The 42nd Parallel (The U.S.A. Trilogy #1)
he had confidence in railroads,
he had confidence in communications,
he had confidence in transportation,
he believed in iron.
Andrew Carnegie believed in iron, built bridges Bessemer plants blast furnaces rolling mills;
Andrew Carnegie believed in oil;
Andrew Carnegie believed in steel;
always saved his money
whenever he had a million dollars he invested it.
Andrew Carnegie became the richest man in the world
I need to qualify my upcoming bold statement with two disclaimers. First off, I'm already on record as being underwhelmed by the hallowed novel I'm about to mention in my forthcoming bold statement. Second, The 42nd Parallel is only the first part of a three volume trilogy that should probably be considered as a whole, and I have only read this volume. But what's the point of writing these reviews if your not going to bring strong opinions. So despite the aforesaid reservations, here it goes: wh...more
Each chapter is titled with a character's name and each evolves, through their own eyes, and when paths cross, through others. Most characters are carried onto the other books. Supposedly the books can be read on their own, but I ...more
I first read this novel, the first of the author’s trilogy, U.S.A., about forty-five years ago, when I was in grad school. I remember that it really knocked me for a loop back then since it was full of new ways of providing the reader with information about time and place of the characters. Dos Pasos used techniques that I hadn’t seen before: Newsreel excerpts in bold print and asides he called “The Camera’s Eye.” The novel itself tells the story ...more
I liked this book a lot, it makes me want to read more from the period... except I think I may have already read some stories from this period! Which would suggest that this book is better than those other books I read and forgot.
This book tells a story that is very broad - in geography for one, there are characters that in their ...more
The 42nd Parallel is unique and groundbreaking in that, for its time, it found new and interesting ways to bore its reader to tears. First, it relentlessly bludgeons its reader with its annoyingly liberal usage of free indirect speech. Rather than giving its characters voice and motion, The 42nd Parallel prides itself on summary, exposition, and trading off engagement for its crappy style. Second, it ...more
Manic, vibrant, socially conscious, epic, crowded, busy, sweaty, angry, clear-eyed idealism, rowdy, tragic, subjective, objective, infinitely small, buzzing, slashing, eponymous, snide, pathos, scattershot, fecund, inspirational, landmark, surging, colorful, explosive, magnificent.
I'm almost holding back on the next two installments since I don't want to be dissapointed. This one's a corker.
The first two pages is some of the greatest prose I've ever laid eyes on. What I hope will be my life's ph ...more
I don't really have anything to add that hasn't been said before, and probably better than I can say it.
Short insights into the lives of various characters in the early 20th century that at times become intervowen, but are generally self-contained.
They are thematically linked – this is the struggle for money and a place in the world, but also often tales of people who are trying to free themselves from something; the previous generation, expectations, a pre ...more
First, as an introduction to Dos Passos, who – if you are anything like I was until recently (and only because of my book list obsession) – you have never heard of, some quotes:
“[He’s:] the greatest living writer of our time.” -Jean Paul Sartre, 1938
“Dos Passos came nearer than any of us to writing the Great American Novel, and it’s entirely possible he succeeded. I can only say, from my own point of view, that no novel I read while in college stimulated m ...more
So I was shocked when I dusted it off, and cracked open the ...more
Some swallow their misgivings and become locked into jobs and marriages that they only partially care for, some pursue entrepreneurial dreams that are bleak at times and invigorating at others, and some characters just become aimlessly lost in every sense ...more
Como con Manhattan Transfer, esta novela tiene más valor como idea que como producto. ¿A quién no le interesa reflejar la complejidad de una sociedad efervescente, los destinos de gente que se mezcla y se ven afectados por su tiempo, las noticias que marcan destinos? El problema viene si para lograr todo e ...more
This first book ends when the US gets into World War I. It has a very unique style. There is a fictional narrative which tells the story of 5 characters in this book, a total of 11 in the Trilogy. We meet Mac, Janey, Eleanor, J.Ward Mo ...more
I will have to consider reading the other two books in the series. At least I have a little bit to decide.
Não, o livro não diz isto explicitamente, nem o que pensar sobre seja o que for: graças a Deus!
Só a última das personagens - um apêndice à obra principal, tão tarde que se apresenta - aparenta divergir do padrão de todos os outros; pelo menos ao m ...more
Dos Passos famously uses four different modes of writing in this work. The most conventional one, which is the main body of text, follows the youth and adulth ...more
|Does anyone know why Dos Passos titled it 42nd Parallel?||4||22||Jan 30, 2014 05:39AM|
He received a first-class education at The Choate School, in Connecticut, in 1907, under the name John Roderigo Madison. Later, he traveled with his tutor on a tour through France, England, Italy, Greece and the Middle East to study classical art, architecture and literature.
In 1912 he attended Harvard University and, after graduating in ...more