A Memoir Of Catholic Misadventures And A Buddhist Beckoning

If you are a news junkie the name Frank Gorin will be a familiar one. He was initially a radio newsman and then TV anchor for ABC’s Satellite News channel. He is also an Emmy winning documentary producer.

Looking For Dad though makes scant reference to his broadcasting career, instead it is a deeply personal memoir about his early life and little about Frank Gorin today I found Looking For Dad to be a profoundly moving piece of writing, and one that is deeply personal.

As I started to get further and further into this soul laid bare, a question started to form in the back of my mind, that question kept growing in intensity. Why did Frank Gorin write this book? I have spent the past two days pondering that question and I believe I know the answer, I believe the catalyst was an event that occurred some years ago. Just two weeks before his 18th birthday Frank Gorin’s son Frank Jr. also known as Buff drowned off Long island. I am hoping to interview Frank in the near future and this will be a question I plan on asking him.

The vast majority of Looking For Dad concerns Frank’s search for his spiritual home. Even the title is an interesting one, his father died when Frank was only two years old, but rather than growing up being told about his father, the family very much erased the man from the family consciousness. Maybe this was a contributing factor in Frank leaning toward the church. This brings up another question in my mind, again I have had this swirling around for two days. Was the young Frank religious, or was the young Frank merely in love with the concept of religion?

One thing is for certain, Frank was devout in his studies. His first real revelation was the discovery of the Catholic Church, a move that met with some resistance from his family. However, young Frank was very much a wanderer, always seeking that next challenge. He possessed a deep seated wanderlust, both in his spiritual needs, and also in his life. Following a brief stint in the Army he spent several years moving from one job to another, the only regular theme that returned time after time was involvement with radio. Alternating Radio jobs with dish washing, sales, and various other unlikely careers he really had no clear focus of where he was headed.

That lack of focus in his spiritual needs manifested itself in the various adventures into different forms of Catholicism, he even made a couple of attempts at becoming a monk in various orders. Later in life Frank discovered Buddhism, but even that could be viewed as a flirtation rather than serious commitment. He has once more returned to the Catholic faith, has he found his goal?

Looking For Dad is a very unusual book, it is billed as a memoir, and in part it is. But, a memoir is a work that you read, you laugh, you cry, and you move on. This book, you read, you think, you question, you rethink, you re-question, and you just can not stop!

Memo to: Frank
From: Simon
Subject: Your Next Book
Please give me advance warning of its release so that I can block out an entire week to read and think about what I have just read!

Looking For Dad is without doubt one of the best books that I have read in 2009. Each Christmas I compile a list of my top ten picks of the year. I have a very strong hunch that this one is going to be on that list. Check it out, you will not be disappointed.

There are not many perks to being a book reviewer, long hours, bad eyesight, and an encyclopedic knowledge of minutiae are the ones that spring to mind. However there is one more, and it is one of the reasons that I entered the field, you often have access to the author. I am most definitely looking forward to talking with Frank Gorin.

You can order your copy of Looking For Dad from Amazon. Frank also has a web site for the book.

Simon Barrett

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