Sad Stories of the Death of Kings

Sad Stories of the Death of Kings

3.6 3
by Barry Gifford, Rob Christopher
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Roy is a lover of adventure movies, a budding writer, and a young man slowly coming of age without the benefit of a father. Surrounding him—whether to support him or to drag him under—is the adult world of postwar Chicago, a city haunted by violence, poverty, and the redeeming power of imagination. Here are charlatans, operators, alien abductees,…  See more details below

Overview

Roy is a lover of adventure movies, a budding writer, and a young man slowly coming of age without the benefit of a father. Surrounding him—whether to support him or to drag him under—is the adult world of postwar Chicago, a city haunted by violence, poverty, and the redeeming power of imagination. Here are charlatans, operators, alien abductees, schoolyard nudists, and fast girls with only months to live. At the center of it all is a boy learning to navigate the compromises, disillusionments and regrets that come with the territory of living. Mixing memoir and invention, the forty-one short stories in Barry Gifford's first book for young adults bring a city—and a boy's growing consciousness—to vivid, unflinching life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gifford’s sentimental new novel tracks scrappy, precocious Roy as he finds his way in hardscrabble 1950s Chicago’s Polish ward. Roy’s life is populated by a crew of wayward boys--the Viper, Magic Frank, and Crazy Lester--who all must confront violence, mental illness, and death in their cold and windy enclave. The world is not entirely gloomy; Roy’s development as a writer and love for his mother are rays of light in even the novel’s bleakest moments. Though Roy’s adventures have the classic footloose appeal of coming-of-age adventures, it’s the rogue’s gallery of supporting characters that are most memorable, from the Albanian lothario Cubar Shog and mobbed up Sharkface Bensky to the numerous other cutthroats in Roy’s orbit. Gifford, best known for his Sailor and Lula novels (Wild at Heart; etc.), has a soft, transporting touch that makes a strong case for this being a one-sitting endeavor. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Barry Gifford's Sad Stories of the Death of Kings gleams like a stolen silver dollar; one boy's search for wisdom among the hustlers, criminals, and wise guys that reads as evocatively as anything out of Nelson Algren. These stories, sometimes only a page or two, riddled with sharp, subtle dialogue, all glow with the devastating, sometimes gruesome wisdom of Sherwood Anderson and Flannery O'Connor."—Joe Meno, author of Hairstyles of the Damned
VOYA - Devin Burritt
Sad Stories of the Death of Kings is a compilation of bleak short stories that capture the pivotal moments in the life of Roy, a young adult growing up in post-World War II Chicago. A number of themes present in the various stories are commonplace in a coming-of-age tale—playing baseball with friends, going to the movies, separated parents, and learning to interact with the opposite sex. Mixed in with these garden variety plots, however, are stories that capture the darker side of growing up in Chicago—deaths, murders, strippers, and dealing with the mob. All of the stories included in Sad Stories of the Death of Kings are edgy enough to pique the interest of teens, but an inauthentic, adolescent voice will lose them quickly. The dialogue often reads like an adult character speaking from a young adult's mouth. Readers may be put off by the fact that Roy's character is static throughout the novel. In some stories he is eleven, in others he is sixteen, but, regardless of his age, his character speaks in the same manner, has the same revelatory moments, and fails to show signs of personal growth. While not all of the forty-one stories included in Sad Stories of the Death of Kings are good, there are a few that an older reader interested in a less nostalgic view of the past may enjoy. Reviewer: Devin Burritt

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609803551
Publisher:
Seven Stories Press
Publication date:
01/04/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

The author of more than forty works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which have been translated into over twenty-five languages, BARRY GIFFORD writes distinctly American stories for readers around the globe. From screenplays and librettos to his acclaimed Sailor and Lula novels, Gifford’s writing is as distinctive as it is difficult to classify. Born in the Seneca Hotel on Chicago’s Near North Side, he relocated in his adolescence to New Orleans. The move proved significant: throughout his career, Gifford’s fiction—part-noir, part-picaresque, always entertaining—is born of the clash between what he has referred to as his “Northern Side” and “Southern Side.” Gifford has been recipient of awards from PEN, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. His novel Wild at Heart was adapted into the 1990 Palme d’Or-winning film of the same name. Gifford lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Sad Stories of the Death of Kings 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt want to hurt u. And besides my friend sese said i should go out with him. And jazz if u want to flippin act like this i mean it im done