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29 Reviews
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lake, a place that surprises with subtlety and insight
This Kindle Short by Frank Gilroy has more drama, humor, orgiastic sex ("and then at his touch, EXPLOSION!"), pathos and above all poignancy than a big brick of a novel five times its length, and "Lake," I'll go out on a limb here, stands beside "Our Town" in its perception and in the way it succeeds in evoking another time, a different place.

It's a story of a...
Published on November 3, 2011 by Rett01

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pretentious and self-indulgent
Gilroy has some potentially interesting characters but he obscures their stories with a pretentious and self-conscious style that gets in the way at every turn. Cannot understand the 5s for this pap.
Published on May 10, 2012 by Phoebe M.


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lake, a place that surprises with subtlety and insight, November 3, 2011
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This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
This Kindle Short by Frank Gilroy has more drama, humor, orgiastic sex ("and then at his touch, EXPLOSION!"), pathos and above all poignancy than a big brick of a novel five times its length, and "Lake," I'll go out on a limb here, stands beside "Our Town" in its perception and in the way it succeeds in evoking another time, a different place.

It's a story of a New Jersey summer community on the shores of a lake, a fully realized anecdotal account that spans a generation beginning in the 1920s. In a relatively few number of pages, "Lake" manages to be sprawling in its very large cast of characters.

Told in vignettes, "Lake" is a collection of sketches that could as easily be performed as read. We get glimpses into the lives of summer and year-round residents, including a fetching snippet of Mae West who is seen being rowed around the lake by her secretary to the delight of the men watching from the shore and docks.

Most of the vignettes, some no longer than a sentence or two, tell a complete story. Some in a single paragraph capture the arc of an entire life. For instance, Fanny prefers her proper name but can't escape the flighty persona the nickname implies. "When I married Walter Church and signed the register `Frances' I felt a great relief. By the time I realized it was Fanny he loved, we had a child. As Fanny I have what actors covet: a role to my dying day."

Well into the story, draft notices start arriving in mailboxes and the tone shifts to somber and even plaintive as the war clouds roll in over the Lake.

Mrs. David had a habit of blowing a whistle - twice long, once short - to call her boy home. Even though he was teased by the other children, he always obeyed his mother's summons. A small, frail kid with trusting eyes, no one thought he was eighteen until he was drafted.

She stills blows the whistle and she realizes everyone thinks it's because she can't admit he's dead, killed in the war. She continues to blow the whistle, she tells us, to remind everyone an innocent "was slaughtered."

Gilroy describes the Lake community as a place existing in the hammock of time between the stock market crash and WWII. The place, he says, is "like a roll of film developed long after it was shot, it surprises." Not only does "Lake" surprise, it downright delights in its subtlety and insight.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Surprise, November 5, 2011
This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Was trolling singles to get my feet wet and ordered this on a whim. We had a three hour flight and I opened it on the plane. What a surprise. I loved it and I am not sure if I've ever read anything quite like it. Handing it off to my brother for a second opinion to make sure it's as affecting and precise as I as thought. It's like a soul census of someplace that feels very real and unreal at the same time. I am not sure how to describe it so I won't, but will say this, it took me there all the way and when we landed I felt like I had travelled much farther than San Diego.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost poetry, November 6, 2011
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This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
This is historical fiction set in the years before WWII at a lake in New Jersey that has a summer community. The story is told in many brief vignettes that average about a page in length. The writing style is spare and evocative, almost like poetry. I truly enjoyed the book - possibly because I live on a lake with a similar history.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, November 18, 2011
By 
YMAR (EDEN PRAIRIE, MN, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
This is a BEAUTIFULLY written book. I too was just looking around for something to pass the time, and was lucky enough to come by this incredible author and unforgettable story. I feel like I've won the lottery....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey through time at the Lake, February 21, 2012
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This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Frank D. Gilroy's "Lake" is a wonderful tale of a New Jersey vacation community at a lake, and spans 25 years from the 1920's through World War II. It is written in a series of vignettes which are short, and tell about a lake resident or something that happens, or a short piece where one of the summer residents "speaks." The lake community has no water in the winter because the Property Owners Association doesn't want just anyone living there year round.

The Kindle Single follows the residents who are there mainly from Memorial Day to Labor Day and we are fortunate to listen in at the Poetry Club meetings as well as some private conversations. Throughout the story, we hear from each person at the Lake, and share in their lives and especially their summers.

There is a lot of humor in "Lake" as well as sadness and unfulfilled dreams and the consequences of war. It's a very good look at the characters who make up the summer lake community.

The writing is superb and Frank D. Gilroy is a Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning author. "Lake" makes for very enjoyable reading.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pretentious and self-indulgent, May 10, 2012
By 
Phoebe M. (Madison, WI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Gilroy has some potentially interesting characters but he obscures their stories with a pretentious and self-conscious style that gets in the way at every turn. Cannot understand the 5s for this pap.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This book was not for me, June 20, 2014
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This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I read only 17 per cent could not get into this book. Just snippets of writing about the place not very interesting. I might try again if I had nothing else to read. The book may pick up further along, but I like a book that grabs me from page one. Sorry if this puts others off the book, but it how I feel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It, March 19, 2014
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This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book a great deal. I didn't think I would at first because the story is told in a style of many little stories which do not flow from one to the next. That said, it works nicely the way Gilroy has done it. The writing is beautiful, and almost poetic at times.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Dont like it, February 26, 2014
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This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I didnt like it, characters were dull, place hadnt atmosphere and it just didnt work. And if there were emotions I didnt find them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Story, Superbly Crafted., October 23, 2013
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This review is from: Lake (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I was blown away as I read this story. It is beautifully written, and truly a privilege to read. It is a story which is superbly built, vignette by vignette, so the whole town is ultimately revealed in all its secrets and prejudices and private and moral failings. I wept at the end, for the humanity that is revealed; for all that is now gone; for all that happens to us in life.

I am sixty years old, and although an Australian, recognise so much of what is recounted in 'Lake': how much has been lost; how people disappear from your life; how people are forever connected to you when you grow up in a community, no matter whether you see them again or not; how life deals unforeseen hands to people.

I feel grateful to have read this story.
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Lake (Kindle Single)
Lake (Kindle Single) by Frank D. Gilroy
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