Customer Reviews for

America America

Average Rating 4
( 111 )
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5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Excellent -- A Really Great Read

This book was simply devine. I hated for it to end. The characters are vivid and vital and you are engaged by them from the start. Yes, it has echos of the infamous Kennedy scandal -- but the book is more about Corey and his "comming of age" and the struggle to reconc...
This book was simply devine. I hated for it to end. The characters are vivid and vital and you are engaged by them from the start. Yes, it has echos of the infamous Kennedy scandal -- but the book is more about Corey and his "comming of age" and the struggle to reconcile what your perceptions of those you "idolize" in your youth with what you come to understand of them as an adult. This is the first book of Ethan Canin's I have read, and it certainly won't be the last.

posted by SusanIL on March 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

So-So

If you grew up in the Kennedy era, one can't help but see the similarities to the final fall of Camelot and all of the characters involved. Specifically, Teddy Kennedy and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. I don't know if the author intended to draw such a close parallel b...
If you grew up in the Kennedy era, one can't help but see the similarities to the final fall of Camelot and all of the characters involved. Specifically, Teddy Kennedy and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. I don't know if the author intended to draw such a close parallel but I couldn't separate the two events in my mind, which left me feeling uncomfortable. As uncomfortable as I felt back in 1969 when Teddy got off with barely a slap on the wrist. I'm a democrat so it's not sour grapes but rather unfair and unjust punishment for the death of a young woman. In America America I didn't feel like I really knew much about any of the characters and why they did the things that they did by the final page. Especially, Christian, Clara and their mother who seemed to be bordering on the edge of insanity...but why? Putting that aside, I did enjoy the narrative style. I would give this author another try but this book was just so-so for me.

posted by Kate_Sullivan on April 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Good book If you into the ugly world of politics, this is just

    Good book

    If you into the ugly world of politics, this is just the book for you. Politics are a very dirty ugly thing. Nothing
    or nobody matters except what one can do for themselves in that tainted atmosphere. Good book at
    telling it like it is.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    A very good novel. I'm not quite sure how to categorize it - pa

    A very good novel. I'm not quite sure how to categorize it - part
    political novel, part mystery, part coming-of-age. But the books that
    can't be pinned down are the best kind, in my opinion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Pages

    U r missing pages

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    Large in Scope Personal in Depth

    I found America, America an aborbing read that is at once interesting and emotionally evocative. Canin has always been strong in the depth of his characters and developing unique ways each approaches thier life. Interestingly placed in a time when our country was on the verge of a political, moral, ethical and cultural crisis, the story is timely for our current predicament. In inhabiting a coming of age boy from a working class family, the reader experiences as well as witnesses the American dream along with the American nightmare. The writing is excellent, with descriptions that enliven the reader's senses and musings that awaken the reader's senibilites. It is at once lyrical and informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    A reviewer

    In America America, a young man, Corey Sifter is swept up into the lives of a small town¿s most wealthy and powerful family. Corey comes from a working class home and accepts a job on the Metarey Family¿s estate in the late 1960¿s. Before he knows it, the family patriarch takes him under his wing offering him advice about succeeding in life and the chance to further himself by attending a prestigious private boarding school. The story is told through alternating chapters in at least three different time periods 'all at once!' Corey in high school, Corey in college, and Corey as a middle-age adult. The tale is told mostly through Corey¿s eyes, but every now and then strays to one of the lesser characters¿ point of view. The book centers on a political campaign 'of Senator Bonwiller' run during Nixon¿s second presidential campaign and focuses on the Metarey family¿s and therefore Corey¿s involvement with the campaign. There are many facets to this book. It is modern historical fiction and contains a portrait of the proverbial American Dream. A Scottish man 'Eoghan Metarey' coming to America and rising from nothing to become wealthy and powerful through hard work 'and perhaps some questionable decisions'. And then the legacy he leaves behind for his family. The book centers a great deal on what one generation can learn from the next and how each generation affects another. It also portrays the political world of the late 1960¿s, early 70¿s before the world of the computer age when newspapers and reporters were an integral part of the campaign. Also, the lengths politicians will go during a campaign 'not that any of this has changed much, just the medium through which the information is disseminated has'. The American Dream is also shown through Corey¿s family where he has the opportunity to learn more and have more of an education than his father did. There is an interesting storyline about the relationship with Corey and his father toward the end of the book. It¿s hard for me to decide if I liked this book or not. I think it is very well written and I think many of the characters are developed well. I like the way Canin creates the relationships in the book between Corey and his father, Corey and Liam Metarey, and Corey and the Metarey daughters. A good section of the book deals with the political campaign and I found some of these parts to be very boring and I wondered if I would actually be able to get to the end of the book. Through much of the book, Corey refers to his spouse as ¿my wife¿ and not by name, so we¿re not entirely sure which character he has chosen to marry until quite close to the end of the book. There is also an ¿incident¿ that is talked about in much of the book that really has too much of a build up. I wasn¿t that into the Senator¿s character or his affair with a young woman and the ensuing incident. The timing of the book is good with this being an election year and with as close as the primaries are, its sort of fun to read a bit about politics. I think overall this book is probably 4 out of 5 if I¿m impartial about it. But for my personal tastes, I think it was a bit long and not quite as gripping as I might like 'I¿m also usually not very engrossed by politics' so it could be a 3.5.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2008

    Canin Draws Great Pictures

    Ethan Canin regularly references literary classics in America America. One day, this book might be considered a classic. The fictional life & times of Corey Sifter make for a wonderful, complex read. Canin keeps you interested with simple teases and brings them wonderfully together for a heart-felt acme.

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    Posted December 25, 2010

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    Posted November 4, 2009

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    Posted April 8, 2012

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    Posted March 28, 2009

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    Posted November 12, 2010

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    Posted November 30, 2010

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    Posted July 19, 2011

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    Posted May 26, 2009

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    Posted March 6, 2011

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    Posted October 24, 2008

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    Posted February 28, 2010

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