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The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo

The Standard Grand (edition 2017)

by Jay Baron Nicorvo

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153908,054 (3)5
Title:The Standard Grand
Authors:Jay Baron Nicorvo
Info:New York : St. Martin's Press, 2017.
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The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo



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I was excited when I obtained a copy of Nicorvo’s debut novel. Set in 2012, it’s the story of a halfway house for homeless veterans suffering from PTSD and located in an abandoned Catskills (NY) resort.

One of the vets, Antebellum Smith, is actually AWOL from her post in Fort Leonard Wood. She can’t face a third deployment to Iraq and is sick and tired of her deadbeat civilian husband. She makes the trek from the Missouri Ozarks to Manhattan. She’d rather sleep in the park than go back.

She meets Milton Wright, a Vietnam vet and widower. Milt’s late wife’s family once owned the derelict property.

That was as much as I could decipher in this convoluted tale. There is a huge cast of characters, but thankfully, Nicorvo provides a list of who’s who before the story even starts. Most of the book is written in military lingo that was easy to figure out what it was, but for me it slowed the story down.

This work has been getting rave reviews, but it didn’t click with me. Every book had its reader(s), but this one isn’t for me. The Standard Grand gets 1 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | Mar 12, 2018 |
The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo

This is not my usual reading fare. When I was finished I was ready for something lighter with a happily ever after ending. In one novel everything but the kitchen sink seemed to end up being discussed: big business, war(s), PTSD, atrocities, abuse, love, marriage, divorce, AWOL, war veterans, murder, religion, do-gooders, abortion, adoption, the right to die, infidelity, intercultural relationships, anger, spying, homelessness, evil…goodness…the list goes on. It all fits in but does make for a long convoluted plot that left me “wondering”. Wondering about what? A lot of things…mostly the things brought up in the book.

Who would I recommend this book to? Tough question. Readers who are interested in war veterans, big business, intrigue and are willing to think about the bigger picture while reading snippets of the lives of the bit players. It will require the reader to stick with the book through the slow background building that is crucial in all of its parts when woven together. And it is no doubt best for people not looking for simple easy to read books that always have a HEA or HFN ending.

I am still pondering as I sit here. In some ways I wish the book had a different ending BUT perhaps the ending I wanted would not have left me pondering and thinking as this story’s end did.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Apr 18, 2017 |
Thumbs up for this debut novel by Jay Baron Nicorvo. Nicorvo bravely chooses to be a man writing women to great success. Finally, a novel that discusses women in combat. While this novel addresses issues dealing with military veterans, it is more ambitious than that. Nicorvo takes on fracking, corporate greed and a little big brother paranoia. A recommended read by a highly talented new novelist on the scene.

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
  Well-ReadNeck | Jan 18, 2017 |
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"When an Army trucker goes AWOL before her third deployment, she ends up sleeping in Central Park. There, she meets a Vietnam vet and widower who inherited a tumbledown Borscht Belt resort. Converted into a halfway house for homeless veterans, the Standard--and its two thousand acres over the Marcellus Shale Formation--is coveted by a Houston-based multinational company. Toward what end, only a corporate executive knows. With three violent acts at its center--a mauling, a shooting, a mysterious death decades in the past--and set largely in the Catskills, The Standard Grand spans an epic year in the lives of its diverse cast: a female veteran protagonist, a Mesoamerican lesbian landman, a mercenary security contractor keeping secrets and seeking answers, a conspiratorial gang of combat vets fighting to get peaceably by, and a cougar--along with appearances by Sammy Davis, Jr. and Senator Al Franken. All of the characters--soldiers, civilians--struggle to discover that what matters most is not that they've caused no harm, but how they make amends for the harm they've caused. The Standard Grand confronts a glaring cultural omission: the absence of women in our war stories. Like the best of its characters--who aspire more to goodness than greatness--this American novel hopes to darn a hole or two in the frayed national fabric"--… (more)

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