Ryan Mishap's Reviews > A Moment in the Sun

A Moment in the Sun by John Sayles
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's review
Feb 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: novel

Despite the girth, this is not dense nor unruly and unmanageable, but a magnificent foray into the past through the lives of multiple characters across the county and the world. Whether the prose is beautiful, arch, stark, bemused, insistent, off-hand, or particularly descriptive, it was nearly always captivating.

The United States is exposed in all its side-show glory; a nation of hucksters,thieves, boasters, racists, jingoists, and psychopaths who view violence as an easy tool to get what one wants.

We're also shown people struggling against unfair odds, racist violence, and lack of rights--people who strive to survive without succumbing to the worst aspects of our collective nature. Perhaps the best thing one can say about a novel is this: now that it is over, I miss some of those characters and even grieve for some.

This is a fantastic novel, making parallels between the time period covered, events from the last one hundred years and our own period. If I have a criticism, it is that the novel is male-centric. Not that there aren't any female characters rendered as whole people, but (and perhaps this is also intended as a reflection of a time period when men ruled almost absolutely) the focus tends to be on the men and their outlook and actions.

That said, I unreservedly recommend this to anyone. 4.5 stars.

2/3 through!--the detail is evidence of a lifetime of research collecting.

At 955 pages, this will take some time. I have a policy (newly minted) with these epic tomes: read 200 pages or so, then read another book. Unless you're home with a work related injury then you can plow through as I did with the chronicles of Amber.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Craven (new)

Craven Love this guy. Heard him read from this in Louisville. Let me know how it is.

Ryan Mishap Craven wrote: "Love this guy. Heard him read from this in Louisville. Let me know how it is."

Nearly three hundred pages into the 955, it is a very well done multiple-viewpoint historical novel. I read 200 pages then read another book! It is like four books in one volume! The research and attention to detail are astounding.

message 3: by Janice (new)

Janice the actual book itself is quite breathtaking, too. i wasn't able to get a copy when i was in the US, but thank you for reminding me that it exists -- i'll see if i can get one here.

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