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An American Dream

An American Dream

4.0 7
by Norman Mailer

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"This is a Christmas miracle like no other, with such richness in image and story that children will return to it again and again" (Booklist, starred review).

"Without a doubt the most original Christmas book of the year not the least because of its surprising yet, in context, fitting combination of the devout and the surreal."—The


"This is a Christmas miracle like no other, with such richness in image and story that children will return to it again and again" (Booklist, starred review).

"Without a doubt the most original Christmas book of the year not the least because of its surprising yet, in context, fitting combination of the devout and the surreal."—The Horn Book, starred review

"The story is sweet, simple and wordless. The illustrations are intricate enough to warrant reading this one over and over."—American Bookseller

"...an upbeat story to treasure for this and many Christmases to come."—School Library Journal

“In a series of meticulously crafted panels, Collington poignantly relates the wordless story of a penniless old woman whose good turn is rewarded–she rescues the village church’s nativity scene from a vandal–when the figurines come to life and save her.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for An American Dream
“Perhaps the only serious New York novel since The Great Gatsby.”—Joan Didion, National Review
“A devil’s encyclopedia of our secret visions and desires . . . the expression of a devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
“A work of fierce concentration . . . perfectly, and often brilliantly, realistic [with] a pattern of remarkable imaginative coherence and intensity.”Harper’s
“At once violent, educated, and cool . . . This is our history as Hawthorne might have written it.”Commentary
Praise for Norman Mailer
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post

Product Details

Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.77(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The wooden figures in a Christmas crèche come to life to save a poor old woman in this truly original, deeply moving contemporary parable. Told with 96 pictures by Peter Collington, the master of the wordless story, this is a Christmas treasure the entire family can enjoy.

In the Publishers Weekly 12th Annual Off-the-Cuff Awards, booksellers chose A Small Miracle as the Book We’re Sorriest to See Go Out of Print. Knopf is proud to reintroduce this picture book classic–priced $2 lower than the original–just in time for Christmas.

Meet the Author

Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books. The Castle in the Forest, his last novel, was his eleventh New York Times bestseller. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner’s Song and is the only person to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Mr. Mailer died in 2007 in New York City.

Brief Biography

Provincetown, Massachusetts, and New York, New York
Date of Birth:
January 31, 1923
Date of Death:
November 10, 2007
Place of Birth:
Long Branch, New Jersey
B.S., Harvard University, 1943; Sorbonne, Paris, 1947-48

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An American Dream 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dhtrimble More than 1 year ago
While reading this book, I felt many difference feelings and emotions mingle and then, in some cases drop me again. The author was obsessed with the sences, especially smells. His discriptions were very clear and in some cases shocking. I was not expecting the story that unfolded before me. Our book club is reading this novel for our monthly selection and many of us were quite shocked, especially in the beginning. Some of my personal reactions were swings of mood, unlike any other book that I've experienced. I did not necessarily enjoy the book, but I have to say because of the writer's skill at discription, I was not dissapointed in the intellectual quality of the read. The Character development was perfect, the plot seemed to ebb and flow in my imagination. Sometimes engrossing me and other times boring me to death. I can say I am glad I read this selection, because of the mixture of feelings the author managed to pull from me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i first picked up this book after reading a Jim Morrison biography in which he declared An American Dream & Norman Mailer a major influence. It shows throughout this book. From the first chapter you actually feel yourself & your mind going 110 m.p.h. The book does a wonderful balancing act (if it can be called that) between the linear story & the insane (or not so) things going on in our main character's head. I personally felt a close bond with this book because of recurring dreams i have of being 'sweated down' by the cops at a station somewhere. I honestly couldn't put it down. There's also great underlying telepathy/deja vu themes throughout, & you'll find yourself flipping to earlier chapters to check it out. Possibly my most favorite thriller novel. (Also, for Doors fans, notice the title of the last chapter?...'cobra on my left leopard on my right'...)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Imagine identifying with a cold-blooded killer. I mean really feeling something for the guy. Mailer pulls it off. You'll find yourself rooting for the main character, wanting to see him get away with it. The pathos hits you from a most discreet and surprising angle. A must for any person who appreciates excellent writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When a gun culture pursues happiness...