Grampy's Reviews > The Duke Don't Dance

The Duke Don't Dance by Richard  G. Sharp
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May 30, 12

Read from May 23 to 29, 2012

I was provided with a copy of this e-book by ReadersFavorites, to read and review. I am posting a review here on GoodReads, as well.

"The Duke Don't Dance" by Richard Sharp is Historical Fiction covering very recent history. He pens a very heart-felt presentation of "the silent generation", that group of citizens born too late for "the great generation" of WWII, but too early to be considered "boomers". In many ways, calling them "the silent generation" seems misleading, because this is the generation that marched in Selma, Alabama, during the civil rights movement of the mid-'60's, as well as the generation that fought the Viet-Nam war, populated the Haight-Asbury district of San Francisco, and made substantial social progress toward equal rights for women and minorities. In spite of that, as suggested in the book, they will likely be remembered more for what they didn't do, than for what they did do.

The story is a poignant portrait of life from the perspective of a handful of people whose lives overlapped, sometimes for the good, sometimes the not so good. It opens in Annapolis, 2011, where the main players are assembled at the wake for Frank, one of their own. Curious interplay between and among those present successfully whetted my appetite to continue reading, and I am glad I did... it is a very powerful book, much of which I could personally identify with.

After the initial bit in 2011, the story flashes back to 1960, when some of the players were in High School. They experience basically what everybody experiences in High School, to one degree or another. From there the book moves forward through the years, relating significant events which occurred in the lives of various ones, whether those events were significantly good, or significantly bad. The final chapter covers the burial, at Arlington, of Frank, the day after the wake.

Throughout this book the interplay is extraordinarily riveting, and at various times I alternately loved and hated each of the characters. They are portrayed as real people, living real lives, and it is natural to empathize with them as they experience circumstances we've all had to endure, or ones we've all gotten to treasure.

In his biographical blurb, the author indicates this is one of several novels he has written for his own pleasure, but the first he has had published. I urge you - whoever you are, whatever genre you normally read - to get a copy of "The Duke Don't Dance" and read it. I promise, it will be the most interesting History lesson you've ever had. If enough of us read this book, perhaps we can convince Mr. Sharp to publish some of his other work; I have no doubt it will be as well written and engrossing as "The Duke Don't Dance".
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