The 42nd Parallel

The 42nd Parallel

Book - 2000
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With his U.S.A. trilogy, comprising THE 42nd PARALLEL, 1919, and THE BIG MONEY, John Dos Passos is said by many to have written the great American novel. While Fitzgerald and Hemingway were cultivating what Edmund Wilson once called their "own little corners," John Dos Passos was taking on the world. Counted as one of the best novels of the twentieth century by the Modern Library and by some of the finest writers working today, U.S.A. is a grand, kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation, buzzingwith history and life on every page.

The trilogy opens with THE 42nd PARALLEL, where we find a young country at the dawn of the twentieth century. Slowly, in stories artfully spliced together, the lives and fortunes of five characters unfold. Mac, Janey, Eleanor, Ward, and Charley are caught on the storm track of this parallel and blown New Yorkward. As their lives cross and double back again, the likes of Eugene Debs, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie make cameo appearances.
Publisher: Boston, MA :, Houghton Mifflin,, 2000.
Edition: First Mariner Books edition.
ISBN: 9780618056811
Branch Call Number: FIC DOSP
Characteristics: xviii, 323 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Forty-second parallel


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Feb 01, 2014

A breathtaking novel that captures the energy, the uncertainty, and the disparities of the US at the start of the 20th century. Sections such as Newsreel and The Camera Eye are collages of songs, headlines, quotations and news stories that convey a sense of the global scope of Dos Passos's canvass, while the occasionally intersecting narratives of different characters tell the story from different socio-economic perspectives, particularly those on the edge of society. An amazing book, and I'm looking forward to re-reading the other volumes of The U.S.A. Trilogy.


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