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Quinn's Book (The Albany Cycle #4)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Quinn's Book tells the story of Daniel Quinn, of his adventure-filled search for true love and the answer to the riddle of his own fate.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 6th 1989 by Penguin Books (first published 1988)
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I've now read all 6 of Kennedy's Albany novels and declare him one of America's top 5 novelists of all time. Quinn's Book, Legs, Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, Ironweed, Very Old Bones, and The Flaming Corsage comprise a set of vivid, violent, and voluptuous stories that capture a time and place every bit as effectively - and stimulatingly - as Faulkner's legendary and slightly superior tales of Yoknapatawpha County. His experimenting with magical realism doesn't go too far astray and his paintin ...more
Krizia Anna
"Quinn's Book" reminds me of Isabelle Allende's "House of the Spirits". Kennedy uses magic realism in his novel but it was more historical, more realism than magic. Just the right amount of magic for me. It was full of unforgettable characters that you would definitely love and I bet not relate too. The summary at the back was not wrong in saying that this book has full of Darwinian characters. I love love Daniel Quinn and I love how his love for Maud evolves. This is definitely a great love sto ...more
The first of william kennedy's masterpiece i have ever encountered, and i loved it a lot!
The story was clever, humorous, mystical, a bit silly sometimes, but nevertheless captivating. I definitely love the whole magical realism that was combined with love story and adventure. Daniel Quinn himself is a quite character, simply became the most standout personality inside the book.
Initially i thought it was quite a weird story that i found mostly rather comical. I mean, resurrected from death by s
David Guy
Quinn's Book is the last of the Albany novels I hadn't read, before the new one that just came out. My impression is that it came after Ironweed. It is an odd addition to the corpus, a kind of 19th century novel (in tone and diction) which nevertheless included elements of magic realism, including a scene early in the novel in which a woman who has died is brought back to life by an act of sexual intercourse. A writer who begins a novel that way has a lot of nerve and confidence in his abilities ...more
Quinn's book may not be the very best among the Albany novels, but Kennedy's work is so vastly superior to that of most American authors that it scarcely matters (he pales in comparison only to himself). Quinn's book is nonetheless a marvel, a great, violent, blood spattered epic poem that continues Kennedy's quest to tell the history of this country through the crucible of New York (and the vastly differing immigrant experience of the Irish and the Dutch in this case). The whole of this work is ...more
Combining elements of picaresque, bildungsroman, and magical realism, this novel tells the story of the orphaned Daniel Quinn, from 1849 Albany to 1864 Saratoga, as he falls in love with the elusive Maud and has a series of odd, often violent adventures. Quirkiness abounds. Early on, the corpse of a drowned courtesan (Maud's aunt and chaperone), lying atop a catafalque in an Albany parlor, is mounted by a determined necrophile (Daniel's boss). His passionate thrusting creates enough friction to ...more
Andrew Sparke
William Kennedy can do no wrong! Different style to Ironweed or Legs but stunning visualisation of a city, a time and it's characters.
Mar 19, 2015 Velma marked it as tbr-own-yet-to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Found it in the bookcase full of take-and-pay-what-you-want books at my local library branch. Yay, Humboldt County Library!
Jun 18, 2010 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Kennedy is probably one of America's finest authors, and yet is probably one of the lesser known. This tale of a young man finding his way to manhood (in almost Horatio Algerish manner) in mid-nineteenth century New York ( and his associations with people in theater and journalism) is wonderful and beautifully written. Some will be shocked by details, but I feel that Kennedy very well describes the many unusual aspects of life at this time, from interest in seances to abolitionism to the fluid e ...more
James Lundy
Mar 27, 2008 James Lundy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who read the other Albany cycle books and wants to scrape the barrel
William Kennedy is one of those "important" writers and I approach one of his books with my mind on high alert for deepness. Maybe this isn't his greatest book, maybe I'm just not as interested in the 2nd half of the 19th century as I am in the depression-era Albany cycle, maybe you can finely craft the mechanics of a story and still miss the target. I am just left feeling nothing about this book.
Oct 30, 2009 Franchesca rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: serious literary readers
Recommended to Franchesca by: our highschool library
I read this back in highschool (and therefore had no any schooling on reading "such books) and found it a weird book. This book is the type that needs to be read twice, I think.
As a former resident of Albany, NY, I always like William Kennedy's novels situated in the Albany area. Not just great fiction, but also interesting history.
Most "professional" reviews I have read on this book were unfavorable. This is my favorite WK book.
David Roth
I love this book and have read it multiple times. The opening chapter is brilliant. My favorite Kennedy.
The Albany Cycle books just keep getting better!
see previous comments on Kennedy.
Funny, strange, lyrical. Irish.
Just didn't get this book.
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William Joseph Kennedy is an American writer and journalist born and raised in Albany, New York. Many of his novels feature the interaction of members of the fictional Irish-American Phelan family, and make use of incidents of Albany's history and the supernatural. Kennedy's works include The Ink Truck (1969), Legs (1975), Billy Phelan's Greatest Game (1978), Ironweed (1983, winner of 1984 Pulitze ...more
More about William Kennedy...

Other Books in the Series

The Albany Cycle (8 books)
  • Legs
  • Billy Phelan's Greatest Game
  • Ironweed
  • Very Old Bones
  • The Flaming Corsage
  • Roscoe
  • Changó's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes

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“In the years after the death of Petrus, Hillegond had refused all offers of marriage, certain that her knowledge of men, despite her uncountable intimate encounters with them, was seriously bescrewed. Further, she grew certain from a recurring nightmare that should she ever consider a man as a second spouse, he would strangle her in her bed with a ligature.” 1 likes
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