America America, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


It is 1971. Nixon is in the White House, the war in Vietnam shows no sign of ending, and Corey Sifter, the young son of working-class parents, is befriended by the powerful Metarey family, whose patriarch is a kingmaker in the world of New York politics.

Before long Corey is an aide to the great Senator Henry Bonwiller as he runs for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

But as the campaign gains momentum, a dreadful crime is committed and Corey is forced to reconcile his part in a complex tangle of morality, politics, gratitude, love and loyalty.




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If you're going to give your novel a grand title like <i>America America</i>, you've really got to have an exceptional set of characters and plot twists to back it up. Unfortunately, I think that in choosing this title, Ethan Canin was biting off more than he could possibly chew. The book's protagonist, middle-aged reporter Corey Sifter is the classic unreliable narrator. His recollections of his youthful entanglement with a Kennedyesque political candidacy and its secrets - including an incident reminiscent of Chappaquiddick - are by turns clever and confusing. Much of the time though, it felt like I was viewing the events through a thick layer of gauze, with the finer details frustratingly obscured.

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