Something about Caro's writing is really irritating me, and I can't put my finger on it. The characters thus far are awesome, though. I wish I had more time to be putting into it :/.
2013-09-13 picked this back up a few days ago, after reading Caro's LBJ books last year. started over from the beginning. really wondering how Caro is going to justify the remaining ~500 pages, though the first 500 were pretty damn good.
Searching the e-text reveals that the phrase "the best bill writer in albany" is used 106 times in this book. denis leary once summed up oliver stone's movie "the doors" as:i'm drunk
i'm fuckin' dead
big fat dead guy in a bathtub
this likewise could have gonei'm ruthless
i build good shit
everything i build sucks
old deaf guy and lots of traffic
caro sure does seem to think hating someone is a prerequisite of writing their biography (see his ongoing lyndon b. johnson pentalogy). this book was really good, but about 2x longer than it needed to be. at times, it's like trying to construct a narrative from the backs of a decade's Topps baseball cards. we get it: he doesn't like poor people, he's arrogant, he's all for parks and highways. i guess it's a necessary element of being authoritative and the biography of record but christ, another pulitzer prize winner (and my favorite biography ever), American Prometheus
, covered an even more fascinating man in half the pages.
worth reading, but i'm not going to read it again.