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Showing 21-30 of 72 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 100 reviews
on June 3, 2015
Very good book. It kept me interested.
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on April 2, 2015
This is our second book. Loved reading it the first time and thought we should retread it. We are originally from Pittsburgh and my Dad, brother and uncles worked (and died) in the mines so this is an important book on that time period and the immigrants on whose backs this county was built. Should be required reading.
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on December 2, 2013
Only book I've ever seen about the Slovac/Hungarian experience in the mines and mills of the early 1900s. This is the time my Grandfather and later uncles were doing this. Not the greatest writer in the world, but great on the details of the early Union development in mines and steel mills.
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on December 24, 2012
My late husband, a world war 11 Veteran who served on Iwo Jima,
was born in a coal mine town in Pa, lived in a fenced in town with guards
around it to keep the Union out, and later became the head photographer
in Westinghouse. His parents came from Slovenia, so that is why I was
so interested in, and facinated by Thomas Bell's historic novel.
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on August 31, 2009
This book was recommended to me by my brother-in-law who resides in Pittsburgh.

Thomas Bell, the author, does a fantastic job of taking the reader back to the turn of the century and the birth of steel industry. Bell readily admits borrowing from his own family's history to detail everyday family activities and the grind of what it meant to be working in the steel mills of Western Pennsylvania. These are the same stories I have heard from my friends as they have been passed from generation to generation. The book is engaging, gritty, heart-breaking, honest and filled with history. Anyone who has had family members work in the steel mills could read this book and likely see their own family's life unfold. Congratulations, Thomas Bell.
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on October 21, 2014
I liked the story, and how it follows three generations of an immigrant family. Being a native of southwestern Pennsylvania, I was interested in the historical perspective. At times, the characters were hard to keep straight, but you get the basic idea. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a historical perspective of the immigrants of the time, and the evolving role of the unions back then.
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on July 13, 2014
I absolutely enjoyed this historical fiction book. Held my interest for many reasons. I am currently living in Pittsburgh, PA and found the book enjoyable to read because I know where each of these mills were located. I liked the family storyline and how the living conditions were explained. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The author didn't dwell too much on the unions,, but just enough to understand the purpose.
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on January 23, 2014
Being of the Slovak heritage, I could relate to this book and how my grandfather and grandmother of both of my parents came to this country and working in the mill. This is going to be a play and coming to Youngstown State University in the Spring of 2015. I am looking forward to seeing it!!!!
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on August 6, 2013
This book was required reading for an American history class; it portrayed the lives of immigrants over a couple of generations in Eastern US. The conditions of work, daily life, and the towns lived in by immigrant men and women are described well. It gives one a real sense of how difficult life was for most of our citizens newly arrived in the US.
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on December 14, 2016
If you're looking for something to read in your bed to help you fall asleep, then ignore this review. Out Of This Furnace is really a great book for that. Otherwise, I believe this book has little to offer its readers.

For historical content, this book is pretty solid. It tells [the extremely drawn-out] story of several Slovaks and their lives in America. It talks about what work was like, what family life looked like, things of that nature. But let me cut to the chase; it's just plain uninteresting. Sure, it has its moments where I would turn the page, eager to see what would happen next. But every single time I found myself in that situation, this book made a point to return to being dull and repetitive. This book didn't have to be boring. If it were much shorter and only told the reader what was important, it wouldn't be half as painful to read. That's not the case. Bell does not spare any detail.

Professors and teachers, please do your students a favor and stop cramming this novel down their throats. Out Of This Furnace is not literary gold and you'd be a much better professor if you just incorporated some of the key moments from this book into your lectures.
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