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Flesh and Blood by Michael Cunningham
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Flesh and Blood (1995)

by Michael Cunningham

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978148,803 (3.91)5
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English (11)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This was the first book i read from this author. have to be honest, i didn't even read it completely. I just so didn't like the storyline, and it couldn't grab me. For as far as i have read it, it is a well written story, it just couldn't get to me. I felt sorry for the three kids, the father just annoyed me. The mother tried to be perfect in a disordered and dysfunctional family. I liked the the son and youngest daughter. The eldest is someone i just didn't have anything with...no capturing personality...It just goes on and on and on with the same things...I think it's boring. ( )
  Farore | Feb 7, 2014 |
I really enjoy Michael Cunningham's writing, quite poetic and flowing and I could not put this book down. However I am not sure I liked any of the characters, even at the end. Also, almost every male character in the novel had conflicted feelings about his sexuality, which in my limited experience did not seem realistic. ( )
  Becky221 | Dec 10, 2013 |
As usual, Cunningham's writing is beautiful, the characters richly developed, and the story engrossing. Cunningham writes family dramas like no one else (Franzen's The Corrections comes close, though). This one finally scrubs out the bad taste left in my mouth by the travesty that was Specimen Days. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
Covering many years and concluding well in the future, this family saga centres on the lives of three children, including the son who is gay, and their parents a Greek immigrant and his Italian wife.
Of the children, Susan readily marries to escape he father; Billy goes to Harvard; and Zoë takes up a free lifestyle in New York. Each finds love in his or her own way, and of course the problems that go with such. As the children in turn have children their lives become part of the saga. Each member of the family is a distinct and very individual character, from the down to earth, physical, abusive and self made patriarch Constantine, his sensitive wife Mary, the rather prim Susan, level headed Billy who is gay and perhaps the most endearing member of the family, and Zoë who is into free love and drugs. The one outsider to the family who figures strongly in the story is Cassandra, Zoë’s flamboyant transvestite and very caring friend, and an appealing individual.
Between them they face innumerable troubles including divorce, abuse, illness, discrimination, drugs, AIDS, adultery, suicide, death, and family rejection. But these troubles are tempered with the more positive, essentially the love that binds a family, and the love that some find beyond the family, including gay love. As the saga draws to its conclusion way in the future it is the less conventional family members, those at times rejected, who come through with credit and prove to be the true survivors.
Flesh and Blood is an engrossing family drama with vividly drawn and diverse characters, a very moving and ultimately heart warming story. ( )
  presto | Apr 24, 2012 |
almost great ( )
  pjpjx | Oct 25, 2010 |
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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. 'Stop!" cried the groaning old man at last. "Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree."
- GERTRUDE STEIN, The Making of Americans
Dedication
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This book is for Donna Lee & Cristina Thorson
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1935. Constantine, eight years old, was working in his father's garden and thinking about his own garden, a square of powdered granite he had staked out and combed into rows at the top of his family's land.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0684874318, Paperback)

In Flesh and Blood, Michael Cunningham takes us on a masterful journey through four generations of the Stassos family as he examines the dynamics of a family struggling to "come of age" in the 20th century.

In 1950, Constantine Stassos, a Greek immigrant laborer, marries Mary Cuccio, an Italian-American girl, and together they produce three children: Susan, an ambitious beauty, Billy, a brilliant homosexual, and Zoe, a wild child. Over the years, a web of tangled longings, love, inadequacies and unfulfilled dreams unfolds as Mary and Constantine's marriage fails and Susan, Billy, and Zoe leave to make families of their own. Zoe raises a child with the help of a transvestite, Billy makes a life with another man, and Susan raises a son conceived in secret, each extending the meaning of family and love. With the power of a Greek tragedy, the story builds to a heartbreaking crescendo, allowing a glimpse into contemporary life which will echo in one's heart for years to come.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:58 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The story of Constantine Stassos, a Greek immigrant. He marries an Italian girl, they have three children and he becomes a rich construction boss. After which it's downhill all the way: drugs, sex and the generation gap. The parents divorce, a son becomes a homosexual, the daughter has an illegitimate black baby. By the author of A Home at the End of the World.… (more)

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