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Roscoe Paperback – November 26, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"I have to change my life, do something that engages my soul before I die," Roscoe tells Elisha, who observes that Roscoe has kept his discontent hidden. Roscoe explains, "I have no choice. I have no choice in most things. All the repetitions, the goddamn investigations that never end, another election coming and now Patsy wants a third candidate to dilute the Republican vote. We'll humiliate the Governor. On top of that, Cutie LaRue told me this afternoon George Scully has increased his surveillance on me. They're probably doubling their watch on you, too. You'd make a handsome trophy."
This statement establishes William Kennedy's mid-century Albany in the seventh book of his Albany cycle - a city run by a small, closed circle whose primary function is to maintain power, constantly besieged by similar cabals whose goal is to grab that power for themselves. The weapon of choice is the scandal, of which there are plenty to go around, real or manufactured. And the best defense is a ferocious boomerang of a spin, at which Roscoe excels. The reasons he wants to retire are the same reasons why he can't. Roscoe's life is inextricably entwined with the Democratic Albany machine and both Roscoe and his city are ailing.
Albany is run by a triumvirate of boyhood friends - Roscoe, Elisha Fitzgibbon and Patsy McCall, none of whom hold office.Read more ›
Ironweed is one of those rare novels that translated well to the Big Screen--I thought the adaptation, with Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Tom Waits was terrific. Much of the reason why is perhaps that Kennedy is among the most "cinematic" of "literary" novelists, a quality in evidence with the present book, too--in a way that somehow reminds me of D.H. Lawrence, Kennedy is capable of vivid lyrical flights which never detract from an otherwise conventional narrative, and which evoke an overtly visual panoramic landscape. As in Ironweed, Kennedy weaves the surreal in with the realism of the prose, creating a convincing and often brilliant effect where the reader is able to step into the actual conciousness of a character--"hearing" dead people "speak", for example--without missing a beat of the forward motion of the plot.
But that is where the novel becomes a little weighty. Much of the motion of the book is slow and cumbersome, and at times a bit predictable, as we enter the lives of a post-WW II Albany small-time polititian and his world of other politicians, complete with the lack of character one might expect from such characters.
Not that we're supposed to especially like Roscoe, the man, but one never really gets a very clear sense of him or of any of the many other characters in this novel.Read more ›
Impishly mixing fact and fantasy, Roscoe tells the story of the infamous Albany political machine of the early 20th century. It was a machine that produced some great men while building its foundations on the actions of some very bad men and it is this juxtaposition that Kennedy gleefully juggles over the course of his narrative.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mysterious Book Report No. 49
John Dwaine McKenna
I don’t know about you, but from my point of view, it seems like these days are dominated politics. Read more
Having focused on perpetual outcasts in earlier Albany novels, William Kennedy in his 2002 novel "Roscoe" introduces us to a powerful figure in the city establishment. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Bill Slocum
This is the definitive novelistic exploration of the often-denigrated (more-often ignored) urban Irish political machine. Read morePublished on June 27, 2012 by paquinn47
"That year an ill wind blew over the city and threatened to destroy flowerpots, family fortunes, reputations, true love, and several types of virtue. Read morePublished on September 22, 2011 by R. M. Peterson
As well as Kennedy is supposed to know Albany he seems afraid to name names, surely there must be statute of limitations on that, who says you cannot refer to historical names like... Read morePublished on May 18, 2011 by J. Stiles
Recently, in reviewing an early William Kennedy Albany-cycle novel, "Ironweed" I mentioned that he was my kind of writer. I will let what I stated there stand on that score here. Read morePublished on January 21, 2010 by Alfred Johnson
Roscoe is one more masterpiece by a master ... a book hard to put down and one you'll wish doesn't end. Read morePublished on January 8, 2008 by Charlie Stella
I bought this book simply because I had read "Ironweed" and I loved it. Besides, I knew that "Ironweed" was widely considered to be William Kennedy's best novel by critics and... Read morePublished on October 15, 2005 by G. Shkodra