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Following on the heels of Whitehead's widely praised debut, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days won't disappoint anyone who delighted in the first book's wonderfully quirky writing or its complex allegories of race. The historical set pieces here dazzle, and the author casts a withering eye on our media-driven culture: "Since the days of Gutenberg, an ambient hype wafted the world, throbbing and palpitating. From time to time, some of that material cooled, forming bodies of dense publicity." Still, these brilliant parts don't necessarily add up to a satisfying whole. Whitehead writes the kind of smart, allusive, highly wrought prose that is impressive sentence by sentence. Over the course of 400 pages, though, it can be somewhat daunting. It's a bit like eating a meal in which each of the seven courses comes topped with hollandaise sauce. Worse, some of the characters' motivations remain abstract, as if the author hovered so far above his creations that their foibles struck him as simple absurdities. In a novel of this caliber, of course, much can be forgiven. But one is eager to see Whitehead quit riffing and make an emotional investment in his characters. The result will be fiction that engages the heart as well as the head. --Mary Park --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I was really disappointed as I very much liked the Intuitionist. I planned to give this as a present to someone, but first I wanted to read it. Read morePublished 15 days ago by suefein
After 100 pages I gave up. This was a selection for our community book club. It is the most disjointed story I have ever read. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Walt
characters and story take back seat to writing style i can't see appealing to many.Published 7 months ago by 1thru5
The reader will find very original and perceptive descriptions of people, situations and inanimate object. A quirky, but somehow believable plot with great 3-D characters. Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. T. Moran
I bought this book for a friend who wanted a copy but his computer was crashed. He said it was a good read and that he enjoyed it very much.Published on June 20, 2013 by Janelle E. Bohrod
Whitehead has a really distinctive and bitingly insightful voice. The narration style is a little odd to allow his voice to shine through an omniscient third person narrator, but... Read morePublished on May 28, 2013 by Sean Meehan
This was a required reading for an African American Literature course. I didn't know what to expect.
I found it extremely well written. Read more
John Henry Days is written in an interesting narrative style. It shows us events through the lens of multiple characters, some repeatedly visited, others glimpsed just once or... Read morePublished on May 7, 2012 by Roy L. Pickering
A book largely about reporters who write puff pieces and there was an awful lot of puff. I lost patience with this book early on during an endless digression into the Altamont... Read morePublished on December 19, 2011 by Amazon Customer