A Moment in the Sun

A Novel

Sayles, John, 1950-

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Moment in the Sun
"In 1897, gold has been discovered in the Yukon. New York is under the sway of Hearst and Pulitzer. And in a few months, an American battleship will explode in a Cuban harbor, plunging the U.S. into war. This is the story of that extraordinary moment: the turn of the twentieth century, as seen by one of our greatest storytellers of all time...'A Moment in the Sun' takes the whole era in its sights--from the white-racist coup in Wilmington, North Carolina to the bloody dawn of U.S. interventionism overseas. Beginning with Hod Brackenridge searching for his fortune in the North, and hurtling forward across five years and half a dozen countries...this is a story as big as its subject: history rediscovered through the lives of the people who made it happen."--P. [4] of cover.

Publisher: San Francisco : McSweeney's Books, c2012
ISBN: 9781936365180
Branch Call Number: FIC S
Characteristics: 955 p. ; 24 cm


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Oct 15, 2011
  • canary35 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

On a recent episode of Bravo’s “The Next Great Artist”, the participants were challenged to take a piece of thrift store kitsch and turn it into something remarkable. One artist began with a picture of a southern belle with real hair. He remade it into a commentary on the bondage of beauty, race, and money. In the end, he was voted off. The judges said it was an important topic, but that his work brought no new insights to the table. This cannot be said for John Sayles book, “A Moment in the Sun”, which addresses very much the same topics. Weighing in at a substantial 995 pages, not a single one of which is wasted, the book begins the year my grandfather was born: 1897. Here is the American experience seen through the eyes of fortune hunters, soldiers both black and white, actors, people of color, scullery maids, cons artists and convicts, a black physician and his family, a horse whisperer, an idealistic Filipino patriot, a budding cinematographer, and in the end, an elephant. Shocking and relevant, as all good story telling is, the book is highly memorable, and defiantly insightful. It helped me understand, and it may even have changed me. With this book, Mr. Sayles goes on my list as a Great Artist. He made me remember why I am glad I can read.


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A Moment in the Sun
Sayles, John, 1950-
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