From the moment he rescues the beautiful, passionate Maud Fallon from the icy waters of the Hudson one wintry day in 1849, Daniel Quinn is thrust into a bewildering, adventure-filled journey through the tumult of nineteenth-century America. As he quests after the beguiling and elusive Maud, Daniel will witness the rise and fall of great dynasties ...
From the moment he rescues the beautiful, passionate Maud Fallon from the icy waters of the Hudson one wintry day in 1849, Daniel Quinn is thrust into a bewildering, adventure-filled journey through the tumult of nineteenth-century America. As he quests after the beguiling and elusive Maud, Daniel will witness the rise and fall of great dynasties in upstate New York, epochal prize fights, exotic life in the theatre, visitations from spirits beyond the grave, horrific battles between Irish immigrants and the "Know-Nothings," vicious New York draft riots, heroic passages through the Underground Railroad, and the bloody despair of the Civil War. Filled with Dickensian characters, a vivid sense of history, and a marvellously inventive humor, Quinn's Book is an engaging delight by an acclaimed modern master.
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Publishers Weekly, 1989-03-10 The scene is still Albany and environs, but the time is the decade or so preceding the Civil War, the tone ``high fantastical.'' Daniel Quinn is a self-reliant orphan; plucky, ambitious and in love. ``Narrative is not the essence here,'' commented PW of this ``richly packed'' novel. ``It is Quinn' s endless, apparently effortless invention that dazzles, like a virtuoso musician improvising.'' 75,000 first printing; $65,000 ad/promo. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1988-03-18 All praise to Kennedy for a bold departure from the books that (finally) made his great reputationthe Albany cycle culminating in Ironweed. His new novel is, as they say, something completely different. The scene is still Albany and environs, but the time is the decade or so preceding the Civil War, the tone high fantastical. Daniel Quinn is a self-reliant orphan whose pluck, enterpriseand love for the dashing but elusive Maud Fallonmake him a friend of many notables and eventually a famous war correspondent. But narrative is not the essence here, though the book is full of incident and adventure, sometimes shocking, often brutal, nearly always told with the vivid colors of dream. Kennedy seems out to catch the 19th century American mindset as represented in some quintessential, legendary figures: a flamingly erotic dancer, a tough mountain of a man who rises to the top by the power of his fists and his love of gambling, the warm matriarch of a great old Dutch family, the endlessly resourceful black who helps fellow escaped slaves north to safety. There is natural calamity, riot and tragedy, leavened by frequent, unexpected humor. The book is so richly packed that sometimes the reader (and perhaps the author) loses all sense of forward motion and simply revels in the detail of the moment; this is what novels could be like if a writer felt no duty beyond that of entertaining, on a broad and generous scale but without foolishness, and crammed in anything that took his fancy. In the end, it is Quinn's endless, apparently effortless invention that dazzles, like a virtuoso musician improvising. Those who demand to know ``What's the point?'' or ``What's it all about?'' may cavil. But it gives a new spin to the tired notion of ``a good read,'' for the reader is almost as actively involved as the brilliant, chance-taking author. 200,00 copy first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; first serial to Esquire; BOMC and QPBC featured alternates. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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