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Good Faith by Jane Smiley

Good Faith

by Jane Smiley

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7151313,174 (3.29)27



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This book offended me as a real estate agent and as a reader. Ms. Smiley is a far, far better writer than she shows herself to be in this book. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
I always approach a Jane Smiley novel hoping it will be another like A Thousand Acres. Similar with the well-crafted characters and property/home issues, it unfortunately falls short of Acres. Still a good beach read and good on audio. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
The real estate novel, and of course it is about greed and corruption. An odd man comes to town – Marcus Burns, and finds everyone willing to go along with his plans to get rich with little effort. Of course, there is quite a revelation late in the novel, which I won’t spoil here. It’s well written by Pulitzer winner Jane Smiley. ( )
  samfsmith | Feb 5, 2011 |
I like novels about real estate. ( )
  sonyau | Jul 14, 2009 |
Maybe less ambitious than some of Smiley's other work ... on the other hand, the narrator is a single 40-year-old man, a real estate salesman who gets into sucked into a development scheme just as the 1980s savings and loan debacle grips on an exurban town in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, the countryside where New Yorkers weekend. We even get a few sex scenes from his POV.

I marvel at all the real estate research. And the descriptions of houses. If there's a page-turner centered around real estate, this is it. Of course, despite taking place in 1980, it's so timely. ( )
  Periodista | Jul 7, 2009 |
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This would be '82. I was out at the Viceroy with Bobby Baldwin. Bobby Baldwin was my one employee, which made us not quite friends, but we went out to the viceroy almost every night. My marriage was finished and his hadn't started, so we spent a lot of time together that most everyone else we knew was spending with their families.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375412174, Hardcover)

Opening a Jane Smiley novel is like slipping into a warm bath. Here are people we know, places where we grew up. But the comforting, unassuming tone of her work allows Smiley incredible latitude as a writer, and her books are full of surprises. Good Faith, a novel about greed and self-delusion set in the economic boom of the early 1980s, is no exception. Joe Stratford is an amiable, divorced real estate agent in an unspoiled small town called Rollins Hills. He takes it in stride when a married female friend pursues a love affair with him; he is more suspicious when a high-rolling newcomer named Marcus Burns begins to influence the business affairs of the men closest to Joe. Nevertheless, the promise of easy riches draws Joe into one of Burns's real estate development schemes, and then, ominously, into gold trading. The steps by which a nice guy can be lured into betraying his principles are delineated so sharply in Good Faith that you wonder how Joe cannot see them. Although he never quite manages to understand what has happened to him, he's granted a moment of grace at the close of the novel, a second chance that has nothing to do with money, ambition, or the tarnished American Dream. Since we live with the legacy of the self-serving 1980s, Smiley's novel seems as timely as if it were set in the present. Penetrating, readable fiction by one of our best writers and social critics. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:19 -0400)

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"Joe Stratford is someone you like at once. He makes an honest living helping nice people buy and sell nice houses. His not very amicable divorce is finally settled, and he's ready to begin again. It's 1982. He is pretty happy, pretty satisfied. But a different era has dawned; Joe's new friend, Marcus Burns from New York, seems to be suggesting that the old rules are ready to be repealed, that now is the time you can get rich quick. Really rich. And Marcus not only knows that everyone is going to get rich, he knows how. Because Marcus just quit a job with the IRS." "But is Joe ready for the kind of success Marcus promises he can deliver? And what's the real scoop on Salt Key Farm? Is this really the development opportunity of a lifetime?" "And then there's Felicity Ornquist, the lovely, feisty, winning (and married) daughter of Joe's mentor and business partner. She has finally owned up to her feelings for Joe: She's just been waiting for him to be available." "The question Joe asks himself, over and over, is, Does he have the gumption? Does he have the smarts and the imagination and the staying power to pay attention - to Marcus and to Felicity - and reap the rewards?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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