About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: Good
About this title
From the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Ironweed and Legs, Roscoe is a comic journey into the dark heart of America's postwar Democratic dream.; It's V-J Day, World War II is finally over, and Roscoe is quitting politics after twenty-six years as chief brainstruster of Albany's notorious Democratic machine. The suave, brilliant, unscrupulous Falstaffian wants to hang up his white double-breasted Palm Beach suit and drift into retirement. But how will he relax his hold on the lid without the political pot boiling over, scalding his beloved and her family? Armed with the politician's most powerful credo - 'Righteousness doesn't stand a chance against the imagination' - Roscoe fights his final political battles. Every step forward leads Roscoe into the past - to the early loss of his true love, to his own particular heroics in World War I, the takeover of City Hall and the methodical assassination of the gangster Jack 'Legs' Diamond. Roscoe is a comic masterpiece from one of America's most revered novelists.Review:
Insubstantial but charming, William Kennedy's Roscoe seems to unintentionally resemble many of the politicians it depicts. The seventh novel in Kennedy's Albany series, Roscoe follows Roscoe Conway, a quick-witted, charismatic lawyer-politician who has devoted much of his life to helping his Democratic Party cohorts achieve and maintain political power in 1930s and ‘40s Albany, New York. It's 1945, and Roscoe has decided to retire from politics, but a series of deaths and scandals forces him to stay and confront his past. Kennedy takes the reader on an intricate, whirlwind tour of (mostly) fictional Albany in the first half of the 20th century. He presents a mythologized, tabloid version of history, leaving no stone unturned: a multitude of gangsters, bookies, thieves, and hookers mingle with politicians, cops, and lawyers. In the middle of it all is Roscoe, the kind of behind-the-scenes, wisecracking, truth-bending man of the people who makes everything happen--or at least it's fun to think so. Kennedy shows an obvious affection for his book's colorful characters and historic Albany, and he describes both with loving specificity. Though the book often works as light comedy, its clichéd plot developments and stereotypical characters undermine its serious concerns with truth, history, and honor. "You've never met a politician like Roscoe Conway," promises the book's jacket blurb. But we have, through his different roles in countless films and TV series. As with its notoriously deceitful hero, Roscoe is likeable as long as you don't take it too seriously. --Ross Doll
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