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Publisher's Summary

This extraordinary investigation of the death of the author's grandson yields a powerful memoir of addiction, grief, and the stories we choose to tell our families and ourselves. 

Jared Kindred left his home and family at the age of eighteen, choosing to wander across America on freight train cars and live on the street. Addicted to alcohol most of his short life, and withholding the truth from many who loved him, he never found a way to survive. Through this ordeal, Dave Kindred's love for his grandson has never wavered. 

Leave Out the Tragic Parts is not merely a reflection on love and addiction and loss. It is a hard-won work of reportage, meticulously reconstructing the life Jared chose for himself--a life that rejected the comforts of civilization in favor of a chance to roam free. Kindred asks painful but important questions about the lies we tell to get along, and what binds families together or allows them to fracture. Jared's story ended in tragedy, but the act of telling it is an act of healing and redemption. This is an important book on how to love your family, from a great writer who has lived its lessons.

©2021 Dave Kindred (P)2021 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The title of Dave Kindred's astonishing book is precisely what he did not do. A world-class reporter used every ounce of his journalistic skills to investigate a story - the life and death of a beloved grandchild - that most of us would find daunting. But Kindred tells the story truly and with love." (David Maraniss, author of A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father)  

"Dave Kindred's Leave Out the Tragic Parts is a searing, terrifying, and brilliantly written book that, when I began reading one night, I couldn't put down. As a tireless researcher devoted to finding and writing the unflinching truth about his beloved grandson, Kindred brings us into a fascinating, foreign world. In his remarkable journey, he explores and communicates the bafflement, desperation, and pain experienced by anyone who loves a person with addiction, and he reminds us that reading others' stories can lead to understanding, compassion, and healing. Leave Out the Tragic Parts is a godsend for every grandparent, parent, friend, spouse, and child who loves a person with addiction. It is testament to the power of love. I believe that the greatest art can come from the greatest pain and love, and this book is pure art." (David Sheff, New York Times best-selling author of Beautiful Boy

"Keening was the sound that confronted me on the other end of the line when Dave Kindred called to say his grandson Jared had been found dead of an overdose in a flop house in Philadelphia. The resounding howl of grief, anger, and bewilderment, would not abate until Kindred turned his consummate talents and unflinching gaze on Jared's all-too-brief life and unseemly death. Maybe, just maybe, if he could tell how the beautiful blond boy in a white tuxedo became a 'traveling kid' named Goblin - a wraithlike mess of tats and vodka - who hopped trains for a living, Jared's life would have some meaning and his grandpa would find some peace. Leave Out the Tragic Parts is a rageful lullaby of love and regret and a wonder to behold." (Jane Leavy, New York Times best-selling author of The Big Fella

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What listeners say about Leave Out the Tragic Parts

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  • Overall
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Thank you for writing this book.

This book allows you to look through different lenses at addiction, the homeless and us loved ones left behind wanting so badly to help.

Many Blessings to you as your family.

27 people found this helpful

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Amazing Book!

This book is a must for anyone trying to understand/figure out how to help a young person getting ensnared by addiction. Deeply moving, honest, and eye-opening, this book made me grow as a person.

22 people found this helpful

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Gobblin Rides the Rails

Jared Kindred wanted to know life, to be free, to
wander about New Orleans at Halloween,to
laugh, to love,to have many friends and to drink vodka.

His story is sorted ,dirty and too short. It’s a great cautionary memoir written by someone who still
loves him...his own beloved grandfather, told in
just the way his grandmother would have told it
If she could have .

18 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking and Happy all in one

written with so much love and anguish. A true love story. of a grandfather's love for his family

15 people found this helpful

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Brilliant & Touching

This touched my heart and it brought tears to me throughout the book. Such a wonderful expression of love under the nations extremely horrible epidemic!

10 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Story

Having been personally touched by this very subject I am at a loss for words to realize what I did not see.

Mr. Kindred made me feel his emotions as if I know him personally.

I would like to offer a personal thank you for opening more eyes to those who we THINK we see as oppose to who they are.

4 people found this helpful

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Terrible Narrative

This may be a great story and I really wanted to hear it to the end, but unfortunately it's a terrible audio book version, and five chapters into it I had to stop. Just couldn't listen to it. The author himself is narrating this book, and he's doing a complete disservice to himself and to this book by doing so. He probably would have been better off having someone else narrate it. He's reading it as a one long and neverending rundown sentence, as if reading out a list of items. No stopping, no emphasis on anything, no pauses, no periods, no changes in the voice.... It completely kills all the emotional aspects of the story. Also, and not to be mean by saying this, the author has what it sounds like a speech impediment around the letter "L."  It's pronounced and quite distracting at times. Again, not trying to be mean, but it is an audio book that people listen and relate to the story via narrator's voice, which was nearly impossible in this case.
Perhaps just reading a non-audio version of this book may be a better choice, and that's what I would reccomend instead of this audio book.

4 people found this helpful

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Addiction and family ties

Amazing family story and unbelievable the ways the family was tied to trains and a life of wondering.

1 person found this helpful

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So Much Humanity

I was so touched by this book. It's tragic, but beautiful, this addicted boy who brought so much light to his friends and family along with the stress and worry. In spite of everything there was an unwavering undercurrent of love from everyone who knew him. Thank you grandfather for sharing his story.

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I purchased the book but also did the audible too.

Loved this book. There were times where I had a hard time putting the book down.