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Manhattan Transfer (1925)
by John Dos Passos
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A new favorite author. I love this guy's writing style. His descriptions are visceral. You see the colors, smell the smells, feel the mood. I wanted to be there, to meet these people. Fantastic read.
Man versteht, wieso es ein solcher Klassiker ist, literarisch sicherlich eine Revolution und auch sprachlich herausragend. Leider habe ich nie einen Zugang zum Buch gefunden, weil ich weder einer der Handlungen, noch einem der Charaktere wirklich etwas abgewinnen konnte und das Collagenhafte des Buches es dem*der Leser*in auch wirklich nicht einfach macht. Vielleicht etwas, das man mit entsprechender Begleitung mehr genießen kann.
Hustle and bustle of the Big City
New York a the start of the twentieth century. Several stories interwoven demonstrate the chaos of city life. Characters range from rich, former rich, and poor. A great mix reflecting the city at the time.
To me, Manhattan Transfer is the best modern book about New York that I have read. It is an endless series of glimpses of people in the vast scuffle of Manhattan Island, as they turn up again and again and again, in a confusion that has no obvious rhythm, but wherein at last we recognize the systole-diastole of success and failure, the end being all failure, from the point of view of life; and then another flight towards another nowhere...
The scenes whirl past like snowflakes. Broadway at night — whizz! gone! — a quick-lunch counter! gone! — a house on Riverside Drive, the Palisades, night — gone! But, gradually, you get to know the faces. It is like a movie picture with an intricacy of different stories and no close-ups and no writing in between. Mr. Dos Passos leaves out the writing in between.
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Considered by many to be John Dos Passos's greatest work, Manhattan Transfer is an "expressionistic picture of New York" (New York Times) in the 1920s that reveals the lives of wealthy power brokers and struggling immigrants alike. From Fourteenth Street to the Bowery, Delmonico's to the underbelly of the city waterfront, Dos Passos chronicles the lives of characters struggling to become a part of modernity before they are destroyed by it. More than seventy-five years after its first publication, Manhattan Transfer still stands as "a novel of the very first importance" (Sinclair Lewis). It is a masterpeice of modern fiction and a lasting tribute to the dual-edged nature of the American dream.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.52Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1900-1944
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.