Monday, November 30, 2009

America America by Ethan Canin


So anyone looking for a good read, I would definitely recommend this book. It's one of the most subtle and affecting American tragedies I've ever read - an updating and reimagining of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby with a contemporized take on the American dream and how our country's changed.

It shows our America as it was, what made it great, and it shows America as it is now, and asks the question, have we lost something, or has it merely changed? Things have definitely changed - of that there's no questions - but the novel leaves the reader to decide whether or not they've changed for the better.

America America is the rare case where a story told by a passive and unreliable narrator is both visceral and gripping and real, it's one of the finest American epics we've had, tracing a great American family of the sort we don't have anymore and a town the likes of which is altogether much too rare.

It's written in the tradition of men like Faulkner, but America America is more beautiful, and more elegant, and more drawn out.

As Richard Russo wrote, "Read this novel and weep not just for all that we've lost, but how we've lost it."

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I'll have to check that out over break!

-Beth

Marcello said...

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We would love to trade links with you. Please let me know if you are interested


Best
Marcello
www.yvymag.com