Bitter Is the Wind

Bitter Is the Wind

by Jim McDermott

Hardcover

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Overview

Bitter Is the Wind by Jim McDermott


Do Americans live in a land of freedom and equality where people with vision, brains, and a strong work ethic can have rewarding lives? Or is ours a society where well-being, dignity, and independence are reserved for a narrow elite?

Bitter Is the Wind is a coming of age novel that traces the lives of George Johnson Jr. and his father from the rural blue-collar landscape of upstate New York in the 1970s to the halls of Wharton Business School and the heights of Wall Street. After a tragedy strengthens their familial bond, the Johnsons contend with assembly line monotony and unfulfilled dreams of baseball stardom, and they learn what it means to be tempted, trapped, jailed, and ignored by a seemingly uncaring God.

First time novelist Jim McDermott opens a window on the American working class and its aching desire for financial security, recognition, and respect. His characters confront a modern world with limited possibilities, ambiguous mores, and authorities who seem devoted to keeping the brightest and most talented members of the underclass on the other side of town. Bitter Is the Wind is a deft and timely deconstruction of the American Dream.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945572159
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Pages: 179
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author


Jim McDermott is a nationally recognized business litigation attorney based in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He has worked on an assembly line and also represented multinational corporations. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and the University of Virginia Law School. Bitter Is the Wind, which he worked on for twenty-five years, is his first novel.

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Bitter Is the Wind 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Romuald Dzemo More than 1 year ago
Bitter Is the Wind: A Novel by Jim McDermott is a gripping story of two men ---- a father and a son, George Senior and George Junior, and their struggle to live the American dream. Set against the backdrop of American society in the seventies, a period that is becoming a faint memory to many middle-age Americans. In this thrilling coming-of-age tale, the author develops two compelling characters and a fast-paced, not-easy-to-put-down story of a boys journey towards success and financial independence as he moves up the ladder from a rural background, through Business School to the Wall Street. The conflict is what to watch out for, but the lessons will take most readers by surprise. McDermott won my heart with his storytelling skills, but the lessons he offers through this endearing tale are what will become an eye-opener to some readers. He demystifies the American dream and in a subtle yet powerful way, presents the fear that inhabits the hearts of many people, the fear of failure, and the anxiety construed around financial security and fading values. This is one of the books that can be read as a social and economic assessment of today’s American society. The writing is beguilingly arresting and the characters are well thought out and developed. I will watch out for any work by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story about George Johnson SR and his son George Johnson JR. George SR is on his way to becoming a famous baseball star when he gets his girlfriend pregnant. Due to their Catholic beliefs they marry. When George JR is small his mother and sister are killed in a car crash. This story covers George SR being a single parent and George JRs coming of age. Will the desire for wealth destroy their dreams? Will George SR be able to steer his son through the challenges of life? George SR seems stuck in his blue collar life but his son aspires for more. While this book shows the realities of life I found it a depressing read. The book does move along and I desired to keep reading but the ending left you wondering.The book was a dreary read but might leave some challenged in their own lives.
StephySay More than 1 year ago
George Sr.s dreams of playing Major Leauge Baseball were lost when his son, George Jr. is concieved, out of wedlock, with his high school girlfriend. Ater the Catholic Church "forces" their marriage his wife is kiled. Left alone George Sr. must guide his only son through a life that is dictated by sex and money. Forced to work a hard, dead-end job, George Sr. does everything he can to provide for his extremelly gifted, if not a bit misguided, son. George Jr. craves money and power, but finds these goals difficult and incongruent with his life. He has the brains and grades, but is held back by the loss of his mother and her influence in his life. The reality of this world is extremell likely it can affect anyone in your neighborhood, and the raw feelings expressed by the characters is something we can all relate to. The book was rather mundane, and slightly crude in some cases. Overall I give this book 2 stars out of 5, and it is unlikely that I will reccomend it to anyone.
Paula_Stewart1 More than 1 year ago
The American Illusion Bitter Is the Wind, a flashback to an earlier more honest time. This great father and son tale kept me entertained and sometimes enlightened as I followed the widowed father, George Johnson Sr. and his young son George Junior as they struggle to climb the social and economic pyramid of success. This very cool story plays out in the sixties and seventies when the American Dream was illustrated and taught without ambiguity. I enjoyed this books honesty and clarity while sharing life lessons instructed by a father to son. Early in life George Jr. learns the road map for success from his wise old soul father. Young George is regularly taught the priorities of life God, country, and most importantly capitalism. George senior is a patient man and teacher. Identifying life's pitfalls to his son and how to overcome these challenges. The author, Jim McDermott kept my attention through colorful characters like Ursula Brombecker, a tough philosophical family friend who tells it like it is and masters the psychology of comfort food and friendship. The honesty and detail in Bitter Is the Wind just have to be the real life experiences of someone my age. Sometimes George juniors boyhood seemed to parallel my own. A happy time in life when right was right and wrong was wrong, and that was just the way it was. When we still had an American dream and obeyed God's Commandments.
Ebienic More than 1 year ago
George Johnson, Jr., has suffered some heartbreak in his short life, having lost his mother and 2 year old sister to a car accident when he was only 7. But he has been getting in trouble at school and his dad doesn’t know how to handle it. He knows his son is smart, and getting an education is important to getting ahead in life, but how can he help his son through school when he is struggling to deal with being a single father? Bitter is the Wind is a late 70s/early80s, Baby Boomer coming of age story for George, who struggles to distinguish himself from his father’s monotonous, small town, factory job life. George’s story is really very well written, and not nearly as rambling as I thought it might be, as this is a common problem with coming of age stories. George is a very endearing, and at times infuriating, character, and many parents will likely identify with George Sr.’s struggle to be a good single father while fighting the desire to flee from his boring, working class factory job. I was honestly surprised to find out this is a debut novel from author Jim McDermott, and home to see more poignant novels in the future.