castle and Angela’s Ashes comes the most unforgettable memoir you’ll read this year!
“What did it mean to be the Tank Man’s son? To grow up overwhelmed by my father’s presence and personality? It was as if I didn’t exist, as if I was just something else for my father to crush.”
So begins the haunting memoir of Mark Bouman as he recounts the events of his childhood at the hands of his larger-than-life, Neo-Nazi father in brilliant, startling detail. From adventure-filled days complete with real-life war games, artillery fire, and tank races to terror-filled nights marked by vicious tirades, brutal beatings, and psychological torture, Mark paints a chilling portrait of family life that is at once whimsical and horrific—all building to a shocking climax that challenges even the broadest boundaries of love and forgiveness.
An epic tale of redemption and reconciliation, The Tank Man’s Son is a literary tour de force that is sure to become an instant classic.
“A touching memoir of a truly miserable childhood. That Bouman could write of his life of abuse in Michigan and make it sound like fun is the mark of a man who has completely come to terms with the higher plan for his life…His writing is matter-of-fact and in no way an attempt to purge the pain of living with a father who treated him like an imbecile incapable of anything and regularly beat him and his brother...Bouman seems to be trying to paint a more pleasant picture of his childhood, but the facts of the beatings and the demolition of any character he might have developed seep through. Later on, substance abuse threatened to end his military career, until someone invited him to church…This immensely inspiring story shows how Bouman tore success from defeat. Never preachy or self-pitying, just an honest story well written and well told."
"In a memoir as weighty, heartbreaking, and shocking as Pat Conroy’s The Great Santini, Bouman opens up about his childhood of being abused by his maniacal father in central Michigan. The book’s opening line suggests a dark tale ahead: “What did it mean to be the Tank Man’s son? It was as if Mark Bouman didn’t exist—as if I were simply another object for my father to crush.” And the opening scene shows Bouman’s father crushing a tree with his tank on their secluded property. Obsessed with the tools of war and possessing all the maturity of a boy playing with models, Bouman’s father abuses his children while the mother supports the family financially. The story progresses chillingly from Bouman’s childhood until the moment in his teens when his older brother coordinates a risky getaway plan...Bizarre and unpredictable, Bouman’s memoir transcends the normal tropes of the redemption tale and becomes a testament to the power of human fortitude and forgiveness."
"The ending of the book was so much better than anything I could have imagined. Forgiveness is probably the thing I struggle with the most and the lesson of forgiveness in this book is just so powerful.
This is an amazing, amazing book.
It is non-fiction that reads like fiction. It has been a long time since I read a book and wished my mom was still alive just so she could read the book, but this one had the effect on me. I know she would have loved this one. If you love a great story of redemption and restoration, you will love this one, too."
"It is a great book even if you have had a good dad and a happy childhood. Read and appreciate what you have. If your dad is a "tank man", do not be discouraged, God can turn around even the worst of situations."
"This true to life story is one of courage, faith, redemption and an amazing, accurate vision of the sovereignty of God. It is a modern day story of Joseph.
Truly, what man meant for evil, God meant for good.
An amazing story of love and forgiveness!
A must read!"
"I love hearing people’s stories. Even if they don’t see or won’t see God working I try and always look for it. I cannot wait to share this book. It is a story of redemption, forgiveness, and most importantly watching God take the bad and make it new again."