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Kingston – Books 15 – IMG_7177
Author: Irwin Shaw
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Amazon price: $34.98
It began with dancing in the streets after World War II.. It ended with riots in many of the same streets. It was the quarter century when the American dream grew old.
Irwin Shaw focuses on these years in a novel of epic proportions. Rich Man, Poor Man is the story of Rudolph Gretchen and Thomas Jordache, children of an embittered German immigrant. Nurtured on traditional views of American success, each pursues the illusion of happiness in his own way, determined to achieve his “birthright.”
Starting with their teenage years in a Hudson River town, Irwin Shaw follows the Jordaches from Greenwich Village to Hollywood, from a small town in Ohio to a luxury resort in the Mediterranean. In doing so, he presents us with a sweeping panorama of the postwar United States, from the neuroticism of the McCarthy era to the overnight success stories of the post-depression boom.
The story of the Jordaches and the people they love is, one sense, the story of all of us who have lived through these years. But it is also uniquely theirs; because, as Robert Cromie wrote in Saturday Review, “Irwin Shaw has the gift of all great storytellers: he creates characters as genuine as that odd couple across the street, the curious patrons of the corner bar, the tragic figures from the headlines. They are individuals who walk into the living room of your mind, ensconce themselves, and refuse to be dislodged.”
Rich Man, Poor Man is a master story-tellers finest achievement.
This book, spanning the lives of a dysfunctional family - their loves, their lives, their triumphs, their failures. The characters are fantastically developed. This book delves into the lives of its characters over many years. This one succeeded beautifully in keeping ones interest over the decades of story - it didn't try to "cram" too much in, while at the same time providing enough information to hold the interest..
Hardcover with jacket 629 pages ASIN : B00D8M3YW8