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Something Gorgeous

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SOMETHING GORGEOUS is Junior Burke's debut novel. Set in the world of Fitzgerald's Gatsby, Something Gorgeous weaves historical figures with imaginative characters: "Faye Kingsley had blue eyes. She would say they were green, simply because green was her favorite color. It was as though by telling so obvious an untruth, she was daring people to deny her something. And many people, even boys and young men who got close enough to gaze at her face, came away saying that Faye Kingsley's eyes--at certain angles, in certain lights--were indeed green..."

389 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2005

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Junior Burke

6 books5 followers

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Profile Image for Lorraine Wilke.
Author 6 books77 followers
August 16, 2014
Something Gorgeous lives up to its title:

The measure of a good book is not only how quickly you're swept into the story, but just how much you FEEL the plot, the characters, the sheer sense of time and place.

Something Gorgeous set a tone immediately, playing with the timeline to bring us, along with the main characters, back to the era leading to the Roaring 20s and onward, a time of American history rich in legend and well-told tales both familiar and mysterious. Burke's cast of characters, even elements of his plot, remind us of some we've seen and read before - certainly the parallels with The Great Gatsby are clear and intended - but there's a sharp originality that pulls us into this particular narrative with its various cultural events - from WWI to Prohibition to the burgeoning Nazi movement - that set a historical foundation for all that unfolds.

The intertwining and intersecting main characters, particularly Ritz, Judith, and Faye, roll in and out of each other's lives over decades. Complex, morally challenged and always intriguing, they carry the heft of the story and its never-ending twists and turns. The hedonism, debauchery and wild lives of the various participants, some of whom are pulled from history, make for colorful events, but its the emotional threads between them all that are the heart of the story.

Burke knows how to mix just the right blend of detail and pace and never lets the reader drift too far from the pulsing forward motion. His ability to capture the sensibilities of both his male and female characters - from guns to gangsters to true love and romance - imbues the text with a depth, heart and sensuality that will surely be appreciated by readers of either gender!

A great read by a masterful writer. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Samuel Breed.
29 reviews24 followers
March 31, 2008
An interesting and dense study of the backstory/alternate plot of The Great Gatsby. Junior Burke succeeds on several fronts, but the book seems to fall flat in some sections.
Profile Image for Gary.
5 reviews2 followers
June 7, 2008

This book is wonderful and Burke is an American treasure.
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews

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