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Roscoe by William Kennedy
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253569,673 (3.75)4
Recently added byprivate library, 15minutes, Jaime29, ddahl, Hinkle707, CKBradford, AmCorNis, cns1000
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    America America by Ethan Canin (zhejw)
    zhejw: Another literary novel about upstate New York politics.

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Showing 4 of 4
Good characters in this foray into political intrigue in upstate New York. ( )
  VashonJim | Sep 5, 2015 |
The wonderful character of Roscoe adds to Kennedy's impressive array of heros of the Albany region. It is 1945, the war just ended and Roscue is the fixer of all things political and emotional. It seems the powerfcul democratic party could not survive without Roscoe behind the scenes. "He rigs elections and hands out innumerable bribes, covers up a suicide, whitewashes a murder and double-crosses a blackmailer. He also uncovers a terrible secret and tells it to no one, and then sacrifices himself for love. "(reviewer)
Just makes me want to read the rest of this series.
The men in this novel live in a time where they controled everything -the city, the money, the women they loved. Roscoe things he wants out of politics and he knows he loves his best friend's wife, but you can't always get what you want. Memorable scenes include a cock fighting match, a creative trial strategy and a reconnecting of old loves. Highly recommend to all ( )
  novelcommentary | May 14, 2008 |
Many years ago I happened upon Ironweed by William Kennedy (his Pulitzer Prize winner) but for some reason never finished it. While in Stratford a few weeks ago, I strolled down Ontario Street after finishing my coffee at Balzac's and on a sidewalk table in front of The Book Vault were a number of books priced at $3.99 (Canadian) or less. There actually was a remarkable collection - and I picked up a few by T.C. Boyle, Robertson Davies - and Roscoe by WK.

Upon my return from Stratford, I started Ironweed again - one of the early "Albany series" books. It is a remarkable portrayal of the life of down and out Francis Phelan - and his street friends. It may very well change your view of those living on the street, if nothing else - a wonderful book of redemption (in his own way).

I finished Ironweed in Savannah this week and started Roscoe during my return flight. It provides more on the Albany political scene in the 40's, with great characters that quickly come to life. ( )
  Griff | Feb 8, 2008 |
Kennedy's best, I think. A brilliantly-written look at New York machine politics. ( )
  JBD1 | Jan 11, 2006 |
Showing 4 of 4
Roscoe has a lyricism and a gusto rarely achieved in serious American novels about politics
added by zhejw | editThe Atlantic, Thomas Mallon (May 12, 2010)
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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)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"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.

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