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Rodin's Debutante Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The best part of the book is the vivid and authentic way Chicago and its environs are depicted in the time period around the middle part of the twentieth century. RODIN'S DEBUTANTE also has interesting plot developments and comments on American life and is readable enough to easily hold the reader's interest.Read more ›
This is a haunting and beautifully written book that creates several different atmospheres that pull you in and capture your attention. I particularly liked the analysis of small town power and politics in New Jasper; others may like the South Side of Chicago portions. Tommy Ogden is a gem.
This is not a plot-driven book; go elsewhere if that is what you are seeking. It is not intended to be one, and succeeds brilliantly on its own terms. A good introduction to Ward Just if you do not already know his work.
Rodin's Debutante focuses on two characters. Tommy Ogden, the son of a wealthy railroad baron, has no need to work and so indulges his passions: hunting, sketching, and sleeping with the women provided by the "social club" that leases him a space for his engagements. To the dismay of his wife, Ogden converts their estate into a boarding school for boys who can't fit in elsewhere. The bulk of the novel follows Lee Goodell, the son of a small town judge, who attends Ogden Hall before pursuing an intellectual and artistic life at the University of Chicago and in Chicago's Hyde Park. Like Rodin, Goodell becomes a sculptor. Two episodes of violence are central to the story: the vicious assault of a girl who is Goodell's classmate before he attends Ogden Hall and Goodell's own mugging years later. The two attacks have very different consequences for the two lives ... and that, I think, is one of the novel's points: you never know how your life will turn out.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well developed characters, beautifully written in clear concise prose, unusual plot twists from a writer is one of the best living American authorsPublished 21 months ago by Sandy Thomson
The story is told by main character Lee Goodell with little passion and minimal involvement. Writing is fine, but not much happens except the passage of time. Read morePublished on February 24, 2013 by Granny Moi
A good read! The book followed the template that Ward Just appears to use. If you like Ward Just, you will enjoy this book. Not great literature, but a good fast read.Published on December 1, 2012 by Sengi96
Ward Just has given in us Rodin's Debutante what has been described by some as a coming of age novel. Unlike J. D. Read morePublished on November 1, 2012 by JO
I have enjoyed Ward Just over the years. While I have not enjoyed all of his work, the quality of writing is always very high. Read morePublished on September 22, 2012 by G. M. Stratton
Ward Just's newest novel, RODIN'S DEBUTANTE, is a fascinating and absorbing read however you want to interpret it. Read morePublished on April 30, 2012 by Timothy J. Bazzett
In the same way that the negative space around a sculpture commands attention, Just allows what is not said or shown or known to be as much as part of this story as the words on... Read morePublished on April 24, 2012 by Ren
How is art formed? How is the artist formed? These are some of the questions that Ward Just explores in his finely written novel, Rodin's Debutante. Read morePublished on January 23, 2012 by Stephen T. Hopkins
This review is for Robdin's Debutante, a novel by Ward Just. The title of this novel is based on a marble bust that is featured in the novel. Read morePublished on October 7, 2011 by C. A. Boswell