Laurie's Reviews > America America

America America by Ethan Canin
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's review
Jul 05, 09

this book kept me enthralled...until about the last 30 pages. It was a wonderful and complex novel alternating between 1971 and 2006, with an adult journalist narrator coming to terms with the lies and coverups he participated in when he was a young man 16-18 years old. AMERICA AMERICA limns familiar territory for Canin -- poor and rich men and boys changing one another's fates -- and at times seemed as good to me as The Great Gatsby, not only in theme but in the narrator who, to me, feels a bit unrealiable, and also in the broken and interwoven timeframes in which the story is told -- a somewhat but not entirely linear tale, in which the truth gradually dawns on the narrator as it is revealed to the reader. Don't let my "last 50 pages" comment bother you -- it's just that those last few chapters don't reveal anything important that we we didn't already know. Canin's reflective first person voice makes everything he writes worth reading.

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