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America America by Ethan Canin

America America

by Ethan Canin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7539919,678 (3.7)60
In the early 1970s, Corey Sifter, the son of working-class parents, becomes a yard boy on the grand estate of the powerful Metarey family. Soon, through the family's generosity, he is a student at a private boarding school and an aide to the great New York senator Henry Bonwiller, who is running for president of the United States. Before long, Corey finds himself involved with one of the Metarey daughters as well, and he begins to leave behind the world of his upbringing. As the Bonwiller campaign gains momentum, Corey finds himself caught up in a complex web of events in which loyalty, politics, sex, and gratitude conflict with morality, love, and the truth.… (more)
  1. 10
    Roscoe by William Kennedy (zhejw)
    zhejw: Another literary book about upstate New York political intrigue.
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    Disobedience by Jane Hamilton (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (alaskabookworm)
    alaskabookworm: A classic about the political machine.

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» See also 60 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
I have had this book on my tbr shelf since it was published. And it took me 10 years to get to it.

I enjoyed the first half of this book. But then it turned into a Chappaquiddick rip-off, and then it went completely off the rails. NO spoilers, but ugh.

There were quite a few significant characters that seem extraneous. Gil. Trieste's father. Honestly I'm not really sure why Trieste is even there, but I guess she is who the story is really being told to. The next-door neighbor. And why Clara and Christian? There are a lot of characters here, and a lot of side stories, but they don't really help to pull this novel along.

The last 20% of this book (I listened on audio) were a slog. I was gardening, I was walking, and oh I wanted to quit but I hate giving up that far in! ( )
  Dreesie | Nov 15, 2017 |
(46) I love long sprawling novels that bring to life people, a place, a time in history. This novel is about a political campaign in the early 1970's and it made for rich reading after the 2016 campaign. Corey Sifter is the son of a blue-collar worker who begins to work on the Metarey estate as a handyman. Liam Metarey is a gentleman tycoon living in upstate New York and helping Senator Henry Bonwiller run for the Democratic nomination for president to run against Nixon. Corey becomes entangled with the family and is an innocent (or perhaps not so innocent bystander) as the Metareys attempt to cover-up the disastrous private life of a public visionary for the perceived good of the country. Throughout the novel mysteries are hinted at - some are revealed, others are conjectured, still others left rather murky my opinion.

This is the first novel I have read by this author (a physician!) and I admire his story-telling. Some of his characters such as the next-door neighbor, Mr. Sifter, and Corey himself were quite well-drawn. Others were a bit vague- especially the women - June Metarey, Trieste, Clara and Christian. While most things about the novel worked - the historical fiction aspect, the dancing chronology, the dramatic tension. Some things seemed too drawn out - this was one of those novels that seems to have too many endings. just end it. end it. end it already. . . . and I am still not sure I know who is the man who comes to the grave at the beginning (which is actually the end, I guess?) I went back and re-read the opening again and I guess I know, but I am underwhelmed at the supposed meaning of this.

Overall, really enjoyable. An excellent read, reminded me of 'American Wife' by Curtis Sittenfeld which I read and loved recently. As gross as politics is, especially here recently - there is still something fascinating about it all. ( )
  jhowell | Nov 26, 2016 |
I have had the recorded version of America America by Ethan Canin for several years and finally decided to listen to it. It turned out to be very apropos for this election season. It is a retelling of the Edward Kennedy Chapaquidic episode that resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopeckne. The novel is told from the point-of-view of sixteen year-old Cory Sifter who is the driver/handyman for the man who is the campaign manager for a potential Presidential candidate in 1970's America. The novel was well plotted and the characters engaging. What was an unexpected surprise was the narrator. Robinson Davies had a perfect voice for this novel and it greatly enhanced the experience of reading/listening to the novel. There were a few places were the novel dragged but listening to Davies was a pleasure. ( )
  benitastrnad | Oct 27, 2016 |
He has an effortless style of writing. His writing was striped red white and blue. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
Politics in the 1970s serves as the backdrop
for a rip-roaring tale of power, love, sex and morality. ( )
  VashonJim | Sep 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
“America America” doesn’t quite earn its grand, double-barrelled title, but its reach is wide and its touch often masterly.

added by zhejw | editThe New Yorker, John Updike (Jun 23, 2008)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Canin, Ethanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lange, Barbara deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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