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Man Gone Down: A Novel by Michael Thomas
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Man Gone Down: A Novel (2007)

by Michael Thomas

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
While this boo has been highly reviewed, I could not get into it, so did not finish.
  dgooler | Jul 1, 2014 |
Excellent. 9/10. A superb stylist. Such an eye for detail, his prose is poetry. One to re-read, because so dense with layers of meaning. ( )
  BCbookjunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
I'm surprised I finished this book because I spent the first half of it wondering why I was bothering reading it. I think mostly I don't really like to read books that are mainly just inner dialogue. Especially when the narrator is super annoying. Also, it is hard to differentiate between the present and past with the constant time jumping... maybe it would help if I would remember character names. ( )
  Rincey | Mar 29, 2013 |
Excellent. 9/10. A superb stylist. Such an eye for detail, his prose is poetry. One to re-read, because so dense with layers of meaning. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Sep 24, 2011 |
I'm had some difficultly trying to review this. In the early going, over about 100 pages or so, this book was an out and out wow. The narrators is broke, jobless, homeless but living in a wealthy friends house in Brooklyn, and alone having just watched his kids and wife leave town to stay with his mother-in-law. He begins to break down; as he does so he goes into trances pondering the consequences of being black, of a troubled childhood, of his white wife and mixed children, all of which are fascinating. But then the narrator starts to talk about his day and doesn't stop; it keeps on going and going. I had to change how I read it, actually I had to figure out how to read it. I had the impression the book became something like a musical composition with long wandering passages that come to peaks and pauses when there is a dramatic twist or the scene changes. I'm not sure if that's really accurate, but that's how I read it, trying to find a flow, and following the narrator as he hovers on the brink of collapse. It's interesting and it works in its own way. On the inspiration of the first 100 pages or so, I was able to carry on through and enjoy it. ( )
  dchaikin | Jul 10, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
In its award citation, the five-member Impac Dublin jury called Mr. Thomas “a writer of enthralling voice and startling insight.” It described “Man Gone Down” as a “drama of individual survival set against the myth of an integrated and racially normalized America” and said it “shows, in unsentimental clarity, the way the future can close mercilessly on those marginalized by race and social circumstance.”
added by dchaikin | editNew York Times, LARRY ROHTER (Jun 22, 2009)
 
The scope of Thomas’s project is prodigious, though, and the end result is an impressive success. He has an exceptional eye for detail, and the poetry of his descriptive digressions — “the heaving surface of the water is what the night sky should be — moving and wild, wavering reflections of buildings on both sides, dark and bright, like thin, shimmering clouds” — provides some respite from the knowledge that the city he loves can truly crush a man’s spirit. A Boston-bred African-American writer who lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their three children, Thomas seems to have fully embraced the “write what you know” ethos. And what he knows is how the odds are stacked in America. He knows the unlikelihood of successful black fatherhood. He knows that things are set up to keep the Other poor and the poor in their place. More than anything else, he knows how little but also — fortunately — how much it can take to bring a man down.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802170293, Paperback)

On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep the kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them in which to live. As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we learn of a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:05 -0400)

"Man Gone Down is a novel about a young black father of three in a biracial marriage trying to claim a piece of the American Dream he has bargained on since youth." "On the eve of the unnamed narrator's thirty-fifth birthday, he finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend's six-year-old child. He has four days before he's due in Boston to pick up his family, four days to try to make some sense of his life. He's been trying to stay afloat by working construction jobs, though he's known on the streets as "the professor," as he was expected to make something out of his life."."Alternating between his past - as a child in inner city Boston he was bussed to the suburbs as part of the doomed attempts at integration in the 1970s - and the present in New York City where he is trying mightily to keep his children in private schools, we learn of his mother's abuses, his father's abandonment, alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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