Late city : a novel / Robert Olen Butler.
- 8 of 12 copies available at Bibliomation. (Show)
- 1 of 1 copy available at New Milford Public Library.
0 current holds with 12 total copies.
|Location||Call Number / Copy Notes||Barcode||Shelving Location||Status||Due Date|
|New Milford Public Library||F BUTLE (Text to phone)||34021147448944||Adult New Fiction||Available||-|
- ISBN: 9780802158826
- ISBN: 080215882X
- ISBN: 9780802158826 : HRD
- ISBN: 080215882X : HRD
- ISBN: 9780802158826
- ISBN: 080215882X
- Physical Description: 290 pages ; 24 cm
- Edition: First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition.
- Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2021.
- Copyright: ©2021
"A...novel centered around former newspaperman Sam Cunningham as he prepares to die, Late City covers much of the early twentieth century, unfurling as a conversation between the dying man and a surprising God. As the two review Sam's life, from his childhood in the American South and his time in the French trenches during World War I to a newspaper career in Chicago in the Roaring Twenties and the decades that follow, moments of history are brought sharply into focus. Sam grows up in Louisiana with a harsh father and escapes by enlisting in the army as a sniper. The hardness his father instilled in him helps him make it out of World War I alive, but we come to realize that it also prevents him from contending with the emotional wounds of war. Back in the U.S., Sam moves to Chicago and begins a career as a newspaperman, meets his wife, and has a son, whose fate counters Sam's at almost every turn. As he contemplates his relationships--with his parents, his brothers in arms, his wife, his editor, and most importantly, his son--Sam is amazed at what he still has left to learn about himself after all these years"--Provided by publisher.
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|Subject:||Older men > Fiction.
Older men > Family relationships > Fiction.
Reminiscing in old age > Fiction.
World War, 1914-1918 > Veterans > Fiction.
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Fathers and sons > Fiction.
Publishers Weekly Review
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Pulitzer winner Butler steps away from his Christopher Marlowe Cobb series for a moving tale of love and misunderstanding. In 2016, Sam Cunningham, 115 and dying in a nursing home, is visited by God, who interviews him as if for a story ("I want you to talk to me, Samuel. About your life. On the record"). In 1917, Sam flees Louisiana and his racist abusive father to enlist in the Army. After the war, Sam lands a job as a reporter in Chicago and marries Colleen, who in 1922 delivers their only child, Ryan. Sam loves his wife and son, but is unable or unwilling to recognize their true natures, or to grasp why Colleen married him. As WWII looms, Sam tries to prepare the sensitive Ryan for battle. ("I just want you to have the best chance to fully become what you are," he says, unaware of the irony.) Determined to make his father proud, Ryan joins the Navy in 1940, and what happens to him during the war will change everyone in the family. The God character at first seems a superfluous narrative artifice, but Butler mines the device for an elegant pair of revelations about Colleen and Ryan. Readers with the patience for an old man's stubbornness will appreciate the redemption herein. Agent: Warren Frazier, John Hawkins & Assoc. (Sept.)
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Sam Cunningham, at age 115 "the last living veteran of World War I," watches the 2016 presidential election in disbelief. Suddenly death seems near, then God appears in Sam's Chicago nursing home and asks him to talk about his life: "I want you to live your stories just as they felt in their own moment." As a quintessential old-school newspaperman, Sam is a seasoned storyteller, but his past takes on new configurations and added dimensions as he revisits his small-town Louisiana boyhood as the only child of an abusive father, service in France as an army sniper, arrival in Chicago, lifesaving love for a war widow of deep perception and strength, and rise through the ranks as a devoted newsman. With headlines pegging the defining events of the times running parallel to Sam's evolving insights, Butler celebrates the golden era of newspapers ("late city" is a paper's "last-hour" edition) and tracks matters of race, masculinity, war, and sexuality. Sam's most profound reckoning is with his inability to be close to his son. With two dozen remarkably imaginative and empathic fiction titles to his credit, Butler brings preternatural attunement to the spiraling of the mind and ardently honed artistry to this exceptionally nuanced, tender, funny, tragic, and utterly transfixing portrait of a man reflecting on more than a century's worth of horror and wonder.