HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The street sweeper by Elliot Perlman
Loading...

The street sweeper (original 2012; edition 2011)

by Elliot Perlman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2924538,453 (4.21)39
Member:Opinionated
Title:The street sweeper
Authors:Elliot Perlman
Info:North Sydney, N.S.W. : Random House Australia, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman (2012)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 39 mentions

English (44)  Danish (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Elliot Perlman's "The Street Sweeper" is a novel of big themes and big ideas. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the Holocaust are powerfully woven together in Perlman's grand novel through stories found and lost. Synchronicity guides the action and we too suffer, learn, and seek redemption like characters in a mythic play. A must read. ( )
  greggchadwick | Apr 18, 2015 |
We have tackled some big books this year and Perlman’s The Street Sweeper is the last of them. A sweeping (sorry about the pun) novel of over 500 pages, its story content is dense and at times harrowing, but was given huge praise from the majority of our group.
Some of us did find its volume too daunting and at best ‘just another holocaust story’, but of those that read to the end, it was thought unanimously a well-written, emotional story that horrified yet moved us.

We found Lamont an endearing character and quickly jumped on his bandwagon for the duration of the ride. Adam was intriguing and contained many characteristics of Perlman’s other protagonists, particularly from Three Dollars and Seven Types of Ambiguity.
And then there was the ‘memory’ theme that wove strong throughout the book …

Memory is a willful dog. It won’t be summoned or dismissed but it cannot survive without you. It can sustain you or feed on you. It visits when it is hungry, not when you are. It has a schedule all its own that you can never know, It can capture you, corner you or liberate you. It can leave you howling and it can make you smile.

This paragraph was sighted by a few of us as being very poignant to the storyline, as there were many aspects and views that needed to come together. And in the end history is written by memories … what they contain and what they miss.

Overall The Street Sweeper scored high with our group. An indication that this novel promises a high quality read for those looking for such. ( )
  DaptoLibrary | Dec 1, 2014 |
This book was a goodreads.com first read contest win.

WOW. this was a great book. I so enjoyed reading about how someone like Lamont was trying to turn there life around. To me the author has captured everything interesting and worthy in the characters and put that into words.

I will be recommending this book to several friends and my reading group. ( )
  kybunnies | Oct 19, 2014 |
THE STREET SWEEPER is multi-character, multi-threaded saga that combines academia, civil rights, the US justice system, and the Holocaust into one coherent story by the end.
It starts with Lamont Williams, a black probationary janitor at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital. Recently released from prison, he is trying to get his life back in order and find his now eight-year-old daughter. There he meets and befriends Henryk Mandelbrot, a cancer patient who was a survivor of Auschwitz. Mandelbrot is determined to tell Williams his story, insisting that Williams remember every detail.
A second thread is about Adam Zignelik, son of a well-known civil rights activist and untenured faculty member in the History Department of Columbia University. Since he has not published anything worthwhile, he is about to lose his job. William McCray, the father of a friend of his as well as head of the History Department, is a World War II veteran. He is trying to prove that black US soldiers liberated Dachau concentration camp.
As Adam becomes interested in the subject, he discovers a treasure trove of personal interviews conducted with some of the survivors in Displaced Persons Camps right after the war. They were conducted by a psychologist, Henry Border and were possibly the first oral histories ever conducted. They were recorded on a newly invented magnetic coil process.
The book alternates between the present and the years before and during the Holocaust depending on what is being said or revealed. It works fairly well, though there is much too much repetition, including minor details. We learn a lot about the main characters and how they react to changing situations. Much of the dialogue is in the form of lectures rather than conversations.
THE STREET SWEEPER provides more detail about life in the camp, especially with how people were sent to the gas chambers and what happened to the bodies afterwards, than most other books. It also talks about an attempt by prisoners to damage the structures.
In addition, there is some important dialogue about the way the US Supreme Court has overturned Brown vs The Board of Education, a case that involved some of the characters or their family members.
The book is worth reading and does offer much insight. Many of the characters are based on real people and real events. They are listed at the end. I just wish there wasn’t so much repetition.
  Judiex | Jun 26, 2014 |
an epic work - i was totally immersed in this book - a big, sprawling story with over 600 pages- i completed the final 400 in a day - i loved that there were so many true historical references - learned a lot from the book and its many characters and all the subplots - i felt for so many of the major characters in all their strengths and vulnerabilities - so many brave people struggling against overwhelming odds - so many heroes brave enough to keep on living when that was the harder choice - there were parts of the death camp story that i had to skim as it was so graphic and horrific - this would have been a 5 star book but for the ending which went overboard with synchronicities (meaningful coincidences) -the ending seemed unsophisticated compared with the rest of the story, although i was glad that it ended on a hopeful, happy note. ( )
  njinthesun | Apr 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Bergen staan voor deze smart gebogen...
Maar het verre lied van hoop weerklinkt

(Anna Achmatova)
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Lamont Williams is a paroled felon looking to turn his life around, working as a street sweeper at a large city hospital and searching for his estranged daughter. Adam Zignelik is a struggling, nontenured professor, paralyzed by looming failure, his life falling apart around him. He discovers a cache of recordings of previously unheard voices reaching out from a horrific past, voices that can both save his career and bring him back to the woman he loves. At the same time, Lamont forges an unlikely friendship with a dying man, who, having lived through those horrors, has a crucially important story to tell and to preserve. The worlds surrounding these two men, their families, their pasts, their potential futures, swirl in and out of history as the forces of the Holocaust, the American civil rights movement, Chicago unions, and New York City racial politics combine in a thrilling cross- generational literary symphony.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"From the author of Seven Types of Ambiguity, an epic that reaches across generations and spans continents, revealing the interconnectedness and interdependence of humanity and the profound impact of memory on our lives"--

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
140 wanted4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.21)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 3
2.5
3 3
3.5 7
4 31
4.5 16
5 30

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 97,943,318 books! | Top bar: Always visible