Recessional

Recessional

3.5 4
by James A. Michener
     
 

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"MICHENER IS AMERICA'S BEST WRITER."
—The Pittsburgh Press
In his stunning new novel, bestselling novelist James A. Michener draws on his unparalleled gift for storytelling, his deep understanding of American society, and his own life experiences to illuminate the challenges of aging and the folly of youth in a Florida retirement home known as

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Overview

"MICHENER IS AMERICA'S BEST WRITER."
—The Pittsburgh Press
In his stunning new novel, bestselling novelist James A. Michener draws on his unparalleled gift for storytelling, his deep understanding of American society, and his own life experiences to illuminate the challenges of aging and the folly of youth in a Florida retirement home known as the Palms.
As the new, young director of the Palms, Andy Zorn suffers no shortage of loving support and wise advice from his "elders," a group of five passionate, outspoken residents who refuse to accept the passive roles that both society and family have handed them. Yet past scandal has driven Zorn to despondency, until he meets an extraordinary young woman in the rehab wing, who has been forced to rebuild her life in the face of crippling injuries. Now Zorn finds himself falling in love—and with the help and gentle jabs from his more mature friends, he discovers a wonderful new purpose in life....
"Michener hooks you with wonderfully humorous scenes. These are then interwoven between the moments of pain and heartache brought about by life choices we all must make."
—Tulsa World
"Engaging...One will be drawn into the novelist's world....The lush natural setting provides James Michener plenty to show and tell."
—The Washington Times

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The best moments in the novel occur when the characters disclose what’s in their hearts and minds with rueful, snappy humor.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Michener hooks you with wonderfully humorous scenes. These are then interwoven between the moments of pain and heartache brought about by life choices we all must make.”Tulsa World
 
“Engaging . . . One will be drawn into the novelist’s world. . . . The lush natural setting provides James Michener plenty to show and tell.”The Washington Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The veteran author's extended exploration of the world of geriatrics is an up and down affair, alternating inspiring episodes with clich-ridden narratives. Andy Zorn, a young doctor running from a past scandal, has been hired by geriatric mogul John Taggart to revitalize the Palms, a Tampa retirement community that's fallen into a minor malaise of both profits and morale. Michener sets up his usual labyrinthine sprawl of secondary characters, but what's missing is the unique sense of place that's driven his best works in the past. This time, Michener applies his research to the ravages of old age that plague the Palms' population, but the level of detail often seems unnecessary for the story he's telling. Some episodes and characters are touching: the tale of a seemingly mismatched couple in which the husband cares for the wife after she contracts Alzheimer's; a series of stories about four elder statesmen in the home who conspire to build and fly an airplane; and the saga of a widow who must make some difficult decisions after a biopsy for breast cancer. On the negative side, the romantic subplot between Zorn and a handicapped woman whom he rescues after a car accident reads like fodder for a bad TV movie; the doctor's efforts to provide care for an AIDS patient outside the home have similar problems with realism-the worst offense being a series of passages told from the perspective of a rattlesnake. It's obvious that Michener, who turns 87 this year, finds his subject engaging-but there's not quite enough inspiration here to place this with his top-shelf work. Major ad/promo; Random House Audiobook. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Unjust malpractice suits have driven Andy Zorn, M.D., from obstetrics, and he begins a new life as director of a retirement community, The Palms, more than a thousand miles away from his Chicago home. The Palms offers well-off retirees comfortable apartments as well as nursing home and hospice facilities if the need arises. Andy's main job is to turn this place into a moneymaking proposition for its wealthy owner. Predictably, the staff and most of the residents have a story to tell. This novel shows Michener at his worst: long-winded and stultifying. Implausible characters abound, and the background research is shallow at best. In the case of a resident who discovers she has breast cancer, the author's simplistic explanation is misleading. Nevertheless, the author is well known, and major publicity will result in plenty of demand. Buy accordingly. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/94.]-Patricia Altner, Dept. of Defense Lib., Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780449223451
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1995
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
569,835
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.88(h) x 1.06(d)

Meet the Author

James A. Michener was one of the world’s most popular writers, the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tales of the South Pacific, the bestselling novels The Source, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas, Caribbean, and Caravans, and the memoir The World Is My Home. Michener served on the advisory council to NASA and the International Broadcast Board, which oversees the Voice of America. Among dozens of awards and honors, he received America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977, and an award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 1983 for his commitment to art in America. Michener died in 1997 at the age of ninety.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 3, 1907
Date of Death:
October 16, 1997
Place of Death:
Austin, Texas
Education:
B.A. in English and history (summa cum laude), Swarthmore College, 1929; A.M., University of Northern Colorado, 1937.

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Recessional 3.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The fact that this book was published in 1994 and it probably took Michner a couple of years to put it together,I was impressed with his far thinking of what these retirement communities presently consist of. I do feel some of it was like a fantasy. The four elderly men building the plane, the double amputee able to play tennis. I did like the way he showed what the legal profession is doing to the medical profession. What I wonder about is what did the snake represent. I feel it was some kind of symbolism, as he went into great detail about it. I would welcome any thoughts on this. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tommyTH More than 1 year ago
Recessional is one of those books I read when it frist came out, I gave my first copy to a friend as I did several other copies I have bought since. This is a wonderful read, it is so real, and a great story. I will probably give this one to someone after I read it, and I will have to buy more. I can't say how often I have read this book, several, I seem to need to read it again every couple of years or so.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fascinating fictional account of what could be the actual account of Assisted Living and Long Term Care. Excellent portrayal of life in the golden years.