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Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
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Mar 22, 11

Read in March, 2011

Wonderful, wonderful Michael Cunningham, who, better than anyone else, can tell a story across time and place and space, reminding the reader that the stories of those in the past are similar to the stories we experience now and that others will in the future.

This particular book uses Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass as the thread across three tales: one in turn-of-the-century New York when machines were becoming a part of daily and work life; then in early twenty-first century New York set against a terrorist-scared and sensationalism-loving world; and the last at a point in the future after another inhabited planet has been discovered and its residents find refuge in what is left of New York, after a Midwest nuclear meltdown and New York's relegation to a theme park.

Cunningham takes the seemingly impossible task of weaving these stories together and does so with ease, and just when you think he might be teetering on the brink of losing depth and soul of character in what can be outlandish or surreal plots, he brings it back and draws you in even further. A true master.
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message 1: by Shawn (new)

Shawn Frankie Can you please tell me 3 ways that any two sections of this book both relate to a theme of Whitman from Song of Myself?3 ways that both the sections have in common, that relates to a theme of Whitman. Just having a little debate with a friend here. Any help?


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