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Kings Row Paperback – March 12, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Kingdom House (March 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0960992626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0960992621
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,983,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
If you can find a cheap copy of this book somewhere, I highly recommend picking it up.
Robert Russin
(She got them mixed up) Bellamann is a master of realism as well as good at creating characters real-life challenges.
LindaT
I rearranged the next few days to read it right through to the last page, finishing at 1:30 a.m. this morning.
Anne Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
One of the few positive things I got out of Stephen King's "Hearts in Atlantis" was a mention of this book. King had grouped it with the likes of Grace Metalious's "Peyton Place". Indeed it is very similar and like a modern soap opera.
King's Row is a fictional, small town in the rural south. The story starts in the 1890's with the main characters Parris Mitchell and Drake McHugh in early high school. They are best buddies. Drake is a happy go-lucky boy who chases women and loves to party. Parris is more reticent and sober.
The long novel (almost 700 pages) follows their lives until their early 30's. They go through various romances (with very unexpected consequences), business operations and changes in their lifestyles. Drake starts off wealthy and the scourge of the town, however, he is bilked of his money and must start over. Parris studies to become a doctor and is well regarded throughout his career. Many of King's Row citizens have a quirk about them. Some are honest and upstanding, but there are others who have neuroses about them (including a doctor who likes to inflict pain on the sick rather than heal).
This book appears to have caused quite a stir when it first came out. Parris and Drake have sexual escapes that rival the "bad boys" of the fifties. Instead of the hot rods they cruise around in "rubber wheel buggies". Quite a change indeed from the proper southern women portrayed by the likes of Glasgow and Margaret Mitchell. There is also mention of homosexuality and incest. Like Peyton Place, there are sobering moments that the characters go through. Parris is very moralistic and easy to look up to and there are lessons to be learned about character in the book.
This was a breath of fresh air.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Anne Rice on July 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was the black and white film that brought me to this book. But after only a few pages in, I realized that this was a rich, beautifully written philosophical novel of immense depth. ------- I rearranged the next few days to read it right through to the last page, finishing at 1:30 a.m. this morning. ----- It is breathtaking. The author's writing is always competent and often absolutely beautiful and mastery as he uses the character of Parris Mitchell the young hero, among others, to talk about life, love, and how we survive in this world in spite of ugliness, loneliness and suffering. ----------- The author is at his best, I think, when he is inside the head of Parris, traveling with Parris around the beautiful countryside surrounding Kings Row as Parris seeks to make sense of his loves and his losses, his heartaches and disappointments, and some time painful discoveries ---- all part of his growing up. Another marvelous character, Father Donovan, is a favorite of the author though he plays no real role in the plot. ---- The prose blazes with beauty whenever Father Donovan is on scene. The author's wisdom and insight dazzles. ---- There are other richly drawn characters, and great contemplative moments, but the finest writing focuses on Parris. ----- There are riches galore in this novel. The descriptions of nature, of hills, fields, trees, skies, streets, weather are poetic and unforgettable. (Henry Bellamann was a widely respected poet before he became a novelist). And there are subtle well drawn scenes of love, sexuality, homosexuality, racism, and cruelty --- as well as a deeply absorbing story of young people growing to maturity in a midwestern town at the turn of the century.Read more ›
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was 15 or so and was entirely captivated by it. It has often been compared to Peyton Place, because both stories are long narratives set in small town America that convey a soap opera-type story. I feel that Kings Row is superior to Peyton Place and has been overlooked. Admittedly this is not great literature and cannot compare to Dickens or Thackeray. Nevertheless it is an intrigruing story of young people coming to age, attempting to understand the adult world, and is packed with great characterizations. There is a certain mystery and power to this novel that will capture the hearts of certain young readers, those who are dedicated readers and love long involved stories of infatuation, loyal friendship, teenage confusion, scandal, forbidden love, cruelty, and tragedy.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Discovered Kings Row years ago, while scoring some good deals on old books at a library book sale. Two authors have moved me in all my years on this planet. And Henry Belleman, because of Kings Row, iss one of them! I often ask people, if you were going to travel around the world and could only fit two books in your backpack, what would they be? Mine would be Fountainhead and Kings Row. "Nuff said. This book is brilliantly written, the characters have such incredible depth, and the story line is awesome.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Kings Row is one of my 2 favorite books (the other is "A Tree Grows is Brooklyn"). I read it a few months ago, shortly before I turned 15. Henry Bellamann shocked me with his good characteriation of all the characters, major and minor. Everything in the book was intwined with everything else. So many things happened in this town, which is based on Fulton, MO, that I wonder what sort of things are happening in MY town. Read it. The last 10 pages are sad and suprizing. I cried at a few parts. The movie is good too, but the ending is somewhat different. Anyway, read Kings Row.
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