- File Size: 857 KB
- Print Length: 322 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 161296446X
- Publisher: Black Rose Writing (December 28, 2014)
- Publication Date: December 28, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00RKHKZY2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,635,814 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Journey of an American Son Kindle Edition
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|Length: 322 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
It starts with our hero, Benjamin, in a prison in India in the 1920s. Following chapters then turn to his beloved wife Catherine, and to various sections of the family history.
It took me admittedly a little while to get into the rhythm of storytelling but once I understood why the parts of the past were so important to this story, I couldn't stop reading.
The book's themes are important issues, such as racism, immigration, antisemitism and women's oppression. A rich and flavoursome read, delivered in a very understated and delicate way. As European who isn't keen on waving flags, I almost wouldn't have picked this novel up but I had read previous books by John Hazen and knew he would get it right. While the book depicts many things about human nature, bad and good, it did remind me of why people can get so excited about the US: the greatness of the American dream. A poignant reminder of the foundations of a great nation.
Benjamin's story is one very worth your time: rewarding, uplifting and even inspirational.
I liked Journey of an American Son. Though the dual narrative is awkward at first in that it tells of the journey of the so called “American son” in third person and his wife, Catherine, in first person, the choice to do this begins to make more sense midway through the novel when Catherine emerges as the true protagonist. In following Catherine, Hazen is able to portray the role of women in society just after the turn of the century with interest. But Catherine is no ordinary early twentieth century woman. Rather, she is a modern woman transplanted into an early twentieth century world, which is what makes her character so interesting.
Though I enjoyed Hazen’s novel, and found myself often immersed in the pages, I do wish there was a better balance between narrative and dialogue throughout. I would have also liked for the story to be a bit more streamlined to eliminate the overlap in narrative and the repetition throughout as a result of the dual narrative format.
That aside, Hazen’s Journey of an American Son provides the reader with a captivating window into a time when the economy was less global, people used snail mail, telegrams and land telephone lines to communicate, and, outside of fingerprinting, there was no such thing as forensics. Hazen’s story documents the rocky path one immigrant family travels while trying to attain the American dream in the New World. In Journey of an American Son, whether or not the Albert family ultimately meets that elusive dream is subject to the reader’s interpretation.
Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
First thing I liked about Journey of an American Son was the multiple strong roles (male and female) created by John . Hirsch (Harry) traveled to America with his family for the opportunity of a better life. Starting over is hard but starting over in a foreign land, that's takes guts and determination. Traits also found in his wife (Molly), son (Ben), Catherine (Ben's wife), and Sergeant Jones.
As a matter of fact, this whole tale kept showcasing their strengths in some form or fashion. The four mentioned above had their share of joys and their share of losses. John wrote a book that didn't just touch of the bright moments of a person(s) life. So if you are looking for a upbeat story, then I'd pass on this. However, if you want to "live" through their struggles right alongside them, then I suggest going for the ride. It sure as hell is a bumpy one, but one I think you'll like.
John is, if nothing else, a very detailed writer. Case in point, the trench scene. The action practically exploded off the pages.
One last thing I'd like to remark about: I'm a fast reader but Ben's capacity to fly through the pages was astonishing. 550 pages in 45 min and can retain all the info/recite it verbatim.... Seriously, that is quite a feat.