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A Blazing Gilded Age: Episodes of an American Family and a Volatile Era Kindle Edition
|Length: 510 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The story focuses on a Polish immigrant family, the Wozniak’s, and their well-drawn plan of revenge against a greedy and evil mine owner named Archibald Desmond Huxley for the devastation he has wrought not just on their family, but on other mining famines as well.
The Blazing Gilded Age will appeal to anyone interested in history, especially American history. Any lovers of historical fiction will be thoroughly entertained by DiSilvio’s attention to detail and superb story-telling. His writing is clear and engaging, and I would add, quite compelling. The story starts out with action and a heart-wrenching event that sets up the story very well - it will have you hooked from the start. It’s a powerfully written book.
DiSilvio has an extraordinary ability to talk the language of the people who were living in that violent, cruel and aversive age - you can almost feel that you are among the life fighters who often rely on the law of the shotgun and are exposed to the wrath of the powerful.
This is a remarkable portrait of the way the U.S. were built and raised to the top of the world. If you had some illusions, let me break them for you - you don’t rise to the riches in a nice way - so, expect a lot of violence. Even if DiSilvio’s talent for potent language would have been lost in a screenplay, I imagine it would be spectacular to see all that action, conflict and drama in a movie plot. Great characters, deep and relatable, fill this book. Starting from Marc (Marcus), Ted (Tasso) and Stan (Stanislaw), the three Wozniak brothers, who, despite their differences, demonstrate what is a strong family, to the sociopathic Huxley, they would make a terrific, memorable story.
Marc is the one who is the strong foot of the family and who typically saves everyone from trouble. As the family tries to create their American dream, Marc turns out to be a clever polymath who uses his smarts to progress. From children mine laborers the brothers manage to get their own Tasso Coal company. But, there are deaths, rape, excruciatingly hard work, the worst mine explosions and an incredible description of a death penalty performed by electrocution along the way.
To illustrate the times in a charming way, famous Americans like JP Morgan and President Andrew Garfield, as well as Polish historical figures like the composer Antonin Dworak and the Nobel Prize winner Marie Sklodowska - Curie are woven into the saga.
My favorite aspect is how he points out the greedy taking so much from the country when it is really built on the poor man’s back. This really holds true today, which shows if we don’t know history we are doomed to repeat it, or just keep living it.
If you love historical novels or a story about an underdog then this is the book for you. You will be drawn in by the plot and will leave feeling closer to those who lived during this time period.
The main character, Mark, is interesting and well-developed. It was interesting to see the character go from child to man of the family and the author did a nice job making him seem realistic.
The story flows nicely and it is a quick read, even though it has a lot of pages.
Fans of historical fiction will definitely enjoy this book. Even if you're not a history buff, the plot and characters are both well written and will keep your interest.
This novel centers on a cold hearted coal mine owner, whose self importance and arrogance is slowing wrapping a noose around his neck. While a young man, Marc, is now learning what it will take to be the man of the family since the mines took his father’s life.
Although this book is fictional, there are many historical facts and characters that give this book an exceptional bonus. My favorite part of this book is when Archibald Huxley met Mark Twain. Rich keeps Mark Twain in character with a quick wit and simple understanding.
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