Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142001732, Paperback)Insubstantial but charming, William Kennedy's Roscoe seems to unintentionally resemble many of the politicians it depicts. The seventh novel in Kennedy's Albany series, Roscoe follows Roscoe Conway, a quick-witted, charismatic lawyer-politician who has devoted much of his life to helping his Democratic Party cohorts achieve and maintain political power in 1930s and ‘40s Albany, New York. It's 1945, and Roscoe has decided to retire from politics, but a series of deaths and scandals forces him to stay and confront his past. Kennedy takes the reader on an intricate, whirlwind tour of (mostly) fictional Albany in the first half of the 20th century. He presents a mythologized, tabloid version of history, leaving no stone unturned: a multitude of gangsters, bookies, thieves, and hookers mingle with politicians, cops, and lawyers. In the middle of it all is Roscoe, the kind of behind-the-scenes, wisecracking, truth-bending man of the people who makes everything happen--or at least it's fun to think so. Kennedy shows an obvious affection for his book's colorful characters and historic Albany, and he describes both with loving specificity. Though the book often works as light comedy, its clichéd plot developments and stereotypical characters undermine its serious concerns with truth, history, and honor. "You've never met a politician like Roscoe Conway," promises the book's jacket blurb. But we have, through his different roles in countless films and TV series. As with its notoriously deceitful hero, Roscoe is likeable as long as you don't take it too seriously. --Ross Doll
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:15 -0400)
"You've never met a politician like Roscoe Conway (or have you?): a suave Falstaffian in a double-breasted white Palm Beach suit, unscrupulous, brilliant, exploding with courtly romance. It's V-J Day, the war's over, and Roscoe, after twenty-six years as chief brain truster of Albany's notorious political machine, decides to quit politics forever. But there's no exit, only new political wars and scandalous threats to his beloved and her family." "Roscoe, the chivalrous warrior, finds fraudulence an extremely effective combat weapon for coping with the erupting disasters. "Righteousness doesn't stand a chance against the imagination," he concludes. Every step forward leads Roscoe back to the past - to the early loss of his true love, his own peculiar heroics in the First World War, the takeover of city hall, the machine's fight with FDR and Al Smith to elect a governor, and the methodical assassination of gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond."--BOOK JACKET.
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.