Last Fine Timeby Verlyn Klinkenborg
By turns, an elegy, a celebration, and a social history, The Last Fine Time is a tour de force of lyrical style. Verlyn Klinkenborg chronicles the life of a family-owned restaurant in Buffalo, New York, from its days as a prewar Polish tavern to its reincarnation as George & Eddie's, a swank nightspot serving highballs and French-fried shrimp to a generation/i>
By turns, an elegy, a celebration, and a social history, The Last Fine Time is a tour de force of lyrical style. Verlyn Klinkenborg chronicles the life of a family-owned restaurant in Buffalo, New York, from its days as a prewar Polish tavern to its reincarnation as George & Eddie's, a swank nightspot serving highballs and French-fried shrimp to a generation of optimistic and prosperous Americans. In the inevitable dimming of the neon sign outside the restaurant, we see both the passing of an old world way of life and the end to the postwar exuberance that was Eddie Wenzek's "last fine time."
"Brings an era to life. . . . All at once, a small, bygone portion of America becomes so real that we seem to be not so much reading about it as drawing it forth from our own memories."
"Wittily lyrical. . . . The shining prose of The Last Fine Time radiates both in space and in time."
"[A] lovingly poetic and gitty portrait of his father-in-law's bar just outside Buffalo, before its death by thoroughway and sprawl."—Reamy Jansen, Bloomsbury Review
“[Klinkenborg] has wrapped a profound social history around, of all things, a family-owned taproom in Buffalo, NY. Researching both the city and the family . . . Klinkenborg sensitively addresses the shifts in consciousness with passing generations. Men and women born during the baby-boom years will recognize their own parents in this poignant social portrait.”
Joseph F. Keppler
“The Wenzeks’ history joins what is finally the great American story, that of how the old world came to, and changed, the new. It’s a worthy subject for a writer of Klinkenborg’s talent, and he does it justice.”—,
- University of Chicago Press
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- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
Verlyn Kilnkenborg comes from a family of Iowa farmers. A member of the editorial board of the New York Times, Klinkenborg has been published in the New Yoker, Harper's, Esquire, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and the New York Times Magazine. He is the author of Making Hay and a collection of essays, The Rural Life.
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OK. Think the headline is a bit to rapturous? It isn't. This book evokes a time and a place a well as any I have ever read. Maybe 'Time and Again' is in the same league in terms of placing me in someone else's shoes. I love 'the American roadside' and so I do have a special affinity for this subject matter, but I don't think that's why I find the book some compelling. I found the author's light touch with his pen to be the difference between a droll social history...and a magnificent journey.