Customer Reviews for

Amalgamation Polka

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    Race in America

    It's still a topic for thought. Just look at what new Attorney General has said. The book was slow, I felt like I was plodding through mud due to the slow character development. The main character was less well drawn than some of the peripheral characters in the book. In the end, I really didn't care what happened.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2006

    It doesn't have anything to do with the dance - Polka, but lively language of Civil War tale.... a Book Loons reviewer

    Author Stephen Wright has been idle from the writing scene for ten years of which The AMALGAMATION POLKA is his fourth novel, recently released. Many peers have accorded literary kudos to Wright, all of which is well-deserved attention. Wright's eerie style resembles TV's old 'Twilight Zone' serials. The author's style wends its way in a fashion that the reader anxiously forges ahead to find out the outcome, and wanting more. The setting is Civil War era in the pre-consolidated America, and the abolitionist Fish family. Roxana Fish marries Thatcher of Saratoga Springs, NY, and having come from South Carolina slave owners, Roxana witnessed vicious beatings. She developed an intense outrage of injustice, pressing her family about the latter¿ she is told, 'a proper woman of the South doesn't act that way¿.'. Thatcher is committed to ending slavery, and recklessly leads Roxana to run away under secrecy, and to marry. Their home is opened to the Underground Railroad. Parenting a child named Liberty, they are sure the child will grow to fight for the Union. War begins developing into battlefield losses and enmity. As in his prior Wright's novels, and with his gift of language, he transposes defined characters, time period dialog, and the reader travels forward, following the powerful pen of the author. With an average plot, added humor at times overly injected, Wright's mastery of language holds on to the reading audience.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent historical

    To their chagrin, Carolina slaveholders Asa and Ida Maury cannot understand how their daughter Roxana rejects the institution that puts food on her plate. In fact Roxana finds treating people as slaves an abomination while growing up at Redemption Hall. Upsetting her parents even more so, Roxana marries Thatcher Fish of a prominent upstate New York family, who are abolitionist activists. --- In 1844, Roxana gives birth to a son, named Liberty for obvious reasons. He grows up in a household that strongly believes in freedom for everyone regardless of race, religion, national origin or gender. ¿ are con artists. When the Civil War begins, Liberty enlists dreaming of freeing the abused slaves. However, he finds war horrific not glorious, but soon ends up visiting his matriarchal home where he meets his ailing grandma and a deranged Asa, who performs appalling experimentation that lead to death on his slaves. As the Northern army closes in on the Redemption Hall area, Asa, leaving behind Ida, flees taking Liberty with him on a vessel running the blockade for Nassau. --- The Roxana and Liberty subplots aided by another involving Uncle Potter in Kansas, tie together to forge a satirical look at the grotesqueness of the human condition. The story line is filed with action, but is more a purposely exaggerated period piece that inanely accentuates the worse. Readers who appreciate tons of irony will enjoy this solid sordid hyperbole that applies inductive reasoning to make a timely case of freedom for all when the Patriot Act and zealous fundamentalists want to homogenize the First Amendment. --- Harriet Klausner

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