Friday, June 27, 2008

(56) America America by Ethan Canin


America America is the next selection for Barnes & Noble Recommends.
And I really doubted that I would like the book, just because I am not really "into" politics. And this book is touted as political novel, but I ended up really enjoying it.
I read the whole thing in one sitting & funny, but true story. --- I was sitting on a grassy knoll outside of Meineke minding my own business when a guy, out of nowhere approached me & told me I was "one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen." --- Holy Randomness Batman! I admit, I just started laughing. -- But before you start booking a church, the man was in his 50's at least. [/End Hijack]
Anyway, the book was really very well written. The book tells the story of Corey Sifter. Corey is just becoming a young man when he goes to work for Liam Metarey. Metarey is the son of a Coal baron & his family is royalty to the small New York town. Corey just starts out doing little odd jobs, but soon he proves his worth & Liam entrusts Corey to far more important tasks. Giving Corey a front row seat to the Political Show that is known as the Presidential Race. Liam Metarey sees great things in Corey & makes many things possible for him, including the ability to attend the prestigious private school, Dunleavy.
The story is told in Corey's voice. Corey in 1971 when he first meets the Metarey family. Corey a few years later as a college student. And Corey in 2006, a husband, a father, & a reporter.
The story moves around a lot & one page may be Corey in 1972, then the next page is from 2006. But it is not hard to keep track of, it is an even flow of words & memories. And 2006 Corey has a strong, admirable relationship with his wife. He refers to her throughout the story as "My Wife". But as the story proceeds & you learn more of Corey's life as a younger man, you start to wonder WHO is "the wife". It could be one of three women & you find yourself turning the pages a little faster in hopes of the great revelation. (It comes on page 326).
America America is a great tale of the America that our parents know. The America of the 1970's. The America where Civil Rights & Women's Rights are still being discussed as "new". The America that went through great political turmoil with the recent assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, & Robert Kennedy. An America where people got most of their news from newspapers. An America where politicians were closer to royalty than movie stars. An America that once was & will never be again.

2 comments:

Holly said...

Hi!

I received this as an Early Reviewer from LibraryThing. I had the same reaction as you; I'm not really into political books at all. So I felt like it was a bit bogged down with all the politics but I enjoyed much of it. I gave it 4 stars as a book in and of itself, and only 3.5 stars if I take my personal tastes into account.

Just Tera said...

Oh im glad to read this. I had heard good things about it but wasn't sure I was that into the political scene of it.

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