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The Temple of Music: A Novel
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The Temple of Music: A Novel

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  57 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
In a starkly divided America, a Republican president seeks reelection in the afterglow of a controversial war. He is bankrolled by millionaires, with every step of his career orchestrated by a political mastermind. While terrorists plot the assassination of world leaders, a lonely, disturbed revolutionary stalks the President. . . .

It all happened. One hundred years ago.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Broadway Books (first published 2004)
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Feb 09, 2014 Marvin rated it liked it
It's the end of a century, the beginning of a new one. American business is spectacularly successful and is personified in the persons of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, et al. They have been so successful that they have succeeded, through the machinations of Mark Hanna, in buying a president, William McKinley. At the same time as American businessmen & politicians are convinced--or, at least, pronounce--that America's business success raises all boats, that "workingmen" have more purchas ...more
Oct 25, 2008 Wendy rated it did not like it
Disappointing. I had hoped for a grand story that would teach me of another time. Disjointed, boring, and decidedly liberal in it's bias. I am more than half way through, but I don't know that I will finish it. It is just depressing to listen to.
Nov 01, 2012 Christina added it
Shelves: unfinished
That was one too many "back in the past, there is something happening at this minute" for me. Also just a little too gleeful in the multiple (in the first 60 pages, no less) descriptions of breast grabbing.
Jun 09, 2011 Jeruen rated it really liked it
I took a break from post-modern fiction and went back to another genre that I am fond of: historical fiction. The last time I read one, it was about Japan and the changes that occurred before, during, and after WWII. This time, I picked a novel that is close to home (currently, at least). It is entitled The Temple of Music by Jonathan Lowy, and this is a book that tells the story of the assassination of President William McKinley, right here in Buffalo, New York, back in 1901.

Given that premise,
I'll admit it; I'm one of those awful history majors who doesn't know a darn thing about America if it didn't happen prior to the Reconstruction, but bear with me, because I'm working on that. I really just came across this book because I found out that I am a distant relative of President McKinley, and I wanted to know more about him and the impact he made as president. All I knew before now was that he was one of the four who was assassinated, but I had no idea about how he stood on the issues ...more
Mark Carley
May 18, 2013 Mark Carley rated it liked it
This is a pretty good historical novel. It deals with event leading up to the assassination of Pesident McKinley in 1901. the main characters are the President and his assassin, Leon Czolgosz. the account of Czolgosz' life is mostly fictional, as little is known about him. Emma Goldman, the anarchist leader, is also a major character. The book has a clearly left-wing perspective, but it does treat all it's characters with compassion. The narrative leading up to the fatal event is strong. Conditi ...more
Jul 17, 2007 Colby rated it liked it
From Publishers Weekly
Lowy's second novel (after Elvis and Nixon) is a scattered but compelling account of the assassination of William McKinley at the hands of Leon Czolgosz at the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. Czolgosz is an enigmatic figure, and Lowy does a good job of filling in the blanks with a failed love affair and moments of anguished alienation that explain in realistically messy terms why a man would commit such an extreme act. Lowy occasionally engages in commentary t
Aug 03, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it
A really interesting novelization of America during McKinley's presidency, including his assassination. Lowy imagines the thoughts and ambitions of assassin Leon Czolgosz, Emma Goldman, and McKinley himself, among others. Every character is presented sympathetically, as the "Guilded Age" takes its toll on Americans in every class of society. The timeframe and structure reminded me of Ragtime, though this one isn't nearly as heartbreaking (despite the knowledge that McKinley's days are numbered). ...more
Aug 18, 2007 Kevin rated it it was ok
Temple of Music is a historical novel set at the beginning of the twentieth century. It chronicals the movements of Leon Czolgolsz, Emma Goldman, William McKinley, William Jennings Bryant, Eugene Debs, and the capitalists and political wanks behind the McKinley administration. Fun read for historical novel fans, especially those interested in the turn of the twentieth century and the anarchist and socialist movements in the U.S. at the time. It's not a piece of literary genius, but something eas ...more
Judith Kaufman
Jul 28, 2016 Judith Kaufman rated it it was ok
Very, very disapointed in this book. Very disjointed. I kept at it only because I kept thinking it would get better....wrong.....I thought it was going to be more about McKinley....more of a bio. It wasn't. Jumped around from person to person.
Jun 02, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: leisure-reading
Based on the time and circumstances of President William McKinley's assasination. I found the book interesting. Character development in the novel was good. Historical angle is what interested me the most and I think the author does justice to setting the time period well.
Jan 09, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
A little too "busy" for me. I didn't like the switching of narratives every chapter. It is historically sound. The author definitely did his homework.
Interesting, like a friend telling you that palm trees aren't technically trees. Boring, like a friend who doesn't know when to shut up about trees.
Laura Lee
May 10, 2012 Laura Lee rated it really liked it
Well written in a different way. Enjoyed it.
Apr 14, 2012 Juliet rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the history in this novel.
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