From the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Ironweed and Legs, Roscoe is a comic journey into the dark heart of America's postwar Democratic dream.; It's V-J Day, World War II is finally over, and Roscoe is quitting politics after twenty-six years as chief brainstruster of Albany's notorious Democratic machine. The suave, brilliant, unscrupulous ...
From the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Ironweed and Legs, Roscoe is a comic journey into the dark heart of America's postwar Democratic dream.; It's V-J Day, World War II is finally over, and Roscoe is quitting politics after twenty-six years as chief brainstruster of Albany's notorious Democratic machine. The suave, brilliant, unscrupulous Falstaffian wants to hang up his white double-breasted Palm Beach suit and drift into retirement. But how will he relax his hold on the lid without the political pot boiling over, scalding his beloved and her family? Armed with the politician's most powerful credo - 'Righteousness doesn't stand a chance against the imagination' - Roscoe fights his final political battles. Every step forward leads Roscoe into the past - to the early loss of his true love, to his own particular heroics in World War I, the takeover of City Hall and the methodical assassination of the gangster Jack 'Legs' Diamond. Roscoe is a comic masterpiece from one of America's most revered novelists.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-11-19 "Roscoe Owens Conway presided at Albany Democratic Party headquarters, on the eleventh floor of the State Bank building, the main stop for Democrats on the way to heaven." Thus begins Kennedy's first novel in five years, the seventh installment in his Albany cycle, which includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ironweed. He continues to display the insider's confident mastery of fact, the sharp-edged irony that contrasts appearance and reality and the vision of the outcomes to which his characters are fated. Roscoe is fixer for Albany, N.Y., and on V-J Day, 1945, the Democratic machine is under threat. The external enemy is New York's Republican governor, gathering evidence of the widespread corruption gambling, prostitution, violence that hallmarks Democratic leader Patsy McCall's rule. The mysterious suicide of Elisha Fitzgibbon, the machine's moneyman, sets the events in motion. Internally, the machine is strife ridden: Roscoe must patch up the hostility between McCall and his brother over a cockfight; he must deal with the conflict between police lieutenant and McCall gunsel Jeremiah "Mac" McEvoy and Roscoe's brother, O.B., the chief of police; and he must secure the mayoral re-election of Alex, Elisha's son. Meanwhile, Roscoe seems near a lifelong goal: marrying Veronica, Elisha's widow. As in all of Kennedy's Albany novels, the town is rendered with a hallucinatory, three-dimensional density. The seams of the past from politics to business to crime are split open, but Roscoe's job is to keep Albany's secret history secret. A good man at heart, he is corrupted by his means (blackmail, lies and faked testimony) until his dearest goals are thwarted. This is an engrossing, comic vision of the dark side of politics as the "art of the possible." Readers who were disappointed by the thinness of The Flaming Corsage, the Albany novel that preceded this one, will rejoice at the arrival of the full-blooded Roscoe. 10-city author tour. (Jan. 14) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-12-03 From Day of the Locusts to The Player, Hollywood's failures fuel the writerly imagination much more than its gaudy successes. Stern's latest novel turns not on a flamboyant burnout, but on the petering away of a last chance. Keneret is a movie director of the generation of Kubrick and Kramer, and his major films are long behind him when he discovers a beautiful tennis pro named Leet de Loor in Fiji. Leet's story inspires Keneret: she was abandoned by her father when, in the '60s, the French newspapers exposed him for having written the anti-Jewish laws in Vichy France. He left Leet and her mother in order to spare them, fleeing to where else? Argentina. Keneret takes this story and tries to pump it into the shape of a movie, starring Leet. The project is hamstrung from the beginning by bad luck. Keneret has lined up a backer, Duggan, who always brings along his sinister factotum, Vlach Scholem. Duggan and Vlach are more and more hesitant about Keneret's film; eventually, they pull the plug. Meanwhile Leet, who has come to L.A. to star in "her" film, gets by on various jobs, including one as an amanuensis for Spear, a retired film critic who has written a book on Keneret. From these beginnings she branches out, starting HAL, Inc., an agency that produces corporate biographies. The bridge in the book is between Spear and Keneret, both dissatisfied with the limits of retirement, both oddballs in unintellectual Southern California. Stern is a distinguished writer (Other Men's Daughters, etc.) whose audience will appreciate this beautifully controlled, well-crafted work in which he gently pushes a parallel between aging men and a generation of capable younger women. It is, for a Hollywood novel, oddly tender. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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