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A Call from Jersey

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
With A Call From New Jersey Kluge has outdone himself with a long view of the American experience and the steady mutation of the American dream. Set in the1980's it follows the life of Hans Greifinger, a German-American who immigrated to the United States in 1928 and built a life for himself and his son, George, who has adopted the surname Griffin for his nationally-syndic ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 2nd 2010 by The Overlook Press
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Richard Derus
Jan 13, 2012 Richard Derus rated it it was ok
Rating: 2.5* of five

The Publisher Says: With A Call From New Jersey Kluge has outdone himself with a long view of the American experience and the steady mutation of the American dream. Set in the1980's it follows the life of Hans Greifinger, a German-American who immigrated to the United States in 1928 and built a life for himself and his son, George, who has adopted the surname Griffin for his nationally-syndicated lackluster travel column.

My Review: George Greifinger, successful travel-indust
...more
Sheila Ehlinger
Nov 09, 2016 Sheila Ehlinger rated it really liked it
I liked it. I wish I could give it 3 1/2 stars but since I couldn't I gave it for it's cute and I expected it to be a different ending , and that I liked
Efranken
Feb 13, 2017 Efranken rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
German immigrant family 1920s - current. 2 generations
Laura
Oct 22, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, fiction
In the late 1920s, two German brothers arrived in New York City. Hans Greifinger took up janitorial work, married, and raised a son in New Jersey. His brother, Heinz, returned to Germany after only a brief stay in the United States. Hans hasn’t seen him since, save for a photograph brought back by his wife after a trip to Germany. In the photo, Heinz was wearing a Nazi uniform. Unable to fathom his brother’s involvement in WWII, Hans cut off contact.

That was years ago. A Call to Jersey begins wi
...more
Tim
Jun 04, 2013 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Goodreads consensus seems to be that "A Call From Jersey" isn't up to P.F. Kluge's usual standards. I would concur, though that doesn't mean it isn't an enjoyable journey.

"A Call From Jersey" touches on the German immigrant experience, father/son relationships, brother/brother relationships, notions of travel and home. The story is alternately told by a reminiscing (and, present-day, reconnecting) Hans Greifinger and his son, George Griffin, a globe-trotting travel writer dissatisfied with h
...more
One Girl Collecting
Oct 13, 2010 One Girl Collecting rated it really liked it
A wonderfully told story of fathers, sons, and new beginnings, Kluge gives us plenty of fodder as we revel in the view points and stories of two narrators: German immigrant Hans Greifinger, and his very American, travel writing son George Griffin. Both men struggle with their tenuous relationship as they try to reconnect with one another.

The story begins through Hans eyes, as he steps off the boat from Germany into a new world and a new life. Like the old man lost in his memories, we forget ours
...more
Ellenh
Oct 07, 2010 Ellenh rated it really liked it
Max Kluge has succeeded in keeping me interested in this story that begins with boxing of all things. While the subject was out of my normal interest, I managed to get thru the beginning 2 chapters thinking I was going to have to tough it out...Well I ended up enjoying the story. He is a powerful writer, he gets the dialogue and descriptions just right.
He writes about the German-American immigrant experience during the war, father-son relations, & growing up, moving on, and coming home.
It's
...more
Mara
The entire time I was reading this book, I felt like I was missing something, like it was the sequel to a book I hadn't read. Relationships were written as though there was a lot of tension between characters, but nothing was developed enough (either in the backstory or the present story) for me to really care about where the tension came from, or whether it got resolved. Most of the characters seemed to just drift through the story, occasionally colliding with each other in encounters that were ...more
Jean
Jul 29, 2011 Jean rated it it was ok
Disappointing. I wanted to read another book by Kluge after finishing _Gone Tomorrow_ (which I loved). This one proved a poor choice: uninspired (and uninspiring) characters and a hackneyed moral. Worse still, the editor was apparently asleep on the job. In addition to numerous typos, two brief "chapters" changed narrators in mid-stream, as if neither the author nor editor could keep track of whose point of view was being presented.
James
Apr 16, 2011 James rated it liked it
Another really good read from Kluge; I really appreciate his style and sense of how place affects a person. His novel weaves together different stories skillfully (at times, I wasn't sure who was who, but I got it straight), and his final scene at the class reunion is pretty fantastic. Some very powerful and memorable lines. I'm going to keep reading everything I can by him.
Timothy Griffin
Oct 14, 2011 Timothy Griffin rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is, by no means, a unique or novel kind of tale, but Kluge tells the story and develops the characters wonderfully. A longing for home, a longing for place, and a son's relationship with his father; this book is about all of these, but it is also simply about choices. Now, I am going to see if I can find any other books by this author.
Linnet
Oct 23, 2011 Linnet rated it liked it
George is a travel writer based in NYC who believes he's shaken his NJ roots, and pretty much ended (having endured) a relationship with his German-born father, Hans. He returns to Jersey for his 20th high school reunions, realizes how much he's missed having a home, and settles down in his dad's house to see if home is all it's rumored to be.
Martin
Nov 26, 2010 Martin rated it liked it
Charming literary fiction that is a multi generational family saga. Captures 1980’s New Jersey geography and settings on a level with Richard Ford, and equals this writer’s character development.
Rogue Reader
Sep 23, 2016 Rogue Reader rated it it was amazing
This book is the story of my family. My grandfather. Where I grew up. I couldn't believe it.
Denali
Jun 25, 2012 Denali rated it really liked it
To call this "feel good" or "nice" would undercut its seriousness but its hard to read this without breaking into a smile at what Kluge has done.
Megan
Apr 13, 2012 Megan rated it liked it
It was kind of a slow read and it took me a while to get into it. I really like the contrast of old world versus new, then getting to watch them meet in the middle.
Lynn
Lynn rated it really liked it
Mar 12, 2011
Eddie
Eddie rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2012
Ron S
Ron S rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2011
Kaley
Kaley rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2010
Jan
Jan rated it really liked it
Mar 05, 2012
Ellen
Ellen rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2012
Syl
Syl rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2011
Patrick
Patrick rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2011
Matthew
Matthew rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2012
St. John
St. John rated it it was ok
Jun 26, 2013
David Butler
David Butler rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2012
Paige
Paige rated it liked it
Aug 01, 2013
Myrina
Myrina rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2011
Doug Christi
Doug Christi rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2016
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P.F. Kluge attended Kenyon College and the University of Chicago, and served in the U.S. Peace Corps (in Micronesia). He has worked as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and as an editor at Life magazine. He has written for numerous publications, including Playboy, Rolling Stone, and Smithsonian, and is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler. As Writer-in-Residence at Kenyon, Klu ...more
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