Publisher: Viking Penguin, New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.
FINE/FINE unread copy protected by Brodart Archival Cover. This copy comes with a Fine copy of the "Advance Uncorrected Proof." Check to see what corrections, if any, were made to the hard cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000780
Synopsis: You've never met a politician like Roscoe (or have you?): a suave Falstaffian in a double-breasted white Palm Beach suit, unscrupulous, brilliant, exploding with courtly romance. It's V-J Day, the war's over, and Roscoe, after twenty-six years as chief braintruster of Albany's notorious political machine, decides to quit politics forever. But there's no exit, only new political wars, mysterious death, self-destructive party feuds, and scandalous threats to his beloved and her family.
Roscoe, the chivalrous warrior, turns his own life, and everybody else's, inside out to cope with the erupting disasters and finds fraudulence an extremely effective combat weapon. "Righteousness doesn't stand a chance against the imagination," he concludes. Every step forward leads Roscoe back to the past-to the early loss of his true love, his own peculiar heroics in the First World War, the takeover of city hall, the fight with FDR and Al Smith to elect a governor, and the methodical assassination of gangster Jack (Legs) Diamond.
Roscoe, William Kennedy's seventh novel in his Albany cycle, illuminates the high and low of Albany life between the world wars. It is an odyssey of great scope and linguistic verve, a deadly comic masterpiece from one of America's most important novelists.
"Kennedy's beguiling yarns are the kind of family myths embellished and retold across a kitchen table at night: whiskified, raunchy, darkly funny, tangles of old resentments and fresh exasperations." ( Time )
"When Kennedy writes about Albany, New York, he is in fact holding up a mirror to all of American history . . . his fictional terrain can be compared to the Faulknerian South in its complex richness." ( The Washington Post)
"Kennedy's power is such that the reader will follow him almost anywhere, to the edge of tragedy and back again to redemption." ( The Wall Street Journal)
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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Store Description: Welcome to Kennedy Books. We have spent many years collecting modern firsts, many signed. We focus on fiction, poetry, biography and books on the craft of writing and the joy of reading.