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A Moment In The Sun Hardcover – Apr 18 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's (April 18 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936365189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936365180
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #254,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 33 reviews
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
Worth Your Time May 29 2011
By A. KAPLAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Around page 700 or so of Moment in the Sun, it occurred to me that the book was so long because John Sayles needed that many pages for everything bad in the world to happen to his characters. Set in 1897 and the years immediately after, this story takes the reader on a tour of American oppression and misery. From an Alaskan Gold Rush boom town to a white supremacist insurrection in Wilmington, NC, to the invasions of Cuba and the Philippines, this is not a happy, feel-good novel.

It is, however, a well-told story. While rich in detail, Sayle's writing is clear and easy to read. For a novel that's almost 1000 pages long, it doesn't feel slow or padded. We get an in-depth view of his characters and their worlds, and really come to feel for them. We root for them to find happiness (some do) and shed a tear when horrible things happen to them (some of those do, as well).

What's fascinating, reading this book in 2011, is how many of the situations mirror those going on today. The Philippine response to the American occupation doesn't seem too far afield from the way our armed forces are treated right now. The fear-driven attempts to keep African-Americans from gaining any sort of political power is horribly painful to read, but it's even more so when I walk down my own block and see someone has posted a bumper sticker on a stop sign with an anti-Muslim epithet on it. This is the story of a time over 100 years ago, but it's also a story of today.

John Sayles' writing may be easy to read, but what he's talking about is difficult. But they're the sort of themes that should be written about, because they're the sorts of things still going on in the world today. This is a well-written piece of fiction because it's a gripping read, and because it's thought-provoking. The length is intimidating, but it's very much worth the effort.
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful! May 6 2011
By J. J. De Cruz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There are some books that despite the size are horribly conceived and ultimately unreadable, but not this one. Sayles' take on the Philippine-American War at the turn of the century is rich, deceptively readable, and satisfying. Rich in terms of the amount of research and historical details that went into its writing, Sayles has certainly produced a one-of-a-kind monumental literary work. I am sure Filipinos residing in the Anglosphere world will appreciate Sayles' effort in bringing light into this often lost and forgotten part of Philippine history. Highly recommended. Buy one now. Share this with friends. Better yet, buy another and share that reading copy with friends.

As for the artwork and production values by McSweeney's in the making of this volume, I have to congratulate them for making A Moment in the Sun a KEEPER.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
A Moment in the Sun May 20 2011
By rlk0023 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Powerful reading. Rich in history that few of us have much knowledge of, the war in the Phillipines at the turn of the twentieth century. As with Sayles other works, his cast of characters is large, but finely drawn. Multiple story lines, yet each fully developed. Was lucky enough to hear Sayles read from his new book and discuss it last night in Los Angeles. Don't be put off by the near thousand page length. This book will hold you all the way through.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
kaleidoscopic view of 1898 America June 30 2011
By D. Kanter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I agree with previous reviewers about the novel's quality, with its engaging characters and plot and its remarkable historical scope. While the plot does shift the gaze to the Phillipines, so much of the novel brings to life a multiplicity of American characters: a kaleidoscope of immigrants, entrepreneurs, politicians, itinerants, newsies, all of many ethnicities. I especially commend Sayles for his many, well-written African-American characters: north and south, educated and illterate, female and male, at home and abroad. These characters poignantly beg readers to consider what it meant and means to be American.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Every page a gem July 5 2011
By 1gudriter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If a better historical novel has ever been written, I'd like to know about it. This book is simply amazing: the richness of the writing, the period details, even the vernacular of times and places long gone, whether we're in the Yukon, Leadville Colorado, the New York newspaper world, North Carolina, Havana, Manilla, Hong Kong...every setting unfolds as it must have appeared at the dawn of the twentieth century. History comes alive as never before through the description and dialog that cinematically (no surprise) recreates each moment in history. Each one of the hundreds of minor and major characters are clearly delineated and it is often impossible to tell which characters are real and which are fictional. Sayles claims he wrote most of this during the writers' strike, and if so, he must have had a stable of researchers working for him because the wealth of historical detail is mind-boggling. Yet reading this doesn't feel like history for the story is so compelling. Don't be put off by the number of pages. I worked through this book faster than I usually do with standard length novels because the story and the writing were so intriguing I could not put it down. (And boy, are my arms sore!) This should be up for a Pulitzer.