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Hamilton Stark

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Hamilton Stark is a New Hampshire pipe fitter and the sole inhabitant of the house from which he evicted his own mother. He is the villain of five marriages and the father of a daughter so obsessed that she has been writing a book about him for years. Hamilton Stark is a boor, a misanthrope, a handsome man: funny, passionately honest, and a good dancer. The narrator, a mid ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 22nd 2011 by Harper Perennial (first published 1978)
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Now THIS is what I come to expect when reading Russell Banks. Banks, when he is at his best, tells stories of the relationships between incredibly flawed humans. While the "hero" of the work is the irascible miscreant, Hamilton Stark, the story is actually about those who would dare to love or admire such a person and whether such a person deserves such love and admiration and if those who would do so are in the wrong for doing so. Hamilton Stark also seems to derive from a point in Banks' caree ...more
Usually I really like formal innovation, in particular in prose since it is so unusual in that genre. So I admired this book, but I didn't actually like it at all. And it's not because the main character(s) are so unappealing; I don't think that's a particularly useful reason for liking or disliking a book. I guess I disliked the book because the tone never varied, even when the form did. And I have to wonder: is that maybe not a strength, that in the face of formal innovation a consistent tone ...more
a haunting character study that promises a lot more than it actually delivers. It seems to be one long build-up that never really takes off. Mesmerising at times but irritating at others.
It took me a while to get into this story. Mr. Banks experiments with POV and style.

For me, Banks's other novels (Continental Drift, Affliction, Rule of the Bone, The Sweet Hereafter) resonated with me. I am still glad I read this early book of his.
This rather experimental novel explores the life of local New Hampshire manly-man Hamilton Stark. No one seems to like him except the narrator, who obviously likes him way too much. Begs the question: if someone is a total jerk does that mean they have found a unique and worthwhile philosophy for living, or are they just a jerk?
Pete Camp
Not one of Banks' best but still a good read. He is such a superb author his books never fail to entertain. Unique story and concept.
Interesting, but not one of Banks' best. Ostensibly a book about writing a book, it ends up seeming like a send up of authors who fall in love with their characters, no matter how loathsome.
A strange format for such a heartfelt novel. Even though I read it years ago quotes from this book still haunt my thoughts occasionally.
Ruth Vanderhart
Vintage Banks. Don't reaad him if you want something cheerful or uplifting! But he's a fine wordsmith.
Amy Brown
It was written in a creative way, but apparantly I dont find "A." nearly as fascinating as the author did.
I read this in the mountains in Vermont while 5 feet of snow fell outside...perfect atmosphere.
Very good. Great developing character story related to mankind.
Melinda Elizabeth
I gave it 100 pages, it didn't get any better,I gave up on it :(
a character study, the meta author realizes his hero is no such thing
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Russell Banks is a member of the International Parliament of Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards. He has written fiction, and more recently, non-fiction, with Dreaming up America. His main works include the novels Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplit ...more
More about Russell Banks...
Rule of the Bone The Sweet Hereafter Lost Memory of Skin Cloudsplitter Affliction

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