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Poor Richard's Lament: A Most Timely Tale

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  18 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Fiction. From the West Wing of the White House to the "Celestial Trial" of Ben Franklin, to the slums of Philadelphia, POOR RICHARD'S LAMENT takes us on a whirlwind tour of time and space. Ben's odyssey begins at his birth site in Boston, passes through New York, and ends, with wrenching poignancy, at his grave site in Philadelphia. Following in the traditions of Charles D ...more
Hardcover, 640 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Hobblebush Books (first published December 14th 2011)
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Russell Bittner
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
On page 49 of Tom Fitzgerald’s notable work of historical fiction, we get down to the business of the book with the court clerk’s opening barrage: “Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! The Supreme Celestial Court of Petitions in now in session. Petition of B. Franklin, 17 January 1706 unto 17 April 1790, to be considered. Petitioners, here present, kindly state your case, or forever hold your peace.”

Poor Richard’s Lament is not a book for wimps — let me be perfectly honest from the outset. Michael W. Zuck
...more
Grady
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
'Ben Franklin, we hardly knew ya'

POOR RICHARD'S LAMENT is a hefty 600+ page tome that takes a fine thesis - placing one of America's foremost heroes of the past before a celestial court with the option of returning to the to right some wrongs, some misconceptions tattooed by history about a man of extraordinary curiosity and creativity, and of course (this is a long term project of a book) Franklin accepts and the result is one of the more scintillating books about how life would possibly be dif
...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Review title: What would you do if you had a second chance?
Fitzgerald's interesting experiment in genre bending alternative history, "Christmas Carol" other-worldly visitations, and "It’s a Wonderful Life" second chances is alternately bad, good, and finally splits the difference. But this experiment (a pre-publication review-copy from a non-mainstream publisher) is an honorable and worthy effort.

We first meet the deceased Ben Franklin in his celestial chambers, and he is the hail, avuncular, ep
...more
Viviane Crystal
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Expediency is the heart of Tom Fitzgerald's foray into the imaginary life of Benjamin Franklin. For two hundred years have passed since the death of this notable American hero, years that Ben has had to pen the story of his life and include all of his wrongdoings. But Ben has left out quite a bit, and now he stands before his colleagues, now Judges, Alexander Wedderburn, John Adams and the Reverend William Smith. In multiple scenes that almost seem like Scrooge being judged in the well-known A C ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books

‘The circle is the only geometry.’

`I wish it were possible ... to invent a method of embalming drowned persons in such a way that they can be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for, having a very ardent desire to observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to any ordinary death the being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine with a few friends, till the time, to be then recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country.' (Benjamin Franklin 1754)

The novel
...more
Roger Blakesley
Mar 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
I heard the author interviewed on the radio and thought the book sounded intriguing; 9 years in the writing and all. The book was terrible. Pedantic, and stiflingly dull, to say nothing of too blasted long. The antiquated language, while seeming authentic, made a 21st century reader work to read it. I don't read novels for the pleasure of mental labour. I even skipped 200 pages and tried to read the last part and found that insufferable too.

Reading it was like being zip-tied to a hard mission fu
...more
Allen Reese
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was dissapointed in the 'Timely Tale'. The idea was fascenating. As a 'fan' of Franklin's, it seemed it would be very interesting to have him comment on our current disfunction. Mr. Fitzgerald has captured the language of Franklin's writings, and the pages turn....but... 1)the plot coincidences keep adding up until illusion is shattered 2)Throughout Franklin is tortured again, and again, and again. Couldn't there have been some pleasant moments? and 3) there is absolutely no satisfying ending. ...more
Keith
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-writers
This is an ebook edition but goodreads hasn't update to add this as ab ebook eition.
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TOM FITZGERALD led a Huckleberry Finn childhood on the St. Lawrence River before undertaking formal studies in physics, mathematics, law, industrial management, and English. He has served as a door-to-door salesman of home-study courses, a vocational counselor for adults and children with developmental disabilities, a stockbroker, the assistant to the president of a large health-care corporation, ...more
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