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The Immigrants by Howard Fast
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The Immigrants (1977)

by Howard Fast

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lavette Family (1)

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English (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (3)
Showing 2 of 2
The Immigrants is one of those big 70's novels that were very popular well into the 80's, which often had sequels. Think Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw, or John Jakes series, or any number of James Michener books. These are often generation spanning epics and 'The Immigrants' from 1977 is the first in a series of books of that type. Initially I liked it quite a bit - I thought it had a lot of promise with a story of a young man, a fisherman in San Francisco with his father who sees everything destroyed in the 1906 earthquake as a teenager. He loses both parents.

Against the odds the young man of this story, Dan Lavette, begins a rags to riches journey. Perhaps a quarter of the way into the novel my interest began to fade and I'm not sure if this is because things started to get just a little too much like a soap opera, or I simply tired of this main character who could do just about anything by sheer force of will, charm, bluff, what have you. I persevered with the story, and there were parts here and there I liked well, particularly with several of the side characters. But the main story of rags to riches and then when 1929 comes, to rags for Dan Lavette just didn't hold my interest and the latter third of the novel just felt drawn out and rather weak. I read the story with interest, but without any passion. I liked the setting in San Francisco and the various elements of history woven throughout.

I'll rate this one as just OK. This is the first of what became a six book series. I think it unlikely I'll read more, but I won't rule it out. ( )
  RBeffa | Dec 7, 2016 |
My grandmother gave me this book; it's not something I would have picked up otherwise. It was a good book, though, a fairly typcial "rags to riches" type story about immigrant families in San Francisco. ( )
  herebedragons | Feb 9, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Howard Fastprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harvey, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stahl, Ben F.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The immigrants were without any deep consciousness of the role they were playing.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140223791X, Paperback)

The first book in bestselling author Howard Fast's beloved family saga

"A most wonderful book...there hasn't been a novel in years that can do a job on readers' emotions that the last fifty pages of The Immigrants does."
-Los Angeles Times

In this sweeping journey of love and fortune, master storyteller Howard Fast recounts the rise and fall of a family of roughneck immigrants determined to make their way in America at the turn of the century. Quick to ascend from the tragic depths of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Dan Lavette becomes the head of a powerful shipping empire and establishes himself among the city's cultural elite. But when he finds himself caught in a loveless marriage to the daughter of San Francisco's richest family, a scandalous love affair threatens to destroy the empire Dan has built for himself.

The first of a compelling family saga, The Immigrants is a fast-paced, emotional novel that captures the wide range of relationships among immigrant families during the tumultuous events that defined the early twentieth century in America.

 "A non-stop page-turner...moving, vivid...a splendid achievement!"
-Erica Jong

"Howard Fast is fiercely American. He is one of ours, one of our very best!"
-Los Angeles Times

"Warmth...Power...Tenderness...Excitement...Readers will find themselves anxiously awaiting the sequel."
-Columbus Dispatch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The saga of three families living in San Francisco during the earthquake, World War I and the Depression.

» see all 2 descriptions

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