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Quinn's Book by William J. Kennedy
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Quinn's Book (original 1988; edition 1989)

by William J. Kennedy (Author)

Series: The Albany Cycle (Book 4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
356560,659 (3.59)1
In 1849, a boy saves a girl from the Hudson River in this story "of wonders and sweetness, magic and horrors [that] immerses itself in the marvelous" (The Boston Sunday Globe). A penniless Irish orphan, Daniel Quinn is among the crowds gathered at the Hudson River in Albany to watch a legendary dancer aboard the ferry. But when the boat strikes the ice that chokes the water on this wintry day, awe turns to terror. Though the dancer's life is lost, Daniel risks his neck and rescues her niece, Maud Fallon.   But just as he's falling in love with the beautiful, passionate girl, she's snatched away from him. As the years pass and Daniel continues his quest for the beguiling Maud, he will witness the rise and fall of great dynasties in upstate New York, epochal prize fights, the exotic world of the theater, visitations from spirits beyond the grave, horrific battles between Irish immigrants and the Know-Nothings, the New York draft riots, the perils of the Underground Railroad, and the bloody despair of the Civil War.   Rich with nineteenth-century history and filled with flourishes of humor and magical realism, this is an "engrossing and eerily profound" novel (Time) from an author who, in the words of Stephen King, "writes with verve and nerve [and] paints a full and lively canvas." In the tradition of E. L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate or Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale, it is a remarkable saga from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ironweed.  … (more)
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Title:Quinn's Book
Authors:William J. Kennedy (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (1989), 289 pages
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Quinn's Book by William Kennedy (1988)

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Showing 4 of 4
I received an electronic copy of this book and thank NetGalley and Open Road Integrated Media.

William Kennedy's book about Daniel Quinn employs more words than I thought existed. I loved the words, I loved the characters and their travels, I loved the setting . The touch of mysticism, cynicism, phantasmagoria, were all whipped cream on the top of a great story. What an adventure, what an interesting way to be introduced to Albany in 1849. There is no question that I will explore Kennedy's other books. ( )
  kimkimkim | Aug 21, 2017 |
"Quinn's Book" reminds me of Isabelle Allende's "House of the Spirits". Kennedy uses magic realism in his novel but it was more historical, more realism than magic. Just the right amount of magic for me. It was full of unforgettable characters that you would definitely love and I bet not relate too. The summary at the back was not wrong in saying that this book has full of Darwinian characters. I love love Daniel Quinn and I love how his love for Maud evolves. This is definitely a great love story, fit for the big screen. My P10.00 was well worth it! ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 17, 2014 |
Any time your book contains the sentence, "But as the warmth of the day deepened, those wary Albany water rats (I include my master) were in agreement that the floes' growth in size and frequency, indeed the whole river's present nature, which was one of mild flood, argued that skiffs had no function on water such as this; all agreed, I say, except Carrick, the rotten Scottish hunchback of syphilitic mien, no longer welcome in the brothels of Albany, who had reached no such decision and was firm in his role as Albany's undauntable ferryman, ready to carry the urgent mail, the woeful news, or the intrepid passenger across the waters during storm or flood, and now the only soul at the pier willing to transport this plumed cargo to the far shore," on page TWO, then you've definitely earned my undying loyalty for at least the next 282 pages. ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Jun 18, 2007 |
An offbeat and eccentric novel set in 19th century Albany, about the adventures of Daniel Quinn, an orphan boy as he moves through a raucous cast of locales and characters, and attempts to win his way back to Maud Fallon, his one true love. Chock full of uproarious sexual misadventures, violent scenes, politics and feuds. An exhausting but worthwhile read. ( )
  burnit99 | Feb 3, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Epigraph
...a man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened. --Albert Camus
The malevolent and terrifying thing shall of itself strike such terror into men that almost like madmen, while thinking to escape from it, they will rush in swift course upon its boundless forces. --Leonardo Da Vinci
Dedication
This book is for Dana, By Herself
First words
I, Danie Quinn, neither the first nor the last of a line of such Quinns, set eyes on Maud the wondrous on a late December day in 1849 on the banks of the river of aristocrats and paupers, just as the great courtesan, Magdalena Colón, also known as La Última, a woman whose presence turned men into spittling, masturbating pigs, boarded a skiff to carry her across the river's icy water from Albany to Greenbush, her first stop en route to the city of Troy, a community of iron, where later that evening she was scheduled to enact, yet again her role as the lascivious Lais, that fabled prostitute who spurned Demostenes' gold and yielded without fee to Diogenes, the virtuous, impecunious tub-dweller.
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In 1849, a boy saves a girl from the Hudson River in this story "of wonders and sweetness, magic and horrors [that] immerses itself in the marvelous" (The Boston Sunday Globe). A penniless Irish orphan, Daniel Quinn is among the crowds gathered at the Hudson River in Albany to watch a legendary dancer aboard the ferry. But when the boat strikes the ice that chokes the water on this wintry day, awe turns to terror. Though the dancer's life is lost, Daniel risks his neck and rescues her niece, Maud Fallon.   But just as he's falling in love with the beautiful, passionate girl, she's snatched away from him. As the years pass and Daniel continues his quest for the beguiling Maud, he will witness the rise and fall of great dynasties in upstate New York, epochal prize fights, the exotic world of the theater, visitations from spirits beyond the grave, horrific battles between Irish immigrants and the Know-Nothings, the New York draft riots, the perils of the Underground Railroad, and the bloody despair of the Civil War.   Rich with nineteenth-century history and filled with flourishes of humor and magical realism, this is an "engrossing and eerily profound" novel (Time) from an author who, in the words of Stephen King, "writes with verve and nerve [and] paints a full and lively canvas." In the tradition of E. L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate or Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale, it is a remarkable saga from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ironweed.  

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