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George Mills

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Considered by many to be Elkin's magnum opus, George Mills is, an ambitious, digressive and endlessly entertaining account of the 1,000 year history of the George Millses. From toiling as a stable boy during the crusades to working as a furniture mover, there has always been a George Mills whose lot in life is to serve important personages. But the latest in the line of tr ...more
Paperback, 518 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 1982)
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Jonathan
''Learn this, Mills. There are distinctions between men, humanity is dealt out like cards. There is natural suzerainty* like the face value on coins. ... It's as simple as the scorn in my voice when I talk to you like this, as natural as the italics my kind use and your kind don't. Now do as I tell you, get on your horse.''

'You've doomed me,' Mills said. 'You've cursed my race.' ''It was so. Mills apologized silently to the sons he was yet to have - if they ever got out of this mess - for the
...more
Josh
I changed my opinion of this long, dense book about eight times over the course of reading it (I'm not sure what this is, this is great, this is a sloppy mess, this is spinning its wheels, this is great, this is good, this is all over the place, this is amazing), and my final determination is that it's a difficult, digressive, virtuosic masterpiece about everything. Some books I think, "Yeah, I can picture the writing process here, the effort, the time, the construction," but this book fills me ...more
Christian Schwoerke
Every novel of reputed worth, no matter how much I may or may not like it, has something of merit to recommend it. The pleasures I derived from this one, however, were woefully out of proportion to the time I spent with it.

Thirty years ago I had read "The Dick Gibson Show", and nothing except disappointment sticks with me. At the beginning of the year, I read "The Living End", and I was again puzzled by and disappointed. After finishing Marilynne Robinson's Homecoming, I waded into what some hav
...more
Erik Wyse
A wholly unique and ambitious novel. Largely plotless, meandering between rich scenes and setups. The language is as verbose and rich as any I've encountered, as Elkin tends towards longer sentences that twist and turn.
Anwar Sadat
Thank you, John Keeney, for introducing me to one of the great American authors and novels.
Alan Newman
Elkins was extolled by critics in the 60's-80's. but seems forgotten today. George Mills is not surprisingly about generations of George Millses, representing the nameless poor, those who do the menial tasks, fixed in class, fixed in poverty, expecting nothing and getting nothing. The Mills curse takes on mythic proportions and even smacks of Greek tragedy. It deals with issues like death, spiritualism, loyalty, marital fidelity, exploitation of the poor and mental illness. At the same time it's ...more
David
Never using one adjective when he could use three or more, Elkin's book was just not appealing to me. It starts with an interesting premise, following the men of the Mills line for a thousand years, each succeeding generation with a son named "George" and each generation cursed to a life on society's outskirts, 50 generations of futility as laborers and n'er do wells until the current George Mills, who works as a mover for a business that evicts the poor from there homes in St Louis, decides it' ...more
Meghan
Dec 14, 2007 Meghan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: men? I'm not sure
So the description of this book on the site says it's endlessly entertaining, and on my copy there is a quote from Salman Rushdie about how much he liked it...but maybe there's something I missed. I found it hard to follow and it was difficult to connect with any of the characters, as soon as I thought I might like them they we swapped out for a new character. There were some sections that I enjoyed, but many that I was completely bored with. It took me FOREVER to read this book because I wasn't ...more
Andrew
This book is really a 3.5 star book, but the fact that I jerked off once or twice while reading it pushes it into the fourth when forced to choose. The first chapter is awful, and then it gets fantastic. Elkin's language is exciting; his plots not to so much. But who gives a shit about plot anyway when he can write about "taut auras", "the feeble litter of the lightly trafficked park", "effluent participatory chivalry" etc.
Jeremy Hornik
This book took me six months to read. It had extremely vivid prose (perhaps overly vivid prose), a meandering plot, and a generally morose point of view. It seemed like I couldn't go more than a few pages without drifting away.

Still, I never wanted to quit. So many gems! So little impetus to turn the page.
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Stanley Lawrence Elkin was a Jewish American novelist, short story writer, and essayist. His extravagant, satirical fiction revolves around American consumerism, popular culture, and male-female relationships.

During his career, Elkin published ten novels, two volumes of novellas, two books of short stories, a collection of essays, and one (unproduced) screenplay. Elkin's work revolves about Americ
...more
More about Stanley Elkin...
The Living End The Magic Kingdom The Franchiser The Dick Gibson Show A Bad Man

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