Friday, July 22, 2011

John Sayles' A Moment in the Sun - Book Review

A Moment in the SunA Moment in the Sun by John Sayles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an unforgettable book about America at the turn of the last century. Skillfully told and breathtaking in its scope.

I must say that the first half was totally engrossing, but it got a little tougher in the second half. I think whole chapters could have been left out. And yet the breadth of it is amazing, it's like you are soaking in the era. Gold rush, Spanish American War, yellow journalism, Cuba, the philippines, African American culture post Reconstruction, the white overthrow of the elected government of Wilmington, NC,  the early days of movie making, Mark Twain, the assassination of McKinley, on and on, yet woven into a compelling narrative. I learned some history for sure.

This book is getting rave reviews (the one in the NYTimes caused me to buy it) but I don't hear much about it otherwise. It is a rough read, and you have to wrestle with it in more ways than one, but well worth the effort. Like reading a cinder block, it's so fat.

It takes dedication to read this, and it's not for everyone, but I admire it greatly.

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