Venable Park

Venable Park

5.0 7
by Tom Flynn
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Fans of the HBO Series Boardwalk Empire will find Venable Park an engaging journey to the same era, with the struggles of the times viewed through the eyes of a vastly different central character.
****
1920s Prohibition Baltimore is a place apart from the bright, gilded world of Gatsby; a place where ash and smoke darken midday skies.

Millworker Henry Dawson

See more details below

Overview

Fans of the HBO Series Boardwalk Empire will find Venable Park an engaging journey to the same era, with the struggles of the times viewed through the eyes of a vastly different central character.
****
1920s Prohibition Baltimore is a place apart from the bright, gilded world of Gatsby; a place where ash and smoke darken midday skies.

Millworker Henry Dawson is a returned WWI vet, finding his tenuous path back to civilian life after a harrowing tour of duty in France's Argonne Forest. Just as Dawson gradually gains his bearings, events at the football stadium rising from the grounds of the city's Venable Park threaten to send him spiraling back to the despair of the war.

Told from the perspective of Henry, Venable Park is a rare look at the Twenties as they were, weighted by the toils and lifted by the triumphs of common men.

"An excellent book...heartbreaking, but ultimately satisfying."
- WYPR - Baltimore's NPR Station

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Flynn's first novel takes place in 1920s Baltimore and features a perspective on this time period not often seen. No Roaring '20 here--this is the story of a common man, a soldier just back from World War I, who starts rebuilding his life from nothing through hard labor at a steel mill. Henry Dawson lives in a boardinghouse in near poverty and shovels coal onto a conveyor belt six days a week. He finds more work through a co-worker, whose father oversees the dirt works at Venable Park. Venable is a football stadium being constructed to draw big games to the city and upgrade its national image. The project needs men good with shovels, and it offers a chance for those with smarts and ambition to get a little ahead. Although a commoner, Henry is uncommon in his understanding of life's fundamentals, his acceptance of his fellows (during a time of institutionalized bigotry, he befriends and respects anyone who deserves it, regardless of race or position), and his willingness to conduct himself with integrity. He's also one of the few among his class who can read and write and has a lick of sense. These traits set him up to clash with liars, cheaters and bullies, all of whom occupy key positions at both the mill and the stadium. Although he never looks for trouble, it manages to find him, and though most of the time he's wise enough to walk away, sometimes he knows it's important to stand and fight. But he always pays for that integrity, whether by being terrorized in the war or losing his job. The author expertly balances Henry's unique account against a universal story through the voice of a memorable character. At the same time, he brings alive an era and place rarely combined in fiction. This book will satisfy folks who prefer literary novels with dark or tragic undertones. A simple, sad narrative of one good man's ongoing struggles.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936400294
Publisher:
Mill City Press
Publication date:
09/28/2010
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.39(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >