Steve Burch's Reviews > Changó's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes

Changó's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes by William Kennedy
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May 14, 12

Read in January, 2012

I love William Kennedy's work, with Ironweed and Billy Phelan's Greatest Game being my particular favorites. But like Faulkner (a connection he must get tired of hearing), Kennedy's Albany and the Quinns and Phelans are an extraordinary creation. At first I feared that Kennedy's voice would have faltered due to his age. But I rejoiced at his vigor and invention. Whether this will be his final word on the cycle is impossible to know (though - and I wonder if anyone also thought this - ) it did seem to me that Daniel Quinn came to be revealed as Kennedy himself, a final curtain call by this wonderful writer.
I also loved the Hemingway, Castro, Crosby scenes ("Shun adverbs strenuously" is one of the best and sliest sentences). And I felt that Kennedy was allowing himself to get some things of his news reporter's chest, regarding Castro and the Albany race riots.
A wonderful book. Maybe necessary for new readers to approach the story as the last chapter and to read up on the earlier novels first.
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