- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (May 4, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375700706
- ISBN-13: 978-0375700705
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,553,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An American Dream Paperback – May 4, 1999
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"A writer of the greatest and most reckless talents." —The New Yorker"A devastatingly alive and original creative mind." —Life"A work of fierce concentration. . . . Perfectly, and often brilliantly, realistic [with] . . . a pattern of remarkable imaginative coherence and intensity." —Harper's
About the Author
Norman Mailer was born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. In 1955, he was one of the co-founders of The Village Voice. He is the author of more than thirty books, including The Naked and the Dead; The Armies of the Night, for which he won a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; The Executioner's Song, for which he won his second Pulitzer Prize; Harlot's Ghost; Oswald's Tale; The Gospel According to the Son, The Castle and the Forest and On God. He died in 2007.
Top customer reviews
The early 1960s produced a certain view of success, home, hearth, health, spouse, kids, maybe a stray dog thrown all the time keeping your head down (“nose to the grindstone” a lot of people called with some pleasure) in the main which is what a lot of us, including avenging angel Mailer, were fighting against but that view, and those who espoused success by the amount of celebrity as now, have won out in the ethos of the times battle. Or at least this round.
Celebrity is what allowed the protagonist here, Steve Rojack, to think he could get away with murder, in this case the murder of his wife by his hand. Murder in an alcoholic rage. Of course if that was all that it was there would be a pretty thin plot. So Rojack denied having anything to do with it, had in any case staged the murder to look like a suicide (dropping his lovely high society wife out a big old New York apartment house window). And if he could not brazen it out he would have been more than happy to find a convenience fall-guy because guys who are celebrities don’t figure to work their act well in a prison setting, or waiting around for the big step-off that comes with a capital case like murder in many states.
It is that tension, that thrill of the possibility of getting away with the dastardly deed, putting his wits against the New York police who are on to him, some serious underworld bad guy types and his now ex-wife’s father’s machinations which drives the rest of the story. Naturally with the trademark Mailer twenty-nine varieties of sexual encounters, some of them rather strange by conventional literary standards then, some off-hand musing about the fate of modern humankind and its views on success, at least in the West, and another choice story line tinged with the existential philosophy and situations that Mailer picked up from the Europeans and made a hallmark of his writing in the 1950s and 1960s. Not Mailer’s best of his thirty some works and a novel that caused a firestorm in feminist circles later (and rejoinders by him) but a good read about the tenor of those times.