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Man Gone Down: A Novel by Michael Thomas
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Man Gone Down: A Novel (2007)

by Michael Thomas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
The unnamed narrator of this stream-of-consciousness novel must raise thousands of dollars in a short time to pay his children’s private school tuition and put money down on a new apartment. His excruciatingly WASP-y wife is away with their kids for the summer, visiting her mother whom the narrator dislikes. He is a recovering alcoholic, an Ivy graduate, and a writer who, instead of writing, is working a series of under-the-table construction jobs.

Ye gods I hated this. The narrative was full of flashes of beautiful writing in a murky stream of consciousness, and that style is just not my cuppa. The narrator’s voice also seemed annoyingly whiny considering this guy was able to go to college "in Boston." Some in my book club accused the narrator of over-emphasizing the role race played in his problems. I won’t say that, because it’s hard to over-emphasize the role that race and class play in the kind of “luck” you have in life. In some ways I have faced the same issues as our narrator. But if I wrote the book it would not be stream of freaking consciousness. ( )
  CasualFriday | Jun 20, 2017 |
While this boo has been highly reviewed, I could not get into it, so did not finish.
  dgooler | Jul 1, 2014 |
Excellent. 9/10. A superb stylist. Such an eye for detail, his prose is poetry. One to re-read, because so dense with layers of meaning. ( )
  BCbookjunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
I'm surprised I finished this book because I spent the first half of it wondering why I was bothering reading it. I think mostly I don't really like to read books that are mainly just inner dialogue. Especially when the narrator is super annoying. Also, it is hard to differentiate between the present and past with the constant time jumping... maybe it would help if I would remember character names. ( )
  Rincey | Mar 29, 2013 |
Excellent. 9/10. A superb stylist. Such an eye for detail, his prose is poetry. One to re-read, because so dense with layers of meaning. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Sep 24, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
In its award citation, the five-member Impac Dublin jury called Mr. Thomas “a writer of enthralling voice and startling insight.” It described “Man Gone Down” as a “drama of individual survival set against the myth of an integrated and racially normalized America” and said it “shows, in unsentimental clarity, the way the future can close mercilessly on those marginalized by race and social circumstance.”
added by dchaikin | editNew York Times, LARRY ROHTER (Jun 22, 2009)
 
The scope of Thomas’s project is prodigious, though, and the end result is an impressive success. He has an exceptional eye for detail, and the poetry of his descriptive digressions — “the heaving surface of the water is what the night sky should be — moving and wild, wavering reflections of buildings on both sides, dark and bright, like thin, shimmering clouds” — provides some respite from the knowledge that the city he loves can truly crush a man’s spirit. A Boston-bred African-American writer who lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their three children, Thomas seems to have fully embraced the “write what you know” ethos. And what he knows is how the odds are stacked in America. He knows the unlikelihood of successful black fatherhood. He knows that things are set up to keep the Other poor and the poor in their place. More than anything else, he knows how little but also — fortunately — how much it can take to bring a man down.
 

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Michael Thomasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Putnam, BarbaraReading Guidesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802170293, Paperback)

On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep the kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them in which to live. As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we learn of a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:33 -0400)

After Hannah's fiancé is caught cheating, she leaves him to pursue her cheerleading dream, while still working at RockStar Records. And Hannah will deal firsthand with Cheerleader Rule #1: Don't fall in love with a player.

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